Utah State facing unique challenge in attempt to limit Air Force option attack


USAFA (KXRM) — An intriguing matchup of undefeated teams will take place Saturday at Falcon Stadium when the Air Force Falcons welcome in the Utah State Aggies.

Air Force (2-0) and Utah State (2-0) will both play their first Mountain West Conference games. The Falcons are coming off a 23-3 win over the Navy Midshipmen, while the Aggies’ most-recent result featured them doubling up North Dakota 48-24.

Under first-year head coach Blake Anderson, Utah State has featured a balanced offensive attack, averaging nearly 500 yards of total offense through its first two games against North Dakota State and Washington State.

Meanwhile, something will have to give at the United States Air Force Academy this weekend, because the Falcons’ defense is ranked second in the country in terms of yards allowed, and is top-five in scoring defense.

Whichever side wins that battle will almost assuredly do so based off just how efficient the Air Force offense is controlling the pace with its option attack.

“It makes you play assignment-sound football, I think, at the highest level,” Anderson said. “We’re going to focus on doing our job the best we can.”

The Falcons are favored by nine points. They’ve earned 35-7 and 31-7 victories over the Aggies in each of the last two meetings.

“The last two years really don’t matter,” Anderson said. “I told our guys before Washington State that this is a new team. Jerseys are the only things that are the same. This is a new team, and they can go out and create and be who they want to be. If they play hard like we’ve been playing, and play sound football, we’ve got a chance to win it.”

Air Force and Utah State kick off Saturday at 5:30 p.m.

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