Three Keys: Air Force at San Diego State

Adam Dingwell (Brian Losness-US PRESSWIRE)

The beauty of football is that there is always next week. The Falcons have had seven days to get the ugly loss to Army out of their minds and now they get to go back into Mountain West play knowing one win will secure a bowl game appearance. Here are three keys for Air Force as they travel way west to take on the San Diego State Aztecs.

The beauty of football is that there is always next week. The Falcons have had seven days to get the ugly loss to Army out of their minds and now they get to go back into Mountain West play knowing one win will secure a bowl game appearance. Here are three keys for Air Force as they travel way west to take on the San Diego State Aztecs.

1) Bring Adam Dingwell back to earth

Two weeks ago no one really knew who Adam Dingwell was. The sophomore was not much more than another body on the sideline as he watched senior quarterback Ryan Katz lead the Aztecs to three wins in a row. Then suddenly Katz went down and Dingwell was thrown into the college football fire. His response has been exceptional. Dingwell has won his first two collegiate starts and last week upset a Boise State team on the Smurf Turf which was only the third time in 74 games that the Broncos have lost at home.

Air Force needs to find a way to make the quarterback feel the pressure and make some of the mistakes that would be expected from a sophomore suddenly thrust into the limelight. The Aztecs have some very talented skill players, but the quarterback makes the engine tick. If the Falcons can pressure Dingwell into a couple of timely mistakes then they can win this game.

2) Dominate the line of scrimmage

The biggest worry coming out of the loss in West Point was the play of the offensive line. For an option team to be dominated up front by a defensive line from Alabama or LSU is one thing, but the Falcons were unable to power or scheme their way past the Army front seven who seemed to make play after play in the Air Force backfield. To have any chance of winning on Saturday Air Force has to be able to run the ball, which is difficult to do if the blocking isn't there.

3) Play for a title

With an unexpected sweep in Commander-in-Chief's Trophy games it would be easy to write this season off as something of a letdown. The Falcons, though, still have plenty to play for as a sweep of the three remaining fixtures would give the team a share of the Mountain West Title, something that has never been done before. Last week was obviously a big disappointment, but the players need to show the spirit and heart to rebound because there is still a big prize on the line.

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