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Fast 40 countdown: Air Force

August 22, 2011  |  By Benjamin Miraski

Air Force

Last season: 9-4, 26th in the MRI

The good: It is not often that Air Force has a slew of starters returning, but that is the situation it finds itself in for 2011. 14 starters are back, including eight on the defense that allowed just 21 points per game last season against a tough schedule. If those players improve even half as much, teams will be fearing the Falcons more than in past seasons.

Quarterback Tim Jefferson returns to lead the attack plus three starting offensive lineman and another who played in every game last season. If this year's crop of fullbacks can block like last season, the offense should put up even bigger numbers than 2010.

The bad: Can you say not much? The Falcons actually lose a bit of experience in the receiving core, but the main job of those guys is to block. Hard to believe that the guys coming up won't have that skill before taking the field against South Dakota.

The schedule lines up nicely for Air Force, grabbing TCU at home, but they do travel to Nacy, Notre Dame and Boise State. San Diego State in Colorado Springs is sandwiched in there, and could mean a tough October for the Falcons.

Best name: Ari Uzo-Okereke

Trending: Flat - It almost seems like a slight to say that Air Force will remain pretty much a hanger on at the bottom of the MRI top 25. Everything looks rosy for the team and despite the tough October, they could be headed toward another nine win season. There is plenty to dream on here and it would be no surprise if a couple of upsets had the Falcons atop the Mountain West.

   

Posted August 22, 2011 12:51 PM

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