Having ended a rough three game losing streak, the Air Force Falcons are now looking to not only add another road victory on the season, but accomplish two important goals with a victory over the Army Black Knights this Saturday.
- Air Force could become bowl eligible for the ninth time in the ten year reign of Troy Calhoun as head coach of his alma mater.
- Air Force will secure its 20th Commander-in-Chief Trophy. As it stands right now, Air Force has won the trophy 19 times, leading Navy’s 15 and Army’s 6 trophy victories.
Army, under third year head coach Jeff Monken, currently stands at 5-3 on the season coming off a victory over Wake. Army does not play Navy until December 10th, so an Air Force victory would make that game less significant having already beaten Navy itself at the beginning of October by a score of 28-14.
Air Force will be looking to capture a victory with some uncertainty at the quarterback position. In last week’s victory over Fresno, starting quarterback Nate Romine suffered an ankle injury that forced him out of the game. Back-up sophomore Arion Worthman came in and provided a spark in the running game as he piled up 102 yards in a quarter and a half, including two key touchdowns in goal line situations, to help the Falcons come from behind and win 31-21. Worthman has taken a majority of the first team snaps in the early days of practice this week, but there has been no announcement on who will be starting this week for the Falcons. Romine has been up and down this season, but his experience and his deep passing threat will be missed since Worthman has only thrown one pass this season in mop up duty versus Abilene Christian.
Defensively, the Falcons will be faced with another huge challenge facing an Army offense that is averaging 342.4 yards per game on the ground. The Air Force defense was spectacular versus the vaunted Navy rushing attack but struggled versus the nation’s leading rushing attack when they faced New Mexico. Air Force is only allowing 110.8 yards per game on the ground and if the front seven can hold down the Black Knight attack and force them to pass, that figures to be a major plus for the Falcons. Army is only averaging 90 yards a game in the air so if the Air Force can force the Black Knights to make plays in the air, it opens up opportunities for Weston Steelhammer and Brodie Hicks to make big plays like they did a week ago versus Fresno. Steelhammer and Hicks had three of the four interceptions for the Falcons last week, and will look to force even more turnovers if Army has to pass.
These Commander-in-Chief battles have proven to be as tough of games for the Falcons as any they have in Mountain West play, especially on the road. With the improvement of Army and the uncertain situation at quarterback, the Falcons will be tested to capture their 20th trophy. But, Worthman added something to the Air Force offense last week with his dynamic running. The Falcons might even be in a situation where both quarterbacks get playing time. In the end, the Falcons have 32 seniors on this team that want to go out with a trip to the White House and another secured Commander-in-Chief trophy being displayed in Clune Arena. The Falcons will find a way for a hard fought 24-20 victory over Army.