Falcon Football Travels to San Diego State

    Senior linebacker Austin Niklas.
    Senior linebacker Austin Niklas.

    Nov. 5, 2012

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    Air Force (5-4, 4-1) at San Diego State (7-3, 5-1)
    Saturday • Nov. 10 • 1:30 p.m. MT
    Qualcomm Stadium (54,000) • San Diego, CA

    TELEVISION
    • NBC Sports Network
    • Ari Wolfe (play-by-play), Blane Fowler (color)

    The Last Meeting
    San Diego State41
    Air Force27
    October 13, 2011
    USAFA
    Falcons Fall Short Against Aztecs, 41-27
    Tim Jefferson had touchdown passes of 18 and 26 yards to Jonathan Warzeka among his 22 completions in 36 attempts for 224 yards for Air Force (3-3, 0-2).

    RADIO
    • KVOR AM 740 in Colorado Springs; The Fan 104.3 in Denver; Goairforcefalcons.com
    • Jim Arthur (play-by-play); Jesse Kurtz (analyst); Jay Ritchie/Bob Ihle (pre- and post-game)

    GAME FACTS: Air Force returns to Mountain West play this week by traveling to San Diego, Calif., to take on San Diego State ... The Falcons are going coast-to-coast after playing at Army in West Point, N.Y., last week ... The lone non-conference common opponent between San Diego State and Air Force is Army ... The Aztecs defeated the Black Knights, 42-7, in San Diego Sept. 8 while Air Force lost, 41-21, at Army last week ... Air Force is in a stretch of playing three of four games on the road ... Following the Hawai'i game in Falcon Stadium next week, the Falcons close out the regular season at Fresno State Nov. 24 ... Air Force had a three-game winning streak snapped last week ... The Aztecs are on a five-game winning streak after last week's win at Boise State ... Air Force leads the series 19-11 ... The Falcons are 7-6 in San Diego ... SDSU has won the last two in the series, including a 27-25 win the last time the two played in San Diego ... Air Force and San Diego State have split the last eight games in the series ... Air Force and SDSU are two of the four one-loss teams in the Mountain West.

    COACHES
    • Air Force: Troy Calhoun (Air Force, 1989) is in his sixth season. He has led the Falcons to a 46-28 career record. Calhoun is 28-16 in MWC games, 18-12 in non-conference games, 27-9 in Falcon Stadium, 16-16 in road games (12-9 in MW road games) and 2-3 in bowl games.
    • Rocky Long: Rocky Long (New Mexico, 1974) is in his second season at San Diego State. He has guided the Aztecs to a 15-8 record. Long has an 80-77 career record in his 13th season. No stranger to Mountain West football, Long was head coach at New Mexico from 1998-2008.

    THE SERIES
    • Air Force leads the series, 19-11, with all games coming as conference foes.
    • The Falcons are 7-6 in San Diego, 11-5 at home and 1-0 in neutral site games.
    • San Diego State has won two straight and six of the last 10 in the series.
    • Prior to San Diego State's two-game streak, Air Force has won three straight from 2007-09.
    • The Aztecs defeated Air Force, 27-25, the last time the two played in San Diego in 2010.
    • San Diego State defeated Air Force, 41-27, last season in Falcon Stadium.
    • The teams first played in 1980 in Falcon Stadium, resuling in a 13-10 Aztec win.

    Year-by-year
    1980 - SDSU 13-10 (H)
    1981 - AFA 21-16*
    1982 - AFA 44-32 (H)
    1983 - AFA 38-7 (A)
    1984 - AFA 34-16 (H)
    1985 - AFA 31-10 (H)
    1986 - AFA 22-10 (A)
    1987 - AFA 49-7 (H)
    1988 - SDSU 39-36 (A)
    1989 - AFA 52-36 (H)
    1990 - SDSU 48-18 (A)
    1991 - AFA 21-20 (H)
    1992 - AFA 20-17 (A)
    1993 - SDSU 38-31 (H)
    1994 - AFA 36-35 (A)
    1996 - SDSU 28-23 (A)
    1997 - AFA 24-18 (H) OT
    1999 - AFA 23-22 (A)
    2000 - AFA 45-24 (H)
    2001 - AFA 45-21 (A)
    2002 - SDSU 38-34 (H)
    2003 - SDSU 24-3 (A)
    2004 - SDSU 37-31 (H)
    2005 - AFA 41-29 (H)
    2006 - SDSU 19-12 (A)
    2007 - AFA 55-23 (H)
    2008 - AFA 35-10 (A)
    2009 - AFA 26-14 (H)
    2010 - SDSU 27-25 (A)
    2011 - SDSU 41-27 (H)
    (H/A) is for AFA
    * - Tokyo, Japan

    THE LAST MEETING: San Diego State defeated Air Force, 41-27, in a Thursday night game in Falcon Stadium. Ronnie Hillman scored a pair of fourth quarter touchdowns to break open a close game and propel the Aztecs. Parker Herrington broke a 17-all halftime tie with a field goal in the third quarter to give Air Force a 20-17 lead. The Aztecs tied the score with a field goal, then took the lead for good, 27-20, on a 28-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Lindley to Colin Lockett. The two scores came off Air Force turnovers. Hillman, who finished the game with 172 yards rushing on 27 carries, extended the lead to 41-20 with his two scores. The Falcons closed with a Tim Jefferson to Jonathan Warzeka touchdown pass to make up the final margin. San Diego State gained 410 yards in the game, including 209 yards on 15-of-21 passing from Lindley. Air Force gained 419 total yards. Jefferson recorded career highs in attempts, completions and yards going 22-of-36 for 224 yards and two touchdowns. Jonathan Warzeka had a career-best seven catches for 96 yards and two touchdowns. The defense was led by Brady Amack and Jon Davis, who had 11 and 10 tackles, respectively.

    THE LAST TIME AT SAN DIEGO STATE: San Diego State defeated Air Force, 27-25. Ronnie Hillman rushed for 191 yards and two touchdowns, inlcuding the game-clincher. Quarterback Ryan Lindley hit 14-of-26 passes for 247 yards and a score as the Aztecs rolled up 452 total yards and averaged 7.6 yards per play. Asher Clark rushed for 116 yards and a touchdown and Tim Jefferson added 88 yards on 15 carries and hit 13-of-30 passes for 175 yards and a score. Air Force finished with 487 total yards, including 312 rushing.

    PLAYING BEST WHEN IT MATTERS MOST: Air Force is 22-11 under head coach Troy Calhoun in games during the second half of the season (last six games). The Falcons, 2-1 this season, were 4-2 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 from 2001-06.

    AIR FORCE TOUGH IN NOVEMBER CONFERENCE GAMES: Air Force is 7-4 under head coach Troy Calhoun in November conference games, including a mark of 7-1 against unranked teams. The Falcons are 5-2 at home and 2-2 on the road. The Falcon are 4-1 the last two years in November conference games with the only loss coming to Wyoming in 2011 in Falcon Stadium. Three of the four losses have been to ranked teams: at No. 18 BYU (38-21) in 2009, at No. 15 TCU (44-10) in 2008 and vs. No. 16 BYU (38-24) in 2008. Air Force was 4-9 in November home games from 2001-06 prior to Calhoun's arrival.

    CALIFORNIA CONNECTIONS: Air Force has eight players from California on its roster: Dano Graves - Folsom, CA (Folsom); Justin DeCoud - Fontana, CA (Martin Luther King, Jr.); Zach Hoffman - Frazier Park, CA (Thousand Oaks); Ty MacArhtur - Newhall, CA (Hart); Scott Day - San Jose, CA (Lynbrook); Austin Niklas - Fullerton, CA (Servite); Kevin Carrington - Valencia, CA (Valencia); Marcus Hendricks - Folsom, CA (Folsom).

    LAST WEEK: Army defeated Air Force, 41-21, in West Point. The victory is Army's first over Air Force at home since 1996 and first overall since 2005. Trent Steelman led the Black Knights, scoring on a four-yard run on Army's opening drive to take a 7-0 lead. Following a Wes Cobb touchdown run to tie the score, Army took the lead for good with a field goal. Army extended the lead to 20-7 at halftime with another Steelman touchdown run and field goal. Larry Dixon and Raymond Maples each added touchdown runs in the third quarter to give Army a 35-7 lead late in the quarter. Air Force scored twice in the fourth quarter to cut the lead to 35-21, but Nate Combs recovered a fumble in the Air Force end zone for a touchdown to make up the final margin. The Black Knight rolled up 414 total yards, including 314 rushing. Steelman led the way with 101 yards on 29 carries. He also hit four-of-six passes for 100 yards. Air Force had 338 total yards, including just 103 rushing. Jon Lee led the team with 42 yards and a touchdown on eight carries. Connor Dietz added 37 yards rushing and a touchdown and hit 10-of-17 passes for a career-high 185 yards. Austin Niklas led the defense with a career-high 17 tackles. Christian Spears added 12 and Cody Miller a career-best 11.

    Team Notes
    • Air Force uses game captains. The captains for the Army game were seniors Alex Means (LB), Connor Dietz (QB) and Jason Kons (OL).
    • Army's opening touchdown drive marks just the third time this season the Falcons has allowed a score on the opponent's opening drive of the game. Michigan and New Mexico are the only other teams to score on the opening drive, both scoring touchdowns.
    • Air Force scored a touchdown on its opening drive of the game for the fourth time this season and first time since the Navy game. The score marks Air Force's second straight game opening with a score, as it opened with a field goal vs. Nevada.
    • This season marks the first time since 2005 that Air Force has lost to both Army and Navy in the same season. The Falcons lost at Navy, 27-24, and at home to Army, 27-24, in 2005.

    Individual Notes
    • Senior FB Wes Cobb scored on a one-yard touchdown on Air Force's opening drive to mark the third straight game he's scored. He has five rushing touchdowns the last three games.
    • Senior LB Austin Niklas recorded a career-high 17 tackles, marking the fifth time this season he's had 10 or more tackles in a game.
    • Senior DL Cody Miller recorded a career-high 11 tackles, the most tackles in a game by a Falcon defensive lineman this season. His previous career-high was four tackles vs. New Mexico.
    • Sophomore DB Christian Spears recorded 12 tackles to mark the third time this season he's had 10 or more tackles in a game. Spears has done it in three of the last five games and had eight and nine tackles in the other two games. • Senior linebacker Stephan Atrice recorded a career-high nine tackles. His previous high was four tackles vs. Navy in 2011.
    • Senior QB Connor Dietz threw for a career-high 185 yards. Dietz also threw his first interceptions of the season. Dietz was one of three quarterbacks nationally to not throw an interception this season. He had gone 79 pass attempts without an interception.
    • Senior WR Dontae Strickland set career-high's in receptions and reception yardage with four catches for 58 yards.
    • Senior LB Alex Means recorded Air Force's first blocked kick of the year. It is Means' fourth-career blocked kick.
    • Sophomore QB Kale Pearson threw for 50 yards on 7-of-11 passing--all career-high's.
    • Sophomore WR Colton Huntsman recorded his first-career receptions. Huntsman finished with three catches for 12 yards.

    Team Notes

    AIR FORCE HIGHEST RANKING MW SCHOOL/SERVICE ACADEMY IN RECENT POLL: The Air Force Academy ranks 31st nationally among Division I schools in the 10th Annual NCSA Collegiate Power Rankings.
    NCSA Athletic Recruiting's Collegiate 2012 Power Rankings assess the academic and athletics standards of all NCAA athletic programs across the country. The Power Rankings were developed to help prospective student athletes and their families evaluate the particular strengths of the top colleges and universities at the Division I, II and III levels. Fewer than six percent of colleges and universities earn a spot in NCSA Athletic Recruiting's Top 100 for 2012, and the United States Air Force Academy is in this elite class.
    The Collegiate Power Rankings from NCSA Athletic Recruiting are calculated for each Division I, II and III college and university by averaging student-athlete graduation rates, academic rankings provided by U.S. News & World Report, and the strength of athletic departments as determined by the Learfield Sports Directors' Cup.
    These Power Rankings are only one example of NCSA Athletic Recruiting's commitment to redefining collegiate recruiting. As the leading athletic recruiting network, NCSA connects more than 42,000 college coaches with student-athletes who hope to pursue both higher education and the chance to compete in athletics at the college level.
    A comprehensive list of the rankings, both overall and by division, is available at: http://www.ncsasports.org/about-ncsa/power-rankings.

    FALCONS AMONG NATIONAL LEADERS IN APR: The Air Force football program was among 12 nationally recognized Football Bowl Series programs recognized with the NCAA Division I Academic Performance Public Recognition Award, announced by the NCAA.
    Air Force is one of just two in the Mountain West Conference (Boise State) and was the only service academy recognized. This year marks the sixth straight the football program and the team's score of 980 ranks 10th nationally. Northwestern has the highest ranking of 995, followed by Boise State and Duke at 989. Each year the NCAA honors selects Division I sports teams by publicly recognizing their latest multiyear APR. This announcement is part of the overall Division I academic reform effort and is intended to highlight teams who demonstrate a commitment to academic progress and retention of student-athletes by achieving the top APRs within their respective sports. Specifically, these teams posted multiyear APRs in the top 10 percent of all squads in each sport. The APR provides a real-time look at a team's academic success each semester by tracking the academic progress of each student-athlete. The APR accounts for eligibility, retention and graduation and provides a measure of each team's academic performance.

    AIR FORCE LEADS THE NATION WITH 10 ALUMNI COACHES
    Troy Calhoun (Air Force, 1989), head coach
    Jake Campbell (Air Force, 1996), assistant offensive backfield
    Maj. Eldrick Hill (Air Force, 1993), varsity/JV assistant
    Ben Miller (Air Force, 2002), RBs/special teams coordinator
    Blane Morgan (Air Force, 1999), offensive coordinator/QBs
    Maj. Steve Pipes (Air Force, 1998), JV head coach/varsity assistant
    • Capt. John Rudzinski (Air Force, 2005), OLBs/recruiting coordinator
    Steve Russ (Air Force, 1995), asst. head coach/co-def. coord./secondary
    Mike Thiessen (Air Force, 2001), asst. head coach/offensive coord./WRs
    Charlton Warren (Air Force, 1999), assoc. head coach/defensive coordinator

    CALHOUN ONE OF 14 TO LEAD ALMA MATER: Air Force head coach Troy Calhoun is one of 14 FBS coaches who is guiding his alma mater. The list follows: Chris Ault - Nevada; Frank Beamer - Virginia Tech; Bill Blankenship - Tulsa; Troy Calhoun - Air Force; Jon Embree - Colorado; Pat Fitzgerlad - Northwestern; Mike Gundy - Oklahoma State; Doug Marrone - Syracuse; Ruffin McNeill - East Carolina; Joke Phillips - Kentucky; Larry Porter - Memphis; David Shaw - Stanford; Willie Taggart - Western Kentucky; Don Treadwell - Miami (OH).

    CALHOUN SHARING WEEKLY TOP 25 VOTE ON-LINE: Head Coach Troy Calhoun is a voter in the USA TODAY Sports Coaches Poll. Although ballots in the poll generally are not revealed until the final vote of the regular season in December, Calhoun has been providing his weekly ballot to The Gazette of Colorado Springs the last couple of years. He agreed this year to also reveal his vote each week for USA TODAY Sports. His weekly top 25 is available on the USA Today website.

    AIR FORCE BY THE NUMBERS
    5 - Air Force has played in a bowl game for a school-record five straight years.
    13 - consecutive years Air Force has won the Mountain West rushing title.
    15 - AFA has won 15 straight home openers against unranked teams dating back to 1994.
    21 - players that have made the first start of their career for Air Force this season.
    31 - quarters out of 36 Air Force has scored points in this season.
    27 - wins in 36 games in Falcon Stadium for Air Force under head coach Troy Calhoun.
    36 - games under head coach Troy Calhoun with a 100-yard rusher (27-9 record).
    43 - straight games Air Force has rushed for a touchdown dating back to Navy Oct. 3, 2009 which is the longest active streak in the nation.
    64 - straight extra points made by kicker Parker Herrington.
    79 - straight passes by quarterback Connor Dietz before throwing his first interception of the season.
    38,927 - attendance in the Navy game which is a season high.

    TEAM DEFENSIVE NOTES
    • Air Force ranks fourth in the MW in scoring defense with a 29.0 average.
    • Air Force held Wyoming to three points in the second half and just 19 yards on seven plays in the fourth quarter.
    • Air Force held Nevada to just five plays for 14 yards and forced a turnover on downs and an interception in the fourth quarter.
    • Air Force held Colorado State to just seven points and Nevada 10 in the second half.
    • Air Force shutout Idaho State in the first half.
    • DB Christian Spears recorded a career-high 20 tackles vs. New Mexico, the most by a Falcon this season. His 20 tackles are the most by a Falcon since Brady Amack had 23 vs. Navy last season.
    • Air Force is second in the MW since 1999 in shutouts with six (Boise State 11) .

    TEAM OFFENSIVE NOTES
    • Air Force leads the nation in third-down conversions with a 55.3 mark.
    • Air Force is third nationally in penalties per game with a 27.9 average.
    • Air Force is the only team in the nation that has not allowed a sack this season.
    • Air Force leads the MW and ranks eighth nationally in passing efficiency with a 165.5 mark.
    • Air Force averaged 9.1 yards per play and 8.3 yards per rush vs. Idaho State.
    • Air Force's 626 total yards vs. Idaho State is the ninth most in school history.
    • Air Force's 8.3 yards per rush average vs. Idaho State ties as the seventh most in school history.
    • Air Force's 90 plays at Michigan is the second-most in the Troy Calhoun era and most since running 92 vs. SDSU in 2010. Air Force ran 89 plays vs. Nevada, the third-most under Calhoun.
    • Air Force is third in the MW and 24th nationally in total offense with a 464.8 per-game average.
    • Air Force is third in the nation in rushing with a 337.0 per-game average.
    • The Falcons are averaging 33.0 points per game which ranks fourth in the MW and 44th nationally.

    SPECIAL TEAMS NOTES
    • Air Force is fifth in the MW and 35th nationally in kickoff returns with a 23.9 average.
    Anthony LaCoste ranked second in MW and 10th nationally in KOR with a 29.1 average before being sidelined with an injury.
    • Kicker Parker Herrington has hit 57 straight extra points dating back to 2011.
    • Air Force leads the MW and ranks 12th nationally in net punting with a 40.5 average.
    • Air Force didn't attempt a punt vs. Nevada.
    • Punter David Baska would rank fourth in the MW and 29th nationally in punting with a 42.5 average, but lacks enough attempts to qualify.

    AIR FORCE HAS FOURTH LONGEST ACTIVE SCORING STREAK IN NATION
    • Air Force has scored in a school record 242 consecutive games.
    • The streak is the fourth longest active streak in the nation.
    • The Falcons were last shutout by Mississippi, 13-0, in the 1992 Liberty Bowl.
    • Air Force's streak is the 10th longest in Division I-A history.

    FALCONS LEAD MOUNTAIN WEST, RANK THIRD NATIONALLY IN FEWEST PENALTIES: Air Force leads the Mountain West and ranks third nationally in penalties with an average of just 27.9 yards per game. The Falcons have been penalized 33 times for 251 yards in nine games. The team is averaging just 3.7 penalites per game.

    AIR FORCE TAKEAWAYS • Air Force is ninth in the MW and 105th nationally in turnover margin with a -.89 mark (-8).
    • Air Force is a combined +42 in TO margin overall the last six seasons, but -3 the last three seasons.
    • The Falcons have forced 148 turnovers since 2007, 78 interceptions and 70 fumbles.
    • Air Force forced 19 TOs, at least two each game, with a +6 TO margin the last seven games of 2011.
    • The Falcons forced just seven turnovers and were -6 in TO margin in the first six games of last season.
    • Air Force finished sixth in the Mountain West in turnover margin last season with a 0.00 mark.

    OFFENSIVE LINE TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS: Air Force's offensive line has done a great job this season.
    Despite losing starting center Michael Husar, Jr., in the season opener and having just two returning starters, Air Force has not allowed a sack this season which leads the nation. Air Force is the only team in the nation not to allow a sack. The Falcons have played two games without one of those returning starters, preseason all-conference tackle Jason Kons. Austin Hayes, who replaced Husar at center, is out due to injury and Jordan Eason moved from guard to center to replace him. He is the third player to play center this season. Because of the injuries the Falcons have started four different combinations in nine games. Despite the changes and injuries, the offensive line has paved the way for Air Force to rank third in the nation in rushing with a 337.0 per-game average. The Falcons are third in the conference and 24th nationally in total offense with a 464.8 norm.

    BLOCKED KICKS
    • Air Force blocked its first kick of the season at Army, a PAT by Alex Means
    • The block is the fourth of Means' career which is the fourth most in school history.
    • Means' breakdown: 2011: FG vs. Tenn. State, PAT at Navy, PAT at Boise State; 2012: PAT at Army.
    • Means is the first player since Ryan Carter in 2003 to block a kick in back-to-back games (Tenn St., Navy).
    • Air Force has blocked 115 kicks since 1990 when the program began tracking them.
    • The breakdown: 53 punts, 35 field goals and 27 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).
    • Air Force blocked five kicks last season, the most in a season since 2006 and most in the Calhoun era.
    • Air Force has blocked 17 kicks since 2007 under head coach Troy Calhoun.
    • The breakdown: 8 FGs, 7 PATs, 2 Punts.

    AIR FORCE PLAYING 10 STRAIGHT WEEKS: Air Force is playing 10 consecutive weeks this season, starting with the UNLV game on Sept. 22 and ending with Fresno State Nov. 24. The Falcons are one of 16 teams nationally to play 10 or more straight weeks this season.

    AIR FORCE SECOND IN THE NATION IN FIRST-TIME STARTERS IN 2012: Air Force has had 21 players start a game for the first time in their careers this season, which ranks second in the nation. The Falcons have had at least one player make their first-career start in seven of nine games. Hawai'i leads the nation in first-time starters with 26.
    Air Force players making their first career start this season are: Idaho State (13): WR Ty MacArthur, TE Austin Briehl, OL Drew Kerber, OL Michael Husar, Jr., RB Cody Getz, WR Chris Jordan, TE Nate Dreslinkski, DL Joseph Champaign, DL Cody Miller, LB Jared Jones, LB Josh Kusan, DB Christian Spears and DB Steffon Batts. Michigan (3): C Austin Hayes, WR Drew Coleman and WR Christian Gann. UNLV (1): OLB Stephan Atrice. Colorado State (1): Broam Hart. Navy (1): James Chambers. Wyoming (1): Alex Hansen. Nevada (1): Jon Lee.

    HOME SWEET HOME: Air Force is 27-9 at home under head coach Troy Calhoun since 2007. The Falcons posted just the third undefeated home mark (6-0) in 2007. Air Force combined for 10 wins at home in 2009 and 2010 which is the third most in two seasons in school history.

    COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF'S TROPHY: The 2012 season marks the 41st year of trophy competition. The trophy goes annually to the winning academy with the best record in round-robin competition. Air Force won its second straight and record 18th Commander-in-Chief's Trophy in 2011. Air Force's back-to-back CIC Trophy titles are its first since 2001-02. Air Force finished 0-2 this season in CIC competition. The Falcons lost 28-21 in overtime at home vs. Navy Oct. 6 and were beaten by Army, 41-21, in West Point Nov. 3.

    THE RAM-FALCON TROPHY: Air Force defeated Colorado State, 42-21, Sept. 29 to win its 20th Ram-Falcon Trophy. This season marks the 33rd year of the trophy competetion with Air Force holding a 20-13 lead. The trophy's origin is tracked 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 game was in 1980.

    CALHOUN ERA INSIDE THE NUMBERS: Air Force's average numbers in several key categories under head coach Troy Calhoun follow below. Air Force's season averages in 2011 of 314.8 rushing yards, 140.1 passing yards, 454.8 total yards and 34.9 points per game are all the best in the Troy Calhoun era (2007-present).

    INSIDE AIR FORCE FOOTBALL
    • Air Force has an all-time record of 349-288-13 in its 56th season of varsity football. The Falcons are 190-118-3 at home and 158-171-10 on the road and in neutral site games. AFA has played in 22 bowl games and has a 10-11-1 all-time record.
    • Air Force is playing in 33rd year in a conference. This season marks the school's 13th year in the Mountain West Conference. Prior to 1999, Air Force was a member of the Western Athletic Conference from 1980-98. The school was an independent prior to 1980.
    • Air Force is 54-48 as a member of the Mountain West Conference. The team is 32-20 at home and 22-28 on the road. The Falcons are 95-73 overall since joining the MWC in 1999, including marks of 55-29 at home, 34-39 on the road, 6-4 in neutral site games and 4-3 in bowls.

    AIR FORCE VS. NON-CONFERENCE FOES UNDER CALHOUN: Air Force is 18-12 against non-conference opponents under head coach Troy Calhoun. The Falcons are 11-2 at home, 4-7 on the road and 3-3 in neutral site games. Air Force finished the regular season at 1-3 this season, including an 0-2 mark on the road and a 1-1 home record.

    ALL-TIME AIR FORCE OVERTIME RESULTS: Air Force is 6-5 overall and 4-2 in conference overtime games. The Falcons are 3-2 at home and 3-3 on the road. Air Force has played at least one overtime in each of the last two seasons, both against Navy.

    Individual Notes

    HERRINGTON BOUNCES BACK: Air Force senior Parker Herrington is one of 30 players named to the Watch List for the 2012 Lou Groza College Place-Kicker Award, presented by the Palm Beach County Sports Commission.
    Herrington had his best day of the season in Air Force's victory over Nevada. He kicked a career-long 45 yard field goal on Air Force's opening drive and later hit a 20-yarder to seal the game in the final minutes. His two field goals mark his first multiple field goal game this season. He is 3-of-8 on the season and ranks ninth in school history in career field goal percentage with a mark of .692 (18-26). Herrington ranks sixth in Air Force history in career extra point percentage with a .966 mark (85-88). He has hit all 40 of his attempts this season and has hit 64 straight dating back to last season which is the fifth longest active streak in Mountain West history.

    SENIOR Connor Dietz TAKES OVER AT QB: Senior Connor Dietz follows a pair of four-year starters in Tim Jefferson (2008-11) and Shaun Carney (2004-07), but is making his own history.
    Dietz has rushed for 1,242 yards and scored nine touchdowns in his career. He has hit 90-of-153 passes for 1,424 yards and 10 touchdowns with just three interceptions. Dietz is the Air Force career leader in pass interception avoidance with a .019 mark. Dietz went 79 attempts without a pick this season before throwing his first two of the season at Army. Dietz holds the school record for career pass efficiency rating with a mark of 154.65.

    Dietz is having a great 2012 season. He would lead the nation in passing efficiency with his 176.12 mark, but lacks enough attempts to qualify. Kansas State's Collin Klein is the national leader with a 174.39 mark. Dietz has hit 58-of-93 passes for 1,032 yards with seven touchdowns and two interceptions. He was one of just three players, A.J. McCarron of Alabame and Louisiana Tech's Colby Cameron, to not throw an interception until last week. Dietz has hit 62.4 percent of his passes which is the third-best single season mark in school history.

    He is second on the team in rushing with 564 yards and five touchdowns while averaging 5.5 yards per carry. He rushed for a season-high 92 yards at Wyoming. CODY AS GOOD AS IT GETZ: Senior Cody Getz waited patiently for his chance and he's making the most of it now as a senior. Getz, who is 5-foot-7 and 175 pounds, is starting for the first time in his career and entered the season with 286 career yards rushing.

    Getz returned to the lineup last week at Army after missing the Nevada game due to injury. Getz was injured in the third quarter at Wyoming and reinjured himself on the first play of the game vs. New Mexico and didn't return.

    Getz is third in the Mountain West and 11th nationally in rushing with a 118.9 per-game average. He opened the season with five straight 100-yard games. He is the only player in school history to open the season with more than two consecutive 100-yard games. Getz has topped the 200-yard mark a school-record three times this season with 218 yards vs. Idaho State, 222 vs. Colorado State and 204 vs. Navy. He is just the second player in Mountain West history and first since Larry Ned in 2001 to have three 200-plus games in a season. He is just the second Air Force player ever and first since Dee Dowis in 1989 to have back-to-back 200-plus rushing games (Colorado State, Navy).

    Getz was named a mid-season fourth-team All-American by Phil Steele Magazine. A breakdown of his outstanding season follows:

    Cody Getz 2012 Breakdown
    • First player in Air Force history to open a season with five straight 100-yard rushing games (no other player has more than two).
    • First player in school history and second in MW history with three 200-yard rushing games in a season. • Five straight 100-yard rushing games ties as the second longest streak in school history.
    • Five 100-yard rushing performances in a season ties as the seventh most in school history.
    • First Air Force player since All-American Beau Morgan in 1995 with five straight 100-yard rushing games.

    GETZ ADDED TO DOAK WALKER AWARD WATCH LIST: Air Force senior Cody Getz has been added to the Doak Walker Award Watch List for 2012. The Doak Walker Award is presented annually to the nation's top college running back. Semifinalists will be named Nov. 9, and the Doak Walker Award National Selection Committee will cast votes to determine the finalists, who will be announced on Nov. 19. The recipient of the 2012 Doak Walker Award will be announced live on The Home Depot College Football Awards on Dec. 6. The Doak Walker Award Presentation Banquet will be held in Dallas, Texas in Feb. 2013.

    RUN ETZ....: Seniors Cody Getz and Connor Dietz have each surpassed the 1,000-yard rushing mark in their careers this season. The pair did it in back-to-back weeks. Getz became the 38th player in Air Force history to do it with a 204-yard effort vs. Navy. He ranks 34th in school history with 1,237 career rushing yards. Dietz did it the following week at Wyoming to become the 39th player in school history. Dietz accomplished it with a season-best 92-yard effort and ranks 33rd in school history with 1,242 yards.

    MEANS, NIKLAS LEAD DEFENSE: Senior Austin Niklas (ILB) and Alex Means (OLB) lead the Air Force defense. Niklas leads the conference and is tied for 16th nationally in tackles with a 10.2 per-game average. He has led the team in tackles in six games this season and notched a career-best 17 tackles at Army. He had 16 tackles vs. UNLV earlier this season. He has recorded 10 or more tackles five times this season. Niklas is also fifth in the conference and tied for 20th nationally in forced fumbles with three which is an average of .33 per game.
    Means is third on the team and 11th in the conference in tackles with a 7.3 per-game average. He leads the team with 8.5 tackles for loss and has two interceptions and seven pass breakups. Means ranks in the top 10 in the conference in three categories: interceptions (2, T6th); tackles for loss (8.5, 7th); tackles by linebackers (7.3, 8th). Means played one of the best games of his career vs. New Mexico with 10 tackles, a sack, 1.5 tackles for loss, a pass breakup and a 56-yard interception return for his first-career touchdown. He also made a tackle on fourth-and-four to force a turnover on downs on New Mexico's last drive. Means earned Mountain West defensive player of the week honors for his efforts vs. the Lobos. Means is the active career leader for Air Force in tackles (193), tackles for loss (19.5), quarterback sacks (9.0) and pass breakups (10). He has been involved in nine turnovers in his career, including three interceptions, three forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.

    MACARTHUR DOING IT ALL: Junior receiver Ty MacArthur is doing it all for Air Force. He leads the team in receiving with 20 catches for 372 yards. He is averaging 18.6 yards per catch. He is third on the team in rushing with 375 yards and two touchdowns on 37 carries. He is averaging a team-best 10.1 yards per carry. He has moved to kickoff returns to replace the injured Anthony LaCoste and is averaging 19.7 yards per return. In addition, he is the teams punt returner and is averaging 7.6 yards per return. MacArthur has 844 all-purpose yards which is second on the team and is averaging 93.8 yards per game.
    He had one of the best performances of his career vs. New Mexico. He rushed for a career-best 94 yards to lead the Falcons and matched his career high with four receptions for 61 yards. He also returned a kickoff 21 yards and two punts for 10 yards.

    SPEARS NOTCHES 20 VS. NEW MEXICO: Sophomore DB Christian Spears recorded a career-best 20 tackles vs. New Mexico. His 20 stops are the most by a Falcon this season and most since Brady Amack had 23 vs. Navy last season. His previous best for tackles was 12 earlier this season vs. Navy. Spears has posted three games with double figures in tackles this season and is second on the team in tackles with 75.

    STRICKLAND ONE OF SEVEN: Senior WR Dontae Strickland is one of seven players nationally to rush, catch and throw a touchdown this season. Strickland rushed for a touchdown vs. Colorado State and caught one vs. Wyoming. His touchdown pass came vs. Navy. He is one of just two receivers to accomplish it, joining Dri Archer of Kent State. The others to do it are all quarterbacks: Spencer Keith of Kent State, Brandon Connette of Duke, Tyler Tettleton of Ohio, Bo Wallace of Mississippi and Marcus Mariota of Oregon.

    AIR FORCE PLAYER HONORS IN 2012
    • SPC Parker Herrington: Preseason first-team all-MW ... One of 30 players named to the Watch List for the 2012 Lou Groza College Place-Kicker Award, presented by the Palm Beach County Sports Commission.
    • LB Alex Means: Preseason first-team all-MW ... Phil Steele's Magazine mid-season third-team all-MW ... College Football Performance Award national defensive performance of the week vs. New Mexico ... College Football Performance Award national linebacker of the week vs. New Mexico ... Mountain West defensive player of the week vs. New Mexico ... National Football Foundation, Colorado Chapter player of the week vs. New Mexico.
    • RB Cody Getz: College Football Performance Awards honorable mention running back of the week vs. Idaho State ... National Football Foundation, Colorado Chapter player of the week vs. Idaho State ... Collegefootballperformance.com runningback of the week vs. Michigan ... Collegesportsmadness.com Mountain West Conference player of the week vs. Michigan ... College Football Performance Awards honorable mention running back of the week vs. Colorado State ... College Football Performance Awards honorable mention running back of the week vs. Navy ... Phil Steele's Magazine mid-season fourth-team All-American ... Phil Steele's Magazine mid-season first-team all-MW.
    • SPC David Baska: College Football Performance.com punter of the week vs. Michigan ... College Football Performance.com punter of the week vs. Wyoming ... Mountain West special teams player of the week at Wyoming.
    • OL Jordan Eason: Phil Steele's Magazine mid-season second-team all-MW.
    • OL Jason Kons: Phil Steele's Magazine mid-season third-team all-MW.
    • LB Austin Niklas: Phil Steele's Magazine mid-season first-team all-MW.
    • SPC Anthony LaCoste: Phil Steele's Magazine mid-season third-team all-MW KOR.
    • DB Steffon Batts: College Sports Madness Mountain West defensive player of the week vs. Nevada.
    • RB Wes Cobb: College Football Performance honorable mention all-purpose performer of the week vs. Nevada.
    • WR Dontae Strickland: College Football Performance honorable mention all-purpose performer of the week vs. Nevada.

     

     

    Inside Football