(Note: This is the fourth segment of an e-mail correspondence between me and my friend Christian Swezey, who covers Navy football for The Washington Post. For our initial e-mails, scroll down to Parts 1, 2 and 3).
Christian Swezey wrote: Jake – First of all I have enlisted BlogWife to make sure that no one puts gravy on the slip of paper that reads “Air Force” and thus unduly influences BlogDog’s prediction for the game. Like the coin toss for the playoff berth in “Friday Night Lights,” I will have representation present if need be (haha).
About coaching … it’s very close. Both head coaches appear to be excellent play callers who are one step (at least) ahead of the defenses. A longtime AF football follower once told me that Paul Johnson was the closest he’d seen to Ken Hatfield in terms of playcalling. That’s a pretty good compliment.
Special teams favor AF. Navy has four punts in four games, so no idea if the kid is any good. The Mids’ kicking game has been a problem, a la ND back in 1993.
Intangibles may favor AF. The old saying is when teams are even pick the one to whom the game matters more. AF has many more seniors playing this year than does Navy.
Thanks for the tidbit about AF’s safety and Carson Bird. Here’s something for free: Keep my eye on Navy's two offensive tackles, McGinn and Meek. They are pretty solid.
btw … forecast for Saturday is sunny and 76 degrees.
Jake Schaller wrote: Sweze – A little gravy wouldn’t influence the BlogDog. After four games, you’re talking about an experienced prognosticator.
He’ll make his pick tonight, and I’ll release it tomorrow. I understand that within minutes of his pick going public, the lines in Vegas shift one to two points.
Sounds like Saturday is going to be an amazing day. I was wondering if it was going to be hot and humid like it was last week. Either way, though, Air Force players are in great shape – better than they’ve been in years, as Calhoun has ratcheted up the conditioning and lifting players do in-season.
Speaking of the weather, I understand the heat last week contributed to Navy’s starting QB heading to the bench in the third quarter. Was it all the heat and his exhaustion, or did Kaipo’s performance have anything to do with that? And Johnson told me that Kaipo will start but he’s not opposed to using two QBs. What’s’ the deal there?