Nov. 3, 2008
Complete Release in PDF Format
Air Force (7-2, 4-1) vs. Colorado State (4-5, 2-3)
Saturday, Nov. 8, 4 p.m. Mountain
Falcon Stadium (46,692), USAF Academy, CO
KVOR AM 740 in Colorado Springs
KCKK 1510 AM in Denver and Northern Colorado
Talent - Jim Arthur (play-by-play); Lee Douglas (anaylst); Jay Ritchie (pre- and post-game)
The Mountain West Sports Network (The Mtn.)
Channel 616 on DirecTV and 167 on Comcast cable. (The Mtn. is not available on DISH)
Talent - Tim Neverett (play-by-play); Blaine Fowler (color); Anne Marie Anderson (sidelines)
Air Force hosts Colorado State in MWC showdown
Air Force hosts in-state rival Colorado State on Saturday, Nov. 8, at 4 p.m. in Falcon Stadium in a Mountain West Conference showdown. The game will be televised nationally by the Mountain West Sports Network (the Mtn).
The Mtn Friday Nite Pep Rally is coming to Falcon Stadium this week. The show airs from 7:30 to 8 p.m. on the Mtn. Fans are welcome to attend the taping of the show inside gate 10 of Falcon Stadium Friday night. Fans should enter the North gate.
Football coaches wives food drive
The Air Force football coaches wives will be doing a food drive at the Colorado State game to benefit the Care & Share Food Bank and Military Charities. Fans can help by bringing non-perishable food items to the game. The wives and families of the coaching staff will be at each gate to collect the items.
Youth Day this Saturday
This Saturday is Youth Day at Falcon Stadium. Tickets in advance for kids under 18 may be purchased for just $5. Radio Disney will be in FanFest playing music, holding contests, setting up games for kids and giving out prizes. In addition, AF athletes will be in FanFest prior to the game handing out posters/schedules and the cheerleaders will be putting on tattoos and performing.
Cotton Bowl team to be honored
The 1959 Cotton Bowl team is having a reunion and will be honored during the Colorado State game this weekend. This season marks the 50th anniversary of the 1958 team that finished 9-0-2 and played TCU to a 0-0 tie in the Cotton Bowl.
Air Force and Colorado State meet for the 47th time overall and 29th time as conference foes. The Falcons hold a 26-19-1 overall lead and have a 15-13 mark in conference games. The Falcons are 15-11-1 at home and 11-8 at Colorado State. The teams first played in 1957 in Colorado Springs. Colorado State won the game, 20-7.
Air Force has won two straight and three of the last four games in the series, including last year's 45-21 win in Fort Collins. Air Force defeated Colorado State, 24-21, in a Thursday night game the last time the two played in Falcon Stadium. Twelve of the last 18 games in the series have been decided by 10 points or less.
Year by Year
1957 - CSU 20-7 (H)
1958 - AFA 36-6 (H)
1960 - AFA 32-8 (H)
1961 - AFA 14-9 (H)
1962 - AFA 34-0 (H)
1963 - AFA 69-0 (H)
1964 - AFA 14-6 (H)
1966 - CSU 41-21 (H)
1967 - Tied 17-17 (H)
1968 - AFA 31-0 (A)
1969 - AFA 28-7 (H)
1970 - AFA 37-22 (H)
1971 - AFA 17-13 (A)
1972 - AFA 53-13 (A)
1975 - CSU 47-10 (A)
1976 - CSU 27-3 (H)
1978 - CSU 31-13 (H)
1979 - CSU 20-6 (A)
1980 - CSU 21-9 (A)
1981 - AFA 28-14 (H)
1982 - CSU 21-11 (H)
1983 - AFA 34-13 (A)
1984 - AFA 52-10 (H)
1985 - AFA 35-19 (A)
1986 - AFA 24-7 (H)
1987 - AFA 27-19 (A)
1988 - AFA 29-23 (A)
1989 - AFA 46-21 (A)
1990 - CSU 35-33 (H)
1991 - AFA 31-26 (A)
1992 - CSU 32-28 (H)
1993 - CSU 8-5 (A)
1994 - CSU 34-24 (H)
1995 - CSU 27-20 (H)
1996 - CSU 42-41 (H)
1997 - AFA 24-0 (A)
1998 - AFA 30-27 (H)
1999 - CSU 41-21 (A)
2000 - AFA 44-40 (H)
2001 - CSU 28-21 (A)
2002 - CSU 31-12 (H)
2003 - CSU 30-20 (A)
2004 - AFA 47-17 (H)
2005 - CSU 41-23 (A)
2006 - AFA 24-21 (H)
2007 - AFA 45-21 (A)
Site ( ) is for AFA
AP Article - Chad Hall and Shaun Carney set school yardage records and Air Force beat Colorado State 45-21 on Oct. 13. The Falcons scored four first-half touchdowns on their way to the win.
Hall, a senior wide receiver, ran for four touchdowns and a then-single-game school-record 256 yards. It was his third 100-yard rushing performance against the Rams.
Carney completed only one pass in the first half, but the 12-yard completion to Hall was enough to set the school record for passing yards. Dave Ziebart, who played from 1976-79, had the old record of 4,789 yards. Carney finished the game with 52 yards passing and a touchdown.
Colorado State quarterback Caleb Hanie threw three first-half interceptions and the Falcons capitalized, returning one for a touchdown and turning another into a scoring drive.
The game was delayed 45 minutes because lightning knocked out power to some parts of the stadium.
On the first drive of the game, the Falcons marched 80 yards on 14 plays, capped by Hall's two-yard touchdown run. He added three more, from two yards, six yards, and 13 yards.
Falcons linebacker Drew Fowler intercepted a pass in the first half and returned it 26 yards for a touchdown.
Colorado State cut Air Force's lead to seven in the second quarter on a touchdown run by Gartrell Johnson.
Hanie threw four interceptions in the game and just one touchdown, a 7-yard pass to Damon Morton in the third quarter.
Air Force's Carson Bird had two interceptions and Austin Randle had the fourth pick. Ryan Harrison also kicked a 52-yard field goal, his second 50-plus yarder of the season and punted just once, placing the ball to the CSU nine yard line.
The last time at home vs. Colorado State
Air Force defeated Colorado State, 24-21, in Falcon Stadium during a Thursday night television broadcast. The win snapped a seven-game losing streak in Thursday night games for Air Force.
Colorado State opened the scoring with a Caleb Hanie to Dustin Osborn 60-yard touchdown pass to take a 7-0 lead. The Rams added another touchdown in the second quarter from Hanie to Kory Sperry to take a 14-0 lead midway through the second quarter. Air Force got on the board with a Zach Sasser 23-yard field goal with 1:15 left in the half to cut the lead to 14-3. The Rams added a late score when Hanie scored on a three-yard run to give the Rams a commanding 21-3 halftime lead. Hanie set up the touchdown with an 83-yard pass to Damon Morton.
The second half was all Air Force. The Falcons cut the lead to 21-10 midway through the third quarter when Jacobe Kendrick scored on a six-yard run. Safety Bobby Giannini made the defensive play of the game, intercepting a pass on CSU's next drive to set up a Shaun Carney to Spencer Armstrong 14-yard TD connection to make it 21-17 just 2:07 later. The Falcons took the lead for good, 24-21, on a Carney to Vic Thompson 19-yard TD strike with 11:20 remaining in the game. The defense did the rest, holding Colorado State to just 72 total yards in the second half. Drew Fowler led the attack with eight tackles, including 1.5 for losses. Garrett Rybak added seven tackles and Giannini five. Chris Sutton chipped in with three tackles and an interception on Colorado State's final drive to seal the game.
Carney led the offense with 106 yards rushing. He also hit eight of 13 passes for 102 yards and two scores to mark the second time in his career he's rushed and passed for over 100 yards. Chad Hall chipped with 102 yards rushing while Ryan Williams added 41. Thompson finished with a career-best four catches for 49 yards.
The Ram-Falcon Trophy
Air Force and Colorado State compete for the Ram-Falcon Trophy each year. This season marks the 29th year of the competition for the trophy. Air Force has won the tropy 15 times, while Colorado State has won it 13 times. The trophy's origin is traced back to Shelly Godkin, a former ROTC commander at Colorado State. He watched the teams play in 1978 and sought to translate his impressions into a trophy symbolic of an annual game. The first Ram-Falcon Trophy battle was in 1980.
Colorado State ties
Air Force head coach Troy Calhoun was the offensive coordinator for the Houston Texas under head coach Gary Kubiak in 2006. Kubiak's son's, Clint, a safety and Klay, a quarterback, both play for Colorado State. Calhoun and Kubiak were also coaching mates with the Denver Broncos under head coach Mike Shanahan.
Calhoun and Colorado State head coach Steve Fairchild have similar backgrounds. Both are coaching at their alma maters, Calhoun is a 1989 Air Force graduate, Fairchild a 1980 Colorado State graduate, and both previously coached at the school as an assistant. Calhoun coached at Air Force from 1989-90 and 1993-94 while Fairchild coached at Colorado State from 1993-2000. Finally, both coached in the NFL prior to returning to their respective schools. Calhoun coached with the Denver Broncos from 2003-05 and with Houston in 2006. Fairchild coached with Buffalo (2001-02, 2006-07) and St. Louis (2003-05).
Calhoun and Fairchild are two of the 17 current head collegiate coaches to be coaching at their alma mater. For a complete list, please see page six of this release.
Career statistics vs. Colorado State
Name G Att-Yds-TDs
Todd Newell 1 2-9-0
Savier Stephens 1 3-7-0
Ty Paffett 1 1-2-0
Name G #-Yds-TD
Spencer Armstrong 1 2-29-1
Travis Dekker 2 2-18-0
Name G UT-AT-Total
Chris Thomas 2 8-8-16
Hunter Altman 2 3-0-3
Reggie Rembert 1 3-0-3
Rick Rickets 1 1-1-2
Jared Marvin 1 1-1-2
Ryan Kemp 1 0-2-2
Brandon Reeves 1 1-0-1
Andre Morris 1 1-0-1
Ben Garland 1 1-0-1
Luke Yeager 1 1-0-1
Ken Lamendola 1 1-0-1
Aaron Kirchoff 1 1-0-1
Patrick Hennessey 1 1-0-1
Air Force defeated Army, 16-7, at Michie Stadium in an old-fashioned service academy football game. The Falcons used three Ryan Harrison field goals, including a season-long 48-yard boot in the final two minutes to secure the victory.
Army opened the scoring on its opening drive when Chip Bowden hit Damion Hunter with a 47-yard scoring strike to give the Black Knights a 7-0 lead. Air Force got on the board with the first of Harrison's field goals, a 21-yarder to cut the lead to 7-3. Tim Jefferson gave the Falcons the lead for good with a one-yard run to make it 10-7 at the half. Harrison added two more field goals, one in the third from 29 yards and his game-securing boot in the final minutes to make up the final margin.
Army out-gained Air Force, 250 to 174 in the defensive battle. The Black Knights had 143 yards rushing and hit eight of 26 passes for 107 yards. Air Force rushed for 142 yards and passed for 32. Fullback Todd Newell led the way with 42 yards rushing. Kyle Lumpkin added 33 while Jefferson chipped in with 25. Army was led by Collin Mooney, who rushed for 92 yards on 22 carries.
The Falcon defense forced three turnovers, including two interceptions and a fumble. Ken Lamendola led the Falcons with 13 tackles, while Hunter Altman added eight and two tackles for loss and Jake Paulson chipped in with seven total and 2.5 for loss.
Last game's notes
- Air Force improved to 7-2 overall and secured a second straight winning season for the first time since 2002-03.
- Air Force has won four straight games this season which is the longest winning streak under head coach Troy Calhoun and longest since opening the 2003 season 5-0.
- Air Force improved to 29-3-1 all-time vs. Army, including an 11-9 mark at West Point and a 26-11 mark in Commander-in-Chief's Trophy games. The Falcons have now won three straight and 11 of the last 12 vs. Army. The Falcons won for the sixth straight time at West Point since 1996. The Falcons improved to 54-29-1 all-time vs. Army and Navy, including a series-best 48-26 in Commander-in-Chief's Trophy games (since 1972).
- Air Force improved to 1-0 this season and 4-0 under head coach Troy Calhoun in the month of November.
- Air Force's win improves the Mountain West Conference's non-conference win total to 24, which ties the conference record set in both 2003 an 2007. Air Force improved to 3-1 this season vs. non-conference opponents.
- Air Force improved to 5-0 this season away from Falcon Stadium. The Falcons are 4-0 on the road and 1-0 in neutral site games. Air Force's five road wins are the most since the 1998 team was 6-0 with four wins on the road and two in neutral site games.
- Air Force improved to 3-0 this season and 8-1 under head coach Troy Calhoun during the second half of the season (last six games). Prior to Calhoun's arrival in 2007, the Falcons were 12-24 over the last six games of the season since 2001.
- Army's touchdown on its opening drive marks the first time this season the Falcons have allowed a touchdown on the opponent's opening drive. The score is only the second allowed, as Navy opened the game with a field goal on its first drive. Air Force forced five punts and two turnovers on downs in the other seven games.
- Air Force forced three turnovers (two interceptions, one fumble) to mark the eighth time in nine games this season the team has forced multiple turnovers in a game.
- Senior PK Ryan Harrison kicked three (21, 29, 48) field goals in the game. Harrison has hit 19 of 21 field goals this season and has hit 29 of his last 31 dating back to last season. Harrison's 19 field goals ties the single-season school record he shares with David Adams (2000) and Dave Lawson (1974). Harrison has hit 38 of 48 (.792) for his career and ranks fourth in Air Force history in field goals made and third in percentage.
- Sophomore OLB Andre Morris, Jr., recorded his first-career interception. The interception came following a tipped pass by senior DE Jake Paulson. The interception is the seventh this season by Air Force.
- Freshman QB Tim Jefferson scored his second touchdown of the season, a one-yard run to give Air Force a 10-7 lead in the second quarter.
- Senior DE Jake Paulson recorded 2.5 tackles for loss.
- Senior OLB Hunter Altman recorded eight tackles, including 2.0 for loss for seven yards.
- Sophomore PR Reggie Rembert had four punt returns for a career-best 57 yards, including his second-longest return this season of 35 yards. His previous career-best was 53 yards vs. Houston where he notched his career-long return in his only attempt in the game.
Air Force in November
Air Force improved to 1-0 this season and 4-0 under head coach Troy Calhoun in the month of November. The Falcons were 3-0 last season in November which is the best record since 2002 when the Falcons were 2-1. The three wins are the most since 2000 when Air Force was 3-0 in November. The three wins are more than the previous two years combined when Air Force went 1-1 in 2005 and 1-3 in 2006. Air Force was 1-0 last season in conference games in November, defeating San Diego State at home.
Air Force is 89-84-3 all-time in the November. The team is 44-33-1 at home, 44-49-2 on the road and 1-2 in nuetral site games. Air Force is 25-24 in November conference games, including a 12-8 mark at home and 13-16 road record.
Playing best when it matters most
Air Force improved to 3-0 this season and 8-1 under head coach Troy Calhoun in games during the second half of the season (last six games). Prior to Calhoun's arrival in 2007, the Falcons were 12-24 over the last six games of the season since 2001. The Falcons went 5-1 last season which is the best mark since the 1998 team was 6-0.
Final 6 Regular Season Games
Total 12-24 (Entering 2007)
Interesting facts and figures about Air Force
- Air Force's 16 wins (with at least three games remaining this season) since 2007 are the best in back-to-back season since 1998-99 when it combined for 18 (12-1 in 1998, 6-5 in 1999)
- Air Force has posted 10 MWC wins in back-to-back seasons which is a school record. The previous was eight in 2000 (5-2) and 2001 (3-4). Air Force is 4-1 this season after finishing 6-2 last year, marking the first time in school history the team has won four or more MWC games in back-to-back seasons.
- Air Force is currently in third place in the conference with a 4-1 record. The Falcons were picked sixth in the preseason which is a +3 improvement which is the best improvement in the conference. The Falcons improved a conference-best five spots last season, finishing second after being picked seventh.
- Head coach Troy Calhoun has led Air Force to 16 wins in his one-plus seasons at Air Force. The 16 wins (with at least three games remaining) is the fourth-best of any service academy head coach in his first two years. Fisher DeBerry, who took over Air Force in 1984, has the best mark with 20 wins. Air Force was 12-1 in 1985 and 8-4 in 1984. The Falcons were a combined 18-7 in 1982-83 prior to his taking over.
Most wins at a service academy in first two years
Name, School Years Wins
Fisher DeBerry, AF 1984-85 20
Ralph Sasse, Army 1930-31 17
Charles Daly, Army 1913-14 17
Paul Dashiell, Navy 1904-05 17
Troy Calhoun, AF 2007-08 16
Tom Cahill, Army 1966-67 16
Biff Jones, Army 1926-27 16
One of America's top coaches
Air Force head coach Troy Calhoun is quickly becoming one of America's top coaches. He is 16-6 overall and 10-3 in conference play in his second year at the helm at the Academy.
In his first year at Air Force, the 1989 Academy graduate led the Falcons to the most wins ever by a first-year head coach, along with the nine wins by Ben Martin in 1958. Calhoun led the team to six conference wins which is the most ever by a first-year head coach, breaking the mark of four set by Fisher DeBerry in 1984.
Calhoun began his coaching career at the Academy, then after serving his military committment, was an assistant at Ohio University, later becoming the offensive coordinator. He was the offensive coordinator at Wake Forest before joining the National Football League with the Denver Broncos from 2003-05. He was the offensive coorinator for the Houston Texans in 2006 before returning to his alma mater last season as the sixth head coach in school history.
Calhoun was named the AFCA Region 5 Coach of the Year for 2007. Calhoun, who was also named the Mountain West Conference coach of the year, joined five other coaches to win the honor.
Calhoun is fourth in Mountain West Conference history in career winning percentage in conference games with a .769 mark (10-3).
Winningest MWC Coaches
# Name, School Tenure Record Pct.
1. Urban Meyer, Utah 2003-05 13-1 .929
2. Bronco Mendenhall, BYU 2005- 24-4 .857
3. Gary Patterson, TCU 2005- 24-6 .800
4. Troy Calhoun, Air Force 2007- 10-3 .769
Young team in 2008
Air Force features one of its youngest teams in history in 2008. The Falcons lost 15 starters from the 2007 squad that finished 9-4 overall and placed second in the Mountain West Conference with a 6-2 mark. The team lost eight starters on offense, including four-year starting quarterback Shaun Carney and all-purpose back Chad Hall, the conference offensive player of the year. Defensively, the Falcons lost six starters, including first-team all-conference linebackers John Rabold (2007) and Drew Fowler (2006) as well as first-team all-MWC cornerback Carson Bird, the conference's leader in interceptions last year. The Falcons also lost deep snapper Tony Norman.
In terms of games played and started, the Falcons lost 14 players with 30 career games played, plus four more with 25 career games played. In addition, Air Force only has 17 seniors on its roster this season which ranks as the 19th fewest in the nation.
Percentage of offense / defense lost to graduation
Category Lost Pct Lost Notes
Passing yards 1,491 95.7 Top passer lost
Rushing yards 3,482 89.4 Top six rushers lost
Receiving 952 61.1 Top two receivers lost
Punt returns 176 100.0 Top punt returner lost
Scoring 210 54.0 Three of top four scoreres lost
All-purpose yards 5,254 79.8 Top four lost
Total offense 4,974 91.2 Top six lost
Interceptions 14 ints 93.3 Top three and seven of top eight lost
Tackles 534 53.2 Team leader, four of top five lost
- Five of Air Force top six rushers this season are freshmen or sophomores.
- Air Force's leading passer is senior Shea Smith, who is in his first season of significant action. Freshman Tim Jefferson moved into the starting lineup vs. SDSU.
- Air Force's leading receiver is junior Josh Cousins, who entered the year with no career catches. The second-leading receiver is sophomore Kevin Fogler, who is in his first season of varsity action.
- The team's top three punt returners are sophomore Reggie Rembert and freshmen Anthony Wright and Jonathan Warzeka.
- Air Force's leading tackler is sophomore Ken Lamendola.
- Sophomore CB Reggie Rembert is second on the team in tackles for loss.
Air Force 14th nationally in terms of freshmen playing
The Falcons are the youngest team in the Mountain West Conference and 14th youngest nationally in terms of freshmen playing. The freshmen that have played for Air Force this season follow: 5 - Anthony Wright (CB), 7 - Tim Jefferson (QB), 11 - Jaquon Robinson (WR), 15 - Jonathan Warzeka (WR), 16 - Jon Davis (SS), 17 - Asher Clark (TB/QB), 33 - P.J. Adeji-Paul (CB), 73 - A.J. Wallerstein (OT), 84 - Daniel Pickett (TE), 99 - Erik Soderberg (PK). Wright, Jefferson, Davis, Clark and Wallerstein appear in the Air Force two-deep chart weekly.
True Freshmen Who Have Played
Florida State 22
Miami (Fla.) 21
Central Michigan 11
Iowa State 11
Air Force 10
Arizona State 10
North Texas 10
San Jose State 10
Air Force defense solid
Air Force's defense has been solid this season. Air Force ranks second in the conference and 17th nationally in scoring defense with a 17.3 average. The Falcons lead the MWC and rank sixth nationally in passing defense with a 157.9 average. The team is third in the conference and 22nd nationally in total defense with a 298.4 average.
Over the last four weeks, Air Force has allowed just 13.8 points and 240.5 yards per game. The Falcons have allowed 10 points or less in three of the four games, including just seven last week at Army. Air Force allowed 10 at San Diego State and 10 at home vs. New Mexico.
Defensive season highlights
- The Falcons allowed just 10 points in the first two games this season which is the best effort in back-to-back games since allowing 10 points at Army (W, 35-7) and at Wyoming (W, 10-3) in 1998. The 10 points allowed in the opening two games of a season is the second-best in school history and best since the 1963 team allowed just seven in a 10-7 win vs. Washington and a 69-0 victory vs. Colorado State.
- The Falcons held Southern Utah to just 130 total yards, including just seven yards on the ground. Southern Utah managed just eight first downs, was just 2-12 on third-down conversions and never reached the red zone. Southern Utah avoided the shutout late in the third-quarter with an 80-yard touchdown drive. Outside of that one drive, the Thunderbirds managed just 50 total yards and they never got deeper in Air Force territory than the 42 yard line.
- The 130-yard effort by the defense vs. Southern Utah is the fifth-best single-game effort in school history and best since holding Army to just 100 yards in 1999. The seven yards rushing is the 14th-best single-game effort in Air Force history. Air Force held Southern Utah to just 0.3 yards per rush which is the 10th-best single-game effort in school history.
- Air Force scored its first defensive touchdown of the season when senior DE Jake Paulson returned a fumble 25 yards for a touchdown vs. Utah. The score is the first by an Air Force defensive lineman since Bryce Fisher vs. Oregon in the 1997 Las Vegas Bowl.
- The Falcons added a second defensive score when junior ILB Justin Moore returned an interception 25 yards for a touchdown vs. San Diego State.
- Air Force held Navy, who entered the game second nationally in rushing with a 335.0 per-game average, to a season low 206 yards.
- Air Force has held five opponents (Southern Utah, 130; Wyoming, 216; Navy, 244; San Diego State, 165; Army 250) under 300 yards of total offense.
- Air Force held New Mexico to just 154 yards in the final three quarters of the game.
- Senior Aaron Kirchoff returned a fumble 96 yards for a game-changing touchdown vs. New Mexico. The 96-yard return is the second-longest in AFA history.
- The Falcons allowed just 165 total yards and just 2.5 yards per play vs. San Diego State. SDSU was held to just 13 yards on 28 plays in the second half.
- Air Force allowed just seven points at Army. After allowing a touchdown on the opening drive, Army was held scoreless the remaining 58:42 of the game and only allowed Army inside AF territory four times with the deepest penetration being the 36.
More on the defense
Air Force has allowed just four scores on the opeing drive of the first or second half this season. Utah scored the first to open the second half, scoring a touchdown. Navy added a field goal to open the game and a touchdown following an AF fumble on its own 10 to opened the second half. Army scored a touchdown on its opening drive of the game.
The Air Force offense has had 13 turnovers this season and the defense has allowed just 23 points as a result. On the 11 drives (one turnover vs. Utah ended the game while one at Army ended the half) combined, the defense has allowed just 118 yards on 41 plays which is an average of 2.9 yards per play.
Opponent opening drives
Game 1st Half 2nd Half
Southern Utah Punt (3-6-1:15) Punt (3-9-:47)
Wyoming Punt (3-5-:59) Fumble (1-3-:07)
Houston Punt (4-26-2:40) Punt (9-38-3:02) -- two first downs
Utah Down (5-12-2:38) Touchdown (8-69-3:53)
Navy FG (13-62-7:13) Touchdown (3-10-1:14)
San Diego State Punt (4-(-3)-1:50) Punt (6-10-2:29)
UNLV Punt (8-43-3:55) MFG (11-49-4:00)
New Mexico Downs (9-71-3:57) Downs (12-62-5:13)
Army TD (3-60-1:18) Punt (12-37-5:45)
Total 52 plays; 282 yds 65 plays; 287 yds
Average 5.8 pl, 31.3 yds 7.2 pl, 31.8 yds
Air Force defense following a turnover
Opponent Turnover Spot Result
Southern Utah fumble AF 42 Punt (3-1-:57)
fumble Opp 20 Punt (7-21-3:52)
Wyoming Interception AF 31 FG (4-1-1:29)
Utah Interception AF 44 Fumble (3-1-:53)
Interception AF 39 End of game
Navy Fumble AF 10 TD (3-10-1:14)
Fumble AF 18 FG (4-3-1:56)
San Diego State Fumble AF 32 MFG (5-15-:11)
Fumble Opp 20 Punt (3-7-1:27)
New Mexico Fumble AF 11 TD (4-11-1:28)
Interception AF 44 FG (7-16-2:51)
Fumble Opp 49 Fumble (3-47-1:09)
Totals 41 plays; 118 yards
Air Force moves up to fourth nationally
- Air Force has scored in 190 consecutive games dating back to 1992.
- The Falcons were last shutout by Mississippi, 13-0, in the 1992 Liberty Bowl.
- Air Force's streak is the second-longest active streak of teams in the Mountain West Conference and the fourth longest in the country.
# School Streak Last Shutout
1. Michigan 297 Oct. 20, 1984 at Iowa (0-26)
2. Florida 251 Oct. 29, 1988 vs. Auburn (0-16)
3. TCU (MWC) 200 Nov. 16, 1991 at Texas (0-32)
4. Air Force (MWC) 190 #--Dec. 31, 1992 vs. Mississippi (0-13), #--Liberty Bowl)
- Air Force's 190-game scoring streak is the 16th longest in Division I-A college history
- of the top 16 all-time, nine were started in the 1980s while the other five began in the 1970s.
- Here's that list:
# School Streak Dates Ended By
1. Brigham Young 361 9/27/1975 - 11/15/2003 Utah
2. Michigan 297 10/27/1984 - present ..................
3. Texas 281 11/29/1980 - 10/02/2004 Oklahoma
4. Washington State 280 10/22/1984 - present USC
5. Washington 272 11/14/1981 - 10/16/2004 USC
6. Oregon 267 10/05/1985 - 11/15/2007 UCLA
7. Florida 251 11/05/1988 - present ..................
8. UCLA 245 10/02/1971 - 10/17/1992 Arizona State
9. Colorado 242 11/19/1988 - present Missouri
10. Nebraska 233 1/01/1974 - 11/29/1991 Miami, Fla.
11. Florida State 232 9/10/1988 - 11/11/2006 Wake Forest
12. Hawaii 219 12/04/1976 - 11/04/1995 Colorado State
13. Arizona 214 9/09/1972 - 12/15/1990 Syracuse
14. TCU 200 11/23/1991 - present ..................
15. Virginia 195 9/15/1984 - 10/28/2000 Georgia Tech
16. Air Force 190 8/04/1993 - present .......................
Air Force conference/national rushing numbers
- Air Force leads the conference and ranks fourth nationally in rushing with a 274.4 average.
- Air Force has won 24 conference rushing titles since joining conference play in 1980.
- In 2002, the Falcons won the school's first national rushing title with a 307.8 per-game average.
- The Falcons won their 10th straight conference title in 2007 with a 299.5 average.
Year Stats Conf. National
1980 170.7 5th 79th
1981 185.1 4th 53rd
1982 301.7 1st 4th
1983 246.5 1st 2nd
1984 326.5 1st 2nd
1985 293.2 1st 6th
1986 232.6 1st 15th
1987 386.3 1st 2nd
1988 377.5 1st 2nd
1989 356.0 1st 3rd
1990 267.5 1st 7th
1991 338.1 1st 2nd
1992 242.4 2nd 7th
1993 284.9 1st 4th
1994 304.8 1st 2nd
1995 332.4 1st 2nd
1996 328.9 1st 2nd
1997 332.7 2nd 9th
1998 266.8 1st 3rd
1999 285.5 1st 2nd
2000 294.9 1st 2nd
2001 273.2 1st 3rd
2002 307.8 1st 1st
2003 280.6 1st 4th
2004 277.4 1st 4th
2005 246.5 1st 8th
2006 229.4 1st 3rd
2007 299.5 1st 2nd
2008 274.1 1st 4th
2008 National rushing leaders
# Team G Avg.
1. Navy 9 308.00
2. Nevada 8 305.63
3. La.-Lafayette 8 301.25
4. Air Force 9 274.44
5. Ohio State 9 273.56
Offensive scoring streak hits 14
Air Force has scored in 14 straight quarters dating back to the second quarter at San Diego State four games ago. The team has scored in 21 of the last 22 quarters overall and rank fourth in the conference in scoring with a 27.6 average.
Quarterback sacks - AF among national leaders
Air Force is among the national leaders in quarterback sacks, both offensively and defensively. The Falcons have forced 24 quarterback sacks for 153 yards which is an average of 2.66 per game. Air Force ranks second in the in the conference and 21st nationally. Senior defensive end Jake Paulson has recorded 8.5 sacks and ranks 10th in the nation with a .94 per-game average.
Offensively, the Falcons have allowed just two quarterback sacks, one vs. UNLV and one vs. New Mexico. The Falcons lead the conference and nation in fewest sacks allowed.
Rushing for 100 is the key
Air Force is nearly unbeatable when it has had a 100-yard rusher under head coach Troy Calhoun. The Falcons are 2-0 this season and 11-1 in games when they have a player rush for 100 or more yards. The team's only loss came in the 2007 Armed Forces Bowl vs. California. Air Force has had multiple players rush for 100 yards or more twice during the last two years. The list of 100-yard rushers for each game follows below:
Year Game Player Yards Result
2007 South Carolina St. Kip McCarthy 129 W 34-3
Utah Shaun Carney 113 W 20-12
TCU Jim Ollis 138 W 20-17 OT
UNLV Chad Hall 169 W 31-14
Colorado State Chad Hall 256 W 45-21
Wyoming Chad Hall 167 W 20-12
Army Chad Hall 275 W 30-10
Notre Dame Chad Hall 142 W 41-24
San Diego State Jim Ollis 163 W 55-23
Chad Hall 151
Ty Paffett 105
California Shaun Carney 108 L 36-42
Jim Ollis 101
2008 San Diego State Asher Clark 109 W 35-10
UNLV Todd Newell 134 W 29-28
Following the same script as 2007
Air Force finds itself in a similar position this season as in 2007. Air Force opened up 3-0 in 2007 before dropping back-to-back games, the second coming to Navy. The Falcons bounced back to win six of the next seven games to close the regular season with a 9-3 overall mark and a 6-2 MWC record to finish second. Air Force averaged just 20.0 points and 377.8 total yards per game, including 225.8 rushing during the first five gams. The Falcons averaged 36.1 points, 448.3 total yards and 350.4 rushing yards per game over the last seven games. WR-Z Chad Hall also exploded, averaging 179.6 yards rushing per game during the span.
Air Force opened 3-0 this season before back-to-back losses, the second coming to Navy, left the team with an identical 3-2 record. Air Force has bounced back with four straight wins and to improve to 7-2 overall and 4-1 in the conference. Air Force's offense has held steady, despite a tough day at Army. The Falcons have averaged 345.8 yards of total offense, including 279.1 yards rushing. The team has also had some outstanding individual efforts. Freshman Asher Clark rushed for a career-best 109 yards and a touchdown in his first-career start at San Diego State.
Fellow freshman Tim Jefferson, making just his second-career start, rushed for a career-high 99 yards and hit six of seven passes for a career-best 162 yards and the first two TD passes of his career at UNLV. Senior fullback Todd Newell chipped in with a career-best 134 yards rushing vs. the Rebels. After not having a 100-yard rushing in the first five games, the team has had two in the last four games.
Category First 5 / Last 7 First 5 / Since
Scoring 20.0 / 36.1 29.0 / 25.8
Total Offense 377.8 / 448.3 353.2 / 345.8
Rushing 225.8 / 350.4 270.8 / 279.1
Air Force takes it away - leads the nation in fumble recoveries
Air Force has picked up where it left off last season, collecting a +10 turnover margin this season. The Falcons have had multiple takeaways in every game this season, except at UNLV. The team's 1.11 per-game turnover margin average ranks second in the MWC and 10th nationally. Air Force has forced 23 turnovers this season, including 15 fumbles and eight interceptions. The Falcons have recovered 15 of the opponent's 19 fumbles this season. Air Force leads the nation in fumble recoveries with 15.
2008 Turnovers: (Southern Utah, 2; Wyoming, 5; Houston, 2; Utah, 3; Navy, 2; San Diego State, 2; UNLV, 0; New Mexico, 4; Army, 3).
The Air Force defense had 28 takeaways last season which ranked second in the Mountain West Conference behind only Utah (33). The Falcons scored 120 points off those turnovers. The team's +10 turnover margin ranked second in the MWC and 15th in the nation. The Falcons forced 15 interceptions and 13 fumble recoveries.
Over the last two seasons, Air Force has a combined +20 mark under head coach Troy Calhoun.
Air Force takeaways and +/- in last 10 years
Year Takeaways(Int./Fum.) +/- W/L
2008 16 (5/11) +10 7-2
2007 28 (15/13) +10 9-4
2006 22 (9/13) +8 4-8
2005 17 (9/8) -7 4-7
2004 17 (9/8) +1 5-7
2003 23 (13/10) +6 7-5
2002 26 (12/14) +9 8-5
2001 28 (14/14) +8 6-6
2000 19 (7/12) +7 9-3
1999 14 (8/6) -4 6-5
1998 30 (17/13) +17 12-1
Air Force 5-0 away from home this season
Air Force defeated Army, 16-7, in West Point, N.Y., to improve to 5-0 this season away from Falcon Stadium. The Falcons have also defeated Wyoming, San Diego State and UNLV on the road and Houston in a neutral site game. The five wins away from home are the most in Air Force history since the 1998 team won six times on the road or in neutral site games. In 1998, the Falcons won four away games and two neutral site games.
Air Force, Army and Navy compete each year for the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy, which is emblematic of service academy football supremacy. 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.
The 2008 season marks the 37th year of trophy competition. Navy defeated Air Force, 33-27, in Falcons Stadium in the opening game of this year's series. Air Force defeated Arny, 16-7, in West Point, N.Y., to finish 1-1. Air Force has a 48-26-0 all-time CIC record and has won 16 trophy titles. Air Force's overall record and number of trophy titles are best among the three academies.
Team Record Pct.
Air Force 48-26-0 .649
Navy 36-36-1 .500
Army 25-48-1 .345
Air Force outright CIC title years:
`82, `83, `85, `87, `89, `90, `91, `92, `94, `95, `97, `98, `99, `00, `01, `02
Dekker stands out on and off the field
Senior TE Travis Dekker returned to action vs. Navy after missing the first four games of the season with a broken ankle. Dekker's impact was felt immediately, as he tied for the team lead in receptions with three for 32 yards. His return also sparked a season high 184 yards passing for Air Force. Dekker added a career-long catch of 59 yards vs. UNLV and made a highlight film leap over a defender attempting to make the tackle. He added his first touchdown of the season with a one-yard catch vs. New Mexico.
Dekker finished third on the team last seasonwith 25 catches for 382 yards. His 25 receptions were the most by a Falcon tight end since Trent Van Hulzen had 26 in 1989.
Dekker, who has been accepted into the Georgetown Medical School, has been a standout off the field as well. A quick hit of some of the awards he's won and been nominated for follow:
- One of 71 nominees for the 71st annual Allstate American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Good Works Team. The Good Works Team recognizes this group of committed and hard-working players for their off-the-field achievements.
- One of 164 semifinalists for the 2008 Draddy Trophy, presented by HealthSouth, and the candidates for the 2008 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards. Established to honor former NFF Chairman Vincent dePaul Draddy, a Manhattan College quarterback who developed the Izod and Lacoste brands, the award comes with a 25-pound bronze trophy and a $25,000 post-graduate scholarship.
- One of 30 Division I football players chosen as a candidate for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. This is the inaugural year that the award will be presented in football. The Lowe's Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages those leaders to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact on their circle of influence. This prestigious awards program was launched during the 2001-02 basketball season, added six additional sports in 2007, and has now expanded this year to include NCAA football.
Sophomore Reggie Rembert is a busy man during games. Rembert is a starter at cornerback on the defense and is a backup at WR-Z on offense. In addition, Rembert is on the punt and kickoff return teams. He ranks third in the MWC in punt returns this season with a 12.5 average and is ninth in kickoff returns with a 19.0 norm. Rembert has five carries for 30 yards on offense and is averaging 6.0 yards per carry. Defensively, he is fifth on the team in total tackles with 36. Rembert ranks second on the team in tackles for loss with six for 22 yards. He also has two quarterback sacks for 14 yards and has forced one fumble and recovered another. Rembert leads the team with two interceptions.
Rembert is the first Falcon to play both offense and defense in a game at the Academy since Chris Evans, who played both tight end and defensive end due to injuries against Army in 2006. Evans did not have any statistics and played both only that week. LeRon Hudgins is the last player to play both ways significantly as a safety and running back in 1995. Hudgins was listed as a starter on defense and played most of the season as a backup halfback in the option offense.
In 1967, Carl Janssen was the first Falcon to start on both sides of the ball and on special teams. As the starting wide receiver and three-year player at that position, he led the team with 18 catches for 259 yards and a TD in 1967 and had one carry for two yards. He also started at defensive back. He was third on the team with two interceptions and also had a fumble recovery. Janssen led the team with 23 punt returns for 233 yards, a 10.1 average. He also returned one kickoff for 30 yards.
- Had 102 all-purpose yards for a 20.2 average per touch vs. Southern Utah ... also had three tackles.
- Rushed four times for nine yards at Wyoming while returning one punt four yards and one kickoff return 22 yards. He also had four solo tackles and, a tackle for loss and a forced fumble.
- Six solo tackles and the first two tackles for loss of his career vs. Houston ... also recorded his career-long punt return of 53 yards to set up an Air Force touchdown ... the return ranks as the 11th longest in school history and longest since Matt Farmer went 55 yards vs. New Mexico in 1998
- Seven tackles and the first quarterback sack and interterception of his career vs. Utah.
- Collected a career-best 103 return yards vs. Navy, 94 on five kickoff returns.
- Recorded season bests of four punt returns for 57 yards at Army ... had a 35-yard return that set up Air Force's go-ahead touchdown ... recorded two turnovers at Army with a fumble recovery and an interception.
Paulson among the national leaders
Senior defensive end Jake Paulson is having an outstanding season. Paulson has 8.5 quarterback sacks and ranks second in the conference and 10th nationally with a .94 per-game average. Paulson ranks third in the conference and 14th nationally in tackles for loss with 13.5 which is a 1.50 per-game average.
Paulson has been dominant in nearly every game, recording at least one sack in five of nine, despite missing part of the UNLV game and playing part-time vs. New Mexico due to injury. Paulson had four tackles, two sacks, a tackle for loss and a safety in the opening game against Southern Utah. He added 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble at Wyoming. Paulson had a career-best seven tackles against Houston, including 2.5 sacks for 19 yards and a pass deflection. He added three tackles and a sack vs. Utah and scored the first touchdown of his career on a 25-yard fumble recovery. The TD is the first defensive score this season and first touchdown by a defensive lineman since Bryce Fisher vs. Oregon in the 1997 Las Vegas Bowl. Paulson matched his career-best with seven tackles against Navy and had one tackle for loss and a fumble recovery for 10 yards.
Paulson's top games
Southern Utah 4-0-4, 2.0 sacks, 1 TFL, safety
Wyoming 2-1-3, 1.5 sacks, forced fumble
Houston 6-1-7, 2.5 sacks, pass deflection
Utah 2-1-3, 1.0 sack, 25-yard fumble return for a TD
Navy 3-4-7, 1.0 TFL, fumble recovery for 10 yards
San Diego State 2-3-5, 1.5 sacks, .5 TFL, pass deflection
Army 4-3-7, 2.5 tackles for loss, pass breakup that led to an interception
Halderman hauls it
Sophomore Kyle Halderman is one of the big-play men for the Falcons. Halderman is third on the team in rushing with 311 yards. He rushed for 87 yards on six carries in the season opening win over Southern Utah and scored on a 48-yard dash.
Halderman led the Falcons with 85 yards on three carries at Wyoming and broke open the game in the third quarter with a 74-yard run to set up a touchdown to give Air Force a 13-3 lead. The 74-yard run is the longest by a Falcon since Blane Morgan went 80 yards vs. New Mexico in 1998. Halderman rushed for 66 yards on 11 carries against Houston.
He showed he's a big-play receiver as well vs. Navy, recording his first-career catch which was good for a 19-yard touchdown. Halderman finished the day tied for the team lead in receptions with three for a team-best 62 yards and his first-career touchdown receiving. He also added 32 yards rushing on four carries vs. the Midshipmen. Halderman rushed once for 14 yards at UNLV and haulded in a 44-yard touchdown pass.
He has caught six passes for 140 yards and two touchdowns. Halderman is second on the team in all-purpose yards with 480 which is a 53.3 per-game average.
Harrison a semifinalist for Lou Groza Award
Air Force senior kicker Ryan Harrison has been named a semifinalist for the 2008 Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award as announced by the Palm Beach County (Florida) Sports Commission. Harrison is one of 20 semifinalists for the 17th annual award.
Harrison is one of three MWC kickers named as semifinalist as Utah's Louie Sakoda and TCU's Ross Evans were also selected. Other semifinalists are Arkansas State's Josh Sarauco, Arizona's Jason Bondzio, Miami's Matt Bosher, Florida State's Graham Gano, Troy's Sam Glusman, Navy's Matt Harmon, Penn State's Kevin Kelly, Virginia Tech's Dustin Keys, UTEP's Jose Martinez, West Virginia's Pat McAfee, Florida's Jonathan Phillips, Cincinnati's Jake Rogers, Syracuse's Patrick Shadle, Mississippi's Joshua Shene, Alabama's Leigh Tiffin, Wisconsin's Phillip Welch and Missouri's Jeff Wolfert.
Semi-Finalists will be voted on by a panel consisting of all Division 1 coaches and SID's, along with national, regional and local football writers and others who will select the three finalists. These finalists will be invited to the Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Awards Banquet December 7-9 in West Palm Beach, Fla. The winner will be announced live on the nationally-televised Home Deport ESPNU College Football Awards Program on the evening of December 11, 2008.
Harrison ties school record for field goals
Senior do-everything kicker/punter Ryan Harrison ranks first in the conference and third nationally in field goals, averaging 2.11 per game. Harrison has tied his own single-season school record for field goals that he shares with David Adams (2000) and Dave Lawson (1974), hitting 19 in 21 attempts. His 90.5 percentage is the second best in school history and best since Jackson Whiting set the school record of 1.000 (12-12) in 1999. Harrison is perfect in 25 extra point attempts to tie for the national lead. He is averaging 9.1 points per game which ranks second in the conference and 20th in the nation.
Harrison has tied a career high with three field goals five times this season, including the last three games, and seven times in his career. He was named the MWC special teams player of the week vs. UNLV and New Mexico this season and has won the award three times in his career.
He hit his first field goal at Houston to extend his consecutive streak of field goals to 16 before missing from 41 yards. Harrison has hit 29 of his last 31 attempts (93.5 percent) dating back to the Wyoming game last season.
Harrison ranks fourth in Air Force history in career field goals with 38 which is the most since Joe Wood hit 39 from 1989-91. Harrison has hit 38 of 48 careeer attempts and his 79.1 percentage ranks third all-time at Air Force.
Harrison career numbers
Season FG Punting PATs Kickoffs
2008 19-21 (.905) 29-39.1 25-25 (1.000) 53 total -21 TBs
2007 19-27 (.704) 46-42.9 44-46 (.957) 77 total -32 TBs
Totals 38-48 (.791) 75-41.5 69-71 (.971) 130 total - 53 TBs
Career Field Goal Percentage
Name, Years Pct
1. Jackson Whiting, 1998-99 .826 (19-23)
2. Joe Wood, 1989-91 .796 (39-49)
3. Ryan Harrison, 2007-08 .791 (38-48)
4. David Adams, 1998-00 .764 (26-34)
5. Carlos Mateos, 1984 .750 (12-16)
6. Joe Ashcroft, 2001-03 .744 (29-39)
Single-Season Field Goal Percentage
# Name, Year Pct.
1. Jackson Whiting, 1999 1.000 (12-12)
2. Ryan Harrison, 2008 .905 (19-21)
Joey Ashcroft, 2002 .888 (16-18)
4. Joe Wood, 1990 .857 (12-14)
5. Sean Pavlich, 1982 .833 (15-18)
Career Field Goals
# Name, Years FGs
1. Dave Lawson, 1972-75 51
2. Sean Pavlich, 1980-83 42
3. Joe Wood, 1989-91 39
4. Ryan Harrison, 2007-08 38
Newell running wild
Senior fullback Todd Newell is taking full advantage of his opportunity to be a starter for the first time in his career. Newell is second on the team in rushing with 409 yards and touchdowns with three. Over the last five games, Newell has averaged 73.6 yards rushing per game which is tops on the team.
Newell recorded career highs in rushing attempts and yards in three straight games. The streak started with a 50-yard effort on 15 carries vs. Navy. He added 77 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries at San Diego State. Newell went wild at UNLV, rushing for 134 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries. His touchdown came on a career-long 52-yard run. His 134 yards rushing are the most by a Falcon this season and he became the first fullback to top the 100-yard mark since Jacobe Kendrick in 2005. The 134 yards are the most by a fullback since Nate Beard had 149 vs. Colorado State in 2000.
Clark taking over the load at tailback
The tailback position is the youngest on the team. A freshman and two sophomores make up the depth chart. Sophomores Kyle Lumpkin and Savier Stephens opened the season as a one-two punch before rookie Asher Clark stepped in the last four games as the starter to solidify the position. Despite his worest effort since becoming the starter with just 21 yards on 12 carries at Army, Clark has averaged 70.1 yards rushing on 17.5 carries per game as a starter. He rushed for a career-best 109 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries at San Diego State in his first-career start. His 100-yard effort was the first by a Falcon this season and most by an Air Force freshman since Qualario Brown had 158 vs. San Jose State in 1997.
Clark as a starter
Game # Yds TDs Notes
San Diego State 15 109 1 Most yards by an AF freshman since 1997
UNLV 20 65 0 A then-career-high 20 carries
New Mexico 23 86 0 Team-high 86 yards on career-best 23 carries
Army 12 21 0
Totals 70 281 1
Averages 17.5 70.1
Smith solid in any role
Senior quarterback Shea Smith has been solid this season. Smith started the first five games of the season before giving way to freshman Tim Jefferson. Smith has rushed for 229 yards and leads the team with six rushing touchdowns. He has hit 28 of 50 passes for 394 yards with four touchdowns and three interceptions. He has a 136.59 quarterback efficiency rating. Smith rushed for a career-high 93 yards and a career-best three touchdowns vs. Houston. He threw for a career-best 138 yards and a touchdown on seven of 13 passing vs. Utah. Smith threw for 128 yards and a score on eight of 12 passes vs. Navy before leaving the game due to illness. Smith rushed for 91 yards and a touchdown vs. Southern Utah in his first-career start. He is the first Falcon quarterback to win his first three career starts since Chance Harridge in 2002. Smith has been comfortable in the backup role as well. He stepped in and helped Air Force at San Diego State, throwing a 28-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter in relief of an injured Jefferson.
The Air Force trio of juniors Chris Thomas (safety) and Justin Moore (ILB) and sophomore Will Keuchler (OLB) have reunited at the Academy. The trio of classmates was first together in Westerville, Ohio, at St. Francis DeSales High School where they helped the football team to a state championship game appearance. They are together again this season. Keuchler, who attended the Academy's Prep School, is a back at outside linebacker, while Thomas enters his second season as a starter at safety. Moore is listed as a backup inside linebacker. They were coached by Bob Jacoby in high school.
Jefferson establishing himself at QB
Freshman quarterback Tim Jefferson became just the fourth freshman starting quarterback in school history when he moved into the starting lineup at San Diego State. Jefferson joined Dave Ziebart (1976), Dee Dowis (1986) and Shaun Carney (2004) as rookie starters.
Jefferson was solid in his first start, rushing for a then-career-best 55 yards and his first-career touchdown on 12 carries. He also hit three of five passes for 34 yards.
The Atlanta, Ga., product exploded in his second-career start at UNLV, rushing for a career-best 99 yards on 13 carries and hitting six of seven passes for a career-high 162 yards. Jefferson also threw the first two touchdown passes of his career. He engineered the game-winning drive which led to a 19-yard field goal to win it for Air Force. Jefferson hit three-of-three passes for 31 yards and rushed four times for 11 yards on the 17-play, 91-yard drive. He also picked up two first downs, one by rushing and one on an 18-yard pass play. He was named MWC offensive player of the week for his efforts vs. the Rebels.
Jefferson has rushed for 304 yards and two touchdowns and is averaging 4.0 yards per carry this season. He has also hit 17 of 31 passes for 285 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions. He has a 151.10 quarterback efficiency rating and is 4-0 at a starter. He is the first Air Force quarterback to win his first four starts since Chance Harridge won his first six in 2002.
Sophomore inside linebacker Ken Lamendola is having a solid season in his first year as a starter. Lamendola leads the Falcons and is tied for third in the conference in tackles with a 9.0 per-game average. He has recorded 81 total stops, including 29 unassisted. After recording just one tackle in his first-career start in the Southern Utah game, Lamendola chipped in with four straight games of 10 or more tackles. Lamendola had 11 tackles at Wyoming, then added 12 tackles vs. Houston and Utah and a career-best 14 vs. Navy. His four-game streak of double figure tackle games is the best since All-American Chris Gizzi set the school record with 12 in 1997. Lamendola added his fifth game with 10 or more tackles this season with a team-high 13 at Army. His five games with double figures in tackles is tied for first in the conference.
Altman all right
Senior OLB Hunter Altman has been outstanding this season, particularly recently. Altman posted back-to-back games with career highs in tackles with 12, including two tackles for loss, vs. Utah and 13 vs. Navy. Altman had eight solo stops vs. Navy which is also a career best. Altman didn't set a career high in tackles vs. San Diego State, but he led the team with seven total tackles and combined with Jake Paulson for a quarterback sack. Altman led the team at UNLV with eight tackles, including seven unassisted. He added four tackles and a half quarterback sack vs. New Mexico and added eight tackles, including two tackles for loss for seven yards at Army.
Altman is second on the team in tackles this season with 64, including a team-best 41 unassisted. He has 5.0 tackles for loss and 1.0 quarterback sacks. Altman has 140 career tackles which is the second most among active players.
Honors for Air Force players in 2008
- Ryan Harrison, PK,P - 11th best kicker in the nation by Phill Steele's
Magazine ... second-team preseason all-MWC as kicker and punter by Phil Steele's Magazine ... Lou Groza National Place Kicker Award star of the week vs. Wyoming ... MWC special teams player of the week vs. UNLV ... MWC special teams player of the week vs. New Mexico ... semifinalist for the 2008 Lou Groza National Placekicker Award.
- Nick Charles, OL - First-team all-MWC preseason ... second-team preseason all-MWC by Phil Steele's Magazine.
- Keith Williams, OL - second-team preseason all-MWC by Phil Steele's Magazine.
- Chris Thomas, DB - second-team preseason all-MWC by Phil Steele's Magazine.
- Ryan Kemp, DE - First-team all-MWC preseason.
- Travis Dekker, TE - Nominated for the AFCA Good Works Team ... Inaugural class of 30 for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award for classroom, character, community and compeition ... one of 164 semifinalists for the 2008 Draddy Trophy as college football's top student-athlete.
- Chris Thomas, SS - MWC defensive player of the week vs. Wyoming.
- Tim Jefferson, QB - MWC offensive player of the week vs. UNLV ... National Football Foundation Colorado Chapter player of the week vs. UNLV.
- Aaron Kirchoff, FS - MWC defensive player of the week vs. New Mexico.