Oct. 15, 2012
Saturday. Oct. 20 5 p.m. MT
Falcon Stadium (46,692) USAFA, CO
Tim Neverett (play-by-play), Sed Bonner (color) and Jenny Cavnar (sidelines)
KVOR AM 740 in Colorado Springs; The Fan 104.3 in Denver; Goairforcefalcons.com
Jim Arthur (play-by-play); Jesse Kurtz (analyst); Jay Ritchie/Bob Ihle (pre- and post-game)
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.
Air Force: Troy Calhoun (Air Force, 1989) is in his sixth season. He has led the Falcons to a 44-27 career record. Calhoun is 26-16 in MWC games, 18-11 in non-conference games, 25-9 in Falcon Stadium, 16-15 in road games (12-9 in MW road games) and 2-3 in bowl games.
New Mexico: Bob Davie (Youngstown State, 1977) is in his first season at New Mexico. He has led the Lobos to a 4-3 record. Davie has a 39-28 career record in his sixth season.
Air Force and New Mexico are meeting for the 30th time overall and 24th time as conference foes.
Air Force leads the series 19-10 and has a 15-8 advantage in conference games.
Air Force is 10-3 at home and 9-7 at New Mexico.
Air Force has won five straight at home dating back to 2000.
The Lobos last win in Falcon Stadium came in 2000 (29-23).
The Falcons have won four straight and seven of the last eight meetings.
Air Force defeated New Mexico, 42-0, last season in Albuquerque.
The Falcons defeated New Mexico, 48-23, in 2010 the last time the two played in Falcon Stadium.
The teams first played in 1957 in Colorado Springs, Colo. Air Force won the game, 31-0.
1957 - AFA 31-0 (H)
1958 - AFA 45-7 (A)
1959 - UNM 28-27 (H)
1961 - UNM 21-6 (A)
1963 - AFA 30-8 (A)
1973 - AFA 10-6 (H)
1981 - UNM 27-10 (A)
1982 - UNM 49-37 (H)
1984 - AFA 23-9 (A)
1985 - AFA 49-12 (A)
1987 - AFA 73-23 (A)
1988 - AFA 63-14 (H)
1991 - UNM 34-32 (A)
1992 - AFA 33-32 (H)
1995 - AFA 27-24 (A)
1998 - AFA 56-14 (H)
1999 - UNM 33-28 (A)
2000 - UNM 29-23 (H)
2001 - UNM 52-33 (A)
2002 - AFA 38-31 (H) OT
2003 - UNM 24-12 (A)
2004 - AFA 28-23 (H)
2005 - AFA 42-24 (A)
2006 - AFA 24-7 (H)
2007 - UNM 34-31 (A)
2008 - AFA 23-10 (H)
2009 - AFA 37-13 (A)
2010 - AFA 48-23 (H)
2011 - AFA 42-0 (A)
(H/A) is for AFA
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
Air Force uses game captains. The captains for the Wyoming game were LB Alex Means, QB Connor Dietz, OL Jordan Eason and OL Jason Kons.
Air Force was forced to punt on its opening drive of the game, snapping a three-game streak of scoring a touchdown to open the game.
The Falcons improved to 27-21-3 overall in the series vs. Wyoming, including an 18-14 mark in conference games. AFA is 11-11-2 in Laramie and has won four straight and six of the last eight at War Memorial Stadium.
Air Force head coach Troy Calhoun improves to 44-27 overall and 26-16 in Mountain West games. He is 5-1 all-time vs. Wyoming.
It was Air Force's first win this season when trailing in a game and first since trailing to Colorado State on Nov. 26, 2011 (45-21 win)
After allowing 322 yards and 24 points in the first-half to Wyoming, the Falcon defense allowed just 125 yards and a field goal in the second.
Freshman DL Alex Hansen made his first-career start, becoming the first freshman to start for Air Force this season and first rookie to start on defense since Nick Fitzgerald last season. Hansen is the 20th Falcon to make the first start of his career this season. The Falcons led the nation entering the week in that category.
Sophomore QB Kale Pearson runs for his first-career touchdown, a 5-yard run, on the first play he appeared in, in reserve of starting quarterback Connor Dietz in the fourth quarter.
Sophomore DB Christian Spears forced the first fumble of his career and senior LB James Chambers recovered it to record the first fumble recovery of his career.
Senior WR Dontae Strickland caught his first touchdown pass of the season with a career-long 41 yard reception in the first quarter to give Air Force a 7-6 lead.
Senior QB Connor Dietz matched his career high with two touchdown passes. Dietz also connect on two touchdown passes vs. Colorado State earlier this season. Dietz has four touchdown passes of over 40 yards this season, including both of his TDs vs. Wyoming (41 and 46 yards).
Dietz rushed for a season-high 92 yards (career high 98 yards vs. Utah in 2009) to become the 39th player in Air Force history to surpass the 1,000-yard mark in his career. Dietz ranks 37th in Air Force history with 1,079 career yards. His previous season high was 68 yards at UNLV.
Dietz passed for 141 yards (career high 142 vs. Idaho State).
Senior LB Austin Niklas recorded his fourth game this season and second straight with double figures in tackles. Niklas notched 14 tackles (16 career high vs. UNLV earlier this season).
Senior WR Chris Jordan matched his career high in catches with three.
Senior LB James Chambers had a career-high 10 tackles.
FB Wes Cobb had a season-high 13 carries and 49 yards, surpassing his previous season-high's of six carries and 24 yards.
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 is one of just two in the Mountain West Conference (Boise State) and was the only service academy recognized. This year marks the sixth straight the football program and the team's score of 980 ranks 10th nationally. Northwestern has the highest ranking of 995, followed by Boise State and Duke at 989.
Each year the NCAA honors selects Division I sports teams by publicly recognizing their latest multiyear APR. This announcement is part of the overall Division I academic reform effort and is intended to highlight teams who demonstrate a commitment to academic progress and retention of student-athletes by achieving the top APRs within their respective sports. Specifically, these teams posted multiyear APRs in the top 10 percent of all squads in each sport.
The APR provides a real-time look at a team's academic success each semester by tracking the academic progress of each student-athlete. The APR accounts for eligibility, retention and graduation and provides a measure of each team's academic performance.
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
Troy Calhoun (Air Force, 1989), head coach
Jake Campbell (Air Force, 1996), assistant offensive backfield
Maj. Eldrick Hill (Air Force, 1993), varsity/JV assistant
Ben Miller (Air Force, 2002), RBs/special teams coordinator
Blane Morgan (Air Force, 1999), offensive coordinator/QBs
Maj. Steve Pipes (Air Force, 1998), JV head coach/varsity assistant
Capt. John Rudzinski (Air Force, 2005), OLBs/recruiting coordinator
Steve Russ (Air Force, 1995), asst. head coach/co-def. coord./secondary
Mike Thiessen (Air Force, 2001), asst. head coach/offensive coord./WRs
Charlton Warren (Air Force, 1999), assoc. head coach/defensive coordinator
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.
NCSA Athletic Recruiting's Collegiate 2012 Power Rankings assess the academic and athletics standards of all NCAA athletic programs across the country. The Power Rankings were developed to help prospective student athletes and their families evaluate the particular strengths of the top colleges and universities at the Division I, II and III levels. Fewer than six percent of colleges and universities earn a spot in NCSA Athletic Recruiting's Top 100 for 2012, and the United States Air Force Academy is in this elite class.
The Collegiate Power Rankings from NCSA Athletic Recruiting are calculated for each Division I, II and III college and university by averaging student-athlete graduation rates, academic rankings provided by U.S. News & World Report, and the strength of athletic departments as determined by the Learfield Sports Directors' Cup.
These Power Rankings are only one example of NCSA Athletic Recruiting's commitment to redefining collegiate recruiting. As the leading athletic recruiting network, NCSA connects more than 42,000 college coaches with student-athletes who hope to pursue both higher education and the chance to compete in athletics at the college level.
A comprehensive list of the rankings, both overall and by division, is available at: http://www.ncsasports.org/about-ncsa/power-rankings.
AIR FORCE BY THE NUMBERS
5 - Air Force has played in a bowl game for a school-record five straight years.
7 - Air Force has won seven straight non-conference home openers.
13 - consecutive years Air Force has won the Mountain West rushing title.
15 - AFA has won 15 straight home openers against unranked teams dating back to 1994
20 - players that have made the first start of their career for Air Force this season.
21 - quarters out of 24 Air Force has scored points in this season.
25 - wins in 34 games in Falcon Stadium for Air Force under head coach Troy Calhoun.
35 - games under head coach Troy Calhoun with a 100-yard rusher (26-9 record).
40 - straight games Air Force has rushed for a touchdown dating back to Navy Oct. 3, 2009.
38,927 - attendance in the Navy game which is a season high.
TEAM DEFENSIVE NOTES
Air Force ranks fourth in the MW in scoring defense with a 27.7 average.
After allowing touchdowns in the first two games on the opponent's opening drive of the season half, Air Force has allowed one field goal, forced two turnovers and a punt the last four games.
Air Force held Wyoming to three points in the second half and just 19 yards on seven plays in the fourth quarter.
Air Force held Colorado State to just seven points in the second half.
Air Force shutout Idaho State in the first half.
Air Force had two players with 11 tackles each vs. Idaho State (Austin Niklas, Steffon Batts)
Air Force held Idaho State to just three-of-five in the red zone.
LB Austin Niklas recorded a career-high 16 tackles, the most by a Falcon this season, at UNLV.
Air Force is second in the MW since 1999 in shutouts with six (Boise State 11) .
TEAM OFFENSIVE NOTES
Air Force averaged 9.1 yards per play and 8.3 yards per rush vs. Idaho State.
Air Force's 626 total yards vs. Idaho State is the ninth most in school history.
Air Force's 8.3 yards per rush average vs. Idaho State ties as the seventh most in school history.
Air Force's 90 plays at Michigan is the second-most in the Troy Calhoun era and most since running 92 vs. SDSU in 2010.
Air Force is second in the MW and 23rd nationally in total offense with a 479.8 per-game average.
Air Force is second in the nation in rushing with a 363.0 per-game average.
Air Force leads the MW and ranks third nationally in third-down percentage with a 56.5 mark.
The Falcons are averaging 33.3 points per game which ranks fourth in the MW and 38th nationally.
SPECIAL TEAMS NOTES
Air Force is third in the MW and 14th nationally in kickoff returns with a 27.0 average.
Anthony LaCoste ranks second in MW and 13th nationally in KOR with a 29.1 average.
Kicker Parker Herrington has hit 44 straight extra points dating back to 2011.
Air Force leads the MW and ranks third nationally in net punting with a 43.2 average.
Punter David Baska would rank second in the MW and 13th nationally in punting with a 44.9 average, but lacks enough attempts to qualify.
AIR FORCE TAKEAWAYS
Air Force is tied for fifth in the MW and 60th nationally in turnover margin with a 0.00 mark.
Air Force had one turnover in the first three games of the season, but has had six the last three games.
Air Force is a combined +50 in TO margin overall the last six seasons, but just +5 the last three seasons.
The Falcons have forced 146 turnovers since 2007, 76 interceptions and 70 fumbles.
Air Force forced 19 TOs, at least two each game, with a +6 TO margin the last seven games of 2011.
The Falcons forced just seven turnovers and were -6 in TO margin in the first six games of last season.
Air Force finished sixth in the Mountain West in turnover margin last season with a 0.00 mark.
AIR FORCE HAS FOURTH LONGEST ACTIVE SCORING STREAK IN NATION
Air Force has a school-record 239-consecutive game scoring streak.
The streak is the fourth longest active streak in the nation.
The Falcons were last shutout by Mississippi, 13-0, in the 1992 Liberty Bowl.
Air Force's streak is the 11th longest in Division I-A history.
OFFENSIVE LINE TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS: Air Force's offensive line has done a great job this season.
Despite losing starting center Michael Husar, Jr., in the season opener and having just two returning starters, Air Force has not allowed a sack this season which leads the nation. In addition, the Falcons have played two games without one of those returning starters, preseason all-conference tackle Jason Kons. Because of the injuries the Falcons have started three different combinations in six games. Despite the changes and injuries, the offensive line has paved the way for Air Force to rank second in the nation in rushing with a 363.0 per-game average. The Falcons are second in the conference and 23rd nationally in total offense with a 479.8 norm.
Air Force has blocked 114 kicks since 1990 when the program began tracking them. The breakdown: 53 punts, 35 field goals and 26 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).
Air Force blocked five kicks last season, the most in a season since 2006 and most in the Calhoun era.
Air Force has blocked 16 kicks since 2007 under head coach Troy Calhoun
The breakdown: 8 FGs, 6 PATs, 2 Punts
LB Alex Means had three blocks in 2011 (FG vs. Tenn. State, PAT at Navy, PAT at Boise State)
Means is the first player since Ryan Carter in 2003 to block a kick in back-to-back games (Tenn St., Navy).
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.
Air Force players making their first career start this season are: Idaho State: WR Ty MacArthur, TE Austin Briehl, OL Drew Kerber, OL Michael Husar, Jr., RB Cody Getz, WR Chris Jordan, TE Nate Dreslinkski, DL Joseph Champaign, DL Cody Miller, LB Jared Jones, LB Josh Kusan, DB Christian Spears and DB Steffon Batts. Michigan: C Austin Hayes, WR Drew Coleman and WR Christian Gann. UNLV: OLB Stephan Atrice. Colorado State: Broam Hart. Navy: James Chambers. Wyoming: Alex Hansen.
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 won its second straight and record 18th Commander-in-Chief's Trophy in 2011. The Falcons defeated Navy, 35-34, in overtime in Annapolis Oct. 1 and Army, 24-14, in Falcon Stadium Nov. 5. Air Force's back-to-back CIC Trophy titles are its first since 2001-02.
Air Force was beaten by Navy, 28-21, in overtime Oct. 6 in Falcon Stadium. The loss drops Air Force all-time CIC record to a series-best 53-28-0. The Falcons cannot win the trophy out-right this season. Air Force will retain the trophy, which doesn't count as a title, with a victory over Army Nov. 3 and an Army win over Navy Dec. 8.
Air Force outright CIC title years:
`82, `83, `85, `87, `89, `90, `91, `92, `94, `95, `97, `98, `99, `00, `01, `02, `10, `11.
AIR FORCE VS. NON-CONFERENCE FOES UNDER CALHOUN
Air Force is 18-11 against non-conference foes under head coach Troy Calhoun.
The Falcons are 11-2 at home, 4-6 on the road and 3-3 in neutral site games.
Air Force is 1-2 this season vs. non-conference opponents.
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
Air Force has an all-time record of 347-287-13 in its 56th season of varsity football. The Falcons are 188-118-3 at home and 158-170-10 on the road and in neutral site games. AFA has played in 22 bowl games and has a 10-11-1 all-time record.
Air Force is playing in 33rd year in a conference. This season marks the school's 13th year in the Mountain West Conference. Prior to 1999, Air Force was a member of the Western Athletic Conference from 1980-98. The school was an independent prior to 1980.
Air Force is 52-48 as a member of the Mountain West Conference. The team is 30-20 at home and 22-28 on the road. The Falcons are 93-72 overall since joining the MWC in 1999, including marks of 53-29 at home, 34-38 on the road, 6-4 in neutral site games and 4-3 in bowls.
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.
Dietz has rushed for 1,079 yards and scored seven touchdowns in his career. He has hit 70-of-125 passes for 1,039 yards and eight touchdowns with just one interception.
Dietz is the Air Force career leader in pass interception avoidance with a .008 mark with just one career INT in 125 attempts. His lone interception came in 2011 vs. Wyoming and he has gone 65 attempts without a pick since. Dietz has a career pass efficiency rating of 145.34 which is the third-best mark in school history. Dietz is having a great season season. He is second on the team in rushing with 401 yards and three touchdowns while averaging 5.7 yards per carry. He rushed for a season-high 92 yards last week at Wyoming. He has hit 38-of-65 passes for 647 yards and five touchdowns with a 58.5 completion percentage. His quarterback efficiency rating is 167.46 which would lead the conference and rank seventh nationally, but he lacks enough attempts to qualify for the national statistics.
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.
He is second in the nation in rushing with a 154.7 per-game average. He opened the season with five straight 100-yard games. He is the only player in school history to open the season with more than two consecutive 100-yard games. Getz has topped the 200-yard mark a school-record three times this season with 218 yards vs. Idaho State, 222 vs. Colorado State and 204 vs. Navy. He is just the second player in Mountain West history and first since Larry Ned in 2001 to have three 200-plus games in a season. He is just the second Air Force player ever and first since Dee Dowis in 1989 to have back-to-back 200-plus rushing games (Colorado State, Navy). Getz was named a mid-season fourth-team All-American by Phil Steele Magazine Oct. 11. A breakdown of his outstanding season follows:
Cody Getz 2012 Breakdown
First player in Air Force history to open a season with five straight 100-yard rushing games (no other player has more than two).
First player in school history and second in MW history with three 200-yard rushing games in a season. Other Falcons with 200-yard rushing games: Chad Hall (2007: 256 vs. Colorado State; 275 vs. Army),Beau Morgan (1996: 243 vs. Colorado State; 217 vs. Fresno State) and Dee Dowis (1989: 249 vs. San Diego State; 208 vs. Wyoming).
Five straight 100-yard rushing games ties as the second longest streak in school history.
Five 100-yard rushing performances in a season ties as the seventh most in school history.
First Air Force player since All-American Beau Morgan in 1995 with five straight 100-yard rushing games.
Became the 38th player in Air Force history to top the 1,000-yard mark in his career and ranks 34th with 1,214 career yards.
He is averaging 7.6 yards per carry in 2012 which is the third-best mark in school history and best since Andre Johnson averaged 8.0 in 1996.
Averaging 6.6 yards per carry for his career which is fourth-best in school history and best since 1992.
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.
Means is second on the team and eighth in the conference in tackles with a 7.5 per-game average. He leads the team with 5.0 tackles for loss and has one interception and five pass breakups. Means ranks seventh in the conference in pass breakups with a 1.00 average. Means is the active career leader at Air Force with 172 tackles, 16.0 tackles for loss, 7.0 sacks and eight pass breakups.
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
SPC Parker Herrington: Preseason first-team all-MW ... One of 30 players named to the Watch List for the 2012 Lou Groza College Place-Kicker Award, presented by the Palm Beach County Sports Commission.
LB Alex Means: Preseason first-team all-MW ... Phil Steele's Magazine mid-season third-team all-MW.
RB Cody Getz: College Football Performance Awards honorable mention running back of the week vs. Idaho State ... National Football Foundation, Colorado Chapter player of the week vs. Idaho State ... Collegefootballperformance.com runningback of the week vs. Michigan ... Collegesportsmadness.com Mountain West Conference player of the week vs. Michigan ... College Football Performance Awards honorable mention running back of the week vs. Colorado State ... College Football Performance Awards honorable mention running back of the week vs. Navy ... Phil Steele's Magazine mid-season fourth-team All-American ... Phil Steele's Magazine mid-season first-team all-MW.
SPC David Baska: College Football Performance.com punter of the week vs. Michigan ... College Football Performance.com punter of the week vs. Wyoming ... Mountain West special teams player of the week at Wyoming.
OL Jordan Eason: Phil Steele's Magazine mid-season second-team all-MW.
OL Jason Kons: Phil Steele's Magazine mid-season third-team all-MW.
LB Austin Niklas: Phil Steele's Magazine mid-season first-team all-MW.
SPC Anthony LaCoste: Phil Steele's Magazine mid-season third-team all-MW KOR.
DID YOU KNOW?
Air Force student-athletes carry an average of 19 semester hours of academics each semester.
Air Force doesn't redshirt student-athletes. Cadets attend for a total of eight semesters, so student-athletes only have those eight semesters to complete their athletic eligibility.
Air Force is a non-scholarship school. Student-athletes, like other cadets, must earn a nomination to attend the Academy. Air Force student-athletes do not sign a National Letter of Intent on signing days.
Air Force student-athletes may leave the Academy without penalty during their freshman or sophomore years. Once their junior year begins, they are committed to the Air Force.
The post-graduate commitment for Air Force graduates is five years following graduation. For graduates that enter pilot training, it's eight years after pilot training for roughly a 10-year commitment.
The Air Force Academy Prep School is located on the grounds of the Air Force Academy. The Prep School is simply that, a prep school for entrance to the Air Force Academy. Student-athletes that attend are still able to be recruited by other schools and must qualify to attend the Academy following that year. A student-athletes NCAA clock doesn't start while attending the Prep School.
Air Force student-athletes have busy summers, which are broke into three three-week periods. Typically upperclassmen receive a period of leave, while the other two are filled with military training, academics or various other opportunities related to the Academy.
U.S. News & World Report released its 2013 Best Colleges rankings, listing the Air Force Academy among the best in the nation in several categories.