I expected a strong Air Force performance at Notre Dame Stadium. Thought the Falcons would deliver a strong challenge to the Fighting Irish, especially after the way Navy steamrolled Notre Dame last season.
It was the worst Air Force performance I’ve witnessed since 2004 when Aaron Rodgers and Cal bombarded the Falcons at Falcon Stadium. The defense allowed 42 points in the first half, and Notre Dame coaches could have flirted with 75 points if they had been in the mood.
But there was one suggestion of better days ahead.
The Falcons defense has been ravaged by injury, but Falcons defenders barely mentioned their troubles after the defeat. They declined to whine.
This is always a good sign.
Defensive back Jon Davis said he was left reeling by the defense’s performance against Notre Dame and by its performance in the fourth quarter against Navy. The Falcons allowed 60 points in three quarters.
“It bothers me and it bothers the entire team,” Davis said. “I know a lot of people say the defense isn’t as good as it was and it bothers me completely. It’s all on us. We’re not doing what we have to do to make plays.”
Linebacker Jordan Waiwaiole took the same stern approach. It’s always a strong idea to take a stern approach with yourself after failure.
“That’s terrible. That’s disgusting,” Waiwaiole said of Notre Dame’s 42-point first-half outburst. “That’s something that you cannot have happen.”
San Diego State rolls into town on Thursday, armed with Ronnie Hillman, one of the better running backs in Mountain West history. Here’s the nice thing about sports:
There’s always a chance at redemption. The Falcons defense, still depleted, can chase away memories of a long afternoon in South Bend.
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