Tuesday Takeaways: Air Force

Roles in the Army-Air Force series are reversed from a year ago.

Air Force was the reigning Commander in Chief’s champions when Army shut down and shut out the Falcons 21-0 in Colorado Springs last November.

Army now has possession of the CIC trophy with an opportunity to keep it at West Point for the next year if it defeats Air Force Saturday at Michie Stadium.

Air Force defeated Navy 35-7 on Oct. 6. The Army-Navy game is Dec. 8. If the three academies finish 1-1, the trophy remains with the previous season’s champion.

“One of our goals is keep the CIC,” Army senior linebacker James Nachtigal said after Tuesday’s practice. “That’s a huge part of this program and it’s a huge part for the Corps (of Cadets) as a whole. There’s a sense of pride that comes with it. We want to keep as long as we can and we want to do everything to keep it. This is the first step in that. We have to beat them in order to keep it.”

My story on Army’s quest to retain the CIC can be found here.

Let the guessing game begin for Army on who will be Air Force’s starting quarterback. DJ Hammond, Isaiah Sanders and Arion Worthman have each started games this season. Hammond, who has missed the last two games due to injury, had three rushing touchdowns in the Navy win. Sanders have thrown for 200 yards or more in Air Force’s last two games as a starter. Worthman has started the last two Army-Air Force games.

“All three of those guys have done a good job in leading their offense,” Army coach Jeff Monken said. “They are all very capable players and talented players.

“I think it’s impossible to prepare for each quarterback individually. “We have to have a plan together that gives us the best chance to defend them and their scheme overall. Hopefully that will be good enough.”
Nothing earth-shattering to report from Air Force coach Troy Calhoun’s press conference with local media Tuesday. When asked about the importance of winning the CIC trophy to his program, Calhoun answered, “What you do is you just got to channel, everything has got to go toward operating a real, real high level fundamentally. You look at it, the way you have to play blocks, have well you have to block, to be able to tackle well and the same thing, to be highly productive when it comes to 1-on-1s on the outside. That’s where you focus has to be.”
VIDEO: Senior nose tackle Ray Wright’s thoughts on Army’s defensive performance at Eastern Michigan and preparation for Air Force

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