COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Catch up and overtake.
That appears to be the way for opponents to defeat the Air Force Academy, and it may be BYU's plight today when the Falcons (3-3, 2-1) host BYU (3-4, 2-1) in a battle for second place in the Mountain West Conference today.
The Falcons have used trickery, unfamiliar formations and surprises out of the chute to jump to leads over opponents in most of their games this season. That will likely happen today. The big question is: Will the Cougars recover and make a move and overtake the Falcons before time runs out?
The Falcons got out of the gate 7-7 against Cal; 21-0 against Eastern Washington; 10-0 at UNLV; 14-0 at Utah; 6-0 at Navy and 21-0 against New Mexico. With two weeks to prepare for some surprises and increased execution against the Cougars, it should be a similar trend today.
BYU head coach Gary Crowton knows this and is counting on his club making adjustments and doing some scoring of their own.
"The thing about Air Force is they limit your possessions, so it is very important to stop them and then make use of your own time with the football and produce points," Crowton said.
At stake in today's game is a hold on second place in the MWC. The Cougars and Utes are the only two teams who have a mathematical chance to play for the league championship and control their own destiny.
The Cougars can afford just one loss in their final four games to maintain a winning record for the first time in two seasons and make a bowl game. To do this today, the Cougars will have to accomplish something they haven't done in two years — win two games in a row after defeating Wyoming last Saturday.
"I think we are building the blocks and putting things together," Crowton said.
If so, BYU will need to produce points on the Falcons, who have shown a penchant for scoring early. In Air Force's losses, the Falcons have allowed other teams like Utah, Cal and Navy to score on them late.
BYU (3-4, 2-1)
at Air Force (3-3, 2-1)
Today, 1 p.m.
TV: KJZZ, Ch. 14
Radio: KSL 1160 AM