Tweaks to their annual service academy rivalries headline a 2021 Air Force football schedule that includes a late-season bye and more than a month without a game at Falcon Stadium.
In previously announced changes, the Falcons will travel to Navy on Sept. 11 — the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 — and play Army at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, in the Commander’s Classic on Nov. 6. The game against Navy is typically played on the first weekend of October. The date of the game against Army doesn’t change, but the location of what would have otherwise been a home game does.
Friday’s schedule reveal from the Mountain West showed the rest of the Falcons’ slate. The big change is a bye on Oct. 30, after eight games. The Falcons in recent years have been stuck with a bye early in the season, often in Week 2. This will put it at a time to allow for recovery.
For the most part the team misses travel complications. Games at New Mexico (Oct. 2) and Boise State (Oct. 16) are buffered by home games against Florida Atlantic (Sept. 25), Wyoming (Oct. 9) and San Diego State (Oct. 23).
The most difficult competitive stretch figures to come with those back-to-back games against the Broncos and Aztecs to close October.
The most difficult stretch in terms of logistics follows the bye, as the trip to Texas to play Army is followed by a game at Colorado State (Nov. 13) and a road contest at Nevada (Nov. 20). That means the Falcons will go from Oct. 23 until the regular-season finale against UNLV (Nov. 27) at home.
The team does play five times at home from the Sept. 4 opener against Lafayette — the annual FCS opponent — through Oct. 23, providing a good chance for nice weather in Colorado Springs. However, allowable crowd sizes because of COVID-19 and game times have not yet been determined. Some games could also shift away from Saturdays as the networks now take turns claiming contests.
Air Force’s conference opener will come on Sept. 18 with a visit from Utah State.
The Falcons went 3-3 in the truncated 2020 season.
Air Force football 2021 schedule
Sept. 4 – vs. Lafayette
Sept. 11 – at Navy
Sept. 18 – vs. Utah State
Sept. 25 – vs. Florida Atlantic
Oct. 2 – at New Mexico
Oct. 9 – vs. Wyoming
Oct. 16 – at Boise State
Oct. 23 – vs. San Diego State
Oct. 30 – Open
Nov. 6 – vs. Army+
Nov. 13 – at Colorado State
Nov. 20 – at Nevada
Nov. 20 – vs. UNLV
Dec. 3 – Mountain West Championship Game
+ Played in Arlington, Texas