Air Force head coach Troy Calhoun addressed the media at his weekly teleconference Tuesday. The Falcons take on service academy rival Army West Point Saturday, Nov. 4, at 1:30 p.m. in Falcon Stadium.
The game is presented by USAA. Army West Point enters the game on a four-game winning streak while Air Force has won three straight. The Black Knights rank second in the nation in rushing with a 362.1 average while Air Force is third at 350.4.
Air Force and Army are meeting for the 52nd time overall. Air Force leads the series, 36-14-1. The Falcons are 21-3 at home, 14-10 at Army and 1-1-1 in neutral site games. Air Force has won 18 of the last 20 in the series. Air Force is 33-12 in Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy games vs. Army dating back to 1972. The Falcons are 20-2 at home and 13-10 at Army in CIC games.
Air Force defeated Army West Point, 31-12, last season to win a series-record 20th Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy title. Quarterback Arion Worthman started for the first time in his career and responded by hitting six of nine passes for 195 yards and a touchdown while rushing for 63 yards and a score on 19 carries to lead Air Force. Jacobi Owens rushed for 106 yards on 12 carries and scored the first receiving touchdown of his career on a 46 yard connection from Worthman. Jalen Robinette added 104 yards on three catches to become the all-time Air Force leader in career receiving yards. Air Force opened up a 10-0 lead behind a Luke Strebel field goal and Shayne Davern TD run. Army cut the lead to 10-6 at the half with a touchdown, but Brodie Hicks blocked the extra point. Both teams scored on its opening drive of the second half, but a touchdown run by Tim McVey and a fourth-quarter TD by Worthman clinched it for the Falcons. Air Force had 444 total yards with a balanced attack of 249 rushing and 195 passing. Air Force held Army to 228 total yards, including 144 rushing. The Falcons had two interceptions and held Army to 4-12 on third down.
Air Force defeated Army, 20-3, in 2015 the last time the two played in Falcon Stadium. The Falcons had 352 total yards, including a balance attack with 196 rushing and 156 passing. Following a scoreless first quarter, Luke Strebel hit a 22-yard field goal to give the team a 3-0 lead. Karson Roberts and Garrett Griffin hooked up on a three-yard TD pass to give the Falcons a 10-0 halftime lead. Army got on the board with a 47 yard field goal in the third quarter before Strebel opened the fourth quarter with a field goal to make it 13-3. Roberts and Griffin connected for their second score of the game, a 23 yard touchdown pass to make up the final margin. Roberts finished hitting seven of 10 passes for 156 yards and two touchdowns. Griffin finished the game with three catches for 32 yards and a career-best two TDs. The defense was led by Alex Hansen, who had nine tackles. The defense held Army to 169 total yards, including 124 rushing.
The 2017 season marks the 46th year of Commander-in-Chief’s trophy competition. The trophy goes annually to the winning academy with the best record in the round-robin competition. The winning team goes to the White House to receive the trophy from the President of the United States. Air Force secured its record 20th Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy last season with a 31-12 win at Army Nov. 5. The Falcons defeated Navy, 28-14, Oct. 1 in Falcon Stadium to post a 2-0 mark in the trophy competition.
The Falcons have a series-best 59-32 overall record and 20 titles. Air Force cannot win the trophy outright this season following a 48-45 loss at Navy. The Falcons can retain the trophy with a win over Army and a Black Knights victory over Navy to force a three-way tie.