Report: Air Force, Michigan's Week 2 opponent, removes 5 key players from football team
Michigan football coach Brady Hoke already has warned that Air Force could be a trap game for his team in Week 2.
That matchup might turn out to be more manageable than originally thought.
The Falcons have removed five key players from their team, according to the Colorado Springs Gazette and other local reports: Safety Anthony Wooding, receiver Mikel Hunter, receiver Brandon Hirneise, linebacker Jamil Cooks and tight end Devin Durden.
Air Force coach Troy Calhoun said the players were not suspended, but confirmed they are not on the team.
“Right now, they’re not practicing, they’re not here,” Calhoun said, according to the Gazette report. "They’re not on our team.”
If those players can't play against Michigan, it would be a blow to the Falcons' chances in Ann Arbor on Sept. 8. They already have lost 17 starters to graduation, and safety Jay Fullam will miss the season with a shoulder injury, according to the Gazette.
Hoke has said he's concerned about managing his team's emotions after it plays defending national champion Alabama in the country's most anticipated season opener.
Air Force lurks the following week. Compounding matters is it runs an option offense, which can be tricky to defend.
Michigan also has not fared particularly well against option teams in the past.
But its chances in this one could be looking up.