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Preview, How to Watch: Can Air Force close its MWC slate with a win over Utah State?

The Falcons are coming off of yet another unplanned bye week. Now, they face a faltering Aggies squad.

NCAA Football: Utah State at Air Force Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

If you’re reading this, it can only mean one thing: Air Force gets to finish out its conference slate! Or, the game just hasn’t been canceled yet. We’re hoping this won’t be the case.

The Falcons are already on the ground in Logan, Utah, and they’re gearing up to close things out against Utah State. Air Force has had success this year against other struggling foes (namely New Mexico and Navy), and the Aggies enters Thursday night’s tilt with a meager 1-4 record.

Utah State’s single win came over New Mexico last week, in the form of a 41-27 shootout. Oddly enough, the Falcons last win was over those very same Lobos, in the form of a 28-0 shutout. For our money, a shutout is a bit more impressive than a shootout, no matter the foe.

The Aggies are also walking into their home stadium with interim coach Frank Maile at the helm. Last week’s win was their first on home soil this year, which seems to suggest that a homefield advantage may not play too much of a role this week. As for historical records, the Falcons thumped the Aggies last year in Colorado Springs by a measure of 31-7. They also hold the all-time series lead at 5-3.

Health has been an absolute key to the Falcons’ success this year, and so far things look good for Thursday night. Even though both Timothy Jackson and Kadin Remsberg are officially listed as questionable for the contest, Air Force has been able to employ a next-man-up mentality thus far.

Haaziq Daniels should be under center, with Brad Roberts leading the charge behind him. Roberts has come on strong in the last few weeks, rumbling his way to 280 yards on the season. Daniels is the second leading rusher as well, with 189 yards so far. Elisha Palm, George Silvanic, and Corvan Taylor are expected to lock in on defense — the three of them have combined for nearly 75 stops on the season.

As for the Aggies, this starting offense is completely different than the one from just a few weeks ago. Starting quarterback Jason Shelley has been dismissed from the program, and leading running back Jaylen Warren has entered the transfer portal. He follows three other Utah State starters who entered the portal last week.

More importantly, COVID-19 concerns have not yet derailed the game. Even though the Falcons have played just once in the past month, the most recent cancellation was due to issues surrounding the Colorado State program. Utah State’s single cancellation came against Wyoming two weeks ago due to cases within the Aggies program (knock on wood that it’s all settled).

Oh, and don’t forget that the Falcons don’t need fancy uniforms to look slick...

How to Watch

Kickoff: Thursday, Dec. 3, 9:30 p.m. EST

Where: Maverik Stadium — Logan, Utah

Watch: CBS Sports Network | Ed Cohen and Ross Tucker will have the call.

Spread: Air Force is favored by 11.5 points, the over/under is set around 51 points.