Air Force Preview: Statistical Breakdown

Well, at least that's over.

Statistical Breakdown (based on week 1 stats)
MICHIGANValue (Nat. Rank)Value (Nat. Rank)AIR FORCEADV.
Rushing Offense (ypg)69 (97)66 (21)Rushing Defense (ypg)AF++
Passing Offense (ypg)200 (65)365 (102)Passing Defense (ypg)UM
Pass Eff. Offense92.92 (94)145.73 (81)Pass Eff. DefensePUSH
Total Offense (ypg)269 (92)431 (78)Total Defense (ypg)PUSH
Scoring Offense (ppg)14 (T-89)21 (T-54)Scoring Defense (ppg)AF
Rushing Defense (ypg)232 (93)484 (1)Rushing Offense (ypg)AF+++
Passing Defense (ypg)199 (49)142 (96)Passing Offense (ypg)UM+
Pass Eff. Defense163.43 (96)181.14 (13)Pass Eff. OffenseAF+++
Total Defense (ypg)431 (78)626 (5)Total Offense (ypg)AF++
Scoring Defense (ppg)41 (T-93)49 (14)Scoring Offense (ppg)AF++
Net Punting Yards35.33 (62)0.00 (N/A)Punt Return YardsPUSH
Punt Return Yards3 (68)42.50 (12)Net Punting YardsAF+
Kickoff Return Yards22.13 (41)42 (60)Kickoff Return DefensePUSH
Kickoff Return DefenseN/A26 (T-20)Kickoff Return YardsN/A
Turnover Margin-2 (T-80)1.00 (T-31)Turnover MarginAF+
Penalty Yds /Gm99 (108)47 (66)Penalty Yds /GmAF+
Sacks /Gm2 (T-35)0 (T-1)Sacks Allowed /GmAF
Sacks Allowed /Gm1 (T-29)2 (T-35)Sacks /GmPUSH
Redzone Off. (%)100 (T-1)60 (T-26)Redzone Def. (%)UM
Redzone Def. (%)100 (T-64)100 (T-1)Redzone Off. (%)AF++
Redzone TD %100 (T-1)60 (T-66)Redzone TD Def. %UM++
Redzone TD Def. %75 (T-84)100 (T-1)Redzone TD %AF+++
3rd Down Conv. %25 (T-101)52.94 (T-101)3rd Down Def. %PUSH
3rd Down Def. %30 (39)41.67 (62)3rd Down Conv. %UM
1st Downs /Gm11 (T-113)24 (T-90)1st Downs Allowed /GmAF
1st Downs Allowed /Gm20 (T-68)27 (T-22)1st Downs /GmAF+

Difference < 20 in national rank = Push
Difference > 20 in national rank = Team
Difference > 40 in national rank = Team+
Difference > 60 in national rank = Team++
Difference > 80 in national rank = Team+++

There's a lot of royal blue on that chart. The disparity between FCS Idaho State and Alabama as week 1 opponents could not be spelled out any clearer. You notice this as a trend in the following charts as well.

D ROBINSON1261142.32007.712104.2326.0200.0
R BELLOMY110000.000-200.001.00
C DIETZ111872.714212.900181.7211.0142.0

First year starter and senior QB Connor Dietz is the heart and soul of this offense. For those unfamiliar with Air Force and how they attack, they love to run the ball and they love to get a lot of people involved. They've become famous for their triple-option scheme which operates out of a flexbone or i-formation. This is illustrated by the fact that AF accumulated 626 yards of total offense, but only 142 through the air...which is ironic because, well, it's the Air Force.

For Michigan's passing game, it's all about Denard Robinson. It seems like Devin Gardner is being used primarily as a receiver for the time being, so should Denard go down or whatever, look for Russell Bellomy to come in. To his credit, I think Bellomy can handle his own at QB. Plus, given what's going on with WR, I think we're better off having Gardner catching passes rather than throwing them.

V SMITH113332.54013.0033.00
D ROBINSON110272.70110.0027.00
T RAWLS1691.5006.009.00
C GETZ11721812.82317.00218.00
C DIETZ177410.5717.0074.00
J LEE19697.6719.0069.00
M DEWITT111363.27111.0036.00

If QB Connor Dietz doesn't tuck the ball and run, he'll toss it off to RBs Cody Getz or Jonathan Lee. This is where the Air Force offense either lives or dies. It's really that simple. This is an area where AF is rebuilding after losing Asher Clark, a 1000+ yard rusher from 2011. Experience and depth issues abound all over the place for AF, especially on the OL. They will need to hope that Michigan is simply just not prepared for the triple-option scheme, which is a rarity among Michigan opponents. The one advantage Michigan has there is that Brady Hoke faced the Air Force twice while head coach at San Diego State (he was 1-1), also a Mountain West Conference team.

Michigan welcomes back, with open arms, Fitzgerald Toussaint this week. This can not be understated. Granted, Alabama's run D was simply ridiculous, and Michigan's OL play was miserable. Expect a lot of run calls by Borges this week.

J GALLON1410726.7504.0107.0
D GARNDER114444.0011.044.0
D DILEO112020.0001.020.0
R ROUNDTREE12126.0002.012.0
V SMITH12115.5002.011.0
T MACARTHUR147819.5004.078.0
D COLEMAN114242.0001.042.0
D STRICKLAND111515.0001.015.0
C GANN111111.0001.011.0
C GETZ11-4-4.0001.0-4.0

Again, AF lives by the run, and Idaho State did nothing to stop it, so there's not much we know about their WRs other than what the numbers tell us. They're inexperienced, we know that. This is not an area of concern for Michigan at this time.

For Michigan, it's gut check time for the receiver corps. Gallon seems like the little engine that could out there, which is great and all, but he needs support. Gardner is big and tall and is very athletic, but very raw. Roundtree is the wildcard. If he's going to become a major contributor to this offense again, he's going to have to start now. Jeremy Jackson should hopefully become a factor. As should Amara Darboh.

Full Air Force preview coming up tomorrow.