Air Force Football Travels To Navy For Service Academy Game
Sept. 26, 2011
Saturday Oct. 1 12 p.m. ET
Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium (34,000) Annapolis, MD
GAME FACTS: Air Force and Navy are meeting for the 44th time overall ... The Falcons lead the series, 26-17 ... This week's game marks the first of back-to-back games on major networks for Air Force, as CBS will televise this game and NBC will have next week's game at Notre Dame ... Two of the nation's top rushing offenses battle this week with Air Force ranking first at 411.67 yards per game and Navy fourth at 358.33 ... This week marks the first time since week eight of 2010 that the Falcons have outright led the nation in rushing ... the Falcons were tied for first after the first week of this season ... Air Force plays four of its next five games on the road starting this week ... This week marks Air Force's first road game of the season after three straight home games and an open week ... The last 14 Commander-in-Chief's Trophy championships have been split seven each between Air Force or Navy ... The Falcons won titles from 1997-2002 and in 2010 while Navy won seven straight from 2003-09 ... Air Force is 15-7 against non-conference foes under head coach Troy Calhoun, including a 3-4 mark on the road ... Air Force has won three straight service academy games dating back to 2009 ... The three-game streak is the longest since Air Force had a 12-game streak from 1997-02.
COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF'S TROPHY: The 2011 season marks the 40th year of trophy competition. Air Force defeated both Army (42-22) and Navy (14-6) last season to win the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy for the first time since 2002. The title is the 17th in Air Force history, which is more than any other service academy. 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 51-27-0 all-time CIC record.
Air Force outright CIC title years:
Year by Year
* - Baltimore, MD; ** - Chicago, IL; *** - Washington, DC; # - Landover, MD; Site ( ) is for AFA
LAST SEASON: Air Force defeated Navy, 14-6, in Falcon Stadium to win the first leg of the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy competition and snap a seven-game losing streak to the Midshipmen. Tim Jefferson rushed for 62 yards and two touchdowns while hitting five of seven passes for 83 yards. Jared Tew added a game-high 111 yards on 17 carries. The defense was led by Jordan Waiwaiole, who had a career-high 15 tackles, his first-career interception and a sack. Andre Morris added eight tackles. Air Force opened the scoring with a 50-yard run by Jefferson in the first quarter to take a 7-0 lead. Navy added a field goal in the second and another in the third to cut the lead to 7-6. Jamil Cooks then blocked a punt, which Air Force recovered on the Navy 15 to set up a one-yard run by Jefferson early in the fourth quarter. The defense ended it on Navy's last drive with Waiwaiole's pick. Air Force had 375 total yards, including 292 rushing, while holding Navy to just 312 total yards.
Team Notes from last year's Navy game
Individual Notes From Last Meeting
LAST TIME AT NAVY: Navy defeated Air Force, 16-13, in overtime in Annapolis to post its seventh straight win in the series. Kicker Joe Buckley kicked three field goals, including a 38-yard boot in overtime, to lead Navy. Quarterback Ricky Dobbs scored on a 13-yard run to give the Midshipmen a 7-0 lead. The Falcons answered when Anthony Wright intercepted a pass and returned it 67 yards to tie the score at 7-7 in the second quarter. Buckley kicked the first of his three field goals in the final seconds of the first half to give Navy a 10-7 halftime lead. Air Force tied it with an Erik Soderberg 27-yard field goal. Soderberg added his second field goal of the game, a 39-yard kick, to tie it as time expired to force overtime. He finally missed from 31 yards in overtime. Air Force had 240 total yards while allowing just 209. John Falgout led the defense with a career-high 13 tackles. Alex Means and Justin Moore each chipped in with career highs in tackles as well with 12 and 11, respectively. Savier Stephens led the offense with a career-best 80 yards rushing.
LOOKING AT NAVY: Navy is 2-1 overall and is coming off an open week ... The Midshipmen lost at South Carolina, 24-21, on Sept. 17 in their last game ... Navy's seven-year old on the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy from 2003-09 is the longest in the series dating back to 1972 ... Dating back to last year, Navy has scored on 42 of its last 45 drives in the red zone (.933), with 38 of the scores as touchdowns ... Navy is 36-10 at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium since 2003 ... Navy is 14-3 at home under head coach Ken Niumatalolo ... The Midshipmen have posted eight consecutive winning seasons which is the most since a 10-year streak from 1952-61 ... Over the last nine years (2003-present), Navy ranks 17th nationally with 72 total wins ... Navy has 18 wins over teams in BCS conferences since 2003 which is the most in the nation from a team outside of a BCS conference ... Navy has beat at least one BCS conference team eight straight years ... The Midshipmen have won four national rushing titles since 2000 (2007, 2006, 2005, 2003) ... Navy is the least penalized team in the nation this season with just 11.7 yards per game.
AIR FORCE VS. NON-CONFERENCE FOES UNDER CALHOUN
OCTOBER BEGINS BRUTAL STRETCH FOR FALCONS: Air Force plays four of five games in October away from home. The Falcons play at Navy (Oct. 1) and at Notre Dame (Oct. 8). Following a Thursday night home game vs. San Diego State (Oct. 13), the Falcons play at nationally-ranked Boise State (Oct. 22) and at New Mexico (Oct. 29). The stretch is widely considered one of the toughest in school history. Following the October stretch, the Falcons close out the year with three of its final four games at home.
LAST WEEK: Air Force defeated Tennessee State, 63-24, in Falcon Stadium. The Falcons rolled up a school-record 792 total yards, including 595 rushing yards which is the third most in school history and most in the Troy Calhoun-era (2007-present). The Falcons were outstanding in the air as well, hitting 13 of 15 passes for 197 yards and three touchdowns. Air Force jumped to a 14-0 lead scoring on its first two drives which were capped by Mike DeWitt and Asher Clark short touchdown runs. Following a Tennessee State touchdown pass, the Falcons scored 21 unanswered points for a 35-7 lead. TSU closed the half with a field goal to cut the lead to 35-10. The Falcons continued rolling in the second half and led 63-17 until a late TSU touchdown made up the final margin.
LAST WEEK'S NOTES
CALHOUN EARNS HERBIE AWARD: ESPN/ABC Analyst Kirk Herbstreit ranked Air Force head coach Troy Calhoun second in his top five underrated coaches in college football. Herbstreit listed Utah's Kyle Whittingham first, Les Miles of LSU third, Northwestern's Pat Fitzgerald fourth and Bret Bielema or Wisconsin fifth.
HOME SWEET HOME: Air Force is 21-6 at home under head coach Troy Calhoun since 2007. The Falcons tied a school record for wins over a four-year period with 19 from 2007-10. Air Force also won 19 games from 1982-85 (19-4, .826) and from 1997-00 (19-4, .826). The school record for wins over a five-year period is 23, set from 1997-2001.
AIR FORCE BY THE NUMBERS
TEAM SEASON OFFENSIVE NOTES
AIR FORCE FOURTH NATIONALLY WITH 223-GAME SCORING STREAK
FALCONS AMOUNG NATIONAL LEADERS IN APR: The Air Force Academy football team's APR score of 978 for the 2009-10 academic year ranks 10th nationally, according to data released by the NCAA. The Air Force football program, along with women's cross country, wrestling and women's track were recognized by the NCAA with Division I Academic Performance Public Recognition Awards. The APR provides a real-time look at a team's academic success each semester by tracking the academic progress of each student-athlete on scholarship. The APR accounts for eligibility, retention and graduation and provides a measure of each team's academic performance.
TEAM SEASON DEFENSIVE NOTES
AIR FORCE LEADS THE WAY WITH ALUMNI COACHES: Air Force head coach Troy Calhoun is one of 18 FBS head coaches that is leading his alma mater. Calhoun, 1989 Academy graduate, is in his fifth year. The Falcons have eight Academy graduates as coaches on the staff which is more than any other school in the nation.
Academy graduates on coaching staff
FBS Head Coaches at Alma Mater
AIR FORCE TAKEAWAYS
SECONDARY RANKED NINTH NATIONALLY: The Air Force defensive secondary is ranked as the ninth best unit in the nation, according to a ranking by Rivals.com. The unit returns three starters, including preseason first-team all-conference selections Anthony Wright and Jon Davis. Alabama is ranked first, followed by Penn State, LSU, Florida State, Stanford, Oregon, Nebraska, Virginia Tech, Air Force and Oklahoma.
START CHART: Several Falcons have significant streaks going in terms of consecutive games started. Senior DB Anthony Wright leads the way with 39 straight dating back to 2009. Senior DB Jon Davis has the second-longest streak with 29. Senior RB Asher Clark is third at 22 followed by senior QB Tim Jefferson with 21. Wright leads the way in overall games started as well with 39. Jefferson is second with 34, Clark is third with 30 and Davis is fourth with 29. A look at both lists follows.
JEFFERSON WINNINGEST QUARTERBACK IN SCHOOL HISTORY: QB Tim Jefferson picked up his 23rd career win against Tennessee State earlier this season to set a new school record for most wins by a starting quarterback. He passed the record of 22 set by Dee Dowis (1985-89), who was 22-13-1. Jefferson has a 23-11 career record as a starter. His 23 wins ranks fourth all-time in the Mountain West.
JEFFERSON HAS THIRD MOST WINS NATIONALLY: Air Force quarterback Tim Jefferson is tied for third nationally with Andrew Luck of Stanford with 23 career wins as a starter. Jefferson's .676 winning percentage is the seventh-best nationally. Boise State's Kellen Moore is the leader in each category with a 41-2 (.953) career record.
WARZEKA ON HORNUNG WATCH LIST: Air Force senior WR/KR Jonathan Warzeka is one of 50 players on the 2011 Watch List for the Paul Hurnung Award presented by Texas Roadhouse, announced by the Louisville Sports Commission and football legend Paul Hornung.
FULLBACK FORCE: Air Force fullbacks Wes Cobb and Mike DeWitt have big shoes to fill. The Falcons lost their top three fullbacks last season to graduation -- Jared Tew, Nathan Walker, Ryan Southworth. Gone with the trio went 1,117 yards and an 85.9 per-game average. Cobb and DeWitt proved they are up to the challenge providing the kind of tough running that the Air Force fullback position is known for.
WALLERSTEIN ON AFCA GOOD WORKS LIST: Air Force senior offensive lineman A.J. Wallerstein is one of a record 132 nominees for the AFCA Good Works Team, announced by the AllState Insurance Company and the American Football Coaches Association.
Wallerstein has been active in his Academy cadet squadron in leadership positions of element leader and academic officer and was on the cadet leadership team during Basic Cadet Training this summer where he was responsible for leading basic cadets in various areas of military training. He was also active in a community service project that donated over 50 man-hours to the Black Forest Animal Sanctuary in Colorado Springs.
WHAT A DEBUT: Freshman tailback Jon Lee had a great start to his career in Air Force's 63-24 win over Tennessee State. Lee ran 49 yards for a touchdown on his first-career carry. He finished the game with 65 yards rushing on two carries which was third on the team. He also had a 33-yard kickoff return which ties as the second-longest by a Falcon this season.
CLARK ON DOAK WALKER LIST: Air Force senior running back Asher Clark is one of 51 candidates for the 2011 Doak Walker Award, according to an announcement by the PwC SMC Athletic Forum. Ten semifinalists will be announced on Nov. 11 and the recipient will be named live on ESPN on Dec. 8. Clark was a second-team all-Mountain West selection last season after rushing for 1,031 yards, becoming just the 13th player overall and fourth tailback in Air Force history to hit the 1,000-yard mark in a season. Clark was third in the conference in rushing with a 79.3 per-game average. A native of Lawrenceville, Ga., Clark became the ninth player in Air Force history to hit the 2,000-yard mark for his career.
CLARK CAREER RUSHING NUMBERS: Senior tailback Asher Clark ranks third in career rushing yards in Air Force history with 2,775. He is the all-time leader for a non-quarterback in school history. Clark passed Chad Hall (2005-07), who had 2,606 career rushing yards, against TCU to become the school's career leader for a tailback. Clark recorded his eighth-career 100-yard game with 148 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries last week vs. Tennessee State to move past fullback John Kershner (1980-83), who had 2,726 career yards.
HONORS: Honors won by Air Force players in 2011 follow.
A.J. Wallerstein: American Football Coaches Association Good Works watch list ... Preseason first-team all-MW by MW media ... Preseason first-team all-MW by Phill Steele's Magazine ... Preseason first-team all-MW by Athlon Magazine ... Preseason first-team all-MW by Blue Ribbon Magazine.
DEBERRY ELECTED TO COLLEGE FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME: Former Air Force football coach Fisher DeBerry has been elected to the College Football Hall of Fame. DeBerry will be honored at the National Football Foundation's Annual Awards Dinner in New York City at the Waldorf Astoria on Tuesday, Dec. 6. DeBerry will be honored with a campus salute on Saturday, Nov. 12, during the Wyoming game.
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