Air & Ground Arsenal
Not knowing where the Falcon's offensive attack will come from is giving opponent defenses more of a challenge then they expect or want from Air Force. As the Falcons fine tune their offense in the first few games their ability to gain yardage, move the chains and score seemingly at will at times is keeping them in the win column.
Not that this potentially powerful offense doesn't sputter, the main culprit seems to be the fumble bug. In just two games the Falcons have put the ball on the ground eight times, turning three of those fumbles over to the opponent.
These fumbles and other mental miscues that have slowed or stopped drives just doesn't seem to phase this season's offense. The Falcon's two opponents thus far have taken advantage of the Falcons miscues by turning AFA errors into points but the Falcon offense just never stops, it is relentless. Even the Falcon 2nd team led by QB Adam Fitch and host of up and coming talent is virtually unstoppable when it's clicking, just ask the Washington Huskies.
It all starts up front with a very large (by any college standard), quick and strong offensive line, the center of which is manned by 6-4, 300 pound senior Jon Wilson who is deservedly on the Outland trophy watch list. This Falcon "O" line is senior laden and talented; they have opened holes for the running backs and given QB Shaun Carney plenty of time to find his targets when passing. The offensive line is so deep that Fisher DeBerry has no problem making wholesale changes during the game.
Carney has the ability to zip the short and medium passes and has shown that he can put the right touch on a soft pass as he did to tight end Robert McMenomy for a 38 yard TD against San Diego State. Carney also has a couple of talented receivers in Jason Brown and Greg Kirkwood that have made the difference in Falcon drives, getting first down yardage when needed on short and medium passes and making big catches for long hauls that were spirit breaking to their opponent.
While the Falcon halfbacks aren't quite ready to shed their training wheels, the fullback punch is alive and well with 6', 235 pound, Jacobe Kendrick running up the gut with authority. Jacobe was no less then offensive player of the game against SDSU with his 26 carries for 128 yards and 4 touchdowns. Even when the big holes were not there Jacobe smashed through defenders, not to be denied chain moving runs and touchdowns.
So much for this young talented sophomore quarterback to work with. Carney has the ability to move the ball through his own running ability but with his ever improving read ability he will be using the option more and more. When the opponent over commits to the fullback, things will begin to open more for the halfbacks to get on track and with the balance this offense has, defenses will have to back off the line more and more or Carney and his band of receivers will make them pay.
The Falcon offense should continue to improve with each game and with the good depth on the line and other key positions... fatigue should not play a factor down the road as it is with many teams toward the end of the season.
Next up is Wyoming, a team that always plays well against the Falcons. This year the Cowboys are loaded with talent and experience. This will be yet another tough test for the Air Force offense.
A work in progress, this year's defense is determined to bring back the respect and confidence that seemed to slip away more and more each game last year. Thus far the Falcon "D" has come through and it's evident they have the talent and depth to get much better. More to come on individual defensive play makers.