Air Force vs Michigan State: 5 players to watch

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Oct 4, 2014; Colorado Springs, CO, USA; Air Force Falcons running back Jacobi Owens (28) runs the ball during the second half against the Navy Midshipmen at Falcon Stadium. The Falcons won 30-21. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

This is the more obvious selection from the Air Force side of the field as the junior running back happens to be the Falcons’ leading rusher from a season ago. Jacobi Owens finished with over 1,000 yards and five touchdowns in 2014 and will be relied on heavily in this one against the Spartans.

Related: Air Force vs Michigan State: Predicting the final score

Owens is a scary-good running back who doesn’t get quite the praise he deserves only because he plays in the Mountain West Conference. He currently has 121 yards and no touchdowns on just 20 carries this season — good for a yards per carry average of 6.1.

Michigan State will likely have to stop Owens if it’s going to want to win this one because once this kid gets going, the rest of the run game feeds off his energy.

Air Force has the second-ranked rushing offense in the country so far this season, averaging over 411 yards per game on the ground. Owens is a major cog in the running engine for the Falcons and he will need to be on his game in this one.

Keep an eye on Owens as he will likely double his carries for 2015 in this one, likely running more than 15-20 times because he’s the most reliable weapon this offense currently has.

Next: 1. L.J. Scott