The Top Memory from 2019
Eight in a row (and counting)
Were still counting down the five most memorable moments of the Falcon’s 2019 football season. In case you missed our first three installments of this five part series, check them out here Part 1 , Part 2 , Part 3 and Part 4.
COMING IN AT #1
2019 Cheez-It Bowl: Air Force 31 vs. Washington State 21
To close out our countdown of the Best Memories from the 2019, we head back to Chase Field in Arizona. While Air Force’s season was filled with a lot of highs, capping things off during Bowl Week by going 2-0 against the PAC12 reigns supreme.
The Cheez-It Bowl was full of build up, featuring two teams that were some of the best at what they do. Completely contrasting styles, the Falcons bring the dreaded triple option offense in to establish a dominant ground game, while the Cougs’ put up video-game-like passing numbers year after year.
It wasn’t very surprising to see Wazzu put up 350+ pass yards, and Air Force to nearly match that production on the ground. So with regard to the offenses, these teams similarly established production that you would expect.
This is where the similarities end. Statistics can be deceiving, and if you look at the stat line alone, you wouldn’t get the real story of this game. The Air Force running game could not be stopped. Not at the goal-line. Not between the 20’s.
Washington State on the other hand, found themselves in fist fight the closer to the endzone that their offense got. And unfortunately for the Cougs’, they wound up on the mat. The Air Force defense stiffening on 4th down is not a new narrative. And in fitting fashion, the Falcon Offense hung points on the board, while the defense ultimately forced the tap out.
Winning against a 6-6 team may not jump of the screen when you are looking for the Best Stories in a full season. But the win against Washington State symbolized so many things for this years team.
Air Force has never won 11 games under Troy Calhoun (or ever- though they have won 12). They won a combined 10 games the previous two seasons. They featured one of the worst pass defenses statistically in 2018. They had not won a Bowl Game against a P5 School since 2010.
What better way to validate a complete turnaround, stake your claim as one of the top G5 and frankly a top 25 team nationally, than to win this game. They claimed victory against one of the greatest offensive minds in the game today. A maligned defense halted a historically successful passing offense.
Being crowned champions of the 2019 Cheez-It Bowl symbolized so much more than a bowl victory. It validated greatness.