Falcon Football Travels to San Diego State
Nov. 5, 2012
Saturday Nov. 10 1:30 p.m. MT
Qualcomm Stadium (54,000) San Diego, CA
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.
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.
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.
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 LEADS THE NATION WITH 10 ALUMNI COACHES
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
TEAM DEFENSIVE NOTES
TEAM OFFENSIVE NOTES
SPECIAL TEAMS NOTES
AIR FORCE HAS FOURTH LONGEST ACTIVE SCORING STREAK IN NATION
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).
OFFENSIVE LINE TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS: Air Force's offensive line has done a great job this season.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 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
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.
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.
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
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Thursday, May 26 Sport Opp/Event Time Media Baseball vs Fresno State 3:00 PM Championship Central Track at NCAA Preliminary Round 12:00 PM Friday, May 27 Sport Opp/Event Time Media Baseball vs TBD TBA Track at NCAA Preliminary Round 4:00 PM Saturday, May 28 Sport Opp/Event Time Media Baseball vs TBD TBA Track at NCAA Preliminary Round 3:00 PM Sunday, May 29 Sport Opp/Event Time Media Baseball vs TBD TBA Wednesday, June 8 Sport Opp/Event Time Media Track at NCAA Outdoor Championships All Day Thursday, June 9 Sport Opp/Event Time Media Track at NCAA Outdoor Championships All Day
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