2011 Predictions & Game Story
Week 8 - Air Force at Boise State
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Oct. 22 at Boise State 37 … Air Force 26
CFN Analysis: This might have been a shaky performance considering how much Air Force has struggled, but Kellen Moore had another great day, outside of a pick, and the team withstood the big day from the Falcon running game. Byron Hout came up with 18 tackles against the option attack and George Iloka made 12, but the defensive front couldn’t get to the backfield before the plays could get started and the Broncos got killed in time of possession. Call this an aberration and next week everything will get back on track against UNLV, but in terms of public perception, this might as well have been a loss. A blowout over TCU will be a must in a few weeks to have any hope of getting back in the national title argument.
Air Force did everything it could do to make it a game. The running game cranked out 264 yards and the offense held on to the ball for over 36 minutes to keep Kellen Moore and the Boise State offense on the sidelines. However, when Moore did get his chances, he picked apart the struggling Falcon defense and most the ball without a problem. Brady Amack continues to shine, making 13 tackles and breaking up a pass, and the defense did what it could against the run, while forcing two takeaways, but it still wasn’t enough. This was the team’s best performance in weeks, even in a loss, and playing New Mexico, Army, Wyoming, and UNLV should make the record look far better if the offense can keep playing like this.
(AP) BOISE, Idaho -- Kellen Moore threw three touchdown passes, Doug Martin scored twice and the Bronco defense and special teams did just enough to hold on and give No. 5 Boise State a 37-26 victory over Air Force Saturday.
Moore was precise as usual, going 23-of-29 for 265 yards. The victory was the 45th of his career and put him in a tie with former Texas quarterback Colt McCoy for the most wins all-time by a college quarterback. His second TD pass of the day, a 19-yarder to Matt Miller, gave him 122 for his career and pushed him past former BYU quarterback Ty Detmer for fourth best all-time.
Martin rushed for 125 yards on 21 carries, and his 15-yard score after taking a snap and dashing up the middle gave the Broncos (7-0, 2-0 Mountain West Conference) a 27-13 lead with five minutes left in the third quarter. At the time, the score gave the Broncos back the momentum and brought some relief to fans that aren't used to seeing close games in the second half.
But Air Force (3-4, 0-3) and its potent running game bullied back in the first meeting of these new conference foes.
The Falcons came in with the nation's 10th best rushing attack, and they gouged the Broncos' defense repeatedly with big runs and long drives that chewed up clock and kept Moore and the Boise State offense off the field.
After Martin's score, the Falcons marched 80 yards in 18 plays and pulled within 27-20 when Asher Clark ran it in from the 3. The Falcons' ground game was led by Mike DeWitt's 108 yards on 18 carries and the Falcons rushed for a total of 265 yards.
The Falcons dominated time of possession 36:18 to Boise State's 23:42 and forced two Broncos turnovers in the red zone.
But Falcons' defense, decimated by injuries on the line, couldn't find a way to shut down Moore and the Boise State offense. The Broncos managed to roll up 423 yards of total offense.
After Air Force pulled within 27-20, Moore engineered a 10-play, 69-yard scoring drive that was capped by his 2-yard TD toss to Martin. On the drive, Moore was 5 of 6 and threw a key third-down pass to Mitch Burroughs that extended the drive.
Air Force responded quickly, thanks to a 51-yard pass from Tim Jefferson to Zack Kauth that gave the Falcons a first-and-goal at the 3. Jefferson scored two plays later on a keeper, but the Bronco defensive end Tyrone Crawford blocked the extra point, making the score 34-26 with 3:30 remaining.
The Falcons tried an onside kick, but the ball was recovered by Bronco receiver Tyler Shoemaker. Moore then moved the Broncos into scoring position and Dan Goodale booted a 25-yard field goal to put the game away.
Air Force (3-3) at Boise State (6-0) Oct. 22, 3:30, Versus
Here’s The Deal … Ho hum. Another year of BCS rankings, and another year Boise State is given no love at all despite a dominant start to the season.
At just the right time, at least for most programs, the Broncos are getting better going on the road and blowing away Fresno State and Colorado State by a combined score of 120-20. If it was possible for Kellen Moore to be even sharper, he is, while running back Doug Martin has shaken off a mediocre start by blowing up. And now it’s time to come up with yet another easy win and do it in destructive fashion, because this is sort of it. This and the TCU game in a few weeks, and possibly the road date at San Diego State, are the only decent games left on the slate. There aren’t many statement-making moments to be had, and this needs to be one.
Air Force has been a stunning disappointment. Coming into the season with the experience and talent to be the best team yet under head coach Troy Calhoun, the defense has gone bye-bye and the nation’s third best running game hasn’t been able to pick up the slack. Over the last three games the Falcons has allowed 134 points, getting blown away by Notre Dame and San Diego State in the last two games, but the season can take a big left turn with a win this week. The Falcons probably won’t lose the rest of the way – Army is the only team left good enough to provide any sort of a challenge – and this could be their statement-making moment. At the very least, a decent showing would be nice.
Why Air Force Might Win: In a perfect world for Air Force, going on long, steady drives that go the length of the field and take up a ton of time would be nice, but in a game like this when Falcon points will be hard to come by, the better the field position, the better. Boise State’s punting game doesn’t exactly get a workout, and it’s not all that great when it does. Air Force has only returned four punts on the year, but it has dangerous return men, especially Jon Davis, and should be able to give Tim Jefferson and the offense decent starting points. At least when the D stops the Boise State O.
The Boise State run defense might be terrific, but it hasn’t faced anything like Air Force is about to run. Even with all the problems on defense, the Falcon ground game remains terrific running for 363 yards and two scores against Notre Dame and working without a problem against TCU and Navy. Over the last two weeks the passing game has been solid, too, rolling for over 200 yards in the losses, however …
Why Boise State Might Win: The only reason Air Force was throwing the ball is because the score was getting so lopsided. The formula isn’t working. Air Force is supposed to use its great ground game to drain the clock and keep the defense off the field, but instead the D is giving up the long drives and the offense isn’t getting the job done cranking out enough big drive. On the flip side, Boise State is eighth in the nation in time of possession holding on to the ball for over 34 minutes a game, while Air Force is keeping it for a mere 27:35 a game.
Air Force is having a problem getting off the field because the secondary is giving up too many yards in chunks. The Falcons might be doing a decent job of keeping the passing yards to a minimum, but the secondary is struggling ranking 109th in the nation in pass efficiency defense. Worse yet, the run defense hasn’t been close ranking second-to-last in the nation allowing 229.5 yards per game. That’s why the star of the show should be …
What To Watch Out For: Senior Doug Martin, who started out the year getting stopped by Georgia for just 57 yards, and while he wasn’t bad against Toledo and Tulsa, he wasn’t dominant. And then came the 126-yard, two score day against Nevada, and he rumbled for 94 yards on just 16 carries against Fresno State and 200 yards and three scores on 20 carries against Colorado State. This might be Kellen Moore’s team, but it’s Martin who’s the tone-setter for turning easy wins into blowouts.
The Air Force run defense might be having a nightmare of a time, but Brady Amack is coming up with another huge season coming up with 58 stops including 23 against Navy and 11 last week against San Diego State. At 6-0 and 225 pounds, the senior is a smallish, tough player who makes big things happen when they come his way. He needs to meet up with Martin time and again to finally start to turn things around for the Falcon run defense.
What Will Happen: For all of Boise State’s talk about not caring about blowing teams out and not concerned with making a statement, throw that out the window. Air Force’s running game is about to meet a defensive line that’s been traditionally terrific against great ground attacks, and this week won’t be any different. The floodgates will open wide in the second half as Moore and the passing game destroys the horrendous Falcon secondary.
CFN Prediction: Boise State 52 … Air Force 24
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