Thud is an avid
Falcon fan and keeper of THUDGATE. Here is a quick take from Thud on the
Falcons win over the Rebels Saturday night.
Thud regularly shares his views with fellow fans in the AFAFalcons.com football forum. -FalconMike
Is there room for improvement
for these FALCONS, ABSOLUTELY YES, but I think we need to take a step back and
remember this is a 5-2 TEAM that is once again defying all the odds and leaving
the opposition and the their fans scratching their heads and asking, "How the
hell did we just get beat by those guys?"
I love the fact that you can read the griping and moaning on the respective boards of the opposition that AF has beaten exclaiming how they should have never have lost to a "bad" AF team. UNLV is a talented football team on a bunch of different levels, they have proved they can play a competitive brand of football that any opponent they face has to respect. The Rebel fans seem to think the coaching staff is to blame for the loss to the lowly FALCONS and some even complain about their QB making a bad decision late in the game by not throwing the ball out of bounds instead of running out. Did that great athlete make a mistake, not sure, on face value he may have but none of us really saw what he saw or felt the pressure that was coming his way. Bottom line, Air Force is a TEAM that refuses to give up, maintains a relentless attack while playing on both sides of the ball, is disciplined and well coached. I'd say those traits define Falcon football and Service Academy football as a whole. UNLV lost because they didn't match up as well in those areas as AF, period end of story.
As far as the TEAM goes, no doubt Tim Jefferson (TJ) needs to mature in utilizing all the options available to score, but for land sakes, the young man played an incredible game last night and we have to take notice of a potential FALCON great emerging in his FRESHMAN year!
Newell is a thing of beauty to watch and I wouldn't take a thing away from his outstanding efforts last night, but I think he would tell you two things contributed greatly to his success. First the O-line played one hell of a game; however the dumb penalties have to stop immediately! Second, UNLV was focused on stopping Asher Clark and they paid a heavy price for it. Clark was a weapon last night just by being on the field and that is a mark of a player who the opposition has to account for because they fear his abilities.
Josh Cousins, Sean Quintana and Kyle Halderman were great when they needed to be, but you have to tip your hat to the big man, Travis Dekker (TD) and just savor what he accomplished in his catch and run as a play you'll never forget.
I'd like to see FALCONS like Ty Paffett, Kyle Lumpkin and Jonathon Warzeka get more touches going late into the game and keep fresh legs churning. Each one of them brings something special to the field.
Falcon Defense was super hot and then luke warm last night, but ultimately they did their jobs when most needed and helped to seal the victory. Great job! The AF O needs to take some of the pressure off their brothers on the D by scoring more 7s than 3s once they enter the red zone. Let Mr. Harrison put numerous 1s on the board all day long and now and then remind the opposition they aren't safe from being scored on out to 60 yards.
Special teams didn't have any major issues other than I don't like seeing Ryan Harrison having to be the last man standing on stopping a return guy from going all the way. Great job by Ryan of showing he is a football player and not a "specialist"!
Come this Thursday night, the character of this FALCON TEAM will be tested more than any game to date. Talk about having to reach down inside yourselves and not letting the demands of being a cadet and a short turn around provide an easy excuse for a letdown! New Mexico will have super confidence coming into FALCON Stadium, after they destroyed SDSU. Heck, the Lobos doubled the points AF put on the ‘Tecs, but I can only hope the FALCONS find a way to turn that confidence upside down by getting up on the Lobos quickly with TDs not FGs and a swarming attack on the D side of the ball that plays without the pressure of having to win the day.