The Air Force Falcons opened up their 2018 campaign with a convincing 38-0 victory over Football Championship Series opponent Stony Brook. It is the 12th season in a row that Air Force opened the season with a victory and raised the Falcons record to games versus FCS teams to 23-0.
The Seawolves are one of the better teams in the FCS division, and featured talented senior quarterback Joe Carbone. Yet, with as many questions as their have been about the Falcons defense, Air Force put together an inspired defensive effort, holding Stony Brook to 75 yards of offense for the game. It was the second best effort in team history, trailing only a 1956 effort that limited the University of San Diego to 66 yards.
Air Force used a quick start to set the tone for the game. Arion Worthman (11 rushes for 66 yards) would find the end zone early with a 7-yard scamper to open up the scoring. On the next possession by Stony Brook, junior linebacker Kyle Johnson would intercept a Carbone pass and return it 32 yards to increase the Air Force lead to 14-0. It was Johnson’s first start for the team, as he was one of 10 players who would start for the Falcons for the first time in their careers.
It was a day of first for many Falcons, as the coaching staff would utilize a number of players during the day. Air Force was able to play both of their back-up quarterbacks, and both Isaiah Sanders and Donald Hammond III would score touchdowns on the day. Junior running back Joseph Saucier would lead the team with 71 yards rushing on 10 carries. Cole Fagan, junior fullback, would score his first touchdown of his career and finish the day with 67 yards.
Things will be a lot more difficult for Air Force as they head out on the road for their next two games. First, they travel to face Florida Atlantic. The Owls could be a salty football team after Saturday’s thrashing at the hands of Oklahoma in Norman. It will be the first ever meeting between the two programs and also the first time Air Force will face a team coached by Lane Kiffin. After Florida Atlantic the Falcons will travel to Utah State for the Mountain West opener. The Aggies have to be brimming with confidence after their near-miss upset loss to Michigan State.