Oct. 3, 2011
Air Force (3-1) at Notre Dame (3-2)
Saturday Oct. 8 3:30 p.m. ET
Notre Dame Stadium (80,795) South Bend, IN
Tom Hammond (play-by-play); Mike Mayock (analyst); Alex Flanagan (sidelines)
KVOR AM 740 in Colorado Springs; KCKK 1510 AM in Denver; Goairforcefalcons.com Jim Arthur (play-by-play); Lee Douglas (analyst); Jay Ritchie/Bob Ihle (pre- and post-game)
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.
Air Force: Troy Calhoun (Air Force, 1989) is in his fifth season. He has led the Falcons to a 37-19 career record. Calhoun is 21-12 in MWC games, 16-7 in non-conference games, 21-6 in Falcon Stadium, 12-10 in road games (9-6 in MW road games) and 2-2 in bowl games.
Notre Dame: Brian Kelly (Assumption, 1983) is in his second season. He has led the Irish to an 11-7 record. Kelly has a career record of 182-64-2 in his 21st season as a head coach. Prior to Notre Dame, Kelly was head coach at Cincinnati, Central Michigan and Grand Valley State.
Air Force and Notre Dame are meeting for the 29th time.
The Irish lead the series, 22-6, including a 10-4 mark in South Bend, and a 12-2 mark at Air Force.
Air Force defeated Notre Dame, 41-24, in South Bend in 2007 in the last meeting.
In the two games prior to 2007 in South Bend, each was decided in overtime. Air Force won 20-17 in 1996 while Notre Dame won, 34-31, in 2000.
Notre Dame has won three of the last five overall. Prior to this stretch, the Irish had won eight straight from 1986-95 following a four-game Air Force streak from 1982-85.
The team's first played on Oct. 10, 1964 at the Academy. Notre Dame won the game, 34-7.
Year by Year
1964 - ND 34-7 (H)
1969 - ND 13-6 (A)
1972 - ND 21-7 (H)
1973 - ND 48-15 (A)
1974 - ND 38-0 (A)
1975 - ND 31-30 (H)
1977 - ND 49-0 (A)
1978 - ND 38-15 (H)
1979 - ND 38-13 (H)
1980 - ND 24-10 (A)
1981 - ND 35-7 (H)
1982 - AFA 30-17 (H)
1983 - AFA 24-22 (A)
1984 - AFA 21-7 (A)
1985 - AFA 21-15 (H)
1986 - ND 31-3 (A)
1987 - ND 35-14 (H)
1988 - ND 41-13 (A)
1989 - ND 41-27 (H)
1990 - ND 57-27 (A)
1991 - ND 28-15 (H)
1994 - ND 42-30 (A)
1995 - ND 44-14 (H)
1996 - AFA 20-17 (A) OT
2000- ND 34-31 (A) OT
2002- ND 21-14 (H)
2006- ND 39-17 (H)
2007 - AFA 41-24 (A)
Site ( ) is for AF
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.
Quarterback Shaun Carney threw for two touchdowns and ran for another, and Chad Hall ran for 142 yards and had 272 all-purpose yards for Air Force. The Falcons scored three straight touchdowns after Notre Dame tied the score at 10, and the Irish didn't get any closer than two touchdowns the rest of the way.
Hall did most of the work for Air Force, setting up the touchdowns, but never scored himself. Carney threw a 7-yard pass to wide-open Sean Quintana in the end zone and an 8-yard TD pass to tight end Keith Madsen. He then scored on a 1-yard run on third-and-goal. Spencer Armstrong scored on an 8-yard run. Linebacker John Rabold returned a fumble 19 yards for a touchdown and Ryan Harrison kicked field goals of 19 and 37 yards.
It was the largest margin of victory for Air Force in six wins over the Irish and the biggest by a military academy since Navy beat the Irish 35-14 in 1963 behind Roger Staubach.
The Falcons rushed for 285 yards and improved to 8-0 on the season with a 100-yard rusher. Hall added two catches for 31 yards and 99 yards on kickoff returns. Carney was 10-of-16 passing for 120 yards.
The Irish, who were held to 58 yards rushing, lost a school-record sixth straight home game.
AIR FORCE VS. NON-CONFERENCE FOES UNDER CALHOUN
Air Force is 16-7 against non-conference foes under head coach Troy Calhoun.
The Falcons are 9-1 at home, 4-4 on the road and 3-2 in neutral site games.
Air Force has won six straight and nine of the last 10 with the only loss coming at No. 7 Oklahoma last season.
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
Air Force defensive line coach Ron Burton was an assistant at Grand Valley State in 2002 under current Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly. Grand Valley State won the national championship that season.
Notre Dame offensive line coach and run game coordinator Ed Warinner was an assistant at Air Force from 2000-02 under former head coach Fisher DeBerry.
Head football equipment manager Ryan Grooms was an assistant at Air Force for five seasons (2003-07) before going to Minnesota, then Notre Dame.
Air Force junior LB Austin Niklas' brother, Troy Niklas, is a freshman LB at Notre Dame.
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
Air Force has scored a rushing touchdown in 25 consecutive games dating back to Navy on Oct. 3, 2009. Tim Jefferson's two-yard TD in the first quarter extended the streak.
Air Force scored a touchdown on its opening drive to mark the third time in four games this season the team has done it.
Air Force's defense allowed its first touchdown vs. Navy since the first quarter of the 2009 game in Annapolis. The touchdown-less streak by Navy covered nine consecutive quarters.
The Falcons were forced to punt on their opening drive of the second half vs. Navy. The result marks the first time this season the team has not scored a touchdown on its opening drive of the second half.
The overtime game for Air Force is its 10th all-time and first since playing at Utah in 2009. Air Force improves to 6-4 overall in overtime games, including a 1-1 mark at Navy.
Air Force improves to 52-27-1 all-time in Commander-in-Chief's Trophy games. The Falcons can wrap up their service-academy record 18th CIC trophy with a win over Army Nov. 5 in Falcon Stadium.
Air Force improves to 27-17 all-time vs. Navy, including an 8-8 mark at Navy. The Falcons are 24-16 against the Midshipmen in Commander-in-Chief's Trophy games. Air Force has posted back-to-back wins over Navy for the first time since 2001-02. The Falcons' win snaps a four-game road losing streak to Navy and is the team's first win at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium since a 10-7 win in 1997.
Air Force has now won four straight service academy games which is its longest streak since winning 12 straight from 1997-2002. The victory at Navy marks just the fourth loss at home for the Midshipmen under head coach Ken Niumatalolo.
Sophomore WR Ty MacArthur scored his first-career touchdown on a 52-yard reception on Air Force's opening drive. The 52-yard catch is a career-long and the 52 receiving yards already mark the most of his career in a single game.
Senior DB Josh Hall made the first start of his career. Hall finished the game with a career-high seven tackles.
Senior QB Tim Jefferson's two-yard touchdown run in the first quarter is the 25th of his career which ranks seventh in school history. He later added his 26th. Jefferson moved past Brian Bream (1969-71), who had 24. Jefferson hit nine of 10 passes for 136 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed for 60 yards and two touchdowns.
Sophomore SPC David Baska recorded a career-long punt of 65 yards in the second quarter. His previous long was 58 yards vs. South Dakota earlier this season.
Junior LB Alex Means recorded the first interception of his career. The pick came in the second quarter in Air Force territory. Means finished with a season-high 12 tackles and also blocked Navy's PAT in overtime to record his second block of the season.
Senior LB Brady Amack recorded a career-high 23 tackles. Amack's 23 tackles are the sixth most in school history and most since Brian Hill had 23 vs. Colorado State in 1988.
Senior DL Harry Kehs recorded a career high in tackles with 15. His previous high was three against TCU earlier this season.
Senior WR Jonathan Warzeka recorded a season-long KOR of 36 yards on the game's opening play. The 36-yard return is the longest by a Falcon this season.
Senior RB Asher Clark rushed for 91 yards and scored a season-high two touchdowns. Clark has scored rushing touchdowns in consecutive games and has 20 for his career which ranks 11th in school history.
Senior LB Jordan Waiwaiole recorded a season-best 12 tackles vs. Navy to notch his fourth-career game with double figures in tackles.
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.
Jefferson completed 9-of-10 passes for 136 yards and a touchdown, and rushed 18 times for 66 yards and two scores. Jefferson, who scored the game-winning touchdown on a 1-yard run, led Air Force to its second-straight win over Navy. He also connected with sophomore wide receiver Ty MacArthur on a 52-yard touchdown pass and scored on a 2-yard run to give the Falcons a 14-0 lead in the first quarter.
Amack amassed a career-high 23 tackles (11 solo), a sack and two tackles for loss. Amack's tackle total ranks as the sixth-highest in school history and tied for the most in Mountain West annals. His 23 tackles were also the most by an Air Force player since Brian Hill collected 23 in a game against Colorado State in 1988.
Means blocked Navy's extra-point try in overtime. The Falcons scored on its overtime possession and kicked the extra point to secure the one-point win. Means, who has blocked two kicks this season, also tied a career high with 12 tackles and intercepted a pass.
Air Force's 2011 schedule features six teams that played in bowl games in 2010.
Six opponents posted winning records in 2010.
Air Force has its first open date since 2008 in the schedule. The Falcons have played 12 straight weeks in three of head coach Troy Calhoun's five seasons at the helm.
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.
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 52-27-0 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
AIR FORCE BY THE NUMBERS
2 - 100-yard kickoff returns for a touchdown by Jonathan Warzeka, a school and Mountain West record.
6 - career games with 10 or more tackles by Jon Davis which is tied for sixth among active MW players.
8 - career 100-yard rushing games by Asher Clark which is the second most among active MW players.
8 - number of starters returning that started all 13 games last season.
11 - different categories that senior quarterback Tim Jefferson ranks in the top 10 in Air Force history.
12 - consecutive years Air Force has won the Mountain West rushing title.
13 - total number of starters returning from 2010.
21 - wins in 27 games in Falcon Stadium for Air Force under head coach Troy Calhoun.
24 - number of wins for senior starting quarterback Tim Jefferson, the most in school history.
26 - games under head coach Troy Calhoun with a 100-yard rusher. Team is 22-4 in these games.
TEAM SEASON OFFENSIVE NOTES
Air Force leads the MW and ranks 12th nationally in total offense with a 513.5 average.
Air Force leads the MW and is fourth nationally in QB efficiency with a 188.8 mark.
The Falcons are tied for the national lead in QB sacks allowed with just one in four games.
The team leads the MW and ranks fourth nationally in third-down conversions with a 59.2 mark.
Air Force is averaging 149.0 yards passing per game which is the best in the Troy Calhoun era (2007-)
Air Force has scored a touchdown on the opening drive of the game in three of four games this season.
AF has scored a touchdown on its opening drive of the second half in three of four games this season.
Air Force set a school record with 792 total yards vs. Tennessee State.
The team rushed for 595 yards vs. Tennessee State which is the third most in school history and most since 1988.
Air Force's 9.0 yards per rush vs. Tennessee State is the third most in school history and most since 1989.
Air Force's 37 first downs vs. Tennessee State is the third most in school history and most since 2000.
The team's 26 rushing first downs vs. Tennessee State is the seventh most in school history.
Air Force's 63 points vs. Tennessee State is tied as the eighth most in school history.
TEAM SEASON DEFENSIVE NOTES
Air Force has had three different players lead the team in tackles in four games (Miller, Davis, Amack).
Air Force has forced a turnover in each game this season and in 14 straight games dating back to the Oklahoma game on Sept. 11, 2010.
The Falcons have allowed just two scores (2 TDs) off eight turnovers this season. The team has forced a punt five times and blocked a field goal in the other six drives.
Air Force had four players with double figure tackles at Navy (Brady Amack, 23; Harry Kehs, 15; Jordan Waiwaiole and Alex Means, 12 each).
Air Force is second in the MW and 31st nationally in QB sacks with 10 for 55 yards.
SEASON SPECIAL TEAMS NOTES
Air Force has blocked three kicks in four games this season (see below).
Air Force is second in the MW and 24th nationally in punt returns with a 12.5 average.
The Falcons are third in the conference in field goal percentage with a 75.0 mark (3-4).
Air Force is fourth in the MW in kickoff coverage.
Air Force has blocked three kicks this season (PAT vs. South Dakota; FG vs. Tennessee State; PAT at Navy)
Air Force has blocked 14 kicks since 2007 under head coach Troy Calhoun The breakdown (7 FGs, 5 PATs, 2 Punts)
Senior DL Ben Kopacka recorded the first block of his career with a blocked PAT vs. South Dakota.
Junior LB Alex Means recorded the first block of his career with a blocked FG vs. Tennessee State.
Means added his second block in as many weeks with a blocked PAT in overtime at Navy.
Means is the first player since Ryan Harrison in 2003 to block a kick in back-to-back games.
Air Force blocked four kicks in 2010.
Jamil Cooks had three blocks, a field goal and a punt vs. Navy and a PAT vs. Colorado State.
Cooks' three blocks are the most by a Falcon since Robert Kraay had three in 2006.
Anthony Wooding, Jr., had the other block, a punt vs. Colorado State.
Air Force has blocked 112 kicks since 1990 when the team began tracking them.
The breakdown: 53 punts, 34 field goals and 25 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).
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
The Falcons were last shutout by Mississippi, 13-0, in the 1992 Liberty Bowl.
Air Force's streak is the fourth longest active in the country.
Air Force's streak is the 13th longest in Division I-A college history
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
Troy Calhoun (`89), head coach
Ben Miller (`02), tight ends/special teams coordinator
Blane Morgan (`99), offensive coordinator/QBs
Lt. Col. Bill Price (`91), varsity/JV assistant
Capt. John Rudzinksi (`05), defensive assistant
Lt. Col. Darryl Sumrall (`89), junior varsity head coach/varsity assistant
Mike Thiessen (`01), asst. head coach/offensive coordinator/WRs
Carlton Warren (`99), asst head coach/co-defensive coordinator/secondary/recruiting
FBS Head Coaches at Alma Mater
Troy Calhoun, Air Force (`89); Jon Embree, Colorado (`88); Steve Fairchild, Colorado State (`81); Ruffin McNeill, East Carolina (`80); Joker Phillips, Kentucky (`85); Don Treadwell, Miami-Ohio (`82); Larry Porter, Memphis (`96); Chris Ault, Nevada (`69,'73); Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern (`97); Luke Fickell, Ohio State (`97); Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State (`90); David Shaw, Stanford (`95); Doug Marrone, Syracuse (`91); Bill Blankenship, Tulsa (`79); Rick Neuheisel, UCLA (`84); Frank Beamer, Virginia Tech (`69); Paul Wulff, Washington State (`90); Willie Taggart, Western Kentucky (`98).
AIR FORCE TAKEAWAYS
Air Force is eighth in the Mountain West in turnover margin with a -.50 mark this season.
The Falcons have forced six turnovers, five interceptions and a fumble.
Air Force is a combined +48 in turnover margin the last five seasons, despite a -2 mark in 2011.
Air Force was second in the conference with a +.38 turnover margin in 2010.
Air Force led the nation in turnover margin with a 1.69 per-game mark in 2009.
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.
Air Force has forced a turnover in 14 consecutive games.
Air Force has rushed for a touchdown in 25 straight games dating back to Navy Oct. 3, 2009.
DB Anthony Wright has started 40 consecutive games, the most on the team.
The O-line trio of A.J. Wallerstein, Michael Hester and Jason Kons has combined for 51 straight starts.
LB Jamil Cooks has had a sack or tackle for loss in three straight games.
LB Alex Means has blocked a kick in two straight games.
WR Mikel Hunter has caught a pass in four straight games.
WR Jonathan Warzeka has caught a pass in six straight games.
WR Zack Kauth has caught a pass in seven straight games and in all seven he's had at least two catches.
LB Brady Amack has led the team in tackles two straight games.
QB Tim Jefferson has thrown a TD pass in two straight games.
RB Asher Clark has rushed for a TD in two straight games.
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.
Amack leads the Mountain West Conference and ranks 14th nationally in tackles with a 10.8 per-game average. He has led the Falcons in tackles each of the last two weeks and has four career games with 10-plus tackles.
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.
Warzeka is a preseason all-Mountain West Conference selection and was named the conference's preseason special teams player of the year. He led the MWC in kickoff returns last season with a 28.7 average. Warzeka has two career 100-yard kickoff returns touchdowns, vs. Houston in the 2009 Armed Forces Bowl and last season vs. Colorado State.
The 2011 Watch List was compiled by a panel of college football experts based on 2010 statistics and expectations heading into the 2011 season. There are 20 seniors, 20 juniors and 10 sophomores representing 46 universities and all 11 conferences that are part of the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). For the complete watch list visit paulhornungaward.com.
The Louisville Sports Commission successfully launched the Paul Hornung Award in 2010 to honor its namesake and native son and to promote outstanding performances by versatile college football players that often go unnoticed. Owen Marecic of Stanford, a two-way starter and All Pac-10 performer at fullback and linebacker, won the inaugural Paul Hornung Award in 2010.
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 has hit 33-47 passes for 493 yards on the season with five touchdowns and just two interceptions. His .702 completion percentage is on pace to set a new single season record at Air Force, besting the mark of .642 set by Shaun Carney in 2007. Jefferson's 184.92 quarterback rating would also be a single season record breaking his position coach Blane Morgan's record of 162.6 set in 1998. Jefferson's mark this season would rank third nationally behind only Robert Griffin III of Baylor (230.33) and Russell Wilson of Wisconsin (216.89), but he lacks enough attempts to qualify for the national rankings. Jefferson's 147.42 career QB rating is currently the best in school history.
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.
DeWitt is third on the team in rushing with 180 yards and two touchdowns while Cobb is fourth with 105 yards and two touchdowns. Freshman Broam Hart has chipped in with 23 yards in two games. The trio has combined for 308 yards and four touchdowns which is an average of 77.0 yards per game.
The pair of DeWitt and Cobb combined for 109 yards and a touchdown on 27 carries in Air Force opening win over South Dakota. Cobb rushed for 60 yards and a score on 15 carries in his first-career start. DeWitt added 49 yards on 12 carries. DeWitt led the Falcons in rushing for the first time of his career with 48 yards vs. TCU. He recorded a career-long run of 44 yards in the game.
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.
Nominated by their institutions, each candidate must be a senior or graduate student in his final year of eligibility, have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.2 on a 4.0 scale, have outstanding football ability as a first-team player or significant contributor, and have demonstrated strong leadership and citizenship. Renamed in 2009 in honor of Bill Campbell, the chairman of Intuit, former player and head coach at Columbia University and the 2004 recipient of the NFF's Gold Medal, the award comes with a 25-pound bronze trophy and a $25,000 post-graduate scholarship.
The NFF Awards Committee will select and announce up to 16 finalists on Wednesday, October 26. Each finalist will be recognized as part of the 2011 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class, receiving an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship. The Campbell Trophy winner, who will have his scholarship increased to $25,000, will be announced at the NFF's Annual Awards Dinner on Tuesday, December 6, at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City.
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.
This year marks the program's 20th year honoring college football players at all levels of competition who stand out for their "good works" in the community. Since 1992, selection to the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® has become the gold standard for off-the-field character and leadership for college football players. The honor is widely considered the sport's pre-eminent community service award.
In order to meet the criteria set forth by Allstate and the AFCA, each player must be actively involved and committed to working with a charitable organization, service group or community service while maintaining good academic standing.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 ... Semifinalist for Campbell Trophy as college football's top student-athlete.
Jonathan Warzeka: Paul Hornung Award watch list ... Preseason Mountain West Special Teams Player of the Year by MW media ... Preseason first-team all-MW by MWC media ... Preseason first-team all-MW by Phill Steele's Magazine ... College Football Performance Awards preseason kickoff return specialist watch list ... Preseason second-team all-MW by Athlon Magazine ... Preseason first-team all-MW by Blue Ribbon Magazine.
Tim Jefferson: College Sports Madness Mountain West Conference offensive player of the week vs. Tennessee State ... Mountain West offensive player of the week vs. Navy ... College Football Madness Mountain West offensive player of the week vs. Navy ... Rivals.com Mountain West offensive player of the week vs. Navy. Jon Davis: Preseason first-team all-MW by MWC media ... Preseason first-team all-MW by Phill Steele's Magazine ... College Football Performance Awards preseason defensive back watch list ... Preseason first-team all-MW by Athlon Magazine ... Preseason first-team all-MW by Blue Ribbon Magazine.
Asher Clark: Doak Walker National Running Back Award watch list ... Preseason second-team all-MW by Phill Steele's Magazine ... Preseason second-team all-MW by Athlon Magazine.
Jason Kons: Preseason second-team all-MW by Phill Steele's Magazine ... Preseason second-team all-MW by Athlon Magazine.
Jordan Waiwaiole: Preseason second-team all-MW by Phill Steele's Magazine. Brady Amack: Preseason second-team all-MW by Phill Steele's Magazine ... College Sports Madness Mountain West Conference defensive player of the week vs. TCU ... Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week vs. Navy ... College Football Performance Awards honorable mention linebacker of the week vs. Navy ... Mountain West defensive player of the week vs. Navy.
Anthony Wright: Preseason first-team all-MW by MWC media ... Preseason second-team all-MW by Phill Steele's Magazine ... College Football Performance Awards preseason punt return specialist watch list ... Preseason second-team all-MW by Athlon Magazine.
Erik Soderberg: College Football Performance Awards preseason kickoff specialist watch list.
David Baska: College Football Performance Awards honorable mention punter of the week vs. Navy.
Alex Means: Mountain West special teams player of the week vs. Navy.