Falcons Rout SCSU to Open Season
Sept. 1, 2007
New Air Force coach Troy Calhoun brought with him a bevy of new plays to install into the Falcons' attack, and many of them worked. At one point, Air Force (1-0) lined up with five wide receivers and only Carney in the backfield. The very next play, three running backs lined up directly behind the Falcons' quarterback.
It all seemed to confuse the Bulldogs (0-1, 0-0), who play in the Football Championship Subdivision, formerly Division I-AA. South Carolina State forced Air Force to punt only once with it's first-team offense on the field.
The triple-option attack so famous under former coach Fisher DeBerry wasn't entirely scrapped, but the Falcons relied more on their passing game than the grind-it-out style in the DeBerry era. All four of the Air Force touchdowns were scored on drives 70 yards or longer.
The heady senior quarterback Carney led the Falcons 79 yards on 13 plays for a touchdown on the team's first drive, going 3-for-4 for 49 yards. McCarthy capped the drive with a 1-yard touchdown run, the first of his career.
Tight end Travis Dekker, who had only four receptions and no touchdowns last year, was Carney's primary target in the first half. The senior had three receptions for 64 yards and a touchdown.
Chad Hall, the Falcons' leading rusher last season who was moved to wide receiver in the spring, took a reverse for an 8-yard touchdown in the second quarter.
South Carolina State led the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference in rushing last year, but were held to just 70 yards on 34 carries. Air Force pressured quarterback Cleveland McCoy all afternoon, collecting back-to-back sacks on two drives and forcing two turnovers. Cornerback Carson Bird was in on both with a fumble recovery and an interception.
The Bulldogs' brightest spot of the afternoon was the kicking game. Punter Aaron Haire had a 61-yard punt and kicker Stephen Grantham tied a school-record with a 51-yard field goal.