Oct. 10, 2011
Thursday Oct. 13 6 p.m. MT
Falcon Stadium (46,692) USAF Academy, CO
CBS Sports Network
James Bates (play-by-play); Jason Taylor (analyst); Brooke Collins (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 returns home for the first time in two weeks and back into Mountain West Conference play for the first time since Sept. 10 ... Air Force has had an open week and three straight non-conference games since its last MW game ... This week marks the MW road opener for SDSU ... Air Force and San Diego State each stand at 3-2 overall and 0-1 in conference play ... San Diego State has lost two straight after a 3-0 start ... Air Force has never opened Mountain West play 0-2 ... The Falcons' last 0-2 conference start was in 1994 with losses at home to Colorado State and No. 21 BYU while in the Western Athletic Conference ... Air Force ranks third in the MW in scoring at 37.4 points per game while San Diego State is second in scoring defense with a 24.0 norm ... SDSU is second in the MW and eighth nationally in turnover margin with a 1.40 mark while Air Force is eighth in the league with a -.80 mark ... Air Force leads the MW in rushing and is second nationally with a 364.2 average while the Aztecs are seventh in the league in rushing defense with a 229.0 mark ... This week's game features the conference top two individual rushers ... SDSU sophomore Ronnie Hillman leads the league and ranks fifth nationally with a 132.2 per-game average ... Air Force senior Asher Clark is second in the MW and 32nd nationally with a 96.8 average ...Air Force was picked fourth in the MW preseason poll while San Diego State was selected to finish fourth ... The two teams tied for third last season with 5-3 marks ... Air Force leads the overall series 19-10, including victories in four of the last six ... The Falcons are 2-1 in Thursday night games under head coach Troy Calhoun.
Air Force: Troy Calhoun (Air Force, 1989) is in his fifth season. He has led the Falcons to a 37-20 career record. Calhoun is 21-12 in MWC games, 16-8 in non-conference games, 21-6 in Falcon Stadium, 12-11 in road games (9-6 in MW road games) and 2-2 in bowl games.
San Diego State: Rocky Long (New Mexico, 1974) is in his first year as head coach at San Diego State after serving two years as the defensive coordinator. Long has guided the Aztecs to a 3-2 overall record. Long has a career record of 68-71 in his 12th season as a head coach. Long was the head coach at New Mexico from 1998-2008.
Air Force leads the series 19-10 overall with all games as conference foes.
The Falcons are 7-6 in San Diego, 11-4 at home and 1-0 in neutral site games.
Air Force has won four of the last six games in the series.
The Aztecs broke a three-game Air Force winning streak with last year's victory in San Diego.
Prior to Air Force's streak, the Aztecs had won three straight from 2002-04.
The Falcons defeated San Diego State, 26-14, in 2009 in the last game played in Falcon Stadium.
Air Force longest streak in the series is seven games from 1981-87.
SDSU's longest streak is three games from 2002-04.
The teams first played in 1980 in Falcon Stadium, resulting in a 13-10 Aztec win.
The following year the teams played in Tokyo, Japan, in the Mirage Bowl.
Air Force won the Mirage Bowl, 21-16, in front of 80,000 fans.
Year by Year
1980 - SDSU 13-10 (H)
1981 - AFA 21-16*
1982 - AFA 44-32 (H)
1983 - AFA 38-7 (A)
1984 - AFA 34-16 (H)
1985 - AFA 31-10 (H)
1986 - AFA 22-10 (A)
1987 - AFA 49-7 (H)
1988 - SDSU 39-36 (A)
1989 - AFA 52-36 (H)
1990 - SDSU 48-18 (A)
1991 - AFA 21-20 (H)
1992 - AFA 20-17 (A)
1993 - SDSU 38-31 (H)
1994 - AFA 36-35 (A)
1996 - SDSU 28-23 (A)
1997 - AFA 24-18 (H) OT
1999 - AFA 23-22 (A)
2000 - AFA 45-24 (H)
2001 - AFA 45-21 (A)
2002 - SDSU 38-34 (H)
2003 - SDSU 24-3 (A)
2004 - SDSU 37-31 (H)
2005 - AFA 41-29 (H)
2006 - SDSU 19-12 (A)
2007 - AFA 55-23 (H)
2008 - AFA 35-10 (A)
2009 - AFA 26-14 (H)
2010 - SDSU 27-25
Site () is for AFA
* - Tokyo, Japan
LAST YEAR VS. SAN DIEGO STATE: San Diego State defeated Air Force, 27-25, at Qualcomm Stadium. Freshman Ronnie Hillman rushed for 191 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-clincher. Quarterback Ryan Lindley hit 14 of 26 passes for 247 yards and a score as the Aztecs had 452 total yards and averaged 7.8 yards per play. Air Force was led by Asher Clark, who rushed for 116 yards and a touchdown. Tim Jefferson added 88 yards on 15 carries and hit 13 of 30 passes for 175 yards and a touchdown. Air Force finished the game with 487 total yards, including 312 rushing. The Aztecs led throughout the game and took a 20-12 lead early in the fourth quarter on a field goal by Abel Perez. The Falcons answered with a Nathan Walker touchdown run. The team's two point conversion, a Jefferson to Clark pass, was overturned by replay to keep it 20-18. Both teams added touchdowns in the final two minutes to make up the final margin. Hillman ran for a 44-yard touchdown following an onside kick. Jefferson hit Demerath with a seven-yard pass for Air Force's score. SDSU recovered an onside kick to end the game.
Air Force lost for the first time all season and fourth time under Troy Calhoun with a 100-yard rusher. Asher Clark did the honors with 116 yards.
Air Force ran 92 total plays which is the ninth most in school history and most since running 94 vs. Cal State Northridge in 2000. The Falcons had a 35:18 mark in time of possession.
WR Jonathan Warzeka recorded a then-career high in catches with five, which was the most by a Falcon last season.
RB Asher Clark recorded his second-straight 100-yard rushing game of the season with 116 yards on 19 carries.
QB Tim Jefferson set career highs with 30 pass attempts and 13 completions. His previous high was 12 completions on 20 attempts vs. BYU in 2008.
Senior linebacker Patrick Hennessey set a career high with a team-high nine tackles.
LAST TIME IN FALCON STADIUM (2009):
Air Force defeated San Diego State, 26-14, in Falcon Stadium. The Falcons used two defensive touchdowns, one by Reggie Rembert on a fumble return and one from Anthony Wright on an interception return, and six total turnovers to improve to 2-0 in the conference.
Savier Stephens led the Falcons with 71 yards on 11 carries while Jared Tew added 68 yards on 23 carries. Quarterback Connor Dietz, who made his first-career start, rushed for 64 yards on nine carries and hit three of six passes for 51 yards. Kicker Erik Soderberg tied a school record with four field goals, including a 48-yard boot. The defense was led by Rembert, who had seven tackles, two interceptions, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Jon Davis added six tackles, while Andre Morris chipped in with six stops, a tackle for loss, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.
SAN DIEGO STATE CONNECTIONS
Air Force has eight players from California on its roster: Jonathan Warzeka - Lake Elisinore (Temescal Canyon); Kevin Jablonsky - Yorba Linda (Esperanza); Brady Amack - Pleasanton (De La Salle); Austin Niklas - Fullerton (Servite); A.J. Wallerstein - Canyon Country (Canyon); Ryan Gardner - San Jose (Valley Christian); Ty MacArthur - Newhall, CA (Hart); Scott Day - San Jose, CA (Lynbrook).
San Diego State has two Coloradoans on its roster: Jimmy Smith - Denver (Mullen); Alec Johnson - Denver (Mullen).
THURSDAY NIGH GAMES: Air Force is 2-1 under head coach Troy Calhoun in Thursday night games. This week's game will be Air Force's first on Thursday night since a 23-10 victory over New Mexico in Falcon Stadium in 2008.
OCTOBER CONFERENCE GAMES: Despite a 1-3 record last season, Air Force has a 9-6 mark in conference games in the month of October since 2007. Prior to the last five seasons, Air Force had not posted a winning record in the month of October since going 4-0 in 1998. In fact, the Falcons had not won more than two games in the month since then. Air Force's three wins in 2007 matched the total from the previous three years combined. Air Force was 12-19 in October from 1999-2006.
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.
LOOKING AT SAN DIEGO STATE: San Diego State is coach by Rocky Long, who posted a 5-6 mark against Air Force as New Mexico's head coach from 1998-2008 ... The Aztecs have lost just three times in its last eight games dating back to last season with the losses coming at Michigan and twice to TCU ... San Diego State's 2011 schedule ranks as the fifth toughest in the nation, according to the NCAA ... Sophomore running back Ronnie Hillman had the nation's longest streak of 100-yard games snapped at six last week at TCU ... The streak ranks as the third best in school history ... Senior quarterback Ryan Lindley has thrown a touchdown pass in 15 straight games ... Hillman leads the MW and is fifth nationally in rushing with a 132.2 per-game average ... Hillman also leads the MW in scoring with a 9.6 average ... Senior Larry Parker leads the MW and is second nationally in interceptions with four ... Parker also leads the conference and is ninth nationally in passes defended with a 1.60 mark.
OCTOBER MARKS BRUTAL STRETCH FOR FALCONS: Air Force plays four of five games in October away from home. The Falcons played at Navy Oct. 1, defeating the Midshipmen, 35-34, in overtime and at Notre Dame last week (ND 59-33). Following this week's 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: Notre Dame defeated Air Force, 59-33, in South Bend. The Irish scored on all six first-half possessions to race to a 42-16 halftime lead. Notre Dame extended the lead to 59-19 in the fourth quarter before the Falcons closed with a pair of TDs to make up the final margin. Notre Dame had 560 total yards, including 266 rushing. Andrew Hendrix led the way with 111 yards while Tommy Rees hit 23 of 32 passes for 261 yards and four touchdowns. Air Force out-gained the Irish, compiling 565 total yards. The Falcons rushed for 363 yards and hit 16 of 28 passes for 202 yards. Asher Clark led the way with 102 yards on 11 carries. Tim Jefferson hit 12 of 24 passes for 137 yards and a score. Jon Davis matched his career high with 12 tackles to lead the defense.
LAST WEEK'S NOTES
Air Force's 42 points allowed in the first half is the most in a half by an opponent since BYU scored 42 points in the first half in 2001.
Air Force lost for just the fifth time in the Troy Calhoun era (2007-present) with a 100-yard rusher (Asher Clark). Air Force is now 22-5 overall and 1-1 this season under Troy Calhoun, when having a 100-yard rusher.
Air Force failed to force a turnover for the first time in 15 games, snapping a 14-game streak dating back to last season.
Air Force's 32 first downs and 60 rushing attempts each ranks as the second most this season.
Air Force's 363 rushing yards are the most against an FBS opponent since rushing for 373 vs. New Mexico last season.
Air Force's 32:26 time of possession is a season high and marks the first time this season the team has had more TOP than its opponent.
Freshman DL Nick Fitzgerald made the first start of his career. He is the first freshman to start a game for the Falcons this season.
Senior QB Tim Jefferson has now scored a rushing touchdown in consecutive games and in three of five this season. Jefferson's second-quarter rushing touchdown is his team-leading fifth of the season.
Sophomore WR Ty MacArthur recorded his second straight game with a receiving touchdown with his six-yard catch in the second quarter.
Senior WR Jonathan Warzeka's six catches is a new career high breaking the mark of five he set last season against San Diego State. Warzeka extended his consecutive games with a reception streak to seven games.
Senior WR Zack Kauth extended his consecutive games with a reception streak to eight games.
Senior RB Asher Clark recorded his second 100-yard yard rushing performance of the season and ninth of his career with his effort vs. Notre Dame. Clark finished the game with 102 yards on 11 carries.
Senior DB Jon Davis recorded 12 tackles vs. Notre Dame to mark the second time this season and seventh time in his career with 10 or more tackles in a game. His 12 tackles tied a single game career high and mark the second time this season he's led the team in tackles in a game.
Senior DB Josh Hall matched his career high in tackles with seven and solo stops with four for the second straight week.
Junior SPC Parker Herrington kicked two field goals against Notre Dame to mark the second time this season he's kicked two in a game. He also did it against TCU.
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.
7 - career games with 10 or more tackles by Jon Davis which is tied for sixth among active MW players.
8 - number of starters returning that started all 13 games last season.
9 - career 100-yard rushing games by Asher Clark which is the second most among active MW players.
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.
23 - tackles by Brady Amack vs. Navy, the sixth most in AF history and most by an FBS player this season.
24 - number of wins for senior starting quarterback Tim Jefferson, the most in school history.
27 - games under head coach Troy Calhoun with a 100-yard rusher. Team is 22-5 in these games.
AIR FORCE OFFENSE POSTING BIG NUMBERS: Air Force ranks among the nation's best in several offensive categories this season. The Falcons lead the Mountain West in rushing, total offense and passing efficiency. The team is averaging 364.2 yards rushing per game which is second nationally, 523.8 yards of total offense which is eighth nationally and has a 170.4 mark in passing efficiency which is ninth in the nation.
TEAM SEASON OFFENSIVE NOTES
Air Force leads the MW and ranks eighth nationally in total offense with a 523.8 average.
Air Force leads the MW and is ninth nationally in QB efficiency with a 170.4 mark.
The Falcons are tied for the national lead in QB sacks allowed with just one in five games.
The team is second in the MW and 12th nationally in third-down conversions with a 53.0 mark.
Air Force is averaging 159.6 yards passing per game which is the best in the Troy Calhoun era (2007-)
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 failed to force a turnover for the first time in 15 games, snapping a streak of 14 games dating back to the Oklahoma game on Sept. 11, 2010.
The Falcons have allowed just four scores (4 TDs) off 10 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 tied for third in the MW in QB sacks with 10 for 55 yards.
SEASON SPECIAL TEAMS NOTES
Air Force has blocked three kicks this season (see below).
Air Force is second in the MW and 20th nationally in punt returns with a 12.5 average.
The Falcons are tied for second in the conference in field goal percentage with a 83.3 mark.
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.
AIR FORCE FOURTH NATIONALLY WITH 225-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 -.80 mark this season.
The Falcons have forced six turnovers, five interceptions and a fumble.
Air Force is a combined +46 in turnover margin the last five seasons, despite a -4 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 rushed for a touchdown in 26 straight games dating back to Navy Oct. 3, 2009.
DB Anthony Wright has started 41 consecutive games, the most on the team.
The O-line duo of A.J. Wallerstein and Jason Kons has combined for 36 straight starts.
WR Mikel Hunter has caught a pass in five straight games.
WR Jonathan Warzeka has caught a pass in seven straight games.
WR Zack Kauth has caught a pass in eight straight games.
QB Tim Jefferson has thrown a TD pass in three straight games.
QB Tim Jefferson has completed nine or more passes in four straight games.
RB Asher Clark has led the team in rushing in three straight games.
WR Ty MacArthur has a catch in three straight games and a TD catch in two straight.
START CHART: Several Falcons have significant streaks going in terms of consecutive games started. Senior DB Anthony Wright leads the way with 41 straight dating back to 2009. Senior DB Jon Davis has the second-longest streak with 31. Senior RB Asher Clark is third at 24 followed by senior QB Tim Jefferson with 23. Wright leads the way in overall games started as well with 41. Jefferson is second with 36, Clark is third with 32 and Davis is fourth with 31.
AMACK ON BRONKO NAGURSKI WATCH LIST: Senior LB Brady Amack leads the Mountain West and ranks 28th nationally in tackles with an average of 9.4 per game. Amack is tied for fifth in the conference and 22nd in the nation with .40 fumbles forced per outing.
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. Amack's 23 tackles are a Mountain West single game record, the most by an FBS player this season and the sixth-most in school history and most since Brian Hill had 23 vs. Colorado State in 1988.
Amack earned several weekly honors. He was named Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week, FWAA/Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week, Mountain West defensive player of the week and National Football Foundation, Colorado Chapter player of the week.
Amack has been added to the 2011 Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List. The Bronko Nagurski Trophy will be presented to the best defensive player in college football on Dec. 12 by the FWAA and the Charlotte Touchdown Club at the Westin Hotel in Charlotte, N.C. The keynote address will be given by Georgia head coach Mark Richt and Florida's Jack Youngblood from the Class of 1970 will receive this year's Bronko Nagurski Legends Award. Five finalists for the Nagurski Trophy will be announced on Nov. 17.
BASKA BANGING IT: Sophomore SPC David Baska has a 45.5 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 at Navy while punting deep in Air Force territory. Baska's 45.5 average is the fourth best in school history for a single season and best since Chris MacInnis averaged 47.0 in 1993. Baska's mark would lead the MW and rank 13th nationally, but he 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 RED-HOT RECENTLY: Senior QB Tim Jefferson has hit 32 of 47 passes (.681) for 451 yards with five touchdowns and just one interception over the last three games. Jefferson had a record-setting performances over a two week stretch heading into last week. Jefferson hit 20 of 23 passes (.870) for 314 yards and four touchdowns without any interceptions combined against Tennessee State and Navy. 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 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 was 12 of 24 for 137 yards and a TD with one interception at Notre Dame.
Jefferson has hit 45 of 71 passes for 630 yards on the season with six touchdowns and just three interceptions. His .634 completion percentage is third best for a single season at Air Force and best since Shaun Carney had a .642 mark in 2007. Jefferson's 157.35 quarterback rating is the third best in school history. Jefferson's 144.80 career QB rating is the second 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 24-12 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 FOURTH MOST WINS NATIONALLY: Air Force quarterback Tim Jefferson has the fourth most wins nationally as a starter. Jefferson's .667 winning percentage is the seventh-best nationally. Boise State's Kellen Moore is the leader in each category with a 43-2 (.956) 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 229 yards and two touchdowns while Cobb is sixth with 121 yards and two touchdowns. Freshman Broam Hart has chipped in with 26 yards in three games. The trio has combined for 376 yards and four touchdowns which is an average of 75.2 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.
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 341 yards and three touchdowns on just 32 carries the last three games. Clark has averaged 113.7 yards per game and an impressive 10.7 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. He recorded his ninth-career 100-yard game with 102 yards on 11 carries at Notre Dame.
Clark is second in the Mountain West in rushing this season with 96.8 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 2,968. 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. Clark added his ninth-career 100-yard game with 102 yards on 11 carries at Notre Dame. He is just 32 yards short of the 3,000-yard mark for his career.
LEE CONTINUES IMPRESSIVE 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. Lee saw action for the second time in his career at Notre Dame and responded with 25 yards on three carries and scored a touchdown on an eight-yard run. He has rushed for 90 yards on five carries with two touchdowns and an 18.0 per-carry average this season in two appearances.
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.
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 ... National Football Foundation, Colorado Chapter player of the week vs. Navy ... Football Writers Association of America/Bronco Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week vs. Navy ... CollegeFootballInsiders.com national 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 ... CollegeFootballInsiders.com national special teams player of the week vs. Navy.