The Ram-Falcon Trophy is on the Line
The Falcons look to extend their win streak to five
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WEEK 12: Colorado State Rams (4-5) vs. Air Force Falcons (7-2)
WHEN: Saturday, November 16 —5:30 PM MT/4:30 PM PT
WHERE: Canvas Stadium; Fort Collins, Colorado (41,000)
STREAMING: You can get a free seven-day trial of SlingTV by clicking here.
RADIO: Air Force | Colorado State
SERIES RECORD: Air Force leads the series 35-21-1.
GAME NOTES (PDF): Colorado State | Air Force
ODDS (via OddsShark): Air Force -10.5
SP+ PROJECTION: Air Force by 14.1
Were already at week 12 of the college football season, and the Mountain West pecking order is starting to sort itself out. While the broader College Football landscape is clamoring Tuesday by Tuesday to see how the College Football playoff deck has shuffled, the Mountain West has quietly put together some compelling stories of its own.
Both Air Force and Colorado State have stories that are yet to be unwritten. Considering how the season started for the Rams, the fact that we are this far into the season and the page has not turned to the new chapter on them is making things interesting.
The Falcons have seemed to hit their stride in conference battle ever since their loss at Boise State. Their neighbors from Fort Collins though have quietly strung together three consecutive wins themselves.
So you see, besides playing backup quarterbacks due to attrition what seems perennially, this season these two rivals have a little more in common.
Three Keys to an Air Force Victory
1. Start Fast
The Falcons want to get off to a fast start so they can dictate terms on offense (and defense). In their last game against Army, they really slogged together just enough plays on offense to stay ahead- and relied on some very stout and timely defensive stops.
Colorado State has much more firepower than Army, and a lot of other teams Air Force have played. Sticking with what has brought success, a ball control offense, will also mitigate opportunities for the Rams very talented receiving corp.
2. Win with Less
Colorado State will try and find balance by running the ball, even without Marvin Kinsey JR. The key for the Falcons won’t just be limiting damage done on the ground- which they have done a great job of this season; but to be able to generate pressure when the Rams do pass without having to regularly commit a fifth and sixth rusher.
Air Force has done a good job of bringing delayed blitzes and mixing up fronts to confuse offenses. But when the base of the front seven isn’t generating pressure, they will send another linebacker or safety to turn up the heat. With the talent that Colorado State has on the outside, it would a great time for Jordan Jackson, Mosese Fifita and company to take over the line of scrimmage, like they have in the past.
3. Finish the Job
I don’t want to create hyperbole to make this Colorado State team sound like world beaters, but this is a talented team capable of ruining the Falcons weekend. Air Force needs to impose their will early and often, and not take their hand off the thrust.
For a team that can be so lethal in the red-zone, the Falcons have also stumbled at critical times in this area. The kicking game has been stellar, so points have almost been a ‘gimme’ in this territory. But I’d prefer not to harken questionable fortitude come late Saturday night and see the Falcons push the issue.
I really like what Colorado state has been doing of late. This is a team who had what many believe is a lame-duck head coach and could have easily folded before the midpoint of the season.
Instead, they have shown promise and are still in the mix for a bowl game. Not only that, but they have showcased a lot of talent on this team that should give a lot of promise for the balance of the year, and into 2020.
Marvin Kinsey JR is gone, and by most accounts that is a real loss for the Rams. I disagree for the game against Air Force though. And here is why- The Falcons are stout against the run, and Kinsey JR had been coughing up the football left and right. Those are the kind of turnovers the the Air Force defense feeds on.
The Falcons may be looking for some running back depth themselves as the status of Kadin Remsberg seems murky, in spite of being listed atop the 2-deep. I don’t put a lot of credence into Calhouns depth chart, but whether its Remsberg or perhapse a combination of Nolan Eriksen and Josh Stoner working in tandem with Duvall Jackson and Taven Birdow, they should be able to give the Rams defense a hard time.
Too much Falcon ground game game, and some splash defensive plays are the difference. Air Force wins its fourth straight against the Rams.