Friday, August 17, 2007

Practice Wrap - 8/17

Sports Illustrated has declared 2007 “The Year of the Running Back.” (It says so on its covers – five of them for five regions of the country. Arkansas, Michigan, West Virginia, Oklahoma – the one I received in the mail – and USC were the five featured schools).

Anyway, there’s a list of the top running backs at each of the 119 Division I-A schools. Air Force’s? Senior Jim Ollis. The converted quarterback was listed as the Falcons’ backup heading into August but a sprained ankle has kept him off the practice field and cost him that slot. For now.

Speaking of running backs …

Who stood out: Senior Chad Hall. Last year’s leading rusher was shifted to the “Z” wide receiver position in the spring and has spent most of August there. But for the past two days, Hall has practiced at tailback.

No, the coaching staff is not having a change of heart (Hall is moving back to “Z” tomorrow). However, coach Troy Calhoun wanted him to spend a couple of days there just in case he has to fill in at the position during the season.

“You just never know, there may come a chance here in the season where he’s got to play tailback,” Calhoun said. “We’d rather not do it unless he had a good chunk of a week to prepare, but we just think in order for there to be some recall that he had to do that the last couple of days. It’s not hard – tailback’s an easy position.”

Lasting image: Junior outside linebacker Hunter Altman getting teased for wearing a neck roll on his shoulder pads. Altman has had to wear it because he was getting stingers in his neck. He probably will be rid of it soon – and the teasing that goes along with it.

“They keep calling me Bobby Boucher,” Altman said, referring to Adam Sandler’s waterboy-turned-linebacker character in the movie "The Waterboy."

Final notes:

-SI picks Air Force to finish 4-8 – identical to last year’s mark – and 2-6 in the Mountain West. It ranks the Falcons 102nd of 119 Division I-A schools.

-And, as of my last check on the stripes vs. no stripes (on the Air Force helmets) debate that I tried to start on my last post, we are tied. My readers have come out in force with – drum roll, please – TWO votes. One for stripes, one for no stripes. So whoever writes in next might be the tiebreaker.


FoursIn said...

Forget the stripes. There's too much going on with both the bolts and stripes.

While we're at it, we should go back to the black high-tops!

Anonymous said...

I vote for no stripes. I think it makes the signature lightning bolt stand out!!!!

Anonymous said...

The helmets have always had the stripes, haven't they? I don't recall thinking that the stripes detracted from the appearance of the helmet. I think the stripes are fine. Here's the helmet with stripes.