Sports

Mountain West spotlight: Air Force aims to continue turnaround despite losing veterans

AIR FORCE FALCONS

Coach: Troy Calhoun

Record: 59-44 (ninth season); 59-44 career

Last year: 10-3 overall, 5-3 MW

Last bowl: 2014 Famous Idaho Potato (W, 38-24 against Western Michigan)

Returning starters: 6 offense, 4 defense, 0 specialists

Story line: Air Force went from two wins to 10, but losing a bulk of its starters, it will be tough to find the school's second back-to-back 10-win season. The Falcons will run the ball well, as usual, led by Jacobi Owens (1,054 yards in 2014), but the defense loses some key leaders.

Star player: Junior safety Weston Steelhammer. Better name out there? Nope. Skills to back it up? Yep. He had six interceptions last season in addition to three sacks, a safety, two fumble recoveries and 61 tackles. He leads a Falcon defense that lost seven starters.

Quotable: "We are starting over, that's just the raw reality of it ... there's (also) kind of the fun, the job of being able to put new guys in play and seeing who can emerge" — Calhoun on losing 28 seniors from last season's team

NOTE: This is the ninth in our series profiling the Mountain West’s football teams (except Boise State). We started with the West Division, going in reverse order of the preseason poll, found here. Air Force was predicted to finish fourth in the Mountain Division.

Previous Mountain West previews

UNLV

Hawaii

San Jose State

Nevada

Fresno State

San Diego State

New Mexico

Wyoming

  Comments