Head coach Gary Patterson said he has been preparing his defense all season for Air Force’s triple option offense, and that experience will be necessary against the nation’s best rushing attack.
Patterson said this is probably the best Air Force offense he’s seen since TCU joined the Mountain West Conference in 2005. The Air Force Falcons are averaging just under 350 yards per game rushing this year and rank second in rushing touchdowns.
The Air Force offense is led by junior quarterback Tim Jefferson, a fast quarterback who knows the system well, Patterson said.
“Anytime you’re facing a triple option offense and an older quarterback who can run and really does a good job of throwing, it creates a lot of problems,” Patterson said. “We understand we’ve got a lot of work to do.”
Air Force head coach Troy Calhoun will also have his hands full against a Horned Frog defense that has given up fewer points than any other team in the nation. TCU has only allowed three points in the last three games.
Patterson said his team has prepared all season to face Air Force by having the scout team simulate the triple option offense.
This isn’t the first time Air Force will be going on the road to face a Top-10 team this season. The Falcons rushed for over 350 yards in a 27-24 heartbreaker against Oklahoma, the No. 1 team in the nation, according to the BCS standings.
The Falcons are coming off a 27-25 loss at San Diego State that knocked them out of the top 25 in the polls. Air Force rushed for over 300 yards against SDSU, but were forced to kick two field goals as well as failing on a two-point conversion in the first half.
The Falcons also had trouble with big plays as SDSU freshman running back Ronnie Hillman had two touchdown runs of 44 and 65 yards, respectively.
TCU is coming off a 31-3 win over conference rival BYU in the last conference game between the two schools before BYU goes independent next year. The Frogs entered the game as one of the best rushing teams in the nation, but got the job done through the air. Senior quarterback Andy Dalton threw for 273 yards and tied a career mark with four touchdowns.
In the first BCS standings released Sunday, TCU was ranked fifth, just four spots ahead of conference rival Utah and just two behind fellow non-automatic qualifier Boise State.
The Horned Frogs take on Air Force on Saturday at a sold out Amon G. Carter Stadium at 7 p.m.
TCU vs. Air Force
Time: 7 p.m.
Where: Amon G. Carter Stadium
Broadcasting: CBS College Sports; WBAP 820 AM & 96.7 FM; KTCU 88.7 FM