Falcons open season with VMI
Aug. 28, 2017

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BROADCAST INFORMATION

Internet: ESPN3

Trey Bender (play-by-play), George Wrighster (analyst)

 

RADIO: KVOR AM 740 in Colorado Springs, CO; The Fan 104.3 in Denver; goairforcefalcons.com

Sirius 157, XM 202, Internet 962

Jim Arthur (play-by-play), Jesse Kurtz (analyst)

 

NOTES

  • This weekend is Parents’ Weekend at the Air Force Academy. The Academy has themes for each home game in 2017 and this week’s is family/community.
  • The Falcons are 40-19-2 overall in season openers, including a 34-8 mark at home.
  • Air Force head coach Troy Calhoun is 10-0 in season openers.
  • Air Force and VMI are meeting for the first time.
  • Air Force is 47-15 in Falcon Stadium under head coach Troy Calhoun, including a 17-1 mark the last three seasons.
  • Air Force has won 19 straight season openers vs. unranked teams dating back to a 34-21 setback vs. Colorado State in 1994.

 

THE SERIES

Air Force and Virginia Military Institute are meeting for the first time.

 

AIR FORCE VS. FCS TEAMS

Air Force is 21-0 all-time against teams from the Football Championship Subdivision. Head Coach Troy Calhoun is 11-0, including last season’s 37-21 win vs. Abilene Christian to open the season.

 

SEASON OPENERS

  • Air Force is 40-19-2 in season openers, including a 35-8 mark in season openers at home.
  • Air Force has won 10 straight and 11 of the last 13 season openers with the only losses coming at No. 11 Tennessee in 2006 and vs. No. 13 California in 2004.
  • The Falcons have won 12 of the last 13 season openers at home with the only loss coming vs. No. 13 California in 2004.
  • Air Force has won 19 straight season openers vs. unranked teams dating back to a 34-21 setback vs. Colorado State in 1994.
  • Air Force head coach Troy Calhoun is 10-0 in season openers, all coming at home.

 

Air Force Season Openers Under Troy Calhoun

Year    Opponent                         Result

2016   Abilene Christian             W 37-21

2015   Morgan State                    W 63-7

2014   Nicholls State                    W 44-16

2013   Colgate                               W 38-13

2012   Idaho State                        W 49-21

2011   South Dakota                    W 37-20

2010   Northwestern State         W 65-21

2009   Nicholls State                    W 72-0

2008   Southern Utah                  W 41-7

2007   South Carolina State        W 34-3

 

SERVICE ACADEMY GRADUATES FACE EACH OTHER

This week’s game features teams led by Air Force graduates. Air Force head coach Troy Calhoun is a 1989 Academy graduate in his 11th season while VMI head coach Scott Wachenheim is a 1984 graduate in his third season. This is the third time two Air Force Academy graduates have faced each other on the gridiron. Air Force and Fresno State, formerly led by 1985 Academy graduate Tim DeRuyter, played at Frenso State in 2012 at the the Academy in 2015.

 

LOOKING AT VMI

VMI finished 3-8 overall last season, including a 1-7 mark for an eighth place finished in the Southern Conference. VMI returns 36 lettermen and 12 starters from last season’s squad. 

The Keydets are coach by Scott Wachenheim, who graduated from the Air Force Academy with a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering and was a four-year starter from 1980-83. He earned first team All-WAC and honorable mention All-America honors his senior year. The 1983 Falcons posted a 10-2 record and were ranked second in rushing offense and attained a 13th team ranking overall. Wachenheim began his coaching career at Air Force in 1984 when he served as offensive coordinator of the Air Force Academy junior varsity squad before embarking on his active duty commitment. Wachenheim has a 5-17 overall record in his third season.

 

IN THE STAIRWELL TO PERFORM AT HALFTIME

In the Stairwell, the Air Force Academy’s premier all-male a Cappella group featured on America’s Got Talent, will perform at halftime of the game this week. In the Stairwell has made it to the semifinals of the popular national talent competition.

 

LAST SEASON’S OPENER

Air Force defeated Abilene Christian, 37-21, to open the 2016 season. The Falcons rolled up 602 total yards, including 401 yards rushing and 201 passing. Air Force opened the scoring with a Nate Romine to Ryan Reffitt 62 yard touchdown connection to take a 7-0 lead. Abilene Christian answered with a touchdown early in the second quarter before the Falcons closed the half with three touchdowns to take a 28-7 halftime lead. Ronald Cleveland scored on a 33 yard run and a 62 yard reception from Romine sandwiched around a short touchdown run by Tim McVey. Air Force and ACU exchanged scores in the second half. Jacobi Owens led the rushing attack with 121 yards on 13 carries while D.J. Johnson added 63 yards on 17 carries and Shayne Davern chipped in with 14 carries for 60 yards. Romine hit five of 10 passes for 184 yards and two scores while Arion Worthman added a 17 yard TD pass. Reffitt led the receivers with career highs of two catches for 70 yards.

 

AIR FORCE VS. NON-CONFERENCE FOES UNDER CALHOUN

Air Force is 32-19 against non-conference opponents under head coach Troy Calhoun. The Falcons are 20-3 at home, 7-11 on the road and 5-5 in neutral site games. Air Force was 5-0 last season following a 37-21 win over Abilene Christian in the season opener, a 48-14 win vs. Georgia State Sept. 10, a 28-14 win over Navy Oct. 1, a 31-12 win at Army Nov. 5 and a 45-21 win over South Alabama in the Arizona Bowl Dec. 30.

The Falcons have gone undefeated in regular season non-conference games twice in the last three years (2014). Air Force is 10-2 in regular season non-conference games the last three years with the only losses coming at No. 4 Michigan State and at Navy in 2015.

 

AIR FORCE AT HOME

Air Force is 47-15 in Falcon Stadium under head coach Troy Calhoun, including a school-record 15-game winning streak from 2014 to Oct. 22, 2016. The Falcons have won 17 of their last 18 at home dating back to 2014. Air Force’s 17 wins over the last three years is a school record for a three-year stretch. Air Force finished 6-0 at home in 2014-15 to mark the first back-to-back undefeated home seasons in school history. Air Force has finished undefeated at home just five times overall in school history, three coming under Calhoun.

 

Year     Rec.   Notes

2016    5-1     Air Force has won 16 of its last 17 home games the last three years

2015    6-0     Fifth 6-0 mark in AF history, third under Calhoun

2014    6-0     Fourth 6-0 mark in AF history, second under Calhoun

2013    2-5     Lone losing record in Calhoun era

2012    5-1     Second-best mark in school history

2011    4-3     Sixth time with four or more wins in Calhoun era

2010    5-1     Combined with 2009, 10 wins in two seasons           

2009    5-1     Second-best mark in school history

2008    3-3     Two loses at the hands of nationally ranked teams

2007    6-0     Just the third undefeated home record in school history

Total    47-15

 

CURRENT HOME STREAK BEST IN SCHOOL HISTORY

Air Force is 17-1 at home the last three seasons which is the best three-year run in school history, breaking the mark of 15-2 from 1983-85. The Falcons were 14-3 from 1998-2000 and 1997-99 and 14-5 from 2009-11 to round out the top five marks in school history.

Air Force’s best four-year run came from 1982-85 and 1991-2001 when the program went 19-4 those years in Falcon Stadium. The Falcons were 19-6 from 2009-12.

 

Best 4-year home records in Air Force history

1982-85                                         19-4

1997-01                                         19-4

2009-12                                         19-6

2014-17*                                      17-1

*-Entering this season

 

 

 


 

 

John Sims AF AotW
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