1. Air Force's run defense
The statistics don't necessarily reflect it, but Air Force's 103rd-ranked rushing defense has been stout at times. Notre Dame tried to establish the run in the first half last week but gained just 41 yards on 17 carries. While the Irish were then able to open things up with the pass, Army's arsenal is far more limited. If the Falcons can slow an attack that averages 340.1 yards per game, they'll win.
2. Quarterback play for Air Force
Regardless of who plays or how the Falcons might rotate at the position, Air Force has to be led by its quarterbacks. Whether it was Jaleel Awini running and throwing effectively at Boise State, Karson Roberts running the option to perfection at Nevada or Nate Romine keeping drives going against San Diego State, when the Falcons have received strong play from their quarterbacks they've played their best football.
3. Energy at Falcon Stadium
The home team in service academy games generally has the edge. The Falcons are 19-3 at home against Army all-time vs. 12-10 on the road. With an unusual 10 a.m. start and the team stuck in a seven-game skid, it's tough to predict how many fans might show up - particularly in the first quarter- to support the Falcons and keep that home-field edge intact. Neither of these teams plays well from behind, so a strong start and big early energy from the crowd could be a factor.