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Preview, How to Watch: Air Force aims to lock up the C.I.C. Trophy against Army in Texas

The Falcons have a chance to bring home the C.I.C. Trophy at the neutral-site Lockheed Martin Commander’s Classic.

NCAA Football: Air Force at Army Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

The college football season is a long one. It’s a months-long battle of wins and losses often defined by how many times you get back up. While last week’s loss to San Diego State may be Air Force’s toughest game of the season, the Falcons’ most important one is staring them in the face.

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s Army week.

The two teams will head down to Arlington, Texas to do battle at Globe Life Field. Yes, it’s the most modern stadium either team has played at in a while, but really? A baseball field?

Anyway, the Falcons are hoping to bounce back from a heartbreaker against the Aztecs where they very nearly managed to come all the way back from a 20-point hole. Army, on the other hand, is in the midst of a three-game skid, with losses to Ball State, Wisconsin, and Wake Forest piling up.

Both teams are itching for a rebound, so let’s see what the cards may have in store.

Air Force offense vs Army defense

NCAA Football: San Diego State at Air Force John Leyba-USA TODAY Sports

Brad Roberts didn’t exactly put up his standard numbers against the Aztecs, but that was to be expected against the nation’s top rushing defense. He was held to just 27 yards on seven attempts and no touchdowns. That said, it’s safe to expect Roberts to see more of the ball this week. Possessions are always at a premium when two service academies play, and Roberts has been the most consistent weapon on the ground.

Quarterback Haaziq Daniels didn’t have his most impressive showing through the air last time out, despite my optimistic projections. He completed just two of eight passes for 9 yards and a pick before ultimately being benched for Warren Bryan. It’s difficult to say which quarterback we will see under center on Saturday morning, at least for now.

The important thing is that Air Force bounced back after its last loss, thumping FAU 31-7. The Falcons will have to have a similar rally this weekend in order to secure their first CiC trophy since 2016.

As for Army, Marquel Broughton, Arik Smith, and Julian McDuffie will look to slow down the ground attack. All three men have 35 or more tackles, and Broughton has a pair of interceptions to his name. After all, this is an Army offense holding teams to 99 yards on the ground.

Air Force defense vs Army offense

NCAA Football: Wake Forest at Army Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

The Falcons may have the nation’s top rushing attack, but the Black Knights are hot on their heels at number two. Army as a team has racked up 2,313 yards on the ground this year, with 427 of them coming from quarterback Christian Anderson. However, Tyhier Tyler has come on strong in recent weeks, racking up 303 yards under center.

Tyrell Robinson is Army’s leading back thus far with 380 yards to his name and a pair of touchdowns. Jakobi Buchanan is the Black Knights’ main scoring threat, with six scores on the ground. In total, nine Army players have found the end zone for rushing scores, with three players nabbing receiving touchdowns — including Tyrell Robinson with two scores.

A familiar trio of Falcons sits atop the tackle chart, with Sanford, Mock, and Meeks continuing to dominate. Trey Taylor also has 30 tackles on the year now, while Corvan Taylor has three interceptions. Vince Sanford has forced three fumbles and Camby Goff has forced two more, so the Falcons will need a few timely turnovers to walk out of Texas with a win.

How to Watch

  • When: Saturday, Nov. 6 — 11:30 a.m. EST
  • Where: Globe Life Field — Arlington, Texas
  • Watch: Rich Waltz, Aaron Taylor, and Sherree Burruss will have the call for CBS.
  • Spread: Most books have Air Force favored by about 2.5 points, with the over-under set at 37.