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Air Force heads to Annapolis for a showdown with Navy

After a solid win over Lafayette, the Falcons have their eyes set on a C.I.C. tilt against the Midshipmen.

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

Week One was a lot of fun for Air Force fans, but now it’s time to get down to business.

The Falcons are on their way to Annapolis to open the 2021 campaign for the Commander In Chief’s trophy against the Midshipmen of Navy. However, gridiron will only have a fraction of our attention on Saturday, as the game falls on the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

There are bound to be memorial tributes, and the events of 2001 will weigh heavily on everyone’s mind, but Air Force vs Navy is a fitting game for Saturday if ever there was one.

Now, let’s get on to the game:

Air Force offense vs. Navy defense

If the Falcons show up with their Week One offense against Navy, we can expect a smooth Air Force victory. Haaziq Daniels showed his skills as both a passer and a runner, cruising to a pair of touchdowns and 40 passing yards by halftime. Micah Davis chipped in two scores of his own as Air Force seemed to have its way with the Leopards.

Although the Falcons seemed to slow down in the second half and had to punt a few times, the game was already in-hand. Daniels had a chance to rest at the end of the game and prepare for the upcoming showdown.

It’s fair to expect that Navy’s defense will give Air Force a tougher test than Lafayette did, though the Mids didn’t have a great week against Marshall. The Thundering Herd rode the back of a 333-yard passing performance from Grant Wells and six rushing touchdowns en route to a 49-7 score-line. Marshall didn’t run the ball very much overall, with just 101 total yards, but the Falcons should be salivating at the scoring potential.

Don’t forget that possessions will be hard to come by, with both teams hoping for long, grinding sustained drives. Service Academy unders are a tried and true Cover 3 Podcast principle, and the total is currently set at 40.5. Though, that mark was topped last season, with Air Force winning 40-7.

One of the biggest names to watch on the Navy defense is, of course, Diego Fagot. Fagot feels like he’s been in Annapolis for half a decade at this point, and he tallied four solo stops in Week One. He added a pass defended to his stat sheet, though we’re not likely to see too many throws on Saturday.

Air Force defense vs Navy offense

The Falcons didn’t have much trouble slowing down the Leopards of Lafayette last week, holding their foe to less than 300 total yards. Air Force pushed Lafayette into using a pair of quarterbacks throughout the game, which is bad news for Navy. The Mids rotated four players under-center, only racking up 61 yards on 5-of-16 pass attempts.

Air Force may have given up 243 total passing yards to Aaron Angelos and Rent Montie, but the Falcons kept Lafayette to just 43 hard-earned yards on the ground. No Leopard eclipsed the 50-yard mark, and only Selwyn Simpson found pay-dirt.

It’s safe to expect Navy to more than quadruple that total, following a week where they put down 337 rushing yards against Marshall. Eleven different Mids toted the rock, with James Harris and Xavier Arline topping the list. Arline also managed Navy’s lone score on the day, and could get the start at QB for the Mids vs. Air Force.

Both rushers are worth keeping an eye on for the weekend, as is the quarterback rotation. Arline was the most efficient passer on the day, finishing with 26 yards and a QBR of 70.9.

What will the Falcons wear?

Air Force’s Air Power Legacy Series uniforms are some of the best in college football, and they make their 2021 return just in time to head to Annapolis. This year, the Falcons will be decked out in a tribute to the Linebacker II with a white jersey that features camouflage details. It’s paired with black pants, and you can check out the details below.

Oh yeah... in case you forgot what happened last time...