On November 6th the Utes face what could be one of the biggest match ups in college football: Notice I said 'could'. A small part of me is scared for this AF game: this game has trap game written all over it:
-Air Force has always had a history of playing us close. Is it the option? is it their effective (albeit dirty) blocking style? who knows. All I know is AF likes to keep us sweating for four whole quarters. Even in 04' and 08' these guys gave us plenty of room to worry. Back in 04' they raced to a 14-0 lead before Urban Meyers offense woke up and scored 35 unanswered points. In 08', we faced what was supposed to be a new look team but they surprised us with a balanced attack and their defense forced Brian Johnson to fumble twice. it was only a late TD that we got on top. Last year a missed PAT in regulation nearly costed us in an OT win.
-Even though we did well against Pitt (who admittedly wasn't as great as advertised on the ground).I don't think we have faced a true running threat like AF. Plus , let's be very honest, the defense has been doing a lot of bend-but-don't-break.
-Utah has had problems putting pressure on QB's: this is especially true with scrambling QBs.
-Air Force thrives on takeaways: A big part of the Falcons mentality is forcing turnovers (ala strips).
-TOP: Air Force LOVES to play keep away. This could be a big problem if the defense doesn't play it's A-game. If we can't establish our offense cause the Falcons are keeping them off the field (not to mention keeping our defense ON it) we could be in for a long day.
-This game has all the makings of a trap game. Let's face it: TCU is just around the corner and lots of fans are pumped up for a potential match up between two top-10 teams. Add the fact Utah has a big bulls-eye on it's chest and this game looks even more scary.
-Kyle Whittingham has shown us he keeps his boys focused. There was plenty of room for distractions in 08' and the first half of this year but his staff has done good to staying prepared. Plus as Jazzy has previously mentioned, we have done good in avoiding trap games since we laid that egg against UNLV back in 07'.
-The loss of Jared Tew ( a preseason First Team All- MWC pick) gives the Falcons one less weapon the Utes have to worry about. On the other hand RB Asher Clark has filled in nicely since they lost Tew.
-The Falcons have shown they are vulnerable to the run. In all three of their losses they got burned by the running game (ironic huh?). If Asiata and Wide can find some holes, Utah could add to the Falcons woes
What do you boys think?