Three Keys: Air Force vs. Hawaii

Falcon Stadium (Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE)

With two straight losses in the rear view mirror the Falcons know that nothing but a win this Friday night is acceptable. Hawaii always struggles when coming to the mainland, even more so when it is not a West Coast trip. In fact the Warriors have struggled just about everywhere in 2012 as their 1-8 record is a product of their play in all phases of the game.

With two straight losses in the rear view mirror the Falcons know that nothing but a win this Friday night is acceptable. Hawaii always struggles when coming to the mainland, even more so when it is not a West Coast trip. In fact the Warriors have struggled just about everywhere in 2012 as their 1-8 record is a product of their play in all phases of the game. This is the ideal spot for the Falcons to find that sixth win and pick up bowl eligibility. Here are the three keys.

1) Feast on the home cooking

Air Force may be a slightly disappointing 5-5 overall this season, but at home the Falcons have been outstanding. The 4-1 home record has seen the Falcons piling up the points on opponents while playing much more solid defense than they do on the road. When you add in the fact that Hawaii has played a brutal travel schedule (USC, Fresno State, BYU) AND the fact that this is a quick turnaround game on a Friday night, then you have a situation that is favorable for Air Force.

If the Falcons can take control of this early with a couple of scores then it could be over quickly.

2) Don't turn the ball over

This one will seem obvious after last week, but Air Force cannot afford to turn the ball over. Option football is often seen as a different form of high risk and high reward attack for a reason. When the goal is to matriculate the ball down the field slowly for a score one simple mistake can end a 15 or 18 play drive with no score. This happened far too often to the Falcons last weekend as the four turnovers against San Diego State completely negated the offensive and yardage edge that Air Force created. To win this Friday night there has to be a far greater emphasis put on ball security.

3) Make a statement on defense

Hawaii has had a rough 2012 and as a result the Warriors are changing things up late in the season. After giving up 28 turnovers through nine games there is a change at quarterback with backup Jeremy Higgins expected to get the start. Higgins will be immediately handcuffed by the fact that talented freshman tailback Will Gregory is missing from the lineup after throwing a punch in last week's game. The result of all this is that the Air Force defense will have a chance to make a statement by creating turnovers and manhandling a Hawaii offense which is totally lacking in identity. Doing this will be a huge step in the right direction for a unit which has been up and down all year.

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