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Analysis: Post-fall camp look at the issues facing the Air Force offense

August 31, 2017 Updated: August 31, 2017 at 4:33 pm
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Tim McVey - The Air Force Academy Falcons defeated Boise State 27-20 Friday, November 25, 2016 at Falcon Stadium. Photo by Mark Reis, The Gazette

It’s no secret that quarterback Arion Worthman and tailback Tim McVey should form an explosive combo. McVey averaged 9.95 yards per carry in Worthman’s five starts last year with five touchdowns. The speedy quarterback would often take option plays a few yards downfield before finally flipping it to the even speedier tailback, paving the way for huge gains. Well, with those players off limits during contact portions of fall camp, we didn’t see any of that in August. Here are some developments we did see in the practices leading to Saturday’s opener.

Most fun player to watch: Ronald Cleveland

The slot receiver showed tremendous hands in practice, grabbing everything thrown his way. Considering he averaged 40.5 yards on four catches last season, the Falcons would be wise to look that direction more frequently this year.

Candidate for a larger role: Ryan Reffitt

The senior tight end has just 10 catches for 187 yards and two touchdowns in his career, but expect him to be used more frequently this year. At 6-foot-5, 240 pounds, he’s a huge target and will benefit from playing in an offense that should be explosive in the running game and keep the linebackers who would pick him up in coverage worrying about other things.

Biggest question mark: Wide receiver

Marcus Bennett, Jake Matkovich and Geraud Sanders took turns showcasing their varied skills through the month. There was little separation between them coming into camp, and there’s little as camp winds to a close. The congestion at the position is huge departure from the past four years, as Jalen Robinette was the clear No. 1 option at receiver from his first day in practice.

Position of concern: Fullback

Concern is a relative term, here. The Falcons have plenty of fullbacks, with a six-deep including Parker Wilson, Jacob Stafford, Taven Birdow, Aubrey Duty-Tyson, Cole Fagan and Colton Parton. But it would be asking a lot for that group to maintain the short-yardage surety provided by Shayne Davern and D.J. Johnson, or the burst of speed brought when Jacobi Owens moved from tailback to fullback on occasion.

Biggest mover in camp, Part 1: Wolfgang Rehbock

The left guard emerged as the lone sophomore on the offensive line’s two-deep. In fact, he and junior Griffin Landrum, the starting right guard, are the only non-seniors among the 10 linemen listed on the season’s initial depth chart.

Biggest mover in camp, Part 2: Kade Waguespack

The sophomore tight end from Louisiana kept making plays in scrimmages, and as a result moved around C.J. Riazzi and Lesley Dalger on the depth chart.

Biggest mover in camp, Part 3: Nolan Eriksen

There was a crowd of sophomore tailbacks entering the month, but Eriksen consistently made the most plays in scrimmages and was taking reps with the upper groups by the end.

Freshman to remember: Kade Remsberg

The shifty running back put together a few highlight-reel runs in practices and will be a valuable piece to the scout team while he bides his time for a bigger role.

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