The Oklahoma Sooners come into Saturday's game flying extremely high after blowing out the Florida State Seminoles in last week's Top-25 showdown in Norman.
However, the Sooners will have to wake up from the feelings of jubilation and focus on the task at hand: The Air Force Falcons, who are coming off of a huge 35-14 victory over BYU last week. The Falcons had not beaten the Cougars since 2003.
Many people are writing this game off to a certain extent, but there could is the possibility that this could be a very close and competitive game. Air Force, with their triple option offense, always plays tough, disciplined football, and will be looking to build on the momentum of the BYU win.
Offensively, the Falcons are led by quarterback Tim Jefferson, a junior, who is the unquestioned leader of this offense. Jefferson has the ability to make plays both with his feet and his arm, and has already attempted 25 passes through two games, an unusually high number for a primarily running offense.
Jared Tew and Asher Clark lead a quartet of runners who have each topped 100 yards on the year, including the quarterback Jefferson. The fourth member of this group is Jon Warzeka. However, both Clark and Tew are questionable for Saturday's game. Clark has an ankle injury and Tew has a hand injury. Tew is expected to be able to go, but Clark will more than likely be a game-time decision.
If either Clark or Tew can't play, then the Falcons ability to run the football will be hampered and not be as effective as they have been in their first two games, leading the nation with an average of 423 yards on the ground in those matchups.
The Falcons passing game is made primarily of deep passes, with all receivers but one having a reception of 13 yards or more. Many of the receivers have only one reception thus far on the year. Senior Kyle Halderman is the team's leader in receptions with three, one of those for a touchdown.
Defensively, the Falcons are stout, particularly in the secondary where the Falcons have two preseason all conference cornerbacks. The Falcons ranked fifth in the country last year and have not let up in any way, allowing only 168.50 yards per game in each of their first two games, including only 88 to a BYU team that throws the ball a lot as part of its offense.
The front seven is also solid for the Falcons, led by lineman Rick Ricketts and linebacker Brady Amack. This part of the unit isn't made up of a bunch of stars or super athletes, but instead relies on discipline and effort to contain opponents.
At a quick glance, one would think this would be a laugher in Oklahoma's favor, but that just is not the case. Air Force has a great football team, and head coach Troy Calhoun will have them primed and ready to go for Saturday's clash with the Sooners.
Two very interesting matchups to watch will be the Sooners' front seven against the triple-option offense. Oklahoma will have to remain disciplined and play their gaps well if they hope to contain a running game that is averaging over 400 yards a game.
The other big matchup will be Landry Jones against the Falcon secondary. Jones will have to be on the mark with his passes, or else he is going to be picked-off left and right, and could potentially cost the Sooners the game.
While this will be a tight game for a little bit, Oklahoma is just too deep, talented, and has too many athletes for Air Force to compete with. Oklahoma will pull away in the second half to win big.
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