2013 Season Preview: Air Force

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Oct 8, 2011; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish quarterback Andrew Hendrix (12) breaks a 78 yard run against the Air Force Falcons at Notre Dame Stadium. Notre Dame defeated Air Force 59-23. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Offense

Air Force for as long as most can remember has employed the triple option attack. This offense relies more on speed, technique and execution than individual talent and isolation. The daily discipline and physical determination emphasized by the Air Force Academy grooms cadets into the perfect athlete for this offensive style.

Since 1986, the Falcons have finished top 10 in rushing yards per game, nationally. 2012’s version of the triple option included five players with 450 rushing yards including graduated seniors QB Connor Dietz, RB Cody Getz and RB Wes Cobb. QB Kale Pearson will replace Dietz making 2013 the third season in row Air Force has started a new quarterback. Pearson has excellent speed and athleticism and fits well with the option offense.

The Falcons return RB Jon Lee (545 yds rush, 6.19 ypc) and WR Ty MacArthur who averaged 17.1 yards per catch while rushing for 476 yards. MacArthur contributed to a very efficient passing attack that threw downfield often. The question remains if Pearson can be an efficient and accurate passer like Dietz.

On the offensive line Troy Calhoun explained the Falcon’s situation best: “We’re always going to be tiny. Guys aren’t going to redshirt, they’re going to go through basic training, which means being able to run 1.5 miles in 11 minutes at 7,000 feet.” Each service academy struggles to compete in the modern world of college football that includes weight rooms and training tables. Air Force’s projected 2013 offensive line has an average size of 6’2” 248lbs which is less than the average of Notre Dame’s defensive linebackers. The quickness and deception of the triple option should protect the Falcons offensive line but it does not help that Air Force needs to replace three starters.

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Topics: Football, Notre Dame Fighting Irish

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