Here is a quick snapshot of the Falcons season before we get on to the analysis. Their final record was 8-5 after an impressive Armed Forces Bowl win against Houston.
Falcons Football Schedule
|W 72 - 0
|L 13 - 20
|@ New Mexico
|W 37 - 13
|San Diego St.
|W 26 - 14
|L 13 - 16
|L 17 - 20
|W 10 - 0
|L 16 - 23
|@ Colorado St.
|W 34 - 16
|W 35 - 7
|W 45 - 17
|L 21 - 38
|W 47 - 20
Catch the rest after the jump...
The Falcons finished 4th in the conference for the second year in a row with all the same losses to the top three teams.
Mountain West Conference Standings
Lets take a quick look at all the Air Force losses.
@ Minnesota 13-20. The Falcons first road game of the year and a timely and unlucky turnover did them in as Minnesota returned a fumble for 52 yards and the score. The defense gave up just 13 points which matched their offensive total so they were in it for sure. Tough loss for Air Force.
@ Navy 13-16 in Overtime. The battle for the Commander-In-Chief's Trophy didn't disappoint as this was a hard fought close game but Air Force fell short. Falcon kicker missed his chance while Navy kicker hit his, could have gone either way. Another touch loss for Air Force.
vs #10 TCU 17-20. A rough game with temperatures in the single digits and icy snow. Air Force forced three turnovers and ran for 229 against a top ranked TCU defense. This was without QB Tim Jefferson, without that injury TCU might have missed their date with Boise State. Another tough loss for Air Force.
@ #18 Utah 16-23 in Overtime. Another game without Tim Jefferson in another close battle with Utah. The Falcons forced 2 turnovers but gave up a big 90 yard pass to David Reed that let Utah back in it. Another tough loss for Air Force who played great on the road in another losing effort.
@ #22 BYU 21-38. Air Forces one loss that wasn't tough as they were outplayed. They were down 24 at one point. It was their last chance to beat a ranked team this year. It was the only game they lost the turnover battle.
To recap, Air Force isn't that far off from being a serious Mountain West contender and they are already considered in the top tier of teams. Besides the BYU game they were one play away from winning any of those games. For being a good year for Troy Calhoun it was really close to being a great year.
Their wins are impressive with the way they can compete and still be a service academy. The Falcons had the 3rd best rushing offense, 11th best total defense, 8th in time of possession, and #1 in turnover margin in the nation. This was a very good team and didn't win with luck, they lost by getting unlucky if anything. The highlight of their season was the Armed Forces Bowl for sure.
Air Force played a complete game and dismantled the Houston offense in a 47-20 win. They were on the receiving end of 6 Case Keenum passes, a career high in interceptions for him. The offense ran for 402 yards and controlled the clock for 41 minutes, that is over 66% of the game! It was a great win for Air Force going into next year and should give them some recruiting power in the off season. If they played that type of game every weekend they could win the Mountain West without a doubt.
Lets look at some player achievements for the Falcons.
Leading Passer: Tim Jefferson 848 yards.
Leading Reciever: Kevin Fogler 567 yards 5TDs.
Interceptions Leader: Anthony Wright Jr 7 Interceptions, 2TDs.
Sacks Leader: Ben Garland 4.5 sacks.
The Falcons won the games they should have and got damn close on all the others. Troy Calhoun should be excited going into next year as they return a majority of their team and don't lose anyone at the offensive skill positions. Their most notable loss is Ben Garland and defensive line. The Falcons have a lot to look forward to in 2010.