Oct. 24, 2011
Saturday Oct. 29 Noon MT
University Stadium (39,224) Albuquerque, NM
The Mountain West Sports Network (The Mtn)
Bill Doleman (play-by-play); Jay Leeuwenburg (analyst); Toby Christensen (sidelines)
KVOR AM 740 in Colorado Springs; KCKK 1510 AM in Denver; Goairforcefalcons.com
Jim Arthur (play-by-play); Lee Douglas (analyst); Jay Ritchie/Bob Ihle (pre- and post-game)
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.
Air Force: Troy Calhoun (Air Force, 1989) is in his fifth season. He has led the Falcons to a 37-22 career record. Calhoun is 21-14 in MWC games, 16-8 in non-conference games, 21-7 in Falcon Stadium, 12-12 in road games (9-7 in MW road games) and 2-2 in bowl games.
New Mexico: George Barlow (Marshall, 1990) is in his first season at New Mexico. He replaced Mike Locksley midway through this season. Barlow, who has been the assistant head coach at New Mexico since 2009, has led the Lobos to an 0-3 mark. Prior to New Mexico, Barlow was an assistant at James Madison from 1999-2008.
Air Force and New Mexico are meeting for the 29th time overall and 23rd time as conference foes.
The Falcons lead the overall series 18-10 and have a 14-8 edge in conference games. Air Force is 10-3 at home and 8-7 at New Mexico.
The Falcons have won three straight and six of the last seven meetings.
Air Force defeated New Mexico, 37-13, the last time they played in Albuquerque, N.M.
The Falcons defeated New Mexico, 48-23, last season in Falcon Stadium.
New Mexico's last win came in 2007 in Albuquerque, 34-31.
The teams first played in 1957 in Colorado Springs, Colo. Air Force won the game, 31-0.
Year by Year
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)
Site () is for AFA
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.
Asher Clark led the Falcons with 86 yards on 20 carries. Jared Tew added 61 yards on 17 carries while backup quarterback Connor Dietz, who entered the game late in the first quarter for an injured Tim Jefferson, finished with 23 yards on five carries. Dietz also hit two of four passes for 40 yards and his first-career touchdown.
The defense was led by Ken Lamendola's team-high eight tackles. Andre Morris, Jr., added seven tackles and two sacks and Jon Davis added the first two interceptions of his career, returning one 38 yards for a touchdown.
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.
Air Force finished with 461 total yards, including 373 rushing. Clark and Walker led the way, each rushing for 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. The Falcons held New Mexico to 258 total yards and had a 34:43 to 25:17 advantage in time of possession.
Air Force tied the school record for most home wins over a four-year period with 19. The team posted a 19-5 record at home since 2007.
Air Force won its third straight over New Mexico and sixth of the last seven.
Air Force clinched a winning season for the fourth straight year. The last time the Falcons had four straight winning seasons was from 1994 through 2000 (seven seasons).
Tim Jefferson's touchdown run in the second quarter marked his fourth straight game with a rushing touchdown and his ninth in 11 games.
Jefferson moved into 31st on the career rushing list, ahead of Nakia Addison (1994-96).
Connor Dietz's touchdown pass in the second quarter was his first of the season and just his second career touchdown pass to that point. His 14-yard touchdown run in the third quarter is his first rushing touchdown of the season and second of his career. It marks the first time in his career he rushed and passed for a score in the same game.
Drew Coleman's catch in the second quarter was the first reception of his career.
Kyle Halderman tied his career high with three catches.
TIES TO NEW MEXICO
Air Force doesn't have a player on the roster from New Mexico.
New Mexico has two Coloradoans on its roster -- Chris Biren from Arvada and Joseph Harris from Denver.
Air Force executive assistant Steve Senn is a native of Albquerque, N.M., and graduated from Cibola High School. Senn is being inducted into the school's hall of fame later this year.
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 was held scoreless in the first quarter for just the second time this season and first time since the TCU game Sept. 10.
Air Force's second-quarter touchdown marks the first score off an opponent's turnover since the TCU game Sept 10.
Air Force's 17-play, 90-yard touchdown drive in the second quarter is the longest in terms of yards this season. The 17 plays is the second longest and most since an 18-play drive at Notre Dame.
Alex Means' blocked PAT in the second quarter is the fifth by Air Force this season. The five blocks are the most in a single-season in the Troy Calhoun era (2007-11) and most since blocking seven in 2006. The block is the 16th under Calhoun and 114th overall for Air Force since 1990.
Air Force has not allowed opponents to score on its opening drive of the second half this season. The Falcons have forced six punts and recorded an interception.
Senior DB Anthony Wright recovered a fumble in the second which is his first this season and second of his career. The turnover is his second this season, as he also has an interception, and the 16th of his career (11 INT, 2 FR, 3 FF).
Junior LB Alex Means forced a fumble, the first of his career. The turnover is his third this season (INT, FF, FR) and fourth of his career (INT, 2 FR, 1 FF). Means blocked his third kick this season, swatting Boise State's PAT attempt in the second quarter. Means has three career blocked kicks which is the second most among active players, trailing teammate Jamil Cooks, who has four.
WRs Mikel Hunter, Jonathan Warzeka and Zack Kauth each extended their consecutive games streak with a reception. Hunter extended his to seven games, Warzeka to nine and Kauth 10.
Junior SPC Parker Herrington kicked two field goals to improve to nine-of-10 on the season. Herrington has kicked two field goals in three straight games and four overall this season. His two field goals (37, 39) improves him to eight-of-eight inside 40 yards this season.
Senior DB Josh Hall recorded his first-career interception.
Junior FB Mike DeWitt recorded career highs in carries and rushing yards with 18 carries for 108 yards. His previous highs were 12 carries vs. South Dakota and 57 yards vs. Tennessee State.
AIR FORCE BY THE NUMBERS
2 - 100-yard kickoff returns for a touchdown by Jonathan Warzeka, a school and Mountain West record.
8 - career games with 10 or more tackles by Jon Davis which is tied for sixth among active MW players.
8 - number of starters returning that started all 13 games last season.
9 - career 100-yard rushing games by Asher Clark which is the second most among active MW players.
11 - different categories that senior quarterback Tim Jefferson ranks in the top 10 in Air Force history.
12 - consecutive years Air Force has won the Mountain West rushing title.
13 - total number of starters returning from 2010.
21 - wins in 28 games in Falcon Stadium for Air Force under head coach Troy Calhoun. 23 - tackles by Brady Amack vs. Navy, the sixth most in AF history and most by an FBS player this season.
24 - number of wins for senior starting quarterback Tim Jefferson, the most in school history.
28 - games under head coach Troy Calhoun with a 100-yard rusher. Team is 22-6 in these games.
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
Air Force leads the MW and ranks 11th nationally in total offense with a 492.29 average.
The team is second in the MW and 19th nationally in third-down conversions with a 48.5 mark.
Air Force leads the MW and ranks eighth nationally in red zone offense with a 93.3 mark (28-30)
Air Force leads the MW and ranks sixth nationally in fourth down conversons with an 84.2 mark (16-19)
Air Force is averaging 166.6 yards passing per game which is the best in the Troy Calhoun era (2007-)
Air Force's 26 points at Boise State is the most allowed by the Broncos this season.
Air Force set a school record with 792 total yards vs. Tennessee State.
The team rushed for 595 yards vs. Tennessee State which is the third most in school history and most since 1988.
Air Force's 9.0 yards per rush vs. Tennessee State is the third most in school history and most since 1989.
Air Force's 37 first downs vs. Tennessee State is the third most in school history and most since 2000.
The team's 26 rushing first downs vs. Tennessee State is the seventh most in school history.
Air Force's 63 points vs. Tennessee State is tied as the eighth most in school history.
TEAM SEASON DEFENSIVE NOTES
Air Force has had three different players lead the team in tackles (Miller, Davis, Amack).
Air Force has not allowed the opponent to score on its opening drive of the second half this season, forcing six punts and an interception.
Air Force held Boise State to 37 points, the Broncos third fewest this season.
Air Force had four players with double figure tackles at Navy (Brady Amack, 23; Harry Kehs, 15; Jordan Waiwaiole and Alex Means, 12 each).
Air Force forced two turnovers vs. Boise State, the most since forcing three in the season opener.
SEASON SPECIAL TEAMS NOTES
Air Force has blocked five kicks this season (see below).
Air Force is third in the MW and 22nd nationally in punt returns with a 12.5 average.
The Falcons lead the conference in field goal percentage with a .900 mark.
Air Force has blocked five kicks this season, the most in a season since 2006 and most in the Calhoun era.
The blocks: (PAT vs. South Dakota; FG vs. Tennessee State; PAT at Navy; FG vs. San Diego State; PAT at Boise State).
Air Force has blocked 16 kicks since 2007 under head coach Troy Calhoun The breakdown (8 FGs, 6 PATs, 2 Punts)
Senior DL Ben Kopacka recorded the first block of his career with a blocked PAT vs. South Dakota.
Junior LB Alex Means has three blocks (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).
Sophomore LB Jamil Cooks recorded his fourth-career block with a field goal vs. San Diego State.
Air Force blocked four kicks in 2010.
Jamil Cooks had three blocks, a field goal and a punt vs. Navy and a PAT vs. Colorado State.
Cooks' three blocks are the most by a Falcon since Robert Kraay had three in 2006.
Anthony Wooding, Jr., had the other block, a punt vs. Colorado State.
Air Force has blocked 114 kicks since 1990 when the team 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).
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
The Falcons were last shutout by Mississippi, 13-0, in the 1992 Liberty Bowl.
Air Force's streak is the fourth longest active in the country.
Air Force's streak is the 13th longest in Division I-A college history
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 (`89), head coach
Ben Miller (`02), tight ends/special teams coordinator
Blane Morgan (`99), offensive coordinator/QBs
Lt. Col. Bill Price (`91), varsity/JV assistant
Capt. John Rudzinksi (`05), defensive assistant
Lt. Col. Darryl Sumrall (`89), junior varsity head coach/varsity assistant
Mike Thiessen (`01), asst. head coach/offensive coordinator/WRs
Carlton Warren (`99), asst head coach/co-defensive coordinator/secondary/recruiting
FBS Head Coaches at Alma Mater
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).
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
Air Force is eighth in the Mountain West in turnover margin with a -.86 mark this season.
The Falcons have forced nine turnovers, six interceptions and three fumbles.
Air Force is a combined +44 in turnover margin the last five seasons, despite a -6 mark in 2011.
Air Force was second in the conference with a +.38 turnover margin in 2010.
Air Force led the nation in turnover margin with a 1.69 per-game mark in 2009.
Air Force has rushed for a touchdown in 28 straight games dating back to Navy Oct. 3, 2009.
DB Anthony Wright has started 43 consecutive games, the most on the team.
The O-line duo of A.J. Wallerstein and Jason Kons has combined for 40 straight starts.
WR Mikel Hunter has caught a pass in seven straight games.
WR Jonathan Warzeka has caught a pass in nine straight games.
WR Zack Kauth has caught a pass in 10 straight games.
SPC Parker Herrington has kicked two field goals in each of the last three games.
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.
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.
Amack earned several weekly honors. He was named Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week, FWAA/Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week, Mountain West defensive player of the week and National Football Foundation, Colorado Chapter player of the week.
Amack recorded a team-best 11 tackles vs. San Diego State last week. He has led the team in tackles in three of six games this season.
Amack has been added to the 2011 Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List. The Bronko Nagurski Trophy will be presented to the best defensive player in college football on Dec. 12 by the FWAA and the Charlotte Touchdown Club at the Westin Hotel in Charlotte, N.C. The keynote address will be given by Georgia head coach Mark Richt and Florida's Jack Youngblood from the Class of 1970 will receive this year's Bronko Nagurski Legends Award. Five finalists for the Nagurski Trophy will be announced on Nov. 17.
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.
Baska scored his first-career touchdown against San Diego State on a four-yard run to give Air Force a 14-10 lead. Baska has three carries for 57 yards this season with a long run of 34 yards.
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 needs just 61 kickoff return yards to become the all-time career leader at Air Force. He would surpassing Reggie Rembert, who had 1,388 yards from 2007-10.
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.
Warzeka is a preseason all-Mountain West Conference selection and was named the conference's preseason special teams player of the year. He led the MWC in kickoff returns last season with a 28.7 average. Warzeka has two career 100-yard kickoff returns touchdowns, vs. Houston in the 2009 Armed Forces Bowl and last season vs. Colorado State.
The 2011 Watch List was compiled by a panel of college football experts based on 2010 statistics and expectations heading into the 2011 season. There are 20 seniors, 20 juniors and 10 sophomores representing 46 universities and all 11 conferences that are part of the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). For the complete watch list visit paulhornungaward.com.
The Louisville Sports Commission successfully launched the Paul Hornung Award in 2010 to honor its namesake and native son and to promote outstanding performances by versatile college football players that often go unnoticed. Owen Marecic of Stanford, a two-way starter and All Pac-10 performer at fullback and linebacker, won the inaugural Paul Hornung Award in 2010.
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.
Jefferson had record-setting performances over a two week stretch. He hit 20 of 23 passes (.870) for 314 yards and four touchdowns without any interceptions combined against Tennessee State and Navy. His .870 completion percentage is the best two-game mark in school history. Jefferson hit 11 of 13 passes for 178 yards and a career-best three touchdowns vs. Tennessee State. He hit nine of 10 passes for 136 yards and a touchdown at Navy. His .900 completion percentage vs. the Midshipmen is the third-best single-game mark in school history while his .846 percentage vs. Tennessee State is the sixth best. Jefferson was 12-of-24 for 137 yards and a TD with one interception at Notre Dame.
Jefferson has hit 75-of-123 passes for 998 yards on the season with eight touchdowns and six interceptions. His .610 completion percentage is fourth best for a single season at Air Force and best since Shaun Carney had a .642 mark in 2007. Jefferson's 140.84 career QB rating is the second best in school history.
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.
DeWitt is second on the team in rushing with 346 yards while Cobb is fourth with 148 yards. Freshman Broam Hart has chipped in with 26 yards in three games. The trio has combined for 520 yards and four touchdowns which is an average of 74.3 yards per game.
The pair of DeWitt and Cobb combined for 109 yards and a touchdown on 27 carries in Air Force opening win over South Dakota. Cobb rushed for 60 yards and a score on 15 carries in his first-career start. DeWitt added 49 yards on 12 carries. DeWitt led the Falcons in rushing for the first time of his career with 48 yards vs. TCU. He recorded a career-long run of 44 yards in the game. DeWitt added his first-career 100-yard game at Boise State with career bests of 18 carries and 108 yards.
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.
Nominated by their institutions, each candidate must be a senior or graduate student in his final year of eligibility, have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.2 on a 4.0 scale, have outstanding football ability as a first-team player or significant contributor, and have demonstrated strong leadership and citizenship. Renamed in 2009 in honor of Bill Campbell, the chairman of Intuit, former player and head coach at Columbia University and the 2004 recipient of the NFF's Gold Medal, the award comes with a 25-pound bronze trophy and a $25,000 post-graduate scholarship.
The NFF Awards Committee will select and announce up to 16 finalists on Wednesday, October 26. Each finalist will be recognized as part of the 2011 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class, receiving an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship. The Campbell Trophy winner, who will have his scholarship increased to $25,000, will be announced at the NFF's Annual Awards Dinner on Tuesday, December 6, at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City.
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.
This year marks the program's 20th year honoring college football players at all levels of competition who stand out for their "good works" in the community. Since 1992, selection to the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® has become the gold standard for off-the-field character and leadership for college football players. The honor is widely considered the sport's pre-eminent community service award.
In order to meet the criteria set forth by Allstate and the AFCA, each player must be actively involved and committed to working with a charitable organization, service group or community service while maintaining good academic standing.
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.
The pair, along with junior OL Jason Kons and sophomore SPC David Baska were named midseason first-team all-Mountain West Conference by the magazine. Senior RB Asher Clark, senior DB Jon Davis, senior OL Michael Hester and junior LB Alex Means were all named second-team all-conference. Junior SPC Parker Herrington was named to the third-team.
HONORS: Honors won by Air Force players in 2011 follow.
A.J. Wallerstein: American Football Coaches Association Good Works watch list ... Preseason first-team all-MW by MW media ... Preseason first-team all-MW by Phil Steele's Magazine ... Preseason first-team all-MW by Athlon Magazine ... Preseason first-team all-MW by Blue Ribbon Magazine ... Semifinalist for Campbell Trophy as college football's top student-athlete ... Midseason honorable mention All-American by Phil Steele's Magazine ... Midseason first-team all-MW by Phil Steele's Magazine. Jonathan Warzeka: Paul Hornung Award watch list ... Preseason Mountain West Special Teams Player of the Year by MW media ... Preseason first-team all-MW by MWC media ... Preseason first-team all-MW by Phil Steele's Magazine ... College Football Performance Awards preseason kickoff return specialist watch list ... Preseason second-team all-MW by Athlon Magazine ... Preseason first-team all-MW by Blue Ribbon Magazine.
Tim Jefferson: College Sports Madness Mountain West Conference offensive player of the week vs. Tennessee State ... Mountain West offensive player of the week vs. Navy ... College Football Madness Mountain West offensive player of the week vs. Navy ... Rivals.com Mountain West offensive player of the week vs. Navy.
Jon Davis: Preseason first-team all-MW by MWC media ... Preseason first-team all-MW by Phil Steele's Magazine ... College Football Performance Awards preseason defensive back watch list ... Preseason first-team all-MW by Athlon Magazine ... Preseason first-team all-MW by Blue Ribbon Magazine ... Midseason second-team all-MW by Phil Steele's Magazine.
Asher Clark: Doak Walker National Running Back Award watch list ... Preseason second-team all-MW by Phil Steele's Magazine ... Preseason second-team all-MW by Athlon Magazine ... Midseason second-team all-MW by Phil Steele's Magazine.
Jason Kons: Preseason second-team all-MW by Phil Steele's Magazine ... Preseason second-team all-MW by Athlon Magazine ... Midseason first-team all-MW by Phil Steele's Magazine.
Jordan Waiwaiole: Preseason second-team all-MW by Phil Steele's Magazine.
Brady Amack: Preseason second-team all-MW by Phil Steele's Magazine ... College Sports Madness Mountain West Conference defensive player of the week vs. TCU ... Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week vs. Navy ... College Football Performance Awards honorable mention linebacker of the week vs. Navy ... Mountain West defensive player of the week vs. Navy ... National Football Foundation, Colorado Chapter player of the week vs. Navy ... Football Writers Association of America/Bronco Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week vs. Navy ... CollegeFootballInsiders.com national defensive player of the week vs. Navy ... ESPN Helmet Sticker vs. Navy ... Midseason honorable mention All-American by Phil Steele's Magazine ... Midseason first-team all-MW by Phil Steele's Magazine.
Anthony Wright: Preseason first-team all-MW by MWC media ... Preseason second-team all-MW by Phil Steele's Magazine ... College Football Performance Awards preseason punt return specialist watch list ... Preseason second-team all-MW by Athlon Magazine.
Erik Soderberg: College Football Performance Awards preseason kickoff specialist watch list.
David Baska: College Football Performance Awards honorable mention punter of the week vs. Navy ... Midseason first-team all-MW by Phill Steele's Magazine.
Alex Means: Mountain West special teams player of the week vs. Navy ... CollegeFootballInsiders.com national special teams player of the week vs. Navy ... Midseason second-team all-MW by Phil Steele's Magazine.
Jamil Coooks: ESPN Helmet Sticker vs. TCU.
Michael Hester: Midseason second-team all-MW by Phil Steele's Magazine.
Parker Herrington: Midseason third-team all-MW 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.
AIR FORCE VS. RANKED TEAMS
Air Force is 0-2 vs. ranked teams this season.
Air Force is 16-71-4 all-time vs. nationally ranked teams.
The Falcons were 1-3 vs. ranked teams in 2010 with the lone win coming vs. No. 24 BYU, 31-14, in Falcon Stadium.
Air Force has posted consecutive seasons with wins over ranked teams, defeating No. 24 BYU, 31-14, last season and 25th-ranked Houston, 47-20, in the 2009 Armed Forced Bowl.
Air Force's last win over a ranked team on the road came at No. 23 California, 23-21, in 2002.
The highest ranked team Air Force has defeated on the road is No. 8 Notre Dame, 20-17, in overtime on Nov. 19, 1995 in South Bend.
Air Force has played two or more ranked teams ever year since 2008.
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.
The 2011 season marks the 40th year of trophy competition. Air Force defeated both Army (42-22) and Navy (14-6) last season to win the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy for the first time since 2002. The title is the 17th in Air Force history, which is more than any other service academy. The trophy goes annually to the winning academy with the best record in round-robin competition. The President of the United States presents the trophy to the seniors from the winning team each year at a ceremony at the White House. Air Force has a 52-27-0 all-time CIC record.
Air Force outright CIC title years:
`82, `83, `85, `87, `89, `90, `91, `92, `94, `95, `97, `98, `99, `00, `01, `02, `10
Air Force's 2011 schedule features six teams that played in bowl games in 2010.
Six opponents posted winning records in 2010.
Air Force has its first open date since 2008 in the schedule. The Falcons have played 12 straight weeks in three of head coach Troy Calhoun's five seasons at the helm.
AIR FORCE VS. NON-CONFERENCE FOES UNDER CALHOUN
Air Force is 16-8 against non-conference foes under head coach Troy Calhoun. The Falcons are 9-1 at home, 4-5 on the road and 3-2 in neutral site games. Air Force has won nine of its last 11 with the only losses coming at No. 7 Oklahoma last season and at Notre Dame earlier this season.