Air Force Travels to #5/7 Boise State
Oct. 17, 2011
Air Force (3-3, 0-2) at #5/7 Boise State (6-0, 1-0)
GAME FACTS: Air Force is facing its second ranked team this season ... The Falcons are 0-1 vs. ranked teams, falling at home to No. 25 TCU, 35-19, on Sept. 10 ... This week's game marks the first Mountain West Conference home game ever for Boise State, who joined the league beginning this season ... Boise State is 2-0 at home this season ... The Broncos have an open date following this week's game ... Two of the nation's winningest quarterbacks battle this week in Tim Jefferson of Air Force and Kellen Moore of Boise State ... Moore leads the nation among active players with 44 career wins while Jefferson is fourth with 24 ... Boise State has not lost a regular season home game since falling to Washington State on Sept. 8, 2001, a streak of 64 straight wins ... BSU has won 34 straight at home overall with the last loss coming to Boston College on Dec. 28, 2005 ... The Broncos have won 46 straight conference home games with the last loss to Idaho on Nov. 21, 1998 ... Air Force is 0-2 in Mountain West play for the first time ... The Falcons are 0-2 in conference play for the first time since 1994 in the Western Athletic Conference ... Air Force and Boise State are the top ranked teams in total offense in the conference ... The Falcons lead the MW and rank 10th nationally with a 506.33 per-game average ... Boise State is second in the MW and 12th nationally with an average of 498.8 yards per game ... The two teams are at the top of the conference in first downs as well ... Boise State leads the MW and ranks ninth in the nation with 155 while Air Force is second in the MW and 13th nationally with 151.
THE SERIES: Air Force and Boise State are meeting for the first time.
AIR FORCE VS. RANKED TEAMS
BOISE STATE CONNECTIONS
OCTOBER CONFERENCE GAMES: Despite a 1-3 record last season, Air Force has a 9-7 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.
LOOKING AT BOISE STATE: Boise State completed its fourth-straight undefeated regular season non-conference slate this season, going 5-0 ... The undefeated non-conference mark is the fifth in head coach Chris Petersen's six seasons ... Boise State has lost just one regular season non-conference game since 2006 (Washington, 2007) ... Head coach Chris Petersen's 67-5 (.931) record is the best among active coaches in all of the FBS ... Petersen's 61 wins from 2006-10 are the third-most ever by a head coach in his first five seasons in NCAA history ... Boise State has been ranked in the top 25 for 53 consecutive weeks, including 39 straight weeks in the top 10 ... Boise State's current eight-game winning streak is the third longest active streak in the nation ... Only Stanford (14) and Oklahoma (11) have longer streaks ... This season's senior class at BSU is the 10th straight to win at least 40 games in their careers ... Boise State is 151-32 (.825) since 1997 which is the best winning percentage in the nation over that time ... The Broncos have posted five straight 10-win seasons ... Boise State has won 64 straight regular season home games with its last loss coming to Washington State on Sept. 8, 2001.
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 Oct. 8 (ND 59-33). The one home game was a Thursday night tilt with San Diego State Oct. 13, a 41-27 Aztec win. Following this week's game at No. 5/7 nationally-ranked Boise State (Oct. 22), the team closes the month 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: San Diego State defeated Air Force, 41-27, in a Thursday night game in Falcon Stadium. Ronnie Hillman scored a pair of fourth quarter touchdowns to break open a close game and propell the Aztecs. Parker Herrington broke a 17-all halftime tie with a field goal in the third quarter to give Air Force a 20-17 lead. The Aztecs tied the score with a field goal, then took the lead for good, 27-20, on a 28-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Lindley to Colin Lockett. The two scores came off Air Force turnovers. Hillman, who finished the game with 172 yards rushing on 27 carries, extended the lead to 41-20 with his two scores. The Falcons closed with a Tim Jefferson to Jonathan Warzeka touchdown pass to make up the final margin. San Diego State gained 410 yards in the game, including 209 yards on 15-of-21 passing from Lindley. Air Force gained 419 total yards and was led by Asher Clark, who rushed for 72 yards on 16 carries. Jefferson recorded career highs in attempts, completions and yards going 22-of-36 for 224 yards and two touchdowns. Jonathan Warzeka had a career-best seven catches for 96 yards and two touchdowns. The defense was led by Brady Amack and Jon Davis, who had 11 and 10 tackles, respectively.
LAST WEEK'S NOTES
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.
Air Force outright CIC title years:
AIR FORCE BY THE NUMBERS
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 and total offense. The team is averaging 336.0 yards rushing per game which is third nationally and 506.33 yards of total offense which is 10th nationally.
TEAM SEASON OFFENSIVE NOTES
TEAM SEASON DEFENSIVE NOTES
SEASON SPECIAL TEAMS NOTES
COOKS MOVING UP CAREER BLOCKED KICKS CHART: Sophomore LB Jamil Cooks is tied for fourth in Air Force history with four blocks kicks. Cooks recorded his fourth career kick this season with a blocked field goal vs. San Diego State. Last year, Cooks blocked three kicks, a punt and a field goal vs. Navy and a PAT vs. Colorado State. His four blocks are the most by a Falcon since Robert Kraay, who had four from 2004-06.
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 226-GAME SCORING STREAK
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, 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).
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 TAKEAWAYS
START CHART: Several Falcons have significant streaks going in terms of consecutive games started. Senior DB Anthony Wright leads the way with 42 straight dating back to 2009. Senior DB Jon Davis has the second-longest streak with 32. Senior RB Asher Clark is third at 25 followed by senior QB Tim Jefferson with 24. Wright leads the way in overall games started as well with 42. Jefferson is second with 37, Clark is third with 33 and Davis is fourth with 32. A look at both lists follows.
AMACK ON BRONKO NAGURSKI WATCH LIST: Senior LB Brady Amack leads the Mountain West and ranks 24th nationally in tackles with an average of 9.7 per game. Amack is tied for sixth in the conference with .33 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.
BASKA BANGING IT: Sophomore SPC David Baska has a 44.4 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 44.4 average is the fifth 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 14th nationally, but he lacks enough attempts to qualify. Baska scored his first-career touchdown last week against San Diego State on a four-yard run to give Air Force a 14-10 lead. Baska has three carreis for 57 yards this season with a long run of 34 yards.
WARZEKA HAS CAREER NIGHT VS. AZTECS: Senior WR Jonathan Warzeka recorded a career-high seven catches for a season-high 96 yards vs. San Diego State. Warzeka also matched his career high with two touchdown catches. The San Diego State game marked the second straight that Warzeka has set a career best for catches, as he had six for 71 yards at Notre Dame. Over the last two games, the senior has recored 13 catches for 167 yards which is an average of 6.5 catches for 83.5 yards per game. Warzeka now has accounted for 18 career touchdowns, seven rushing, seven receiving, two kickoff returns and two passing.
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.
JEFFERSON HAS CAREER NIGHT VS. SDSU, CONTINUES HOT STREAK: Senior QB Tim Jefferson recorded career highs in completions, attempts and yards against San Diego State, hitting 22-of-36 passes for 224 yards and two touchdowns. Over his last four games, Jefferson has hit 54-of-83 passes (.650) for 675 yards with seven touchdowns with three interceptions. One of his picks was on a Hail-Mary in the endzone.
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 24-13 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 .649 winning percentage is the eighth-best nationally. Boise State's Kellen Moore is the leader in each category with a 44-2 (.957) 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.
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.
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.
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 413 yards and three touchdowns on just 48 carries the last four games. Clark has averaged 113.25 yards per game and an impressive 8.6 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 added a team-best 72 yards on 16 carries vs. San Diego State to mark the fourth straight game he's led the team in rushing. Clark is third in the Mountain West in rushing this season with a 92.7 per-game average. He is averaging 8.2 yards per carry which is the best in the league. Clark's 8.2 average is the second best in school history, trailing only Mike Brown, who set the school record of 8.5 yards in 1983.
CLARK CAREER RUSHING NUMBERS: Senior tailback Asher Clark ranks third in career rushing yards in Air Force history with 3,040. 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 to become just the third Falcon player to surpass 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.
HALL SETS CAREER HIGH IN THIRD STRAIGHT GAME: Senior Josh Hall is making the most of his opportunity to start the last three games. Hall recorded a career-best seven tackles against Navy, then matched that output with seven more against Notre Dame. Hall set a new career high with eight last week vs. San Diego State. Hall has recorded 23 tackles this season, including one for a loss of one yard.
WALLERSTEIN, AMACK EARN MID-SEASON HONORS: Senior OL A.J. Wallerstein and senior LB Brady Amack were each named Midseason All-American honorable mention by Phil Steele's Magazine.
HOME SWEET HOME: Air Force is 21-7 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.
HONORS: Honors won by Air Force players in 2011 follow.
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