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The Game lives up to the hype this year as (10-1) Michigan traveled to Columbus to take on (10-1) Ohio State for the right to take on Purdue in the B1G Championship. After a grueling battle that took 2 overtimes to decide, it was the Wolverines who stood victorious 36-33 in what was possibly the best game of the season.


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As the final week of the regular season wraps up, teams turn their attention to the conference championships and bowl season. There are some solid match ups to look forward to with big implications.


The Detroit Lions and the Indianapolis Colts won this week, while the New England Patriots and the Minnesota Vikings took losses, all becoming 6-9 on the season.
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    [2020] MWC Previews Part 2: Air Force Falcons

    Air Force   

    6 members have voted

    1. 1. Will Air Force Progress or Regress

      • Progress
      • Regress

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    This Air Force team last year made it to the conference championship where they beat the undefeated Nevada at the time 33-30 on a game winning 53 YD FG by Lorenzo Rodgers but lost to California 30-10 in the Las Vegas bowl to end 11-3 on the season. This team has the talent to probably sneak in the playoffs and even go undefeated before the playoffs. The question, however, can they? 




    Lorenzo Rodgers as he kicked the GW FG in the 33-30 win over Nevada in the Conference Championship Game


    Top 3 Offensive:

    TE Cayden Reese 6-3 207 (Sr) Aspen (Aspen CO) 5.0 of 5.0 [Receiving]

    QB Nico Kaufman 6-1 236 (Sr) Grand Junction (Grand Junction CO) 4.5 of 4.5 [Scrambling]

    RB Xavier Valentine 5-8 174 Jr Kearns (Kearns, UT) 4.5 of 4.5 [Speed]


    Top 3 Defensive:

    FS Shamar Sutton 5-11 197 (Jr) Wray (Wray, CO) 4.5 of 4.5 [Man Coverage]

    SS Matthew Solomon 6-2 173 (So) Grand Valley (Parachute, CO) 4.0 of 4.5 [Zone Coverage]

    CB Israel Mathis 5-9 178 (Sr) Goddard (Roswell NM) 4.0 of 4.0 [Zone Coverage]


    Top Special Team Player:

    K Lorenzo Rodgers 6-3 195 (Jr) Thunder Ridge (Highlands Ranch, CO) 5.0 of 5.0 [Power]


    Notable Offseason Additions:

    No Notables


    Notable Offseason Subtractions:

    DE James Carter 6-1 255 (Sr) Woods Cross (Woods Cross, UT) 4.5 of 4.5 [blitz]

    ILB Joshua Olson 5-11 245 (Sr) Pershing County (Lovelock, NV) 4.5 of 4.5 [Mike]

    SS Jesse Hutchins 6-2 182 Sr Western Nebraska Community College (Scotts Bluff, NE) 4.5 of 4.5 [Man Coverage]

    SS Jamel Dudley 6-1 207 Sr Boulder City (Boulder City NV) 3.5 of 3.5 [Man Coverage]

    FS Marcus Mayes 6-1 198 Sr Science Hill (Johnson City TN) 3.5 of 3.5 [Zone Coverage]

    FS Louis Roche 6-0 186 Sr Belfry (Belfry KY) 3.5 of 3.5 [Zone Coverage]

    CB Jimmy Allen 6-1 205 (Sr) McQueen (Reno, NV) 3.5 of 3.5 [Man Coverage]

    SS Patrick Schwartz 6-2 192 (Sr) North Sanpete (Mt. Pleasant, UT) 3.5 of 3.5 [Zone Coverage]


    Quick Thoughts:

    You might be wondering "why so many secondary", the reason why is because now the depth they posses at the CB, FS, and SS position is very low, with only 2 CBs, 2 SSs, and 1 FS, on their whole roster and Air Force didn't recruit enough secondary to replace them and will probably suffer because of that predicament. Carter and Olsen should've been a hard hit to the team but they have a 2.0/4.0 RS Fr in Brian Lewis and a 3.5/4.5 RS So in Malik McDonalds at the DE positions and 4.0/4.0 RS Sr in Bobby Oakley and have two incoming Fr who will be redshirted this upcoming season who are DE Derrick Dukes who's a 1.0/5.0 and ILB Keenan High who's a 1.0/4.5 so they should be set at those two positions for the time being.




    Three Key Storylines



    Air Force as they lose the Las Vegas Bowl to California


    1. Can they improve on last season and make a run towards them playoffs?


    This Air Force team has improved and seems poised to repeat as MWC Champions and make a bowl, but the question is, can Air Force actually exceed the high expectations and make the playoffs?


    Air Force has players on both sides that has improved from last season, like Kaufman, Valentine etc, but the depth for their secondary has greatly diminished and that could be a reason why they don't make the playoffs. On the contrary, Reese and Kaufman should make for a dangerous combo, Valentine has a good O-line to help him and the Front 7 is pretty good, so all in all, it's not that bad, but it could use some help.


    2. Can Nico Kaufman improve in his final season with Air Force?


    Nico Kaufman had 17 TDs and 8 INTs. But can Kaufman really put on a show and be a crucial part of this team's success and lead them to a better record last year?


    Kaufman has been amazing in his first 3 years at Air Force, Air Force has been a amazing team and is a serious contender but they need one of their star players, Kaufman, to produce at another level to be able to compete. One key to that has to be that Kaufman has to target Reese at all times, a 6-3 5/5 TE who only had 567 recieving YDs and 5 TDs, stats that you wouldn't expect of a amazing TE, utilizing Reese more could be helpful to both Kaufman and Reese


    3. Can Air Force's O-Line continue to be the best in the MWC and help Valentine produce more rushing TDs?


    Air Force O-Line rating was 6.45, the best in the MWC and it certainly helped the production of Valentine, but can they repeat that success again?


    Air Force's O-Line was very productive and Valentine had a better year because of it as he rushed for 1,474 YDs and 17 TDs on 319 carries, Argubly the best RB in the MWC, most times a player might face regression but if the O-Line holds up, Valentine could have a better season and improve his draft stock, as for the O-Line, most will now have another year under their belt and some got better so that's good. Air Force should have a good O-Line to start the season.





    Best-Case Scenario


    Kaufman and Reese is able to link up good and both Kaufman and Reese have breakout seasons, Valentine improves as well as the O-Line, Air Force overlooks the depth issue at CB, SS, and FS and don't give up big gains and win the MWC championship by a ton and also make the playoffs as the #7 or #8 seed as Kaufman and Reese are named All-Americans.


    Worst-Case Scenario


    Reese is still underused, Kaufman has a decent season but no improvement, Valentine doesn't improve along with the O-Line, Air Force give up lots of points and yardage due to lack of depth at the secondary and even though they win the MWC championship by a small margin, they make a bowl which they once again lose and forced to rebuild.



    Will Air Force Progress or Regress?




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    16 hours ago, pumph said:

    So the worst case scenario for Air Force is that they win the conference title?


    I can think of something worse than that.  I mean, it's not like Nevada is a pushover.

    Well, tbf, Nevada has lost talent, I feel like Air Force is still the better team out of those two anyway, Kaufman is a very good QB and without Akeel, short passes could be a problem for Nevada, which will regress them a bit

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    Just want to highlight my top two receivers:

    WR Reginald Lattimore 6-1 187 (Jr) Douglas (Minden, NV) 4.5 of 4.5 [Target]

    WR James Hall 6-5 200 (Sr) El Dorado (Placerville CA) 4.0 of 4.0 [Target]


    Hall is my top receiver all time, and the duo are the only Air Force receivers to ever surpass 700 yards in a season. Those two, plus Reese, with running threats from Valentine and Kaufman. I'm excited for my offense.


    However, my defense is taking a huge step back. I do have two each of CB, FS, and SS. My #2 FS is going to start as my #2 CB, and my #2 SS is going to be playing backup to both safety positions. At least that's how I have it set right now. All American CB Prince Williams declaring early hurt. I was completely unprepared for it. And even if he didn't that would still leave a dire situation for 2021.


    As for team prospect, I am firmly on the regress side. Offense is going to have to be efficient because I don't have the talent on defense that I enjoyed last season. I feel that I have one of the absolute best kickers in the nation in Lorenzo Rodgers, and expect my record for having excellent performance from my kicker to continue. The Groza committee should keep their eye on him, and not repeat the controversy of last seasons winner.

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