Boise State vs. Air Force: Keys For A Broncos Win
Keys to the Broncos flying out of Colorado Springs with a victory
Can Boise State find a way to take a 4-3 series lead over Air Force on Saturday?
A week after Boise State took on a team that they’ve never lost to, the Broncos find themselves headed to a stadium they have never won in. The overall series is currently 3-3, with all three of the Broncos victories coming at Albertson Stadium.
In the 2017 matchup, the Broncos took care of business early and often last year in Boise forcing the normally steady Falcons to put the ball on the turf three times, including a fumble recovery and return for a touchdown by cornerback Tyler Horton in route to a 44 to 19 victory.
This year however, the shoe is on the other foot, can the Broncos leave the past behind them and get the win in Colorado Springs?
Let’s take a look on the keys to a Boise State Victory.
Key #1: Remain Physically and Mentally Disciplined
The Air Force Academy will never have the best athletes, the flashiest play calls, or the craziest turnover prop, but what they do always have is discipline.
The Falcons run a triple option attack that has historically given Boise State fits. Although defensive coordinator Andy Avalos now spends extra time during spring ball and fall camp practicing against the option, it remains an area of concern. The level of discipline needed both physically and mentally, to properly defend against the option is a tremendous challenge.
Each individual on the defense just do their job in order to limit the overall success of the Falcon’s offense. This often means that as a defensive player, you are not and cannot be involved in the action on the majority of plays. Falcons quarterback Isaiah Sanders has thrown the ball only 56 times this season, but has averaged nearly 10 yards per completion.
As a defensive back playing against Air Force, you may only cover a handful of passes in the game, but if you lose discipline and decide to abandon your coverage assignment to get in on the run game action, you will be beaten on a big pass play.
Big pass plays, not the triple option, have been Boise State’s Achilles heel in their 3 loses to Air Force. To be victorious, Bronco defenders must trust their teammates to do their jobs and stay disciplined.
Key #2: Win the Turnover Battle
This at first seems like coach speak and a goal for every game, but it is even more important when playing a team like Air Force. Last year in Boise, much of the Bronco’s success came from forcing turnovers (the Broncos won the turnover battle 3-0). When a team such as Air Force turns the ball over early, they typically fall behind on the scoreboard and this forces them to pass the ball.
Although they can be very effective throwing the ball when they surprise defenses with play action, they tend to be rather ineffective when opposing teams know the Falcons have to pass the ball to catch up on the scoreboard. Boise State in turn must take care of the football.
In the Broncos largest defeat ever versus the Falcons (28-14), they turned the ball over an unheard of 7 times, which led to multiple short field scoring drives. Even though the Broncos outgained Air Force 467 yards to 335, the turnovers allowed the Falcons to cruise to a comfortable two score victory. Taking care of the football will go a long ways towards a Bronco win on Saturday.