It’s the fourth season of college football for Against All Enemies. As we’ve done in previous seasons, we’ll hand out an award each week, highlighting the best Service Academy player from the previous weekend’s games. We call this: The C.I.C. MVP.
To get a road win over rival Navy on Sept. 11, the Air Force Falcons needed a workhorse. Someone who would pace the offense, who could eat carry after carry, and make the most of every time he touched the ball.
That guy ended up being Brad Roberts, a junior running back.
The 5-foot-11 native of Arvada, Colorado carried the ball a career-high 29 times and led all rushers in the game — by a wide margin — with 97 yards on the ground. Roberts also scored twice on a pair of totes that proved to be key for Air Force against a stingy Navy defense.
On Saturday, the Falcons beat the Midshipmen 23-3, and Roberts was an important part of that win. For that, he’s this here blog’s C.I.C. MVP for Week 2 of the 2021 College Football Season.
With Roberts leading the way in the rushing attack, Air Force topped Navy for the second straight year, won their second consecutive game of the season, and took an early lead in the race for the 2021 Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy.
After not playing at all as a freshman in 2019, Roberts emerged as a crucial player in Air Force’s offense last season. In four games, he rushed for 461 yards and five scores. Had he qualified by playing in more games, he would have led the Mountain West in rushing yards per-game with a clip of 115.2 yards.
Roberts has the skill and speed for breakaway runs, but on Saturday he also showed his toughness, his nose for the endzone, and how to grind out tough yards. His longest run was just 11 yards, but he averaged 3.3 yards per-carry. Last season, Roberts was never stopped behind the line of scrimmage.
TOUCHDOWN AIR FORCE— NCAAF Nation (@NCAAFNation247) September 11, 2021
Brad Roberts TD Run pic.twitter.com/79fEZrlaj1
Through two games this season, Roberts has rushed for 208 yards on 54 carries, a total that is currently third-best in the Mountain West.
The Falcons begin conference play this weekend, hosting Utah State on Saturday evening.
If Air Force wins, expect to see Roberts’ name all over the box score and his muscles flexing in the highlights.