Sept. 24, 2012
Saturday. Sept. 29 12 p.m. MT
Falcon Stadium (46,692) USAFA, CO
Bill Doleman (play-by-play) and Jay Leeuwenburg (color)
KVOR AM 740 in Colorado Springs; The Fan 104.3 in Denver; Goairforcefalcons.com
Jim Arthur (play-by-play); Jesse Kurtz (analyst); Jay Ricci/Bob Ihle (pre- and post-game)
GAME FACTS: Air Force returns home for the first time since defeating Idaho State Sept. 1 to open the season ... Air Force has played on the road twice and had an open week the last three weeks ... This weekend's game will be Hero's Day, as the Academy will recognize first responders and honor those who fought the Waldo Canyon fire this summer ... Air Force has won six straight and seven of the last eight games vs. Colorado State ... The Falcons lost at UNLV, 38-35, last week ... The Falcons and Rams play annually for the Ram-Falcon Trophy ... Air Force and Colorado State played in November last season ... This week begins a stretch of two straight and four of five games at home for Air Force ... The Falcons are 24-8 in Falcon Stadium under head coach Troy Calhoun.
Air Force: Troy Calhoun (Air Force, 1989) is in his sixth season. He has led the Falcons to a 42-26 career record. Calhoun is 24-16 in MWC games, 18-10 in non-conference games, 24-8 in Falcon Stadium, 15-15 in road games (11-9 in MW road games) and 2-3 in bowl games.
Colorado State: Jim McElwain (Eastern Washington, 1984) is in his first season at Colorado State. He has led the Rams to a 1-3 record in his first head coaching assignment.
Air Force leads the overall series, 30-19-1, including a 19-13 mark in conference games.
The Falcons are 17-11-1 at home and 13-8 at Colorado State.
Air Force has won six straight and seven of the last eight in the series.
Prior to the current Air Force run, Colorado State had won three straight and four of the last five.
Air Force has won four straight at home, dating back to a 31-12 CSU win in 2002. Air Force defeated Colorado State, 49-27, in 2010 the last time the teams played in Falcon Stadium.
The Falcons won last year's game in Fort Collins, 45-21.
The teams first played in 1957 in Colorado Springs. Colorado State won the game, 20-7.
Year by Year
1957 - CSU 20-7 (H)
1958 - AFA 36-6 (H)
1960 - AFA 32-8 (H)
1961 - AFA 14-9 (H)
1962 - AFA 34-0 (H)
1963 - AFA 69-0 (H)
1964 - AFA 14-6 (H)
1966 - CSU 41-21 (H)
1967 - Tied 17-17 (H)
1968 - AFA 31-0 (A)
1969 - AFA 28-7 (H)
1970 - AFA 37-22 (H)
1971 - AFA 17-13 (A)
1972 - AFA 53-13 (A)
1975 - CSU 47-10 (A)
1976 - CSU 27-3 (H)
1978 - CSU 31-13 (H)
1979 - CSU 20-6 (A)
1980 - CSU 21-9 (A)
1981 - AFA 28-14 (H)
1982 - CSU 21-11 (H)
1983 - AFA 34-13 (A)
1984 - AFA 52-10 (H)
1985 - AFA 35-19 (A)
1986 - AFA 24-7 (H)
1987 - AFA 27-19 (A)
1988 - AFA 29-23 (A)
1989 - AFA 46-21 (A)
1990 - CSU 35-33 (H)
1991 - AFA 31-26 (A)
1992 - CSU 32-28 (H)
1993 - CSU 8-5 (A)
1994 - CSU 34-24 (H)
1995 - CSU 27-20 (H)
1996 - CSU 42-41 (H)
1997 - AFA 24-0 (A)
1998 - AFA 30-27 (H)
1999 - CSU 41-21 (A)
2000 - AFA 44-40 (H)
2001 - CSU 28-21 (A)
2002 - CSU 31-12 (H)
2003 - CSU 30-20 (A)
2004 - AFA 47-17 (H)
2005 - CSU 41-23 (A)
2006 - AFA 24-21 (H)
2007 - AFA 45-21 (A)
2008 - AFA 38-17 (H)
2009 - AFA 34-16 (A)
2010 - AFA 49-27 (H)
2011 - AFA 45-21 (A)
(H/A) is for AFA
LAST SEASON VS. COLORADO STATE: Air Force defeated Colorado State, 45-21, to close the regular season and post its sixth straight win in the series. Colorado State opened the scoring with a Garret Grayson touchdown pass on its opening drive to give the Rams a 7-0 first-quarter lead. Air Force exploded for 31 unanswered points in the second quarter to take a 31-7 halftime lead. Quarterback Tim Jefferson hit three-of-six passes for 131 yards and three touchdowns in the quarter. All three touchdown passes went to Zack Kauth, who finished the game with three catches and career highs of 123 yards and three touchdowns. Cody Getz added a 12-yard touchdown run and Parker Herrington a 22 yard field goal to make up the other scoring. The Rams answered with a Chris Nwoke 62 yard run to cut the lead to 31-14 in the third, but the Falcons responded with touchdown runs from Mike DeWitt and Asher Clark to push the lead to 45-14 early in the fourth. Nwoke, who finished with 269 rushing yards, made up the final margin with his second touchdown run. Air Force finished with 565 total yards, including 344 rushing. Clark led the way with 111 yards on 13 carries, while Wes Cobb chipped in with a career-best 83 yards. Jefferson finished the game hitting nine-of-12 passes for 221 yards, the second most of his career. Patrick Hennessey and Jon Davis led the defense with 10 tackles each, while Alex Means added five tackles, two quarterback sacks and two forced fumbles.
THE LAST TIME IN FALCON STADIUM: Air Force defeated Colorado State, 49-27. Asher Clark rushed for 125 yards and a touchdown and Tim Jefferson hit five-of-nine passes for 160 yards and two TDs. The defense was led by Jon Davis, who had 12 tackles. The Falcons jumped to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter with touchdowns by Jared Tew and Clark and led 28-7 at halftime. Jonathan Warzeka highlighted the second half with a 100-yard kickoff return for a score. The Falcons took a 49-13 lead into the fourth quarter before CSU scored twice to make up the final margin.
THE RAM-FALCON TROPHY: Air Force and Colorado State compete each year for the Ram-Falcon Trophy. This season marks the 34th year of the trophy competetion with Air Force holding a 19-13 lead. The trophy's origin is tracked back to Shelly Godkin, a former ROTC commander at Colorado State. He watched the teams play in 1978 and sought to translate his impressions into a trophy symbolic of an annual game. The first Ram-Falcon trophy game was in 1980.
HOME SWEET HOME: Air Force is 24-8 at home under head coach Troy Calhoun since 2007. The Falcons posted just the third undefeated home mark (6-0) in 2007. Air Force combined for 10 wins at home in 2009 and 2010 which is the third most in two seasons in school history.
AFCA COACH TO CURE MD: The AFCA will hold its fifth annual Coach to Cure MD effort with the games of September 29. More than 100 FBS schools will be wearing a Coach to Cure MD patch to raise awareness and funding for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy research.
All Mountain West coaching staffs will be wearing Coach to Cure MD patches this week to raise awareness and funding for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy research. Fans are encouraged to donate online at www.CoachtoCureMD.org or donate $5 by texting CURE to 90999."
LAST WEEK: UNLV came from behind to defeat Air Force, 38-35, in Las Vegas, Nev. The Falcons opened the game with a Mike DeWitt one-yard run to take a 7-0 lead. Following a Tim Cornett touchdown run to tie the score, Cody Getz scored on a 12-yard run to give the Falcons a 14-7 lead at the end of the first quarter. UNLV added a field goal before Broam Hart scored his first-career touchdown on a two-yard run to make it 21-10. Bradley Randle added a score for UNLV before Ty MacArthur set up a late second-quarter touchdown with a 58-yard catch. Connor Dietz scored on the next play with just 10 seconds left before halftime to push the lead to 28-17. UNLV outscored Air Force, 21-7, in the second half and took the lead for good on another Randle touchdown run late in the third quarter. UNLV pushed its lead to 38-28 when Nick Sherry hit William Vea with a touchdown pass with 6:56 left. Dietz added a touchdown run with 4:41 left to make up the final margin. The Falcons got the ball back with just under a minute remaining, but were unable to drive into scoring range.
Air Force finished the game with 442 total yards, including 352 rushing. Getz led the way with 113 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries while Dietz chipped in with 68 yards rushing and a career-best two touchdowns. He also hit three-of-nine passes for 90 yards. The defense was led by Austin Niklas, who had a game-high 16 tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss. Brian Lindsay added 10 tackles and Alex Means had eight tackles, an interception and a pass breakup.
LAST WEEK'S GAME NOTES
Air Force lost its first Mountain West Conference opener on the road, falling to 7-1 all-time.
Air Force players making their first career start: OLB Stephan Atrice.
Air Force's game captains were QB Connor Dietz, LB Alex Means and RB Wes Cobb.
RB Cody Getz rushed for 100-plus yards for the third consecutive game. He is the first Falcon to rush for three-straight 100-plus yards since Chad Hall in 2007.
QB Connor Dietz set a career-high with two rushing touchdowns.
Alex Means recorded his second-career interception and the first of the season.
Fullback Broam Hart's two-yard touchdown run in the second quarter was the first of his career.
Hart also set career high's for carries (12) and yards (32).
WR Ty MacArthur set a career high with 46 rushing yards.
Connor Dietz's 58-yard pass completion to MacArthur was a career-long pass for Dietz and career-long reception for MacArthur.
LB Austin Niklas and DB Brian Lindsay set career highs in tackles with 16 and 10, respectively.
FALCONS AMONG NATIONAL LEADERS IN APR: The Air Force football program was among 12 nationally recognized Football Bowl Series programs recognized with the NCAA Division I Academic Performance Public Recognition Award, announced by the NCAA.
Air Force is one of just two in the Mountain West Conference (Boise State) and was the only service academy recognized. This year marks the sixth straight the football program and the team's score of 980 ranks 10th nationally. Northwestern has the highest ranking of 995, followed by Boise State and Duke at 989.
Each year the NCAA honors selects Division I sports teams by publicly recognizing their latest multiyear APR. This announcement is part of the overall Division I academic reform effort and is intended to highlight teams who demonstrate a commitment to academic progress and retention of student-athletes by achieving the top APRs within their respective sports. Specifically, these teams posted multiyear APRs in the top 10 percent of all squads in each sport.
The APR provides a real-time look at a team's academic success each semester by tracking the academic progress of each student-athlete. The APR accounts for eligibility, retention and graduation and provides a measure of each team's academic performance.
AIR FORCE LEADS THE WAY WITH ALUMNI COACHES: Air Force has 10 Academy graduates as coaches on the staff which is more than any other school in the nation.
Academy graduates on coaching staff
Troy Calhoun (Air Force, 1989), head coach
Jake Campbell (Air Force, 1996), assistant offensive backfield
Maj. Eldrick Hill (Air Force, 1993), varsity/JV assistant
Ben Miller (Air Force, 2002), RBs/special teams coordinator
Blane Morgan (Air Force, 1999), offensive coordinator/QBs
Maj. Steve Pipes (Air Force, 1998), JV head coach/varsity assistant
Capt. John Rudzinski (Air Force, 2005), OLBs/recruiting coordinator
Steve Russ (Air Force, 1995), asst. head coach/co-def. coord./secondary
Mike Thiessen (Air Force, 2001), asst. head coach/offensive coord./WRs
Charlton Warren (Air Force, 1999), assoc. head coach/defensive coordinator
CALHOUN TO SHARE WEEKLY TOP 25 VOTE ON-LINE: Head Coach Troy Calhoun is a voter in the USA TODAY Sports Coaches Poll. Although ballots in the poll generally are not revealed until the final vote of the regular season in December, Calhoun has been providing his weekly ballot to The Gazette of Colorado Springs the last couple of years. He agreed this year to also reveal his vote each week for USA TODAY Sports. His weekly top 25 is available on the USA Today website.
AIR FORCE BY THE NUMBERS
1 - Number of Air Force turnovers this season.
5 - Air Force has played in a bowl game for a school-record five straight years.
7 - Air Force has won seven straight non-conference home openers.
11 - quarters out of 12 Air Force has scored points in this season.
13 - consecutive years Air Force has won the Mountain West rushing title.
15 - AFA has won 15 straight home openers against unranked teams dating back to 1994
17 - players that have made the first start of their career for Air Force this season.
24 - wins in 32 games in Falcon Stadium for Air Force under head coach Troy Calhoun.
33 - games under head coach Troy Calhoun with a 100-yard rusher (25-8 record).
37 - straight games Air Force has rushed for a touchdown dating back to Navy Oct. 3, 2009.
TEAM DEFENSIVE NOTES
Air Force shutout Idaho State in the first half.
Air Force had two players with 11 tackles each vs. Idaho State (Austin Niklas, Steffon Batts)
The opponent (Idaho State) scored on the opening drive of the first half for the first time in 14 games.
Air Force held Idaho State to just three-of-five in the red zone.
LB Austin Niklas recorded a career-high 16 tackles, the most by a Falcon this season, at UNLV.
TEAM OFFENSIVE NOTES
Air Force averaged 9.1 yards per play and 8.3 yards per rush vs. Idaho State.
Air Force's 626 total yards vs. Idaho State is the ninth most in school history.
Air Force's 8.3 yards per rush average vs. Idaho State ties as the seventh most in school history.
Air Force's 90 plays at Michigan is the second-most in the Troy Calhoun era and most since running 92 vs. SDSU in 2010.
Air Force has had just one turnover this season, a fumble at UNLV.
Air Force is second in the MW and 21st nationally in total offense with a 495.0 per-game average.
Air Force leads the MW and is second in the nation in rushing with a 375.3 per-game average.
The Falcons are averaging 36.3 points per game which ranks third in the MW and 30th nationally.
SPECIAL TEAMS NOTES
Air Force leads the MW and is 13th nationally in kickoff returns with a 28.1 average.
Anthony LaCoste ranks third in MW and 17th nationall in KOR with a 29.9 average.
Kicker Parker Herrington has hit 31 straight extra points dating back to 2011.
Punter David Baska would lead the MW and rank fifth nationally in punting with a 47.3 average, but lacks enough attempts to qualify.
TAKING CARE OF THE FOOTBALL: Air Force has just one turnover in three games this season while running 233 total plays. Air Force's lone turnover is a fumble against UNLV last week. The team had 208 plays without a turnover prior to the fumble.
The opening two games of the season mark the first time since 2009 vs. TCU and Wyoming that Air Force has gone back-to-back games without a turnover.
AIR FORCE TAKEAWAYS
Air Force is fourth in the MW and tied for 38th nationally in turnover margin with a +.67 mark.
Air Force is +2 in turnover margin this season.
Air Force is a combined +52 in turnover margin the last six seasons.
Air Force forced 19 TOs, at least two each game, with a +6 TO margin the last seven games of 2011.
The Falcons forced just seven turnovers and were -6 in TO margin in the first six games of last season.
Air Force finished sixth in the Mountain West in turnover margin last season with a 0.00 mark.
AIR FORCE HAS FOURTH LONGEST ACTIVE SCORING STREAK IN NCAA
Air Force has a school-record 236-game consecutive games scoring streak which is the fourth longest active nationally.
The Falcons were last shutout by Mississippi, 13-0, in the 1992 Liberty Bowl.
Air Force's streak is the 11th longest in Division I-A history.
Air Force has blocked 114 kicks since 1990 when the program began tracking them.
The breakdown: 53 punts, 35 field goals and 26 PATs.
Air Force set a school record with 11 blocks in 1997 (7 punts, 3 FGs, 1 punt).
Single season records for each category: Punts (7, 1997), FGs (3, 6 times, 2009), PATs (5, 2006).
Air Force blocked five kicks last season, the most in a season since 2006 and most in the Calhoun era.
Air Force has blocked 16 kicks since 2007 under head coach Troy Calhoun
The breakdown: 8 FGs, 6 PATs, 2 Punts
LB Alex Means had three blocks in 2011 (FG vs. Tenn. State, PAT at Navy, PAT at Boise State)
Means is the first player since Ryan Carter in 2003 to block a kick in back-to-back games (Tenn St., Navy).
AIR FORCE LEADS THE NATION WITH FIRST-TIME STARTERS IN 2012: Air Force has had 17 players start a game for the first time in their careers this season, which leads the nation. Arizona State is second with 14 and Northern Illinois third with 13.
Air Force players making their first career start this season are: Idaho State: WR Ty MacArthur, TE Austin Briehl, OL Drew Kerber, OL Michael Husar, Jr., RB Cody Getz, WR Chris Jordan, TE Nate Dreslinkski, DL Joseph Champaign, DL Cody Miller, LB Jared Jones, LB Josh Kusan, DB Christian Spears and DB Steffon Batts. Michigan: C Austin Hayes, WR Drew Coleman and WR Christian Gann. UNLV: OLB Stephan Atrice.
CALHOUN ERA INSIDE THE NUMBERS: Air Force's average numbers in several key categories under head coach Troy Calhoun follow below. Air Force's season averages in 2011 of 314.8 rushing yards, 140.1 passing yards, 454.8 total yards and 34.9 points per game are all the best in the Troy Calhoun era (2007-present).
COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF'S TROPHY: Air Force won its second straight and record 18th Commander-in-Chief's Trophy in 2011. The Falcons defeated Navy, 35-34, in overtime in Annapolis Oct. 1 and Army, 24-14, in Falcon Stadium Nov. 5. Air Force's back-to-back CIC Trophy titles are its first since 2001-02.
The 2012 season marks the 41st year of trophy competition. 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. Air Force has a 53-27-0 all-time CIC record.
Air Force outright CIC title years:
`82, `83, `85, `87, `89, `90, `91, `92, `94, `95, `97, `98, `99, `00, `01, `02, `10, `11.
AIR FORCE VS. NON-CONFERENCE FOES UNDER CALHOUN
Air Force is 1-1 this season vs. non-conference opponents.
Air Force is 18-10 against non-conference foes under head coach Troy Calhoun.
The Falcons are 11-1 at home, 4-6 on the road and 3-3 in neutral site games.
INSIDE AIR FORCE FOOTBALL
Air Force has an all-time record of 345-286-13 in its 56th season of varsity football. The Falcons are 187-117-3 at home and 157-170-10 on the road and in neutral site games. AFA has played in 22 bowl games and has a 10-11-1 all-time record.
Air Force is playing in 33rd year in a conference. This season marks the school's 13th year in the Mountain West Conference. Prior to 1999, Air Force was a member of the Western Athletic Conference from 1980-98. The school was an independent prior to 1980.
Air Force is 50-48 as a member of the Mountain West Conference. The team is 29-20 at home and 21-28 on the road. The Falcons are 91-71 overall since joining the MWC in 1999, including marks of 52-28 at home, 33-38 on the road, 6-4 in neutral site games and 4-3 in bowls.
Air Force is 6-4 overall and 4-2 in conference overtime games (results below).
HERRINGTON ON GROZA WATCH LIST: Air Force senior Parker Herrington is one of 30 players named to the Watch List for the 2012 Lou Groza College Place-Kicker Award, presented by the Palm Beach County Sports Commission.
Kickers on the Lou Groza Award Watch List were chosen based on statistics from the 2011 season and 2012 expectations. Accomplishments are tabulated throughout the season and the Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award announces its 20 semifinalists on Monday, November 5th. From this list, a panel of more than 300 experts selects the top three finalists for the award by Monday, November 19th. That same group then selects the national winner, who will be announced on Thursday, December 6th during the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Award Show, broadcast live from Orlando, Fla.
HERRINGTON AMONG THE BEST: Senior kicker Parker Herrington has hit 16-of-21 (.762) in his career in field goals and 59-of-62 (.952) on extra points. Herrington ranks fifth in school history in career field goal percentage and 10th in extra point percentage. He needs one more made field goal to break into the top 10 in school history for career fields made.
SENIOR Connor Dietz TAKES OVER AT QB: Senior Connor Dietz follows a pair of four-year starters in Tim Jefferson (2008-11) and Shaun Carney (2004-07), but is making his own history.
Dietz is the active career leader in rushing with 881 yards and seven touchdowns for the Falcons. He's rushed for 203 yards and three touchdowns this season while averaging 5.6 yards per rush. Dietz has hit 21-of-39 passes for 359 yards and has a 119.7 efficiency rating. For his career, he's hit 53-of-99 for 751 yards with three touchdowns and just one interception.
Dietz is on pace to become the Air Force career leader in pass interception avoidance with a .010 mark with just one career INT in 99 attempts, but needs 100 attempts to qualify. Dietz has a career pass efficiency rating of 125.24 which would rank as the sixth-best mark in school history, but he needs one more attempt to be eligible.
GETZ RUNNING WILD IN 2012: Senior Cody Getz has waited patiently for his chance and he's making the most of it now as a senior. Getz is second in the conference and nation in rushing and scoring with per-game averages of 153.7 yards rushing and 14.0 points.
Getz has rushed for 461 yards and seven touchdowns and is averaging 7.9 yards per carry. He opened the season with a career-best 218 yards and three scores vs. Idaho State, then rushed for 130 yards and three more scores at Michigan. He added 113 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries at UNLV.
His 461 yards in three consecutive games is the most since Chad Hall had 568 yards vs. Army (275), Notre Dame (142) and San Diego State (151) in 2007.
GETZ FIRST FALCON EVER TO OPEN SEASON WITH THREE STRAIGHT 100-YARD GAMES: Senior running back Cody Getz is the first player in Air Force history to open a season with three straight 100-yard rushing games.
When Getz opened up with back-to-back 100-yard games he became the first to do it since Rob Perez in 1991 when he had 148 vs. Weber State and 112 at Colorado State. He was the first non-quarterback to do it since fullback Pat Evans in 1984 vs. San Diego State (121) and Northern Colorado (110).
AIR FORCE PLAYER HONORS IN 2012
SPC Parker Herrington: Preseason first-team all-MW ... one of 30 players named to the Watch List for the 2012 Lou Groza College Place-Kicker Award, presented by the Palm Beach County Sports Commission.
LB Alex Means: Preseason first-team all-MW.
RB Cody Getz: Collegefootballperformance.com honorable mention running back of the week vs. Idaho State ... National Football Foundation, Colorado Chapter player of the week vs. Idaho State ... collegefootballperformance.com runningback of the week vs. Michigan ... collegesportsmadness.com Mountain West Conference player of the week vs. Michigan.
SPC David Baska: Collegefootballperformance.com punter of the week vs. Michigan
DID YOU KNOW?
Air Force student-athletes carry an average of 19 semester hours of academics each semester.
Air Force doesn't redshirt student-athletes. Cadets attend for a total of eight semesters, so student-athletes only have those eight semesters to complete their athletic eligibility.
Air Force is a non-scholarship school. Student-athletes, like other cadets, must earn a nomination to attend the Academy. Air Force student-athletes do not sign a National Letter of Intent on signing days.
Air Force student-athletes may leave the Academy without penalty during their freshman or sophomore years. Once their junior year begins, they are committed to the Air Force.
The post-graduate commitment for Air Force graduates is five years following graduation. For graduates that enter pilot training, it's eight years after pilot training for roughly a 10-year commitment.
The Air Force Academy Prep School is located on the grounds of the Air Force Academy. The Prep School is simply that, a prep school for entrance to the Air Force Academy. Student-athletes that attend are still able to be recruited by other schools and must qualify to attend the Academy following that year. A student-athletes NCAA clock doesn't start while attending the Prep School.
Air Force student-athletes have busy summers, which are broke into three three-week periods. Typically upperclassmen receive a period of leave, while the other two are filled with military training, academics or various other opportunities related to the Academy.
U.S. News & World Report released its 2013 Best Colleges rankings, listing the Air Force Academy among the best in the nation in several categories.