Normally that would be considered a big game. But when they’ve all grown up, that distinction loses its meaning.
Air Force (6-1, 3-1 Mountain West) welcomes San Diego State No.22 (6-0, 2-0) at 5 p.m. Saturday. The winner dramatically increases their chances of qualifying for the conference championship game and will have a good chance of securing a place in the national rankings next week. Three Falcons teams have appeared in this century’s rankings – 2002 (up to 18th place), 2010 (23rd) and 2019 (22nd).
Air Force Against San Diego State # 22 | Subplots that we will look at
And what’s more, this game carries the plot of featuring Ground Attack # 1 (Air Force) and Ground Defense # 1 (San Diego State). It’s a chance for the Falcons to end an eight-game losing streak and it’s the last home game of the season with the younger wing present (the only game remaining at Falcon Stadium after that is a visit from UNLV the day after Thanksgiving).
So, big game. Law?
Well, the Air Force had a big game in front of a national audience on September 11 at the Navy. It was a big game two weeks ago when undefeated Wyoming arrived at the academy. Going to Boise State last week and winning was big. It’s sure to be a big game on November 6 against Army in Arlington, TX for another CBS show with the Commander-in-Chief’s trophy there.
And if the wins keep piling up, so will the stakes.
âHaving so many big games in a season for us really helps us when it comes to paying a Top 25 team like this and helps us stay focused,â said Falcons junior nose guard Kalawai’a. Pescaia.
âIt’s a pretty tough time we’re going through right now. As long as we stay focused, stay as a team and continue to focus on ourselves, we will definitely be better in the end. “
Air Force Against San Diego State # 22 | In numbers for the Mountain West showdown
The Falcons’ goal will be to make the visit to San Diego as miserable as it was when they last came to the academy, but this time through action on the pitch instead of the weather.
The game in 2018 included a monsoon rain that resulted in a 1 hour and 28 minute delay in the action.
âWe were all standing in the showers with our pads on because we were so cold,â said Aztec cornerback Tayler Hawkins, who made his first start in the game three years ago.
Air Force WR Brandon Lewis, originally from San Diego, could play a big role against his hometown team
A loss would complicate the road to the championship game for either team. San Diego State hosts Fresno State next week and will host Nevada and Boise State later this year. Besides, he has to go to Hawaii. The Air Force will know a lot more about the Mountain Division’s prospects after Friday’s late game between Colorado State and Utah State, but a trip to Nevada is among the challenges of the conference yet to come for the Falcons.
But Air Force players are well used at this point to not looking ahead or going too high or too low. With so many big games on the schedule, this ability to keep a cool head has become a team strength.
“We are trying to keep morale up, to stay motivated,” said Air Force catcher Brandon Lewis. âBut at the same time, it’s just another game. We have almost all played football our entire lives, so we try not to make it worse. It’s just another game, we’re going to go and do our best.