Sept. 8, 2008
Complete Release in PDF Format
Air Force (2-0) at Houston (1-1)
Saturday, Sept. 13, 2:30 p.m. Central.
John O'Quinn Field at Robertson Stadium (32,000), Houston, TX
KVOR AM 740 in Colorado Springs
1510 KYOL AM in Denver and Northern Colorado
Jim Arthur (play-by-play); Lee Douglas (anaylst); Jay Ritchie (pre- and post-game)
CBS College Sports Network (CBS C) - formerly known as CSTV
Carter Blackburn (play-by-play); Aaron Taylor (color)
Air Force takes on Houston in first-ever meeting between schools
Air Force (2-0, 1-0 MWC) travels to Houston, Texas, to take on Houston (1-1) on Saturday, Sept. 13, at 2:30 p.m. Central time at John O'Quinn Field at Robertson Stadium. This will be the first meeting ever between the two schools and the first time Air Force has played a team from Conference-USA since the league was formed in 1995. The Falcons are 25-7 all-time against teams that currently make up the league, but those meetings took place before they were members of C-USA.
Air Force and Houston have two of the nation's premier units that will go head-to-head this week. The Air Force defense is among the national leaders in scoring defense (4th, 5.0), passing defense (9th, 99.5) and total defense (5th, 173.0). The Houston offense ranks second nationally in passing (427.0), eighth in total offense (549.0) and 18th in scoring (46.0).
This week's game is first of two-straight MWC games for Houston, as the Cougars play at Colorado State Sept. 20. Houston opens conference play following the Colorado State game. Air Force returns to conference action following the Houston game when 22nd-ranked Utah comes to Falcon Stadium on Sept. 20.
The state of Texas is well represented on the Houston football roster, as 87.7 percent (93-106) of the roster is from the state. Air Force is a little different, as 25 different states make up the roster. Texas, however, is the most represented with 23 players from the state.
Air Force head coach Troy Calhoun served as the Houston Texans offensive coordinator in 2006, after serving as an assistant for the Denver Broncos the previous three seasons. Calhoun worked with Texans head coach Gary Kubiak while the two were with the Broncos.
Co-offensive coordinator Blane Morgan is a native of Dallas, Texas, while running game coordinator Jemal Singleton is from San Antonio, Texas.
This week's game is the first-ever meeting between Air Force and Houston.
Air Force vs. Conference-USA
The Falcons have not played a member of Conference-USA since the league was formed in 1995. Air Force has played several members that now make up C-USA. The Falcons have posted a 25-7 all-time record in those games, the last coming in 1998.
Team Games Record Last Meeting
UTEP 14 13-1 1995 - as member of the WAC
Tulsa 1 1-0 1998 - as member of the WAC
SMU 6 4-2 1998 - as member of the WAC
Rice 6 5-1 1998 - as member of the WAC
Tulane 5 2-3 1981 - as member of the Metro
Total 32 25-7
Comparing Air Force and Houston
Two of the nation's top units will clash this weekend when Air Force and Houston play. The Falcons' dominant defense will face a prolific Houston offense. The Cougars rank second nationally in passing offense with a 427 per-game average. Houston ranks fifth in total offense at 549 yards per game and 18th in scoring offense with a 46.0 average. Air Force counters with the nation's fifth-ranked total defense, allowing just 173.0 yards per game. The Falcons rank fourth nationally in scoring defense with a 5.0 average and are ninth in pass defense with a 99.5 average. A closer look at the comparison follows.
Houston Category Air Force
427.0/2nd Passing 99.5 /9th
549.0/8th Total Off./Def. 173.0 /5th
46.0/18th Scoring 5.0 /T4th
Ties to Houston
Air Force head coach Troy Calhoun served as the Houston Texans offensive coordinator in 2006, after serving as an assistant for the Denver Broncos the previous three seasons. Calhoun first worked with Texans head coach Gary Kubiak while the two were with the Broncos.
Co-offensive coordinator Blane Morgan is a native of Dallas, Texas, while running game coordinator Jemal Singleton is from San Antonio, Texas.
The state of Texas is well represented on the Houston football roster, as 87.7 percent (93-106) of the roster is from the state. Air Force is a little different, as 25 different states make up the roster. Texas, however, is the most represented with 23 players from the state. The list of Texans on the Air Force roster follows.
Arlington - Jacob Morgan
Austin - Alexander Arndt
Beaumont - John Falgout
College Station - Matthew Coates, Tyler Dallas
Flower Mound - Reggie Rembert
Garden Ridge - Chase Wilke
Houston - Braylon Gurnell, Phil Ofili
Justin - Will McAngus
Katy - Kyle Halderman
Keller - Ryan Harrison
McKinney - Evan Epstein
Odessa - Shea Smith
Paris - Ryan Southworth
Plano - Chase Darden
San Antonio - Nick Charles, Andrew Pipes, Anthony Hemphill, Myles Morales
Schertz - Ryan Gonzales
Waco - Michael Hampton
Waxahachie - Chris Campbell
Air Force defeated Wyoming, 23-3, in Laramie to improve to 9-1 all-time in Mountain West Conference season openers.
In a defensive battle that was even at 3-3 at halftime, Air Force finally broke the game open in the third quarter behind a 74-yard run from Kyle Halderman. Quarterback Shea Smith followed with a one-yard touchdown run to give Air Force a 13-3 lead with 2:41 left in the third quarter. Ryan Harrison kicked his third field goal of the game to give Air Force a 16-3 lead early in the fourth quarter and fullback Todd Newell capped the win with a one-yard touchdown run in the final three minutes of the game.
The defense was dominant all day, allowing just 216 total yards, including just 76 passing. Air Force's three points allowed is the best in a Mountain West Conference game in school history and best in any conference game since 1998. Safety Chris Thomas led the way with a season-high 13 tackles, a sack, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Ken Lamendola chipped in a career-high 11 tackles. Jake Paulson added three tackles, a tackle for loss and a forced fumble.
The offense was led by Halderman, who rushed for 85 yards on three carries. Kyle Lumpkin added 71 yards on 16 carries while Smith chipped in with 43 yards on 16 carries. Smith also hit three of four passes for 15 yards.
Wyoming was led by Devin Moore, who rushed for 70 yards on 15 carries. The Cowboy defense was led by Gabe Knapton, who had 16 tackles.
Last week's game notes
- Air Force improved to 24-20-3 all-time against Wyoming, including a 15-13 conference mark and a 9-11-2 mark at Wyoming. Head coach Troy Calhoun improved to 2-0 all-time vs. Wyoming.
- Air Force's three points allowed vs. Wyoming is the best effort since holding South Carolina State to three in last year's season opener. The three points allowed is Air Force's best-ever effort in a Mountain West Conference game and best for any conference game since beating Wyoming 10-3 in Laramie in 1998.
- Air Force's win is its third straight in the series, which matches the longest streak by either team. Air Force last won three consecutive games vs. Wyoming from 1970-72. Wyoming last did it from 1986-88.
- The Falcons improved to 9-1 all-time in Mountain West Conference openers, including a 5-0 mark on the road, and extended their winning streak to nine straight. The Falcons lost their first-ever MWC game to Wyoming, 10-7, in Falcon Stadium in 1999. The team has won nine straight since.
- Air Force head coach Troy Calhoun improved to 7-2 all-time in Mountain West Conference play. His 77.8 winning percentage is the third-best all-time among MWC head coaches.
- Air Force held Wyoming to 2-13 on third down. The Falcons have held opponents to 4-25 on third down this season. AFA held Southern Utah to 2-12.
- Senior DE Jake Paulson recorded his third quarterback sack of the young season in the first quarter.
- Senior FS Aaron Kirchoff recorded his first fumble recovery this season in the first quarter. The recovery is the fourth of his career. Kirchoff had one last season and two in 2005.
- Junior punter Brandon Geyer notched a career-high in punts with seven, including a career-long punt of 65 yards. Geyer recorded the first punt of his career last week vs. Southern Utah, a 50-yarder downed inside the 20 yard line.
- Junior SS Chris Thomas recorded a season-best 13 tackles. His career high of 14 came last year vs. BYU. The double-figure tackle effort is his first this season and fifth of his career. Thomas recorded 10 or more tackles four times last season. Thomas also recovered and forced a fumble and had a quarterback sack in the game.
- Senior DE Ryan Kemp recovered his second fumble of the season. The recovery, which came in the second quarter following a Chris Thomas sack, led to a field goal. This Wyoming game marked the third straight for Kemp involved in a fumble. Last week vs. Southern Utah he forced and recovered the same fumble. He also forced a fumble in last year's finale vs. California in the Armed Forces Bowl.
- Senior PK Ryan Harrison extended his consecutive made field goal streak to 15 straight with three field goals. Harrison hit from 40, 27 and 44 yards. His first two field goals gave Air Force the lead. The streak dates back to the New Mexico game last season and covers seven games. Harrison's three field goals match a career high and mark the fourth time in his career he's done it, including the last three games. Harrison hit three vs. Southern Utah and three vs. California in the bowl game.
- Sophomore OLB Andrew Morris, Jr. recorded the first quarterback sack of his career during the second quarter.
- Sophomore WR-Z Kyle Halderman recorded a career-long run of 74 yards in the third quarter. The run is the longest by a Falcon this season and longest since Blane Morgan went 80 yards vs. New Mexico in 1998. Halderman's previous long run of 48 yards came vs. Southern Utah.
- Sophomore ILB Ken Lamendola recorded a career-best 11 tackles. His previous high of one came vs. Southern Utah in his first-career start.
- Senior ILB Brandon Reeves recorded the first interception of his career.
Air Force defense among the nation's best
Air Force's defense is establishing itself as one of the nation's top units in the early part of the season. The Falcons lead the conference and are tied for fourth nationally in scoring defense, allowing just 5.0 points per game. The Falcons rank fifth nationally in total defense allowing just 173.0 yards per game. The unit is 26th in rushing defense at 73.5 yards per game and ninth in pass defense at 99.5 yards per game.
The Falcons have allowed just 10 points in the first two games this season which is the best effort in back-to-back games since allowing 10 points at Army (W, 35-7) and at Wyoming (W, 10-3) in 1998. The 10 points allowed in the opening two games of a season are the second-best in school history and best since the 1963 team allowed just seven in a 10-7 win vs. Washington and a 69-0 victory vs. Colorado State. Both of those games were played in Falcon Stadium.
Air Force conference/national defense rankings
Category Stats MWC National
Scoring 5.0 T1st T4th
Passing 99.5 1st 9th
Rushing 73.5 2nd 26th
Total Defense 173.0 2nd 5th
Third Downs 16.0 1st T4th
Turnover margin +2.0 2nd T8th
Scoring defense Total defense
# Team Stats # Team Stats
1. Florida State 0.0 1. South Florida 161.50
2. Iowa 1.5 2. Ohio State 164.0
3. Kentucky 2.5 3. TCU 164.5
4. Air Force 5.0 4. Tulane 172.0
TCU 5.0 5. Air Force 173.0
Air Force held Wyoming to just 216 total yards last week, including just 76 passing. Air Force controlled the turnover battle as well, forcing five (four fumbles, INT) in the game. The Flacons held Wyoming to 2-13 on third-down conversions and 22:46 time of possession.
The defense was dominant in the season opening 41-7 victory vs. Southern Utah. The Falcons held the Thunderbirds to just 130 total yards, including just seven yards on the ground. Southern Utah managed just eight first downs, was just 2-12 on third-down conversions and never reached the red zone. Southern Utah avoided the shutout late in the third-quarter with an 80-yard touchdown drive. Outside of that one drive, the Thunderbirds managed just 50 total yards and they never got deeper in Air Force territory than the 42 yard line. SUU took just nine snaps in AF territory the entire game, including five on the one scoring drive.
The 130-yard effort by the defense is the fifth-best single-game effort in school history and best since holding Army to just 100 yards in 1999. The seven yards rushing is the 14th-best single-game effort in Air Force history. Air Force held Southern Utah to just 0.3 yards per rush which is the 10th-best single-game effort in school history.
Through two games this season, the Falcons have held opponents to just 4-25 on third-down conversions. The 16.0 percent rating leads the conference and is tied for fourth nationally. The Falcons have forced seven turnovers in two games, two vs. Southern Utah and five at Wyoming. The team has a +2.0 turnover margin average which is second in the conference and eighth nationally. Air Force has forced six fumbles this season and recovered all six. Finally, Air Force ranks second in the conference and 23rd nationally in pass efficiency defense with an 87.3 mark.
AF has got off to a good start each game, forcing a three-and-out on the opening drive in both games. On the opening drive of the second half, the Falcons forced a three-and-out vs. Southern Utah and a fumble vs. Wyoming. On the opening drives of each half this season, the defense has allowed just 23 yards on 10 plays and forced three three-and-outs and a fumble.
The Air Force offense has had three turnovers this season and the defense has allowed just three points as a result. On the one score, the defense forced a three-and-out, but Wyoming hit a 47-yard field goal. On the three drives combined, the defense has allowed just 23 yards on 14 plays.
Air Force offense efficient
Air Force ranks fourth in the conference in scoring with a 32.0 scoring average. The Falcons are in their normal position rushing the football, leading the conference with a 347.0 per-game average. The Falcons rank third nationally in rushing. Air Force's offense is even giving a helping a hand to the defense and its quick start to the season. The Falcons lead the nation in time of possession holding the ball for 38:25 per game.
In Air Force's 23-3 victory at Wyoming, the Falcons had their streak of six straight games with at least 30 points snapped. Despite the snapped streak, the offense has still averaged 36.7 points per game over the last seven games. The offense have averaged 449 yards per game, including a 358.4 per-game rushing average the last seven games.
One of America's top coaches
Air Force head coach Troy Calhoun is quickly becoming one of America's top coaches. He is 11-4 in his second year at the helm at the Academy.
In his first year at Air Force, the 1989 Academy graduate led the Falcons to the most wins ever by a first-year head coach, along with the nine wins by Ben Martin in 1958. Calhoun led the team to six conference wins which is the most ever by a first-year head coach, breaking the mark of four set by Fisher DeBerry in 1984.
Calhoun began his coaching career at the Academy, then after serving his military committment, was an assistant at Ohio University, later becoming the offensive coordinator. He was the offensive coordinator at Wake Forest before joining the National Football League with the Denver Broncos from 2003-05. He was the offensive coorinator for the Houston Texans in 2006 before returning to his alma mater last season as the sixth head coach in school history.
Calhoun was named the AFCA Region 5 Coach of the Year for 2007. Calhoun, who was also named the Mountain West Conference coach of the year, joined five other coaches to win the honor.
Calhoun is third in Mountain West Conference history in career winning percentage in conference games with a .778 mark (7-2).
Winningest MWC Coaches
# Name, School Tenure Record Pct.
1. Urban Meyer, Utah 2003-05 13-1 .929
2. Bronco Mendenhall, BYU 2005- 21-3 .875
3. Troy Calhoun, Air Force 2007- 7-2 .778
4. Gary Patterson, TCU 2005- 19-6 .760
Air Force sixth nationally
- Air Force has scored in 183 consecutive games dating back to 1992.
- The Falcons were last shutout by Mississippi, 13-0, in the 1992 Liberty Bowl.
- Air Force's streak is the second-longest active streak of teams in the Mountain West Conference and the sixth longest in the country.
# School Streak Last Shutout
1. Michigan 289 Oct. 20, 1984 at Iowa (0-26)
2. Washington State 276 Sept. 15, 1984 at Ohio State (0-44)
3. Florida 244 Oct. 29, 1988 vs. Auburn (0-16)
4. Colorado 237 Nov. 12, 1988 at Nebraska (0-7)
5. TCU (MWC) 191 Nov. 16, 1991 at Texas (0-32)
6. Air Force (MWC) 183 #--Dec. 31, 1992 vs. Mississippi (0-13), #--Liberty Bowl)
Young team in 2008
Air Force features one of its youngest teams in history in 2008. The Falcons lost 15 starters from the 2007 squad that finished 9-4 overall and placed second in the Mountain West Conference with a 6-2 mark. The team lost eight starters on offense, including four-year starting quarterback Shaun Carney and all-purpose back Chad Hall, the conference offensive player of the year. Only offensive linemen Nick Charles and Keith Williams, along with tight end Travis Dekker return on offense.
Defensively, the Falcons lost six starters, including first-team all-conference linebackers John Rabold (2007) and Drew Fowler (2006) as well as first-team all-MWC cornerback Carson Bird, the conference's leader in interceptions last year. Five of the top six defensive linemen return, along with outside linebacker Hunter Altman and safety Chris Thomas.
The Falcons lost deep snapper Tony Norman, and return specialist Hall. Kicker Ryan Harrison, who handles all the kicking and punting duties returns.
In terms of games played and started, the Falcons lost 14 players with 30 career games played, plus four more with 25 career games played. In addition, seven players with 20 or more career starts does not return in 2008. In fact, Air Force only has 17 seniors on its roster this season which ranks as the 19th fewest in the nation.
Percentage of offense / defense lost to graduation
Category Lost Pct Lost Notes
Passing yards 1,491 95.7 Top passer lost
Rushing yards 3,482 89.4 Top six rushers lost
Receiving 952 61.1 Top two receivers lost
Punt returns 176 100.0 Top punt returner lost
Scoring 210 54.0 Three of top four scoreres lost
All-purpose yards 5,254 79.8 Top four lost
Total offense 4,974 91.2 Top six lost
Interceptions 14 ints 93.3 Top three and seven of top eight lost
Tackles 534 53.2 Team leader, four of top five lost
Air Force extends streak to seven games
Air Force is undefeated (7-0) at home under head coach Troy Calhoun. The Falcons posted just the third undefeated home season in school history last year, joining the 1985 and 1998 squads as the only perfect teams at home. Air Force has been dominant in its seven home games with Calhoun at the helm. The Falcons have out-scored their opponents by 145 points which is an averaged scoring margin of 24.2 points per game. The team has scored 20 or more points in every game while allowing fewer than 20 in six of seven games. A closer look at the team's home field success follows.
Home winning streak
9-1 South Carolina State W 34-2
9-13 TCU* W 20-17 ot
10-6 UNLV* W 31-14
10-20 Wyoming* W 20-12
11-3 Army W 30-10
11-17 San Diego St.* W 55-23
8-30 Southern Utah W 41-7
* - MWC games
Category Air Force Opponent
Scoring 33.0 12.3
Rushing Avg 347.0 86.7
Passing Avg 141.2 236.8
Total Offense Avg 488.2 323.5
Turnover Margin +7 -7
Air Force conference/national rushing numbers
- Air Force leads the conference and ranks third nationally in rushing with a 347.0 average.
- Air Force has won 24 conference rushing titles since joining conference play in 1980.
- In 2002, the Falcons won the school's first national rushing title with a 307.8 per-game average.
- The Falcons won their 10th straight conference title in 2007 with its best average since 2002.
Year Stats Conf. National
1980 170.7 5th 79th
1981 185.1 4th 53rd
1982 301.7 1st 4th
1983 246.5 1st 2nd
1984 326.5 1st 2nd
1985 293.2 1st 6th
1986 232.6 1st 15th
1987 386.3 1st 2nd
1988 377.5 1st 2nd
1989 356.0 1st 3rd
1990 267.5 1st 7th
1991 338.1 1st 2nd
1992 242.4 2nd 7th
1993 284.9 1st 4th
1994 304.8 1st 2nd
1995 332.4 1st 2nd
1996 328.9 1st 2nd
1997 332.7 2nd 9th
1998 266.8 1st 3rd
1999 285.5 1st 2nd
2000 294.9 1st 2nd
2001 273.2 1st 3rd
2002 307.8 1st 1st
2003 280.6 1st 4th
2004 277.4 1st 4th
2005 246.5 1st 8th
2006 229.4 1st 3rd
2007 299.5 1st 2nd
2008 347.0 1st 3rd
bFormer Air Force assistant coach passes recently
Leland Kendall, former Air Force football assistant coach for 15 years, passed away last week in Tulsa, Okla. He was 75.
Kendall coached at the Academy from 1964-77. He was the offensive line coach from 1964-68, defensive line coach from 1969-75 and defensive coordinator from 1976-77. He coached under the legendary Ben Martin.
Kendall, a 1954 Oklahoma State graduate, helped the Falcons to the 1971 Sugar Bowl and was on the staff when Air Force picked up its 100th career win in 1976.
He also coached at Oklahoma State, Garden City Community College, Idaho and in the Canadian Football League. He also worked in the NFL as a scout for several teams.
Kendall is survived by his wife, Wanda, a one son, Heath, and a sister, Kay Brown.
- The Falcons have blocked 101 kicks since 1990.
- Air Force blocked two kicks last season, a field goal by Chris Thomas vs. TCU and a field goal vs. Navy by Ryan Kemp.
- Jake Paulson (PAT vs. UNLV in 2006), Hunter Altman (Punt vs. UNLV in 2006), Chris Thomas (FG vs. TCU) and Ryan Kemp (FG vs. Navy) are current Falcons with a blocked kick in their career.
Year-by-Year Blocks Since 1990
Year Total Punts FGs PATs
1990 6 3 1 2
1991 3 1 1 1
1992 8 6 1 1
1993 5 2 3 0
1994 5 4 1 0
1995 3 1 2 0
1996 4 1 3 0
1997 11* 7 3 1 * - school record
1998 7 4 3 0
1999 8 6 1 1
2000 9 4 2 3
2001 7 2 3 2
2002 4 3 1 0
2003 7 3 3 1
2004 2 0 0 2
2005 3 2 0 1
2006 7 2 0 5
2007 2 0 2 0
Totals 101 51 30 20
Rushing for 100 is the key
Air Force is 9-1 under head coach Troy Calhoun in games when it has a player rush for 100 or more yards and 11-2 when they out-rushed their opponents. The list of 100-yard rushers for each game follows below:
Game Player Yards
South Carolina St. Kip McCarthy 129 W 34-3
Utah Shaun Carney 113 W 20-12
TCU Jim Ollis 138 W 20-17 OT
UNLV Chad Hall 169 W 31-14
Colorado State Chad Hall 256 W 45-21
Wyoming Chad Hall 167 W 20-12
Army Chad Hall 275 W 30-10
Notre Dame Chad Hall 142 W 41-24
San Diego State Jim Ollis 163 W 55-23
Chad Hall 151
Ty Paffett 105
California Shaun Carney 108 L 36-42
Jim Ollis 101
Air Force, Army and Navy compete each year for the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy, which is emblematic of service academy football supremecy. The trophy goes annually to the winning academy with the best record in round-robin competition. The President of the United States presents the trophy to the seniors from the winning team each year at a ceremony at the White House.
The 2008 season marks the 37th year of trophy competition. Air Force has a 46-25-0 all-time CIC record and has won 16 trophy titles. Air Force's overall record and number of trophy titles are best among the three academies. Air Force finished second in the 2007 CIC Trophy chase after its 31-20 loss at Navy Sept. 29 and 30-10 win vs. Army 30-10 Nov. 3. Navy won the trophy by beating both Air Force and Army.
Team Record Pct.
Air Force 47-25-0 .644
Navy 35-36-1 .493
Army 25-46-1 .354
Air Force outright CIC title years:
`82, `83, `85, `87, `89, `90, `91, `92, `94, `95, `97, `98, `99, `00, `01, `02
Air Force takes it away
Air Force picked up where it left off last season, collecting two takeaways vs. Southern Utah and five at Wyoming. The Falcons have a +2 turnover margin for the season which ranks second in the conference and eighth nationally.
The Air Force defense had 28 takeaways last season which ranked second in the Mountain West Conference behind only Utah (33). The Falcons scored 120 points off those turnovers. The team's +10 turnover margin ranked second in the MWC and 15th in the nation. The Falcons forced 15 interceptions and 13 fumble recoveries.
Air Force takeaways and +/- in last 10 years
Year Takeaways(Int./Fum.) +/- W/L
2008 7 (1/6) +2 2-0
2007 28 (15/13) +10 9-4
2006 22 (9/13) +8 4-8
2005 17 (9/8) -7 4-7
2004 17 (9/8) +1 5-7
2003 23 (13/10) +6 7-5
2002 26 (12/14) +9 8-5
2001 28 (14/14) +8 6-6
2000 19 (7/12) +7 9-3
1999 14 (8/6) -4 6-5
1998 30 (17/13) +17 12-1
Thomas earns MWC player of the week honors
Junior safety Chris Thomas was named Mountain West Conference defensive player of the week for his efforts vs. Wyoming. Thomas recorded a season-best 13 tackles, including eight unassisted stops and a sack, as Air Force registered a 23-3 MWC-opening win at Wyoming. The junior strong safety also forced a fumble and recovered a separate fumble, with both plays leading to field goals for the Falcons. Thomas led a Falcon defensive effort that limited the Cowboys to 216 yards total offense and 2-of-13 on third-down conversion attempts. Thomas is the first Falcon to earn the award this season and the honor is the first of his career.
Thomas leads the Falcons in tackles this season with 13. He is also the team's career leader with 148 total tackles, including 79 unassisted.
Dekker nominted for AFCA Good Works Team
Air Force senior tight end Travis Dekker is one of 71 nominees for the 71st annual Allstate American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Good Works Team. The Good Works Team recognizes this group of committed and hard-working players for their off-the-field achievements.
Dekker carries a 3.75 grade point average in biochemistry and has been on the Academy's superintendent's list for military, academic and athletic excellence four semesters. The Albuquerque, N.M., native is a two-year starter for the Falcons and a two-time academic all-conference selection. Last season, he had 25 receptions for 382 yards and caught at least one pass in every game. His catches and yards are the most by a Falcon tight end since 1989. This past summer, he was selected to participate in the Cadet Summer Research Project at the Air Force Research Lab in Albuquerque. He has held numerous leadership positions at the Academy and has also volunteered for several community projects, including the Salvation Army and a helped raise funds for Hurricane Katrina relief in 2005.
Through a partnership, Allstate has teamed with the AFCA to honor the college football players whose involvement with charitable organizations and community service contributions stand out among the more than 50,000 student-athletes participating in the sport at all four-year collegiate institutions. From among the 71 nominations submitted by sports information directors on behalf of their team, a special selection committee assembled by the AFCA and Allstate will select two 11-player Good Works Teams® - one composed of players competing in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (I-A) and a combined team representing players competing in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (I-AA), Divisions II, III, and the NAIA.
The 2008 Allstate AFCA Good Works Teams® voting panel includes: Allstate senior vice president, Steve Sorenson; former Good Works Teams® members Matt Stinchcomb (University of Georgia, 1997 team), Mike Proman (Amherst College, 2002 team), Deuce McAllister (University of Mississippi, 1999 team), Dan Lord (Tufts University, 1997 team), Zaid Abdul-Aleem (Duke University, 1994 team); media members Kirk Herbstreit (ESPN), Dennis Dodd (CBS Sportsline), Tony Barnhart (Atlanta Journal-Constitution), Kelly Whiteside (USA Today), Ivan Maisel (ESPN.com); current AFCA president and University of Washington head coach Tyrone Willingham; and 1996 AFCA president Fisher DeBerry, former head coach at the United States Air Force Academy.
The committee will be responsible for selecting 22 players from the 71 nominations received over the summer at the AFCA headquarters in Waco, Texas. The following players have been nominated for consideration to be included among the 2008 Allstate AFCA Good Works Teams®.
Sophomore Reggie Rembert is a busy man during games. Rembert is a starter at cornerback on the defense and is a backup at WR-Z on offense. In addition, Rembert is on the punt and kickoff return teams.
Rembert is the first Falcon to play both offense and defense in a game at the Academy since Chris Evans, who played both tight end and defensive end due to injuries against Army in 2006. Evans did not have any statistics and played both only that week. LeRon Hudgins is the last player to play both ways significantly as a safety and running back in 1995. Hudgins was listed as a starter on defense and played most of the season as a backup halfback in the option offense.
Rembert had three solo tackles and two pass breakups on defense vs. Southern Utah. He also had one carry for 21 yards at WR-Z. On special teams, Rembert had a 20-yard punt return and three kickoff returns for 61 yards to give him 102 all-purpose yards. He averaged 20.2 yards per touch.
Rembert rushed four times for nine yards at Wyoming while returning one punt four yards and one kickoff return 22 yards. He also had four solo tackles and, a tackle for loss and a forced fumble.
Rembert is fifth on the team in tackles on the season with seven, all unassisted. He also leads the team in pass breakups with two. He has also carried the ball five times for 30 yards and is averaging 6.0 yards per carry.
Opponent Plays (Def/Off/ST) Tackles Rushing Receiving Returns Totals Avg.
Southern Utah 53 (42/4/7) 3-0-3 1-21 0-0 4-81 5-102 20.2
Wyoming 67 (50/7/10) 4-0-4 4-9 0-0 2-26 6-35 5.8
Totals 120 (92/11/17) 7-0-7 5-30 0-0 6-107 11-137 12.5
Harrison continues perfection
Senior do-everything kicker/punter Ryan Harrison is off to a near-perfect start this season. Harrison is tied for the national lead in field goals, averaging 3.0 per game. Harrison is perfect in six attempts and has hit from 30, 42, 32, 40, 27 and 44 yards. His 1.000 percentage also leads the nation. Harrison has also hit all six extra points this season and is among the national leaders in scoring with a 12.0 average. Harrison is tied for the conference lead and ranks 12th nationally in scoring. He is also a weapon on kickoffs, collecting nine touchbacks in 12 kickoffs.
For the second straight game this season, Harrison tied a career high with three field goals vs. Wyoming. Harrison hit from 40, 27 and 44 yards. He also hit three in the season opener vs. Southern Utah, nailing kicks from 30, 42 and 32 yards.
Harrison has had three consecutive games with three field goals dating back to last year's finale vs. California in the bowl game. Harrison has hit 15 straight field goals overall dating back to last season. Harrison is a dangerous punter as well, but has punted just once this season due to a slight leg injury. In his one punt, he nailed a 45-yarder that was downed at the six yards line vs. Southern Utah.
Harrison is tied for eighth in Air Force history in career field goals with 25. His 25 field goals are the most since Joey Ashcroft hit 29 from 2001-03. Among players that played two seasons, he's tied for first all-time with Jim Sturch, who hit 25 field goals from 1978-79. Harrison's 75.7 career field goal percentage ranks fourth all-time at Air Force.
Harrison career numbers
Season FG Punting PATs Kickoffs
2008 6-6 (1.000) 1-47.0 2-2 (1.000) 12 total -9 TBs
2007 19-27 (70.4) 46-42.9 44-46 (.957) 77 total -32 TBs
Totals 25-33 (75.7) 47-43.0 50-52 (96.2) 89 total - 41 TBs (46.0 pct)
Career Field Goals Career Field Goal Percentage
# Name, Years FGs # Name, Years Pct
1. Dave Lawson, 1972-75 51 1. Jackson Whiting, 1998-99 82.6 (19-23)
2. Sean Pavlich, 1980-83 42 2. Joe Wood, 1989-91 79.6 (39-49)
3. Joe Wood, 1989-91 39 3. David Adams, 1998-00 76.4 (26-34)
4. Joey Ashcroft, 2001-03 29 4. Ryan Harrison, 2007-08 75.7 (25-33)
5. Dennis Leuthauser, 1967-69 27 5. Carlos Mateos, 1984 75.0 (12-16)
6. David Adams, 1998-00 26 6. Joe Ashcroft, 2001-03 74.4 (29-39)
7. Jim Sturch, 1978-79 25
8. Ryan Harrison, 2007-08 25
Harrison's field goal streak
at New Mexico 1-1 (28)
Army 3-3 (35, 56, 40)
at Notre Dame 2-2 (19, 37)
San Diego State 0-0
vs. California 3-3 (29, 19, 47)
Southern Utah 3-3 (30, 42, 32)
Wyoming 3-3 (40, 27, 44)
Harrison named one of Lou Groza Award's three "Star of the Week"
Senior kicker Ryan Harrison was named one of the stars of the week by the Lou Groza National Collegiate place Kicker Award committee. Harrison kicked three field goals at Wyoming last week to extend his consecutive field goal streak to 15. In addition, he had four touchbacks on kickoffs and hit all three extra points. This marks the first time in his career he's won the award and he is the first Falcon to ever be honored with the award.
College football's top kicking award, the Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award is sponsored by the Palm Beach County Sports Commission and each week recognizes the three (3) top kickers from Division 1 schools who have made outstanding contributions during the past week. In addition to Harrison, Colorado State's Ben DeLine and Sam Swank of Wake Forest were honored this week.
Geyer takes over - ranks second nationally
Junior punter Brandon Geyer took over the full-time punting duties against Wyoming due to a slight leg injury to senior Ryan Harrison. Geyer took advantage of his opportunity, punting seven times for a career-best 50.3 average. He also hammered a career-best 65-yard punt and had another downed inside the 20. His 50.3 average is the best since Harrison set the school record of 59.3 last year vs. Wyoming. Geyer punted once for 50 yards in the season opener vs. Southern Utah and is averaging 50.2 yards per punt this season which leads the conference. Geyer ranks second nationally behind Jacob Richardson of Miami, OH, who is averaging 51.6 yards per punt.
The Air Force trio of juniors Chris Thomas (safety) and Justin Moore (ILB) and sophomore Will Keuchler (OLB) have reunited at the Academy. The trio of classmates was first together in Westerville, Ohio, at St. Francis DeSales High School where they helped the football team to a state championship game appearance. They are together again this season. Keuchler, who attended the Academy's Prep School, is a back at outside linebacker, while Thomas enters his second season as a starter at safety. Moore is listed as a backup inside linebacker. They were coache