Calhoun hosts press conference as Air Force prepares to host New Mexico
Press Conference video
TELEVISION Root Sports Tim Neverett (play-by-play), Sed Bonner (color) and Jenny Cavnar (sidelines)
RADIO 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.
Category Air Force New Mexico
2012 Record 3-3 (2-1 MW) 4-3 (1-1 MW)
Streaks W 1 W 2
Last week W 28-27 at Wyoming, 10/13 W 35-23 at Hawai'i, 10/13
Next week vs. Nevada, 10/26 vs. Fresno State, 10/27
Website goairforcefalcons.com golobos.com
COACHES 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.
THE SERIES 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.
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 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.
Home Records Under Head Coach Troy Calhoun Year Record Notes 2007 6-0 Just the third undefeated home record in school history 2008 3-3 Two of three losses to top 25-ranked teams 2009 5-1 Ties as the fourth-best mark in school history 2010 5-1 Combined with 2009, 10 wins in two seasons is third-best in school history 2011 4-3 One loss at the hands of a nationally-ranked team 2012 2-1 Defeated Idaho State, 49-21, and Colorado State, 42-21 Total 25-9
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 Team 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.
Individual Notes 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.