Air Force at New Mexico, noon Saturday, ESPN3, 740 AM
SUBPLOTS WE’LL WATCH
Can Air Force individuals pad the stats?
With Wyoming, and its ninth-ranked rushing defense awaiting Air Force in the season finale, and then a presumably strong bowl opponent, this might be the Falcons’ last, best chance to post lofty individual numbers. New Mexico is near the bottom of the nation in multiple defensive categories, including total defense (128th), scoring defense (120th) and passing yards allowed (130th). If Kade Remsberg and/or Timothy “Duval” Jackson are going to reach 1,000 rushing yards (Remsberg is at 779, Jackson at 734), a big game here would sure come in handy. Same for receiver Geraud Sanders, who is second in the nation in yards per catch. He could help himself, assuming the teams play something like they have over the past five weeks.
New Mexico’s offense
Air Force ought to know what New Mexico’s offense can do in its home stadium. During the Falcons’ three-game losing streak in Albuquerque, the Lobos have averaged 49 points, 500 yards of offense, 393 yards on the ground. While New Mexico isn’t running that same offense anymore, they’ve shown the ability to be solid on the ground (six games with more than 200 rushing yards) and through the air (three games with more than 290 passing yards) this season. Air Force is at its best when making teams one-dimensional, but accomplishing that against the Lobos could prove challenging.
Can Air Force keep pressure on?
Utah State hosts Boise State in the late game Saturday, kicking off at 8:30 p.m. in Logan, Utah. If Air Force wins at New Mexico, the Broncos will be in position where they must beat the Aggies to clinch the Mountain West’s Mountain Division. If Air Force wins, a loss from Boise State could open several scenarios that would allow the Falcons to win the division. The Falcons are aware of this, and that will undoubtedly provide motivation for a team that could otherwise be candidates for a letdown as it plays following emotional victories over Army and Colorado State.
BRENT BRIGGEMAN, The Gazette