Air Force Football Travels To Notre Dame
Oct. 3, 2011
Air Force (3-1) at Notre Dame (3-2)
GAME FACTS: Air Force is playing on network television for the second straight week as NBC has the telecast of this week's game ... The Falcons were on CBS last week at Navy ... Air Force is completing a stretch of back-to-back road games this week at Notre Dame after playing at Navy last weekend ... Following a Thursday night home game vs. San Diego State next week (Oct. 13), the Falcons play back-to-back road games at Boise State (Oct. 22) and at New Mexico (Oct. 29) ... Air Force completed mid-terms exams last week ... Air Force is third nationally in rushing with a 364.5 average while Notre Dame ranks -19th nationally in rushing defense allowing just 91.2 yards per game ... Air Force averages 38.5 points per game while Notre Dame allows just 18.6 per contest.
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LAST TIME VS. NOTRE DAME (AP Story) - Air Force beat Notre Dame 41-24 to record the biggest victory margin for a service academy over the Irish in 44 years. The win is its fourth in the last 25 years (1983-2007) in Notre Dame Stadium, which at the time tied as the third-most in the nation during that span.
AIR FORCE VS. NON-CONFERENCE FOES UNDER CALHOUN
LOOKING AT NOTRE DAME: Notre Dame is playing two service academies this season, as the Irish host Navy Oct. 29 ... Notre Dame is 1-1 at home this season with a loss to South Florida and a victory over Michigan State ... Head coach Brian Kelly is 5-4 at home in his two seasons at Notre Dame ... Kelly is among the nation's top 10 active coaches in wins and winning percentage ... Notre Dame's 2011 schedule is the fifth toughest, according to the Sagarin ratings ... Notre Dame is one of just three schools (USC, UCLA) to have not faced a non-FBS opponent since the current setup in 1978 ... The Irish's two losses this season have come by a combined seven points -- 23-20 vs. USF and 35-31 at Michigan ... Notre Dame's all-time winning percentage of .732 is the second-highest in college football history ... The Irish are the only team, professional or college, to have all of its game broadcast nationally on the radio and is the only team have all of its home games televised nationally (NBC) ... Notre Dame has had six hall of fame coaches -- Jesse Harper, Lou Holtz, Knute Rockne, Frank Leahy, Ara Parseghian and Dan Devine ... The Irish have won 11 national championships since the AP poll began in 1936 (1943, `46, `47, ` 49, `66, `73, `77 and `88), the most of any school ... Notre Dame has had 30 unanimous first-team All-Americans, more than any other school ... Entering this week's game, the Irish have had 222 consecutive sells outs at Notre Dame Stadium.
AIR FORCE - NOTRE DAME TIES
OCTOBER BEGINS BRUTAL STRETCH FOR FALCONS: Air Force plays four of five games in October away from home. The Falcons played at Navy last week, defeating the Midshipmen, 35-34 in overtime. The Falcons play at Notre Dame this week. 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 Navy, 35-34 in overtime, in Annapolis to record its second straight win in the series. The Falcons jumped to a 14-0 first-quarter lead behind a touchdown pass and run from quarterback Tim Jefferson. Following a Navy field goal late in the quarter, the Falcons added a touchdown run from Asher Clark to take a 21-3 halftime lead. Following a touchdown run from Navy's Kriss Proctor, Clark added another TD run to extend the lead to 28-10 early in the fourth quarter. The Midshipmen stormed back behind a TD run from Proctor and a field goal from Jon Teague. After recovering an onside kick, Gee Gee Green caught a five-yard TD pass from Proctor and Alexander Teich scored on a two-point conversion to tie the score at 28-all with 19 seconds left to force overtime. Proctor scored his third touchdown of the game on Navy's overtime possession, but an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on him after the play forced a 35-yard PAT. Alex Means blocked the attempt to keep it 34-28. Jefferson hit Zack Kauth on a 16-yard strike on Air Force's first play in overtime and later scored on a one-yard run. Parker Herrington's PAT gave the Falcons the victory. Jefferson finished the game hitting nine of 10 passes for 136 yards and a score while rushing for 60 yards and two scores. Clark added 91 yards and two scores as Air Force rushed for 223 yards and had 359 total yards. Navy had 466 total yards and ran 105 plays in the game using 40:46 in time of possession. Brady Amack led four players in double figures tackles with a career-best 23. Harry Kehs added a career-high 15 while Jordan Waiwaiole and Means chipped in with 12 each.
LAST WEEK'S NOTES
FALCONS SWEEP CONFERENCE PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONORS: Air Force swept the weekly Mountain West player of the week honors following the team's 35-34 overtime win at Navy. Quarterback Tim Jefferson was the offensive player of the week, while linebacker Brady Amack was the defensive honoree. Alex Means won the special teams award.
AIR FORCE ONE WIN AWAY FROM COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF'S TROPHY: Air Force defeated Navy, 35-34, in overtime in Annapolis Oct. 1 in the first Commander-in-Chief's Trophy game of the season. The Falcons can win a record 18th CIC trophy with a victory over Army Nov. 5 in Falcon Stadium.
Air Force outright CIC title years:
AIR FORCE BY THE NUMBERS
TEAM SEASON OFFENSIVE NOTES
TEAM SEASON DEFENSIVE NOTES
SEASON SPECIAL TEAMS NOTES
FALCONS AMONG 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.
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 FOURTH NATIONALLY WITH 224-GAME SCORING STREAK
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.
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 40 straight dating back to 2009. Senior DB Jon Davis has the second-longest streak with 30. Senior RB Asher Clark is third at 23 followed by senior QB Tim Jefferson with 22. Wright leads the way in overall games started as well with 40. Jefferson is second with 35, Clark is third with 31 and Davis is fourth with 30. A look at both lists follows.
AMACK EARNS MULTIPLE PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONORS FOR EFFORT VS. NAVY: Senior LB Brady Amack amassed a career-high 23 tackles, including 11 solo stops, a quarterback sack and two tackles for loss in Air Force's win over Navy last week. Amack's 23 tackles are the sixth-most in school history and most since Brian Hill had 23 vs. Colorado State in 1988. The 23 stops are also a Mountain West record. He was named Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts. In addition, he earned Mountain West defensive player of the week honors and College Football Performance Awards honorable mention linebacker of the week honors.
BASKA BANGING IT: Sophomore SPC David Baska has a 47.3 punting average with three punts downed inside the opponent's 20. He has three punts of 50 yards or more, including a career long of 65 yards last week at Navy while punting deep in Air Force territory. Baska's 47.3 average ties as the best single-season mark in school history (Mark Simon, 47.3 in 1985). He would lead the Mountain West and rank sixth nationally, but lacks enough attempts to qualify.
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.
JEFFERSON SETS SCHOOL MARK WITH EFFORTS LAST TWO WEEKS: Senior QB Tim Jefferson has had record-setting performances the last two weeks. Jefferson has hit 20-23 passes (.870) for 314 yards and four touchdowns without any interceptions. His .870 completion percentage is the best two-game mark in school history. Jefferson hit 11 of 13 passes for 178 yards and a career-best three touchdowns vs. Tennessee State. He hit nine of 10 passes for 136 yards and a touchdown last week at Navy. His .900 completion percentage vs. the Midshipmen is the third-best single-game mark in school history while his .846 percentage vs. Tennessee State is the sixth best.
JEFFERSON WINNINGEST QUARTERBACK IN SCHOOL HISTORY: QB Tim Jefferson set a new school record for most wins by a starting quarterback in Air Force's win over Tennessee State. He passed the record of 22 set by Dee Dowis (1985-89), who was 22-13-1. Jefferson has a 24-11 career record as a starter. His 24 wins ranks fourth all-time in the Mountain West. Jefferson is 5-1 in his career against service academies, posting a 3-0 mark vs. Army and a 2-1 mark against Navy.
JEFFERSON HAS THIRD MOST WINS NATIONALLY: Air Force quarterback Tim Jefferson is tied for third nationally with Andrew Luck of Stanford with 24 career wins as a starter. Jefferson's .686 winning percentage is the seventh-best nationally. Boise State's Kellen Moore is the leader in each category with a 42-2 (.955) career record.
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 SEMIFINALIST FOR CAMPBELL TROPHY: Air Force senior offensive lineman A.J. Wallerstein is among the 127 semifinalists for the 2011 William V. Campbell Trophy, endowed by HealthSouth, and announced by the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF). Each of the 127 individuals is also a candidate for the 2011 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Award, presented by Fidelity Investments.
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 ROLLING ALONG: Senior RB Asher Clark has rushed for 239 yards and three touchdowns on just 21 carries the last two games. Clark has averaged 119.5 yards per game and an impressive 11.3 yards per carry. He rushed for 148 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries vs. Tennessee State and 91 yards and two scores on eight carries at Navy. Clark is second in the Mountain West in rushing this season with 95.5 per-game average. He is averaging 9.3 yards per carry which is the best in the league. Clark's 9.3 average is on pace to break the school record of 8.5 yards set by Mike Brown in 1983.
CLARK CAREER RUSHING NUMBERS: Senior tailback Asher Clark ranks third in career rushing yards in Air Force history with 2,866. 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 vs. Tennessee State to move past fullback John Kershner (1980-83), who had 2,726 career yards, to become the all-time leader for a non-quarterback.
HONORS: Honors won by Air Force players in 2011 follow.
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