Jim's Blog

A SPECIAL NIGHT

Tues 1-7-20..Clune Arena came alive with more than 4500 in attendance, many of them cadets, who watched Air Force dismantle Utah State 79-60. It was both a reminder of the past (Joe Scott 03-04) and perhaps a taste of what could be the rest of this season. The Academy enticed cadets to show up to cheer on the Mens basketball team (a little food from Chick-Fil-A didn’t hurt) in their game against the Aggies. What the Falcons showed, especially in the second half, could serve as an opening volley to visiting teams this season. Behind Ryan Swan, and suffocating defense from Sid Tomes on Utah State star Sam Merrill, Air Force soared past the Aggies and re-awakened the echoes of 16 years ago. When Clune is full and the Falcons are winning the 5800 seat arena becomes a chamber of horrors for the opposition. You can’t hear, the fans are on top of you, and it feels like you are playing uphill. The late Rick Majerus, said his Utah teams played at Cameroon Indoor and Madison Square Garden, yet Clune Arena was louder than both. Credit most of that to the cadet squadron. Yea, maybe its cooler to get off campus for a weekend than to go to a basketball game, but if the Falcons can continue to play like they did Tuesday night Clune Arena may become to cool place to be.

Saturday Air Force is at New Mexico. Listen to the game beginning at 4 on 740 KVOR.

ONE FINAL TEST

It’s been an amazing year for the Air Force football team. A 10-2 regular season, wins over CU, CSU, and Wyoming, going back to a bowl for the first time in 3 years, a legitimate opponent in Washington State (sorry South Alabama and Western Michigan) And Friday Night December 27th the final game of the year vs the Cougars in the Cheez-It Bowl. That game represents one final test. Air Force can claim a second win over a Pac-12 team in one year, and an elusive 11 win season. They don’t hand those out on the corner. You earn EVERYTHING just getting to 10 victories. That’s rare air, and that’s what the Falcons want. This team wants to reach heights few even barely dream of. It can happen, but it won’t be easy. Washington St. leads the nation in passing. 4 and 5 wide receiver sets are common for Head Coach Mike Leatch. And like all Pac-12 schools they are bigger than the Falcons. Which means this plays perfectly into Air Forces’ hands. The Cougars will spend a lot of practice time over the holidays (when there isn’t a lot of practice time) trying to figure out the option. They’ll try to take away the edge and load the box, figuring their DB’s are more talented than Geraud Sanders and Ben Waters. Bring it on, and fall into the same trap most every school has this year. Look, this won’t be easy. This will be a tough game for the Falcon defense. They’ll play nickel and dime coverage a lot, and will have to blitz a lot to have a shot. But, it’s Air Force. The Falcons are, and love to be, the underdog. It will be fun in the desert December 27th at 815p on 740 KVOR.

FINDING WAYS TO WIN

That’s exactly what the Air Force football team has done the last 2 weeks. The Falcons are one of the hottest teams in the nation. Their last loss was 7 weeks ago. And they have had to come up with some creative ways to get wins. 2 weeks ago they trailed Colorado State 14-0, yet stormed back in the 4th quarter to beat the Rams. Last week New Mexico decided to fully commit to stopping the Air Force rushing attack. So Quarterback Donald Hammond throws for a personal best 327 yards and 4 touchdowns to beat the Lobos. Good teams find ways to win. No football game is easy, despite what the final score may suggest. Whether it’s a goal line stand like the Falcons had at the end of the Army game, or a powerful offensive night as Air Force beat Hawaii, the Falcons can win games a lot of different ways. That’s a hard team to play, let alone beat. Better bring your “A” game. Saturday’s matchup against Wyoming represents a different test.  The Cowboys offense is pretty simple-run the football. Their defense stops the run-they are ranked 7th in the nation in that category. Yet don’t look past the Falcons to figure out some way, some opportunity to figure it out. Maybe it’s a game winning field goal by Jake Koehnke….Perhaps a late touchdown by the offense. Somehow, some way, the Falcons find a way.

 

Air Force and Wyoming-Saturday at noon on 740 KVOR.

3 LEFT……..

Saturday the Air Force Falcons resume their football season, going for the “Colorado Sweep” as they face Colorado State in Fort Collins. The Falcons, with a win over C-U early this year, can win the unofficial Colorado College Football Crown, by beating the Rams. The sudden and sad death of a New Mexico football player meant an off week for the Falcons November 9th. It gave the team a chance to get a jump start on CSU and heal some injuries, and perhaps, it helps Air Force get set for the last 3 weeks of the regular season. Next week the Falcons and Lobos will make up that postponed game in Albuquerque, where the  Falcons have had problems the last several years. Then they finish the season at home Thanksgiving weekend against a very tough bare bones Wyoming football team. So 2 rivalry games, and a road game where you haven’t had success in the last few years separate Air Force from an average to a really,  really good season. Saturday’s game at Canvas Stadium could be a shootout. CSU’s rush defense is poor-111th in the nation. They will find it hard to stop Duval Jackson, Taven Birdow and Kadin Remsberg. The Rams offense is a big play, explosive unit, with pocket passer Patrick O’Brien, throwing to solid receivers Warren Jackson and Dante Wright. The Falcons have faced a test like this in almost every game, and Defensive Coordinator John Rudzinski will be ready. The Rams defense has not seen a rushing attack like the Falcons this year-I’m not talking about the option per say, but just the ball hawking, grind it out, convert on 3rd down and start over offense the Falcons put on display each week. Air Force also still has a chance to catch Boise State in the Mountain Division, though they do need help. CSU has a chance to become bowl eligible with 2 wins in their last 3 games. So this is an interesting game with good sub plots that we’ll bring you Saturday from Fort Collins.

 

Listen to Air Force and Colorado State Saturday. Coverage at 3. The kickoff at 5p on 740 KVOR.

ARMY

Army comes to Colorado Springs Saturday to face the Air Force Football team at 130 on 740 KVOR. The largest crowd of the year will gather to watch the Falcons try and end a 2 game losing streak against the Black Knights. Regardless of the outcome the Falcons won’t win the Commander In Chiefs Trophy this year, and for Army, even if they lose Saturday,  they can retain the trophy by beating Navy in early December. However, that does not mean this game has no significance. While the programs respect each other, they do not like each other. I’ve always sensed there’s a bit more hatred in this rivalry than there is against Navy. Army is the oldest of the service academies, Air Force the youngest. But up until the last few years it’s always been the Falcons dominating the Black Knights. That changed when Jeff Monken came on board. To his credit he has made this game more relevant to Army supporters. He is a fiery head coach, and his team plays with aggression and passion, and with that came success. Army has won the last 2 C-I-C trophies. The first of those trophies came in 2017 when Army rolled into Falcon Stadium and shut out Air Force 21-0. Even though that was 2 years ago the Falcons still remember that game as they do last years’ contest at West Point when the Black Knights stopped the Falcons on 4th down to preserve a 17-14 win. Army has to win 4 of 5 to go to a bowl. Air Force will go bowling somewhere this season. So even though the C-I-C trophy fades to the background Saturday, this game still means a lot to both teams. At the end of the day both squads will come together as the respective alma maters play. Air Force is hoping to sing second.

 

Air Force and Army-Saturday November 2nd at 130 on 740 KVOR.

ONE FINAL TEST

It’s been an amazing year for the Air Force football team. A 10-2 regular season, wins over CU, CSU, and Wyoming, going back to a bowl for the first time in 3 years, a legitimate opponent in Washington State (sorry South Alabama and Western Michigan) And Friday Night December 27th the final game of the…MORE

FINDING WAYS TO WIN

That’s exactly what the Air Force football team has done the last 2 weeks. The Falcons are one of the hottest teams in the nation. Their last loss was 7 weeks ago. And they have had to come up with some creative ways to get wins. 2 weeks ago they trailed Colorado State 14-0, yet…MORE

3 LEFT……..

Saturday the Air Force Falcons resume their football season, going for the “Colorado Sweep” as they face Colorado State in Fort Collins. The Falcons, with a win over C-U early this year, can win the unofficial Colorado College Football Crown, by beating the Rams. The sudden and sad death of a New Mexico football player…MORE

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