By Zach Walker
Western Michigan Broncos vs. Air Force Falcons
Saturday – December 20 – 4:45 pm
Bronco Stadium – Boise
A look back at their seasons:
Western Michigan Broncos (8-4, 6-2 in Mid-Atlantic):
The Broncos started sluggish, despite a solid opener versus Purdue, losing three of their first five games. They then railed off six straight victories, before losing the season finale against Northern Illinois, in spectacular fashion, by turning the ball over six times, three per half, allowing the Huskies to erase a 14-point lead and end up a 31-21 Huskies’ victory.
Air Force Falcons (9-3, 5-3 in Mountain West):
The Falcons lost to two good Mountain West schools, and a strange loss in their conference opening game against Wyoming. But the Falcons beat Boise State, the other two Armed Forces (Army and Navy), and beat Colorado State, and their very good quarterback Garrett Greyson, on the strength of four rushers with at least 50 yards rushing.
Players to watch out for:
Western Michigan Broncos:
RB Jarvion Franklin: He’s a freshman running back with good numbers. Okay, that’s like saying AT&T Stadium is on the level with O.Co in Oakland. This young man is a hoss. He’s 10th in the nation in yards gained, with 1,525, and tied for third in the nation in rushing touchdowns by a running back with 24. Six three touchdown games, and in every one of those games, he gained at least 150 yards.
The Broncos DB’s: Donald Celsicar, five foot eleven, with 4 interceptions and 17 pass breakups. Ronald Zamort, five foot ten, with 4 interceptions and 17 pass breakups. Deonte Brown, six foot one, two interceptions. These guys play strong, and take the initiative.
The Broncos passing game: Zach Terrell is a 70 percent passer with a 2.3 touchdown to interception ratio, and is supreme at equal distribution of the ball. Daniel Braverman is a chain mover, with 79 catches and 912 yards with six touchdowns. Corey Davis, a major danger, managed 1,232 yards off of 70 catches and 12 touchdowns.
Air Force Falcons:
The Falcons Running game: The Falcons have 30 total rushing touchdowns. The quarterback Kale Pearson has six TD’s and a 4.2 yards rushing average. The backs: Jacobi Owens, Shayne Davern, and D.J. Johnson each have their strengths. Owens is the only back with over 1,000 yards, with 1,054 and five touchdowns. Then the beef gets in. Davern, five eleven, 245 pounds, with six touchdowns. Johnson, five nine, 227 pounds, and seven touchdowns. No one back is vital, it’s a collaborative effort, and the team has rushed the ball 732 times for a total of 3,266 yards. That’s a hurricane.
The Falcons Defense: Jordan Pierce is an A-10 Warthog, 102 total tackles, 16 tacks for loss, 5 sacks, two interceptions, and a blocked kick. It’s a shame he didn’t get more consideration for the Butkus (Best Linebacker). Defensive lineman Alex Hansen, 10 tackles for loss, 51 tackles total, 3.5 sacks, and a blocked kick. Hansen’s line mate, Troy Timmerman has 4.5 sacks, 5.5 tackles for loss, and two fumble recoveries. The Falcons’ defense is a unit, plain and simple. 71 total tackles for loss, 29 sacks, nine interceptions, with five coming from a safety with the greatest name for a safety, Weston Steelhammer.
Prediction: Western Michigan 17 – Air Force 28
Defense for Air Force and their running game is going to keep Western Michigan from getting too many chances to unleash their explosive offense.