Preparing to defend against a triple option is never an easy task.
Preparing for one on a short week is even worse.
And preparing for it during what was supposed to be a bye week could present even bigger problems.
Those are the challenges facing the Garden City Broncbusters this week as they take on Air Force Prep at 3 p.m. Friday in Colorado Springs, Colo., a game the Busters added late last week to their schedule.
The Busters had just 10 games scheduled to begin the year, but head coach Jeff Sims decided to add Air Force Prep, after not playing the traditional non-conference opponent last season because the Busters were undefeated and in line to play for the NJCAA Championship, Sims said, which they eventually won.
This season, the game is in the Busters’ best interest, Sims said, as they sit 5-3 overall and ranked 19th in the NJCAA with two other previously scheduled games still remaining, as well — at Iowa Central and Fort Scott.
“We add this game, I think 8-3 looks a lot better than 7-4 for bowl opportunities and for ranking opportunities,” Sims said. “Rankings are done by computer, so a win is worth more than a bye. It can get us some points that can move us up the rankings.”
So the Busters have to face the Huskies’ triple-option attack on short rest, leaving Sims with what he sees as three challenges: 1. preparing for the triple option on a short week, 2. having one less day to rehab injuries and 3. making sure the Busters remain assignment-sound despite having issues with that this season.
“It’s scary to me because we’re a talented football team, but where we’ve got in trouble is not playing assignment football,” Sims said, “and that’s what you have to do against an option team.”
So far this season, the Huskies are 0-4, with losses to New Mexico Military Institute (41-26), Snow, Utah (44-6), Pima, Ariz. (21-14) and Butler (54-7).
The Grizzlies had 305 offensive yards and allowed just 99 to the Huskies in the win on Oct. 14, the Huskies’ most recent game.
However, Sims is still wary of the Huskies, having lost each of his last two games against Air Force Prep, 25-22 in 2015 at Garden City and 45-19 at Fort Scott in 2010. He’s 3-2 overall against the Huskies.
“They always do the same things well … They always play hard, and the option, they run it very, very well because it’s a repetition-based offense, and they are sharp with it,” Sims said.
Note: Four of the Huskies' eight wins in the 35-game series with the Busters, which dates back to 1974, have come in the last six games, with wins in 2015, 2011, 2010 and 2009.