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Air Force football picked to finish second in Mountain Division

Air Force picked second in Mountain Division
Posted at 10:33 PM, Jul 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-21 00:34:14-04

LAS VEGAS — The Air Force football team was picked to finish second in the Mountain Division of the Mountain West Conference's preseason poll on Wednesday, the conference announced.

The poll kicked off the 2022 Mountain West Football Media Day that were being held at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.

Boise State was picked to win the Mountain Division, receiving 14 first-place votes and 151 points. Utah State was third with 122 points and three first-place votes. Colorado State was fourth with 90 points and one first-place vote. Wyoming was picked fifth with 60 points and New Mexico sixth with 29 points.

Fresno State was picked first in the West division, gathering 160 points and a conference-best 20 first-place votes.

Air Force returns 14 starters from last season, including six on offense and five on defense. Senior fullback Brad Roberts, the conference's top returning rusher in 2022, rushed for 1,352 yards and 13 touchdowns a year ago. Senior quarterback Haaziq Daniels also returns after finishing second on the team in rushing with 731 yards, while hitting 52-104 passes for 1,184 yards and seven touchdowns.

Daniels was named most valuable player in Air Force's 31-28 First Responder Bowl victory over Louisville, hitting 9-10 passes for a career-best 252 yards and two touchdowns.

Senior Vince Sanford returns to lead the defense after recording 59 total tackles, 17.0 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks. Sanford is the leading returner in the MW and ranks eighth nationally in tackles for loss with his 1.3 average per game. He is second in the MW and 13 nationally among returnees in sacks with a .73 average.

Air Force finished the 2021 season 10-3 overall and were co-champion of the Mountain West Mountain Division with a 6-2 mark. The Falcons capped the season with a 31-28 victory over Louisville in the First Responder Bowl in Dallas, Texas, to record its third consecutive bowl win dating back to 2016, including two straight over Power 5 teams.

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