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Buffaloes opponent preview: Everything you need to know about the Air Force Falcons

Get to know Colorado’s other team in the Mountain West Conference

NCAA Football: Colgate at Air Force Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Colorado and Air Force meet for the first time in nearly a half-century on Saturday. The academy is playing in-state schools Colorado and Colorado State in the same season for the first time since 1972. Here’s a better look at the Falcons going into CU’s last non-conference match-up of the season.

Air Force Falcons (1-0, MWC)

Last game: 48-7 win over Colgate on Aug. 31

2018 Record: 5-7 (4th in Mount. Div.)

Head coach: Troy Calhoun, 88-67 (13th year)

Record vs. non-conference opponents: 36-24

Offensive coordinator: Mike Thiessen (4th year) Offensive scheme: Pro Style/Triple-option Flexbone

Defensive coordinator: John Rudzinski (2nd year) Defensive scheme: 3-4

Series at a glance

Colorado leads 12-4 all-time since 1958

Last meeting: 1974; W 28-27, at AFA

CU has won five straight and nine of the last 10 in the series. Air Force is playing its 49th game against a team from the Pac-12 (26-33-2 all-time). The first meeting between both teams with Colorado as a member of the Pac-12. Overall, the Falcons are 0-7 against teams from “Power 5” conferences going back to 2009.

Running on empty?

Air Force’s ran up a total of 464 yards of total offense, 423 on the ground by 17 different rushers in the season-opening win over Colgate. The effort resulted in 48 points including three rushing touchdowns by quarterback Donald Hammond III. Traditionally, the Falcons have operated as a run-first oriented team, racking up 713 carries for 3,404 yards and 33 touchdowns in 2018. Ranked in the top 10 for rushing yards in the past five seasons. Often times controlling time of possession is the name of the game for Air Force.

AFA Rushing Yards (FBS Ranking)

2018: 3,404 -10th

2017: 3,683- 6th

2016: 4,126- 4th

2015: 4,468- 2nd

2014: 3,550- 9th

Mel Tucker on AFA’s offense:

“They study tape and get it done. “You have to do what you see to the best of your ability and take pride in it. Everyone has a role to play. If you go to a Broadway musical, a guy may have one role, might not have any lines, but just come walk across the stage with a broom, sweep the floor and walk off the other side. But if he doesn’t do that, then you don’t have a show. And so everyone’s got to kind of pitch in and do their job and play a role for the team to the best of their ability.”

Colorado squares off against Air Force on Saturday, Sept. 14 for an early 11 a.m. kickoff at Folsom Field. The game will be nationally televised on the Pac-12 Networks, along with radio coverage on 850 KOA. Tickets are available by going to CUBuffs.com.