Falcon Football Hosts New Mexico
Oct. 15, 2012
Saturday. Oct. 20 5 p.m. MT
Falcon Stadium (46,692) USAFA, CO
GAME FACTS: Air Force starts the second half of the regular season this week by hosting New Mexico ... The Falcons and Lobos are meeting for the 30th time overall and 24th time as conference foes ... Air Force leads the series 19-10 overall and 15-8 in conference games ... The Falcons have won four straight and seven of the last eight against New Mexico, including a 48-23 decision in 2010 the last time the two played in Falcon Stadium ... AFA won last year's game, 42-0, in Albuquerque ... Air Force is 22-10 under head coach Troy Cahoun in the second half of the season ... This week is the third home game in a stretch of playing four of five games at home ... Air Force closes it out next week by hosting Nevada ... This week's game is the first night game at home this season and is the first of three straight home games at night ... Air Force also hosts Nevada Oct. 26 at 6 p.m. and Hawai'i Nov. 16 at 7:30 p.m. ... Air Force and New Mexico are each coming off road wins last week, Air Force at Wyoming and New Mexico at Hawai'i.
LAST SEASON VS. NEW MEXICO: Air Force defeated New Mexico, 42-0, in Albuquerque. The Falcons jumped to a 14-0 first quarter lead behind an Austin Briehl fumble recovery in the end zone and the first of four Mike DeWitt touchdown runs. DeWitt added two more in the second quarter and Connor Dietz, who replaced an injured Tim Jefferson, added a 39-yard scoring run to give Air Force a 35-0 halftime lead. DeWitt added his fourth rushing TD run early in the fourth quarter to make up the final margin. The Falcons rushed for 335 yards and had threw the ball just three times, completing two for 26 yards. Dietz led the Falcons with 87 yards rushing while DeWitt added 64. The defense led the way, securing its first road shutout since beating Colorado State, 24-0, in 1997. Senior linebacker Brady Amack led the team with nine tackles.
THE LAST TIME IN FALCON STADIUM (2010): Air Force defeated New Mexico, 48-23, in the final home game of the season. After a James Wright two-yard scoring run, the Falcons answered with an Asher Clark seven-yard run to tie the score at seven. Tim Jefferson added an eight-yard run to give the Falcons the lead for good, 14-7, early in the second quarter. Connor Dietz, who replaced an injured Jefferson, closed the half with a 28-yard scoring strike to Zack Kauth to give Air Force a 21-7 halftime lead. Following a New Mexico field goal to open the second half, Nathan Walker and Dietz scored rushing touchdowns to make it 35-10 after three quarters. Each team added two fourth-quarter touchdowns to make up the final margin. Air Force finished with 461 total yards, including 373 rushing. Walker led the Falcons with 95 yards. Dietz hit five-of-seven passes for 67 yards and a touchdown. Jordan Waiwaiole and Reggie Rembert led the defense with eight tackles each. New Mexico finished with 258 total yards.
TIES TO NEW MEXICO: Air Force Football Executive Assistant Steve Senn is a native of Albuquerque, N.M. and graduated from Cibola High School. He was inducted inducted into the school's hall of fame in 2011.
PLAYING BEST WHEN IT MATTERS MOST: Air Force is 22-10 under head coach Troy Calhoun in games during the second half of the season (last six games). The Falcons were 4-2 last season and 4-3 in 2010. Air Force was 5-1 in 2007 which is the best mark since the 1998 team was 6-0. Prior to Calhoun's arrival in 2007, the Falcons were 12-24 over the last six games of the season from 2001-06.
HOME SWEET HOME: Air Force is 25-9 at home under head coach Troy Calhoun since 2007. The Falcons posted just the third undefeated home mark (6-0) in 2007. Air Force combined for 10 wins at home in 2009 and 2010 which is the third most in two seasons in school history.
LAST WEEK: Air Force overcame a 13-point second half deficit to defeat Wyoming, 28-27, in Laramie. The Cowboys opened the scoring with a nine-yard TD run by Shaun Wick to take a 6-0 lead in the first quarter. Air Force answered on the next drive with a Connor Dietz 41 yard touchdown pass to Dontae Strickland to take a 7-6 lead. Wyoming added a touchdown pass from Jason Thompson and a two-point conversion and a D.J. May touchdown run to take a 21-7 lead. Ty MacArthur and Dietz hooked up on a 46-yard scoring pass to cut the lead to 21-14, but the Cowboys tacked on a field goal on the last play of the first half to take a 24-14 halftime lead. Wyoming opened the second half with a field goal on its first drive to extend the lead to 27-13. Jon Lee scored on a two-yard touchdown run to cut the lead to 27-21 late in the third quarter. Kale Pearson, who entered the game for Dietz after he lost his helmet and was injured, scored a touchdown on a five-yard run with 7:45 left to give Air Force the lead. The defense held Wyoming on its next drive and the offense was able to run out the clock for the win. Air Force held the ball for 12:12 of the fourth quarter and limited Wyoming to just seven plays and 19 yards. The Falcons finished with 371 total yards, including 230 rushing. Connor Dietz led the way with a season-best 92 yards rushing and hit seven-of-nine passes for 141 yards and two touchdowns. The defense was led by Austin Niklas, who had a game-high 14 tackles. Steffon Batts and James Chambers added 10 tackles each while Alex Means chipped in with nine.
LAST WEEK'S GAME NOTES
FALCONS AMONG NATIONAL LEADERS IN APR: The Air Force football program was among 12 nationally recognized Football Bowl Series programs recognized with the NCAA Division I Academic Performance Public Recognition Award, announced by the NCAA.
AIR FORCE LEADS THE WAY WITH ALUMNI COACHES: Air Force has 10 Academy graduates as coaches on the staff which is more than any other school in the nation.
Academy graduates on coaching staff
CALHOUN SHARING WEEKLY TOP 25 VOTE ON-LINE: Head Coach Troy Calhoun is a voter in the USA TODAY Sports Coaches Poll. Although ballots in the poll generally are not revealed until the final vote of the regular season in December, Calhoun has been providing his weekly ballot to The Gazette of Colorado Springs the last couple of years. He agreed this year to also reveal his vote each week for USA TODAY Sports. His weekly top 25 is available on the USA Today website.
AIR FORCE HIGHEST RANKING MW SCHOOL/SERVICE ACADEMY IN RECENT POLL: The Air Force Academy ranks 31st nationally among Division I schools in the 10th Annual NCSA Collegiate Power Rankings.
AIR FORCE BY THE NUMBERS
TEAM DEFENSIVE NOTES
TEAM OFFENSIVE NOTES
SPECIAL TEAMS NOTES
AIR FORCE TAKEAWAYS
AIR FORCE HAS FOURTH LONGEST ACTIVE SCORING STREAK IN NATION
OFFENSIVE LINE TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS: Air Force's offensive line has done a great job this season.
FALCONS LEAD MOUNTAIN WEST, RANK THIRD NATIONALLY IN FEWEST PENALTIES: Air Force leads the Mountain West and ranks third nationally in penalties with an average of just 26.0 yards per game. The Falcons have been penalized 23 times for 156 yards in six games. The team is averaging just under four penalties per game.
AIR FORCE PLAYING 10 STRAIGHT WEEKS: Air Force is playing 10 consecutive weeks this season, starting with the UNLV game on Sept. 22 and ending with Fresno State Nov. 24. The Falcons are one of 16 teams nationally to play 10 or more straight weeks this season.
AIR FORCE SECOND IN THE NATION IN FIRST-TIME STARTERS IN 2012: Air Force has had 20 players start a game for the first time in their careers this season, which ranks second in the nation. The Falcons have had at least one player make their first-career start in every game.
CALHOUN ERA INSIDE THE NUMBERS: Air Force's average numbers in several key categories under head coach Troy Calhoun follow below. Air Force's season averages in 2011 of 314.8 rushing yards, 140.1 passing yards, 454.8 total yards and 34.9 points per game are all the best in the Troy Calhoun era (2007-present).
THE RAM-FALCON TROPHY: Air Force defeated Colorado State, 42-21, Sept. 29 to win its 20th Ram-Falcon Trophy. This season marks the 33rd year of the trophy competetion with Air Force holding a 20-13 lead. The trophy's origin is tracked back to Shelly Godkin, a former ROTC commander at Colorado State. He watched the teams play in 1978 and sought to translate his impressions into a trophy symbolic of an annual game. The first Ram-Falcon trophy game was in 1980.
COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF'S TROPHY: The 2012 season marks the 41st year of trophy competition. The trophy goes annually to the winning academy with the best record in round-robin competition.
Air Force outright CIC title years:
AIR FORCE VS. NON-CONFERENCE FOES UNDER CALHOUN
ALL-TIME AIR FORCE OVERTIME RESULTS: Air Force is 6-5 overall and 4-2 in conference overtime games. The Falcons are 3-2 at home and 3-3 on the road. Air Force has played at least one overtime in each of the last two seasons, both against Navy.
INSIDE AIR FORCE FOOTBALL
SENIOR Connor Dietz TAKES OVER AT QB: Senior Connor Dietz follows a pair of four-year starters in Tim Jefferson (2008-11) and Shaun Carney (2004-07), but is making his own history.
GETZ ADDED TO DOAK WALKER AWARD WATCH LIST: Air Force senior Cody Getz has been added to the Doak Walker Award Watch List for 2012. The Doak Walker Award is presented annually to the nation's top college running back. Semifinalists will be named Nov. 9, and the Doak Walker Award National Selection Committee will cast votes to determine the finalists, who will be announced on Nov. 19. The recipient of the 2012 Doak Walker Award will be announced live on The Home Depot College Football Awards on Dec. 6. The Doak Walker Award Presentation Banquet will be held in Dallas, Texas in Feb. 2013.
CODY AS GOOD AS IT GETZ: Senior Cody Getz waited patiently for his chance and he's making the most of it now as a senior. Getz, who is 5-foot-7 and 175 pounds, is starting for the first time in his career and entered the season with 286 career yards rushing.
Cody Getz 2012 Breakdown
MEANS, NIKLAS LEAD DEFENSE: Senior Austin Niklas (ILB) and Alex Means (OLB) lead the Air Force defense. Niklas leads the conference and is tied for 14th nationally in tackles with a 10.3 per-game average. He has led the team in tackles in five games this season and notched a career-best 16 tackles vs. UNLV. He has recorded 10 or more tackles four times this season, including each of the last two games. He had 13 tackles vs. Navy and 14 at Wyoming. Niklas is also second in the conference and tied for ninth nationally in forced fumbles with three which is an average of .50 per game.
RUN ETZ....: Seniors Cody Getz and Connor Dietz have each surpassed the 1,000-yard rushing mark in their careers this season. The pair did it in back-to-back weeks. Getz became the 38th player in Air Force history to do it with a 204-yard effort vs. Navy. He ranks 34th in school history with 1,214 career rushing yards. Dietz did it the following week at Wyoming to become the 39th player in school history. Dietz accomplished it with a season-best 92-yard effort and ranks 37th in school history with 1,079 yards.
BASKA EARNS MOUNTAIN WEST PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONORS: Junior David Baska punted four times for a 42.5 average in Air Force's 28-27, come-from-behind win at Wyoming on Saturday. The Overland Park, Kan., native had a net average of 42.0 in the game, dropping one punt inside the 20 and allowing just one return for two yards. His longest punt of the day was a 51-yarder midway through the third quarter that pinned Wyoming to its own 22-yard line.
AIR FORCE PLAYER HONORS IN 2012
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