Updated: November 14, 2012 at 12:00 am
Three things to watch
1. Can Hawaii compete?
The Warriors have struggled mightily this season in Mountain West play, losing all six of their games while never seriously competing for a victory. Hawaii has lost by an average of 29.6 points. And the weakest aspect of Hawaii’s team is its rush defense. The good news for Hawaii is Air Force found a way to lose to UNLV, which has lost nine of 11 games this season.
2. Connor Dietz comeback
It wasn’t long ago that Connor Dietz and the Falcons were rolling happily along. The Falcons were 5-3 after a three-game win streak and the Air Force option, directed by Dietz, was displaying immense power. It’s all fallen apart in the past two games. Dietz has thrown three interceptions in the past two losses. This is after throwing one interception in his entire Air Force career. And his third-quarter fumble, which resulted in a San Diego State touchdown, ended the Falcons' chances to win Saturday.
3. Air Force is defeating losers
The Falcons have five wins, but when you look closely at the victories it’s easy to see a trend. Air Force’s five victims have stumbled to 34 defeats in 51 games this season. Of Air Force’s five victims, only Nevada boasts a winning record. Hawaii arrives at Falcon Stadium with eight losses in nine games.
Air Force pass defense vs. Hawaii passing attack
The Warriors are led by Norm Chow, one of the finest passing masterminds in college football history. He helped develop the skills of Jim McMahon, Steve Young and Carson Palmer. Hawaii has a chance Friday if the Warriors can successfully attack Air Force’s pass defense. UNLV’s victory over Air Force offers hope for Chow and the Warriors. UNLV’s Rebels fell behind Air Force 28-17, but were able to escape with a victory because quarterback Nick Sherry completed 72 percent of his passes. Hawaii quarterback Sean Schroeder has thrown nine touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
By the numbers:
2 - Air Force’s rank in national rushing. The Falcons average 335.30 yards per game, second to Army’s 366.10.
18 – Cody Getz’s rank in individual national rushing. Getz has gained 1,006 yards despite not carrying the ball against New Mexico and Nevada.
21 – Times Air Force has punted this season.
36 – Times Air Force has gone for it on fourth down this season.
106 – Hawaii’s rank in rushing defense against the run.