NCF Nation: Nathan Walker

Air Force three keys

December, 27, 2010
12/27/10
10:30
AM ET
You saw my preview and prediction for the AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl. Now here are three keys for Air Force:

1. Rhythm of the offense. The triple-option is predicated on timing, so we’ll see how Air Force does after a month off. Tim Jefferson has had an outstanding season, and he may have two of his biggest playmakers back from injury – fullback Jared Tew and receiver Kevin Fogler. Tew missed the last five games of the season with a broken leg and was an integral part of the offense when he went down. Nathan Walker has filled in well. Fogler has missed most of the season with a knee injury. Coach Troy Calhoun has been noncommittal about whether Tew and Fogler will play.

2. Depth on the defensive line. Air Force had some key injures in the regular-season finale against UNLV. Starting end Zach Payne and noseguard Bradley Connor got hurt and both are most likely out against Georgia Tech. The Falcons were already without defensive end Wylie Wikstrom. Falcons coaches acknowledge they will be a little undermanned going into the game, but they have confidence in the players who will be filling in. The question is how the rotation handles the relentless triple-option attack.

3. Special teams. If this game comes down to a field goal, it will be interesting to see what Calhoun decides to do. Erik Soderberg has struggled, and was replaced by Zack Bell in the regular-season finale against UNLV. Calhoun said in the lead-up to the Independence Bowl that he might split the kickoff, extra point and field goal duties. Soderberg has made only five of 10 field goals this season and is 0-for-4 beyond 40 yards. Bell hasn’t attempted a field goal all season, but made five extra points against UNLV.

Lunchtime Links

October, 20, 2010
10/20/10
12:00
PM ET
Another coach has joined Tim Brewster on the unemployment line. North Texas said good bye to Todd Dodge today. You kinda knew it was only a matter of time.

Now on to some more headlines of the day:

TCU coach Gary Patterson wants a special effort from his defense against Air Force.

The possibility lurks that UCF could play the Gators in the Liberty Bowl.

Utah kicker Joe Phillips is in the middle of a history-making run, overcoming personal tragedy along the way.

Air Force fullback Nathan Walker is ready for his opportunitywith Jared Tew out.

Can Hawaii be a giant killer in three weeks?

San Diego State defensive coordinator Rocky Long is staying mum leading up to the Aztecs' game against his former team, New Mexico.

FAU's inexperienced offensive line has been a problem all season.

Kent State quarterback Spencer Keith has been inconsistent, but coach Doug Martin gave him a vote of confidence this week.

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