COLORADO SPRINGS — The speculation is over. Air Force will have a 2020 football season and it starts Saturday at 4 p.m. when they host rival Navy in the first leg of the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy at Falcon Stadium.
"I think we were 128th out of 130 schools in returning production so I think we knew coming into the season, we'd have a number of new faces," 14th-year head coach Troy Calhoun said.
Calhoun's team is one of a great mystery heading into a new campaign. On offense, star senior quarterback Donald Hammond III may or may not play this season as he's currently "not in good standing."
The vacancy leaves junior Warren Bryan or sophomore Haaziq Daniels to run the famous triple-option behind a strong offensive line and returning backs senior Kaden Remsberg & junior Timothy Jackson.
"We strive to do the same things we do every year and that's to be the most physical football team on the field every single game," senior wide receiver Ben Peterson said. "We're not going to give up, we're going to play all four quarters and that's how we're going to beat teams."
On the defensive side, the Falcons face a ton of turnover thanks to the "turnback" process. Where key players like seniors Jordan Jackson and Demonte Meeks, and junior Tre Bugg left school during the COVID-19 pandemic to come back and play in the spring. However, the Mountain West Conference recently decided to opt back in, something these players can't do until next Fall.
"We're here, ready to compete, regardless of who we have on the field," senior linebacker Grant Donaldson said. "We're going to be ready to go and just excited to just have the opportunity to play this year."
Time will be the best answer for many of the questions coming in, starting with how to top the 1-1 Midshipmen after last year's heartbreaking 34-25 loss.
"We've been prepping to play football for the last several weeks, we're going to be ready to go," Peterson said.
"Get them (underclassman) up to speed as fast as we can to make them realize how important this game is and how much it means to us," Donaldson said.