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TALE OF THE TAPE

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College Football Week 2: Air Force At #19 Michigan

Air Force
#19 Michigan
(credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
(credit: Leon Halip/Getty Images)
(credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
(credit: Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Coaching
Troy Calhoun, now in his sixth season, has guided the Falcons to nothing but winning seasons. As is the case with all the service academies, it takes a special kind of coach to embrace the culture. As a quarterback at the school in the mid-80s, Calhoun knows what kind of players will be successful at his alma mater.
Winner Michigan’s game plan against Alabama was questionable, but then again, it was Alabama. Brady Hoke has pushed all the right buttons since arriving in Ann Arbor and had the Wolverines playing great the week after its two losses last season.
Offense
The Falcons run a triple option and were a top 20 offense last season. Senior quarterback Connor Dietz is a first-year starter but has seen the field throughout his career. In the opener, he was efficient in throwing, running, and tossing to fellow senior Cody Getz, who rushed for 218 yards.
Winner Alabama’s defense can make any offense look bad, but Denard Robinson still threw for 200 yards, including a long touchdown pass to quarterback-turned-receiver Devin Gardner. Fitzgerald Toussaint is back after serving a one-game suspension and should give the Wolverines an added threat in the running game.
Defense
There are plenty of new starters on a defense that wasn’t all that productive last season. Going against one of the most explosive quarterbacks in the country is not a recipe for success. Replicating that kind of speed in practice just isn’t possible.
Winner Michigan’s retooled defensive line may struggle this season, but shouldn’t be overmatched by the small Air Force linemen. Sophomore cornerback Blake Countess is out for the season with a knee injury, though Air Force’s ground attack won’t expose the depleted secondary.
Special Teams
Winner The Falcons return their punter and kicker, the latter of which is an All-American candidate, though he did miss his only field goal attempt on Saturday.
Will Hagerup, the more talented of Michigan’s two punters last season, got the nod in Week 1 and was successful. Michigan hopes they won’t need him as much this Saturday. Freshman Dennis Norfleet looked good returning kicks.

The Winner Is

(credit: Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Winner #19 Michigan
3 out of 4

At first glance, Air Force’s season-opening victory looked mighty impressive. That’s only because the Idaho State Bengals logo looks like the LSU Tigers logo. Alas, Michigan is not Idaho State, and the Wolverines should quickly shake the memories from the Alabama game.

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