Saturday, July 30, 2016
Houston offense vs. Air Force defense
QB Case Keenum threw for 362 yards and four touchdowns the last time these two teams met and he's thrown for more than 400 yards in three straight games. One of his greatest strengths is his willingness to spread the ball around and he should have plenty of favorable matchups to exploit in this game. Houston runs a lot of quick-hitting crossing routes out of its base four-receiver set and these routes will test the awareness of young Air Force CBs Reggie Rembert and Anthony Wright. In addition, Cougars RB Bryce Beall is a fluid route-runner who is quick enough to separate from Falcons linebackers when he releases out of the backfield. The one area of concern for Houston is pass protection. After all, the Cougars had some problems keeping Keenum upright when these two teams played earlier this year and they've lost ROT SirVincent Rogers to a season-ending foot injury since then. However, look for Keenum's ability to get rid of the ball quickly to dull Air Force's pass rush. Beall has rushed for 1,112 yards, making him the second-leading rusher among FBS true freshmen, and look for him to play a bigger role than he did the first time around. Houston gave Beall just nine carries in that game as it fell behind early and had to throw in an effort to get back. While he won't put up big numbers against a strong Air Force run defense Beall should be productive enough to keep the Falcons honest. In addition, Air Force must keep a close eye on Keenum in the red zone. He's a determined runner who fights for yards after contact and has rushed for five touchdowns this year.
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