WEST POINT, N.Y. (AP) — It’s been a year given Air Force mislaid a grasp on a Commander in Chief’s Trophy, and a Falcons wish it back.
“The CIC always means a lot, yet generally this year after what happened final year,” Falcons comparison descent ensure Griffin Landrum said. “That would be outrageous for this football group to get that prize back.”
Air Force has won a desired hardware, that goes to a champion of a annual array among a 3 use academies, a record 20 times. Army finally pennyless by for a seventh time final year, initial overwhelming Air Force 21-0 during Falcon Stadium, an annoying home detriment that snapped a school-record, 306-game scoring strain dating to 1992. The Black Knights afterwards kick Navy by one indicate to win a prize for a initial time given 1996.
Today, a hardware rests inside a Kimsey Athletic Center during West Point alongside statues of 4 of a academy’s many eminent football figures: Hall of Fame manager Earl “Red” Blaik and his 3 Heisman Trophy winners — Glenn Davis, Felix “Doc” Blanchard and Pete Dawkins.
Air Force (3-5) visits on Saturday, and a Black Knights (6-2) are vigilant on gripping a prize right where it is.
“We’re excited,” Army quarterback Kelvin Hopkins Jr. said. “Last year’s diversion was a good diversion and a good bid by us, yet they’re a unequivocally good team. However it plays out is how it plays out.”
The Falcons lay on a unsafe roost as a deteriorate winds down. They need to win 3 of their final 4 games to validate for a postseason, and Michie Stadium has turn a formidable place to play — Army has won 10 true during home , a final a double-overtime feat over Miami of Ohio dual weeks ago. At slightest a Falcons can take condolence in meaningful that not usually were they a final caller to win during Michie (31-12 dual years ago), they’ve also won 18 of a past 21 games between a teams and are 14-10 on Army’s home turf.
“This is a championship diversion for us,” Air Force comparison linebacker Brody Bagnall said. “It kind of brings some life to a assembly rooms. We’ve been in some tighten games this year, yet once we got to Navy week we were fired-up. Once we get to a service-academy week, it’s a whole ‘nother level.”
Atoning for final year is inaugural on a mind. Led by quarterback Ahmad Bradshaw’s 265 yards rushing, a Black Knights dominated though throwing one pass opposite a flummoxed Falcons.
“I don’t consider anybody unequivocally totally accepted what they were doing in a intrigue final year when we were personification these guys,” Bagnall said. “This year we indeed know what I’m doing, and we consider a invulnerability feels a same way. We’ve usually got to stop a run.”
That’s a high task. Army’s triple choice ranks second nationally during 314.6 yards a game, averaging 4.6 yards a carry. Air Force, that throws a round more, is averaging 255.5 and 4.26 on a belligerent and has outgained Army 1,100-731 passing, yet both teams arrange nearby a bottom of FBS in that category.
“At a finish of a day, it’s usually about how earthy we come to play and how locked-in we are and how we govern a assignments,” Army comparison core Bryce Holland said. “If we come out there and do that, we’ll be flattering happy with a results.”
Other things to know when Air Force visits Army on Saturday:
Air Force has 3 quarterbacks on a abyss draft — youth Isaiah Sanders, comparison Arion Worthman, and sophomore Donald Hammond III. Hammond has played in 5 games with dual starts yet has missed a past dual games with an injury. His initial career start was opposite Navy, and he led Air Force to a 35-7 feat a month ago, rushing for 3 TDs and throwing for 142 yards and another score, so a feat over Army will again give a Falcons possession of a Commander in Chief’s Trophy.
“It’s a No. 1 priority,” Air Force far-reaching receiver Marcus Bennett said. “It’s bigger than us.”
NO TURNOVERS, PLEASE
Air Force has mislaid 7 fumbles and suffered dual interceptions while Army hasn’t mislaid a fail given carrying dual in a season-opener during Duke and has thrown 3 interceptions. In a final 3 years, a Black Knights are 12-0 underneath manager Jeff Monken when they don’t remove a football.
“Coach preaches to us to take caring of a ball, keep a offense on a margin and a invulnerability off as most as possible,” Hopkins said.
Since both offenses use variations of a option, both defenses are all-too-familiar with a nuances of a ground-oriented attack. Army ranks eighth nationally in rushing invulnerability (96.9 yards per diversion and 3.97 per carry) while Air Force sits during No. 16 (108.4 and 3.36).
GO FOR IT
Army leads a republic in converting fourth-down plays, carrying unsuccessful usually 3 times in 29 tries (89.7 percent). Air Force has converted 19 of 30 (63.3).