Falcon Football Travels To New Mexico To Cap October
Oct. 24, 2011
Saturday Oct. 29 Noon MT
University Stadium (39,224) Albuquerque, NM
GAME FACTS: Air Force closes out a difficult October by playing its fourth of five games on the road ... The Falcons are 1-3 this month ... Air Force leads the overall series with New Mexico, 18-10, including a 14-8 mark in conference games ... The Falcons are 8-7 at New Mexico ... Air Force has won three straight and six of the last seven in the series ... The teams have split the last two games played in Albquerque ... This week is the fourth road game for Air Force ... The Falcons are 1-2 on the road this season, including an 0-1 mark in conference road games ... Air Force is 9-7 in MW road games under head coach Troy Calhoun.
LAST TIME AT NEW MEXICO: Air Force defeated New Mexico, 37-13, in Albuquerque in the Mountain West Conference opener for each school. The Falcons jumped out to a 17-0 first-quarter lead and never looked back. Air Force forced four turnovers and scored 20 points as a result. The Falcons out-gained New Mexico, 371 to 290 while running 27 more plays and holding a 38:23 to 21:37 advantage in time of possession.
LAST YEAR VS. NEW MEXICO: Air Force defeated New Mexico, 48-23, in the final home game of the season. After a James Wright two-yard scoring run to open the scoring, the Falcons answered with an Asher Clark seven-yard run to tie the score at 7-7 in the first quarter. 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 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 at the end of the third. Each team added two fourth-quarter touchdowns to make up the final margin.
TIES TO NEW MEXICO
PLAYING BEST WHEN IT MATTERS MOST: Air Force is 18-9 under head coach Troy Calhoun in games during the second half of the season (last six games), including a 0-1 mark this season. The Falcons were 3-3 last season. 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 since 2001.
OCTOBER CONFERENCE GAMES: Despite a 1-3 record last season, Air Force has a 9-8 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 NEW MEXICO: New Mexico is coached by George Barlow, who replaced Mike Locksley on Sept. 25 ... Barlow was the assistant head coach and defensive coordinator ... Receiver Deon Long set New Mexico and Mountain West records with 378 all-purpose yards vs. Sam Houston State ... Long had 209 yards receiving, two rushing, 165 kick return and two punt return yards ... He broke the mark of 358 yards at New Mexico set by Terance Mathis in 1989 ... Senior linebacker Carmen Messina is the active career leader in the Mountain West in double-digit tackle games with 22 ... Messina has recorded 378 career tackles ... New Mexico has seven former players currently playing in the NFL, most notably Brian Urlacher of the Chicago Bears ... This season marks the 52nd at University Stadium for the Lobos.
OCTOBER MARKS BRUTAL STRETCH FOR FALCONS: Air Force concludes a brutal stretch this week at New Mexico. The Falcons play 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. Air Force played at No. 5/7 Boise State last week (L 37-26) and close the month this week at New Mexcio. 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: Boise State defeated Air Force, 37-26, in the first-ever Mountain West home game for the Broncos. Kellen Moore hit 23-of-29 passes for 281 yards and three touchdowns while Doug Martin rushed for 125 yards and a touchdown to lead the Broncos. BSU took a 7-0 lead when Moore threw a touchdown pass on the team's opening drive. The Falcons tied the score with a Tim Jefferson TD run mid-way through the second quarter. Boise State took a 13-7 lead when Moore threw his second TD pass, but a blocked extra point kept the lead to six. The Broncos extended the lead with a 16-yard fumble return TD on a fake punt attempt by Air Force. The Falcons closed the half with the first of two Parker Herrington field goals to cut the lead to 20-10. The teams went back-and-forth in the second half and a Jefferson one-yard TD run pulled the Falcons to within eight, 34-26, with just over three minutes remaining. BSU secured the win with a field goal with 42 second left make up the final margin. Fullback Mike DeWitt led the Falcons with a career-best 108 yards on 18 carries. Jefferson threw for 144 yards on eight-of-16 passing and Brady Amack led the defense with a team-high 13 tackles.
LAST WEEK'S NOTES
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 325.7 yards rushing per game which is second nationally and 492.3 yards of total offense which is 11th nationally.
TEAM SEASON OFFENSIVE NOTES
TEAM SEASON DEFENSIVE NOTES
SEASON SPECIAL TEAMS NOTES
TIME OF POSSESSION MOVING IN AIR FORCE'S FAVOR: After losing the time of possession battle in the first four games of the season, the Falcons have won it the last three games. Air Force had a 4:52 advantage at Notre Dame, a 6:40 edge vs. San Diego State and a season-best 12:36 advantage at Boise State. The team's TOP for the season is up to 28:49 which ranks sixth in the conference. This week marks the first this season that Air Force has not ranked eighth in the league.
AIR FORCE FOURTH NATIONALLY WITH 227-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
FBS Head Coaches at Alma Mater
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 TAKEAWAYS
START CHART: Several Falcons have significant streaks going in terms of consecutive games started. Senior DB Anthony Wright leads the way with 43 straight dating back to 2009. Senior DB Jon Davis has the second-longest streak with 33. Senior RB Asher Clark is third at 26 followed by senior QB Tim Jefferson with 25. Wright leads the way in overall games started as well with 43. Jefferson is second with 38, Clark is third with 34 and Davis is fourth with 33. A look at both lists follows.
AMACK ON BRONKO NAGURSKI WATCH LIST: Senior LB Brady Amack leads the Mountain West and ranks 16th nationally in tackles with an average of 10.1 per game. Amack has hit double figures in tackles in two straight games and three of the last four, including a 13-tackle effort at Boise State last week.
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.
BASKA BANGING IT: Sophomore SPC David Baska has a 43.4 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 43.4 average is the sixth best in school history for a single season and best since Chris MacInnis averaged 47.0 in 1993. Baska's mark would rank second in the MW, but he lacks enough attempts to qualify.
HERRINGTON LEADS THE MOUNTAIN WEST: Junior kicker Parker Herrington leads the Mountain West in field goals with a 1.29 per-game average. Herrington has hit 90.0 percent of his field goals (9-10) and is a perfect eight-of-eight inside 40 yards. His only miss is from 49 yards. Herrington is fifth in the conference and second among kickers in scoring with a 6.9 average. He has kicked two field goals in a game four times this season, including each of the last three games. Herrington's 90.0 percent field goal percentage is the second-best in school history, trailing only Jackson Whiting's perfect 1999 season (12-12).
RECORDS WATCH: Senior Quarterback Tim Jefferson and senior kick returner Jonathan Warzeka are each approaching major milestones. Jefferson needs just 40 yards passing to reach 4,000 for his career. Jefferson would become only the fourth player in school history to reach that mark. He is fourth in school history with 3,960 career passing yards.
WARZEKA LEADS FALCONS IN RECEIVING: Senior WR Jonathan Warzeka leads the Falcons in receiving with 21 catches for 266 yards and three touchdowns. Warzeka recorded a career-high seven catches for a season-high 96 yards vs. San Diego State earlier this season. Warzeka also matched his career high with two touchdown catches. The San Diego State game marked the second straight that Warzeka set a career best for catches, as he had six for 71 yards at Notre Dame. Warzeka has 15 catches for 179 over the last three games which is an average of five catches for 59.7 yards. Warzeka 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 PASSING IT UP: Senior QB Tim Jefferson recorded career highs in completions, attempts and yards against San Diego State earlier this season, hitting 22-of-36 passes for 224 yards and two touchdowns. Over his last five games, Jefferson has hit 62-of-99 passes (.626) for 819 yards with seven touchdowns with four interceptions. Two of his picks have come on Hail-Mary passes.
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.
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 24-14 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 FIFTH MOST WINS NATIONALLY: Air Force quarterback Tim Jefferson has the fifth most wins nationally as a starter with 24. Jefferson's .632 (24-14) winning percentage is the ninth-best nationally. Boise State's Kellen Moore is the leader in each category with a 45-2 (.957) career record.
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 is third in the Mountain West in rushing this season with a 82.7 per-game average. He is averaging 7.3 yards per carry which is the second best mark among the league's top 10 rushers. Clark's 7.3 average is the sixth best in school history.
CLARK CAREER RUSHING NUMBERS: Senior tailback Asher Clark ranks third in career rushing yards in Air Force history with 3,063. 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'S 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 SOLID AS A STARTER: Senior Josh Hall is making the most of his opportunity to start the last four 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 vs. San Diego State. Hall recorded his first-career interception last week at Boise State.
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.
HONORS: Honors won by Air Force players in 2011 follow.
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.
AIR FORCE VS. RANKED TEAMS
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 VS. NON-CONFERENCE FOES UNDER CALHOUN
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