Grading The Performance: Air Force

Quarterback

What a difference a week and a new opponent can make. Denard Robinson, who looked inept a week ago, returned to form against the Falcons of Air Fo2012-02umaf-022rce. Robinson’s footwork, decision making, and accuracy were all much improved from last week. Denard continues to have issues throwing the ball low. The number of back foot throws and horrible decisions decreased dramatically from last week and last year’s games. Denard made the most of his opportunities to run like few QBs in college football can or ever have. There were some misreads in the run game, but even in those cases Denard made plays with his legs. Late game accuracy was also an issue. A senior QB needs to be able to complete 3rd down passes to wide open receivers.

Grade: A-

Running Back

Fitz Toussaint’s return did not trigger much in the way of an improved running game from the Wolverines. Getting Denard on track in the running game was clearly the focus of the offensive game plan. The offensive focus combined with a lack of running room made for another tough day on the ground. Just like last week, it is difficult to fully judge the RB unit because of the limited opportunities that were presented, as well as the lack of running room. Fitz was the only Michigan RB that received carries and he was limited to 8 carries and a grand total of 7 yds.

Grade: C

Wide Receivers/TEs

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Air Force Game Prediction

Its been a long time since the Wolverines took the turf in November, and the streak was broken against Ohio. It was so sweet, you can almost still taste it … However,
you would be able to if the bile wasn’t still in your mouth from last Saturday’s Cowboy Classic. Ouch, I’m still limping, and I wasn’t within 2000 miles of Jerry World.

If the 2011 Air Force team were traveling to the Big House this week, the outcome might be in question. The Falcon’s triple option is difficult to defend when you practice against it daily, but only having a couple days to prepare, its even tougher. Coming off the Alabama game, it would have been a trap game at the very least.

Not that Brady Hoke is afraid of playing anyone, as witnessed last week, but the 2012 Air Force team isn’t nearly what the 2011 team was (which put up over 30 points in a loss to the Return to Glory XXIII Domers in South Bend) after losing most all of its defensive starters, top WR, top RB, top QB to graduation, and sadly their best offensive lineman Mike Husar (son of former Michigan OL in the 80’s) last week to injury.

Quite honestly, Michigan should be able to score at will. The only thing in my mind keeping Michigan from having 3 – 100 yard rushers (Denard, Fitz, Rawls) might simply be a first quarter hangover after the Bama loss.

[tube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXd4EKj3unI[/tube]

Michigan will give up points, as defending the triple option isn’t easy, and assignment football is never more tested. Expect several freshmen to play on defense, and well, points are likely.

Michigan 48 AFA 21

(And please don’t boo our opponent this week, ok? )

Air Force Game Preview

2012 Game Preview-Air Force

What to watch on offense

An Air Force alum, Troy Calhoun previously served as the offensive coordinator for the Houston Texas and an assistant with the Denver Broncos. Calhoun took the Air Force academy following three consecutive losing seasons and immediately turned the program around. The Falcons have reached a bowl game in all five seasons since Calhoun took over the program

Even though Calhoun has an NFL pedigree, the Falcons continue to run large segments of the triple option wishbone offense used by the other service academies. The Falcons use a modified wishbone offense that combines the option with elements of the pro style passing game. The Falcons routinely pile up monster rushing totals, averaging over 300yds per game the last two seasons.

The Falcons lost their starting QB and most productive wing back but do return FB Mike DeWitt who ranked 2nd on the team in rushing yards. The Falcons also lost their two most experienced pass catches but do return the electric Mikel Hunter who averaged 17 yds per reception last season.

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