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Subplots for the Utah State at Air Force football game

November 24, 2017 Updated: November 24, 2017 at 4:46 pm
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AFA running back Tim McVey stiff-arms Hawaii's Dejaun Butler in the first half Saturday, October 22, 2016 at Falcon Stadium. Photo by Mark Reis, The Gazette

Numbers worth tracking

Air Force kicker Luke Strebel left last week's game with a leg injury. If he plays Saturday, he needs just six points to tie Dee Dowis and Beau Morgan for the most in program history (252). Tailback Tim McVey enters the game averaging 7.2 yards per carry, second-most in team history. He trails Mike Brown (7.5). McVey has averaged 11 carries per game this year. If he did that again Saturday, he would need about 147 rushing yards to get his average up to 7.5. McVey also needs 137 rushing yards to become the 11th player in program history to reach 2,000.

Utah State's QB situation

Redshirt freshman Jordan Love has moved past veteran Kent Myers as Utah State's starting quarterback, but the Aggies have switched between the two at times. That doesn't present any additional challenges for the Falcons, however, as coach Troy Calhoun said the skill sets are similar enough that Air Force wouldn't need to prepare separate defensive packages as it did a week ago at Boise State - where the offense changes completely depending on if Brett Rypien or Montell Cozart is playing. Love, who is one of six freshmen seeing regular action for the Aggies, has three touchdown passes of 70 or more yards.

Crowd size?

This has the makings of an epically small crowd at Falcon Stadium. The team is stuck in a losing season. The cadet wing is off on Thanksgiving break. Utah State isn't exactly a marquee opponent that brings a historic rivalry (this will be the sixth meeting between the teams). And with an 8:15 p.m. start, temperatures are forecasted to be in the low 40s by the time the game begins.

Air Force announced it had about 18,000 tickets out early in the week, so unless there was a late surge of interest, this could fall well below the current season-low attendance of 24,257 that showed up for the 8:26 p.m. start against Wyoming on Nov. 11.

BRENT BRIGGEMAN, THE GAZETTE

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