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Takeaways: Air Force tops Florida Atlantic 31-7

The Falcons thumped the Owls on the back of 446 total rushing yards to improve to 3-1.

NCAA Football: Florida Atlantic at Air Force Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Air Force entered Saturday’s competition looking for a bounce-back opportunity following a hard loss to Utah State. Willie Taggart and his FAU Owls weren’t expected to let the Falcons show up and run all over them. Yet, run all over them Air Force did, punching in four touchdowns en route to a 31-7 drubbing.

Haaziq Daniels dominated the offensive conversation, rushing and passing his way to 234 total yards and a pair of scores. Just how dominant was Daniels? His total stat line on the day was more than FAU managed as an entire team.

It wasn’t quite a one-man show, as the rest of the Falcons offense rolled to nearly 300 yards on the ground and a timely Corvan Taylor interception helped to put the show on ice.

Micah Davis and Brad Roberts led the rest of the team with 93 and 77-yards, respectively. Each rusher contributed a score on the ground, and Brandon Lewis and Micah Davis each added a reception through the air.

Alec Mock, Trey Taylor, and Mason Bugg led the defense, with Mock recording seven tackles and four apiece from Taylor and Bugg.

Anthony Rodriguez made one of his two field-goal tries, and Charles Bein punted twice for 86 total yards. Now, let’s get to the key takeaways.

One-man wrecking crew

NCAA Football: Florida Atlantic at Air Force Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Haaziq Daniels is a baaaaaad man. His 94-yard touchdown run is longer than any Owls rusher managed the entire evening. Daniels wasn’t done, either, as he rumbled for 70 more yards. His 70 yards through the air came from just two receptions, nearly out-passing FAU’s N’Kosi Perry and his 11 completions.

While he can’t take credit for all of the Falcons’ yards, Daniels has taken the reins of this team and his decision-making has been excellent all season long. Air Force has played a very clean season thus far, with just one interception and one fumble to its name.

Interception machine

NCAA Football: Florida Atlantic at Air Force Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Air Force secondary hasn’t exactly been a no-fly zone this season, allowing a total of 802 yards across four games. FAU put up just 78 yards and Navy another 32, but Utah State gashed the Falcons for over 400 yards last weekend. One of the bright spots across all competitions has been Corvan Taylor.

Taylor has three interceptions across four games with another four pass breakups. His nine total tackles are good for tenth on the team with the fifth-most assists. Maybe Taylor’s excellent start to the year is thanks in part to his decision to play last year in spite of all of the turnbacks.

Back on track

NCAA Football: Florida Atlantic at Air Force Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Falcons made the most of their get-right game on Saturday, and it sets them up nicely for the Mountain West season. Air Force ran the ball 73 times for 446 total yards, matching their impressive total from last week against Utah State.

So far, the Mountain West seems open for the taking, with six teams already carrying multiple losses and just two undefeated teams. Wyoming and San Diego State are the last remaining unscathed teams, and Air Force will meet them on October 9 and October 23, respectively.

Up next

Before Air Force takes on Wyoming, the Falcons will head to Dreamstyle Stadium to face the New Mexico Lobos. Right now, Air Force is a 10-point favorite and it has a 78.7% chance to win according to ESPN’s Football Power Index.

Kickoff is slated for 6:30 PM ET, stay tuned for a full preview later in the week.