Air Force Football Hosts Wyoming
Nov. 7, 2011
Air Force (5-4, 1-3) vs. Wyoming (5-3, 2-1)
GAME FACTS: Air Force football coaching legend Fisher DeBerry is being honored during the game this week in honor of his induction into the College Football Hall of Fame ... Air Force leads the Wyoming series, 26-20-3 overall and has won a series-best five straight ... Air Force concludes its regular season with three straight Mountain West games starting this week ... The Falcons are 1-0 in November and have won four straight dating back to 2009 ... Air Force is 11-3 in November under head coach Troy Calhoun and all three losses have come to ranked teams, two of them on the road ... Air Force is 22-7 at home under Calhoun since 2007.
Year by Year
LAST YEAR VS. WYOMING: Air Force defeated Wyoming, 20-14, in Laramie. Jared Tew rushed for a season-high 136 yards and a touchdown on 27 carries to lead the offense. Tim Jefferson added 94 yards rushing and a touchdown and hit five of 12 passes for 66 yards. Asher Clark chipped in with 80 yards rushing on 14 carries as the Falcons rolled up 445 total yards, including 379 rushing. The Falcons also held a 35:57 to 24:03 advantage in time of possession and ran 39 more plays than Wyoming. The defense was led by Jon Davis, who had six tackles, an interception, tackle for loss and fumble recovery. P.J. Adeji-Paul chipped in with a career-best six tackles. The defense held Wyoming to just 240 total yards, including just 94 in the second half.
LAST TIME VS. WYOMING IN FALCON STADIUM: Air Force defeated Wyoming, 10-0, in Falcon Stadium. After a scoreless first half, Erik Soderberg got the Falcons on the board with a 29-yard field goal to make it 3-0. Jared Tew added a 17-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter to give the Falcons a 10-0 lead. Tew finished the game with 105 yards rushing on 27 carries. Air Force had 269 total yards and a nine minute edge in time of possession.
AIR FORCE TIES TO WYOMING: Air Force assistant coach Matt Wallerstedt coached at Wyoming from 1997-2002. He was the defensive line coach from 1997-99 under head coach Dana Dimel and the defensive coordinator and inside linebackers coach from 2000-02 under head coach Vic Koenning. Wallerstedt was 2-4 against Air Force while at Wyoming.
PLAYING BEST WHEN IT MATTERS MOST: Air Force is 20-9 under head coach Troy Calhoun in games during the second half of the season (last six games), including a 2-1 mark this season. The Falcons were 3-3 last season. Air Force was 5-1 in 2007 which is the best mark since the 1998 team was 6-0. Prior to Calhoun's arrival in 2007, the Falcons were 12-24 over the last six games of the season from 2001-06.
FALCONS TOUGH IN NOVEMBER: Air Force is 11-3 under head coach Troy Calhoun in the month of November, including a 1-0 mark this season after a 24-14 win over Army. The Falcons were 3-0 last season and have won four straight overall in the November. All three losses have come at the hands of nationally-ranked teams. Air Force lost at No. 16 BYU and at home to No. 15 TCU in back-to-back games in 2008. The Falcons also lost at No. 18 BYU in 2009.
HOME SWEET HOME: Air Force is 22-7 at home under head coach Troy Calhoun since 2007. The Falcons tied a school record for wins over a four-year period with 19 from 2007-10. Air Force also won 19 games from 1982-85 (19-4, .826) and from 1997-00 (19-4, .826). The school record for wins over a five-year period is 23, set from 1997-2001.
LOOKING AT WYOMING: Wyoming running back Alvester Alexander was named to the Doak Walker Award preseason watch list ... Alexander has 25 career rushing touchdowns which ranks in the top five all-time at Wyoming ... Quarterback Brett Smith is only the third true freshman to start at quarterback for Wyoming since 1974 ... Junior center Nick Carlson was named to the Rimington Trophy preseason watch list ... Wyoming is second in the Mountain West in passing offense with a 242.8 per-game average ... The Cowboys lead the conference and rank sixth nationally in turnover margin with a 1.50 mark per outing ... Wyoming is second behind Air Force (15.1) in the MW in punt returns with a 12.9 average ... Quarterback Brett Smith is second in the conference in passing and total offense with averages of 234.4 and 272.2 yards, respectively.
DEBERRY TO BE HONORED AS PART OF HALL OF FAME INDUCTION: Air Force football coaching legend Fisher DeBerry is being honored during the game this week in honor of his induction into the College Football Hall of Fame. DeBerry will be inducted at the National Football Foundation's Annual Awards Dinner in New York City at the Waldorf Astoria on Tuesday, Dec. 6.
LAST WEEK: Air Force defeated Army, 24-14, overcoming a 14-point deficit in the first quarter to win the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy for the second straight year and 18th time overall. The Black Knights opened up a 14-0 lead on a Max Jenkins one-yard touchdown run and a Larry Dixon 13-yard scoring run. The Falcons made two big defensive plays at the goal line to prevent an even larger lead, stuffing a fourth-and-one try from the one and a forced fumble by Josh Hall at the one that went out of the end zone for a touchback. The Falcons opened the second half after being shutout in the first half for the first time since 2009 with the first of three Parker Herrington field goals to get on the board and cut the lead to 14-3. Tim Jefferson added a two-yard run and a two-point conversion run by Asher Clark cut the lead to 14-11 in the third. Herrington added another field goal to tie the game, then Jefferson put the team ahead to stay with his second TD run, a one-yard plunge, to give the Falcons a 21-14 lead late in the third quarter. Herrington closed the scoring with his third field goal early in the fourth to make up the final margin.
LAST WEEK'S NOTES
COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF'S TROPHY: Air Force won its second straight and record 18th Commander-in-Chief's Trophy this season. The Falcons defeated Navy, 35-34, in overtime in Annapolis Oct. 1 and Army, 24-14, in Falcon Stadium Nov. 5. Air Force's back-to-back CIC Trophy titles are its first since 2001-02.
Air Force outright CIC title years:
AIR FORCE BY THE NUMBERS
DEFENSE CATCHING ITS STRIDE: Air Force has allowed just 7.0 points per game over the last two weeks. The Falcons shutout New Mexico, 42-0, Oct. 29 and defeated Army, 24-14, last week. All 14 Army points came in the first quarter. The Falcons have held their opponents scoreless in seven of the last eight quarters.
TEAM SEASON DEFENSIVE NOTES
TEAM SEASON OFFENSIVE NOTES
SEASON SPECIAL TEAMS NOTES
Air Force has blocked five kicks this season (see below).
AIR FORCE FOURTH NATIONALLY WITH 229-GAME SCORING STREAK
TIME OF POSSESSION MOVING IN AIR FORCE'S FAVOR: After losing the time of possession battle in the first four games of the season, the Falcons have won it in four of the last five games. Air Force had a 4:52 advantage at Notre Dame, a 6:40 edge vs. San Diego State, a season-best 12:36 advantage at Boise State and a :46 edge at New Mexico. Army held a slight edge of 3:30 last week. The team's TOP for the season is up to 28:55 which is the second-best mark of the season (29:01, week eight).
FALCONS IN THE RED ZONE: Air Force leads the Mountain West and ranks fifth nationally in red zone offense, scoring 94.9 percent (37-39) of the time. The Falcons have 27 touchdowns and 10 field goals. The Falcons were a perfect four-of-four last week vs. Army with two touchdowns and two field goals. Air Force has scored in their last 25 trips inside the red zone over the last six games with 18 touchdowns and seven field goals.
AIR FORCE LEADS THE WAY WITH ALUMNI COACHES: Air Force head coach Troy Calhoun is one of 18 FBS head coaches that is leading his alma mater. Calhoun, 1989 Academy graduate, is in his fifth year. The Falcons have eight Academy graduates as coaches on the staff which is more than any other school in the nation.
Academy graduates on coaching staff
FBS Head Coaches at Alma Mater
AIR FORCE TAKEAWAYS
FALCONS AMONG NATIONAL LEADERS IN APR: The Air Force Academy football team's APR score of 978 for the 2009-10 academic year ranks 10th nationally, according to data released by the NCAA. The Air Force football program, along with women's cross country, wrestling and women's track were recognized by the NCAA with Division I Academic Performance Public Recognition Awards. The APR provides a real-time look at a team's academic success each semester by tracking the academic progress of each student-athlete on scholarship. The APR accounts for eligibility, retention and graduation and provides a measure of each team's academic performance.
START CHART: Several Falcons have significant streaks going in terms of consecutive games started. Senior DB Anthony Wright leads the way with 45 straight dating back to 2009. Senior DB Jon Davis has the second-longest streak with 35. Senior RB Asher Clark is third at 28 followed by senior QB Tim Jefferson with 27. Wright leads the way in overall games started as well with 45. Jefferson is second with 40, Clark is third with 36 and Davis is fourth with 35. A look at both lists follows.
WARZEKA SETS CAREER RECORD FOR KICKOFF RETURNS: Senior Jonathan Warzeka set the Air Force career record for kickoff return yards in Air Force's victory over Army. Warzeka recorded 44 kickoff return yards against the Black Knights to push his career total to 1,398 yards on 55 returns. He moved past Reggie Rembert (2007-10), who had 1,388 yards on 65 returns. Warzeka is averaging 25.4 yards per return over his career which ranks fourth in school history.
AMACK ON BRONKO NAGURSKI WATCH LIST: Senior LB Brady Amack is second in the Mountain West and 14th nationally in tackles with an average of 10.4 per game. Amack has led the team in tackles in four straight games and six of the last seven this season. He has hit double figures in tackles in four of the last six, including a 14-tackle effort vs. Army last week. Amack has 94 total tackles this season and needs just six to hit the 100-tackle mark.
DAVIS, HERRINGTON EARN PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONORS: Senior DB Jon Davis was named defensive player of the week and junior PK Parker Herrington special teams player of the week by the Mountain West Conference for their efforts vs. Army last week.
DAVIS EARNS NATIONAL PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONORS: The Walter Camp Football Foundation has announced the Football Bowl Subdivision National Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week, presented by Generation UCAN (www.generationucan.com/waltercamp), for games ending November 5. Air Force senior DB Jon Davis has received the honor on the defensive side of the ball.
WARZEKA ON HORNUNG WATCH LIST: Air Force senior WR/KR Jonathan Warzeka is one of 50 players on the 2011 Watch List for the Paul Hurnung Award presented by Texas Roadhouse, announced by the Louisville Sports Commission and football legend Paul Hornung.
KS MOVING UP CAREER BLOCKED KICKS CHART:Sophomore LB Jamil Cooks is tied for fourth in Air Force history with four blocked kicks. Cooks recorded his fourth career kick this season with a blocked field goal vs. San Diego State. Last year, Cooks blocked three kicks, a punt and a field goal vs. Navy and a PAT vs. Colorado State. His four blocks are the most by a Falcon since Robert Kraay, who had four from 2004-06.
JEFFERSON WINNINGEST QUARTERBACK IN SCHOOL HISTORY: QB Tim Jefferson set a new school record for most wins by a starting quarterback in Air Force's win over Tennessee State. He passed the record of 22 set by Dee Dowis (1985-89), who was 22-13-1. Jefferson has a 26-14 career record as a starter. His 26 wins ranks fourth all-time in the Mountain West. Jefferson is 6-1 in his career against service academies, posting a 4-0 mark vs. Army and a 2-1 mark against Navy. He is the only quarterback in Air Force history to have six service academy wins.
JEFFERSON PASSING IT UP: Senior QB Tim Jefferson recorded career highs in completions, attempts and yards against San Diego State earlier this season, hitting 22-of-36 passes for 224 yards and two touchdowns. Jefferson had record-setting performances over a two week stretch. He hit 20-of-23 passes (.870) for 314 yards and four touchdowns without any interceptions combined against Tennessee State and Navy. His .870 completion percentage is the best two-game mark in school history. Jefferson hit 11 of 13 passes for 178 yards and a career-best three touchdowns vs. Tennessee State. He hit nine of 10 passes for 136 yards and a touchdown at Navy. His .900 completion percentage vs. the Midshipmen is the third-best single-game mark in school history while his .846 percentage vs. Tennessee State is the sixth best.
HERRINGTON LEADS THE MOUNTAIN WEST: Junior kicker Parker Herrington leads the Mountain West in field goal percentage with a 92.3 mark and field goals made with a 1.33 per-game average.
FULLBACK FORCE: Air Force fullbacks Wes Cobb and Mike DeWitt have big shoes to fill. The Falcons lost their top three fullbacks last season to graduation -- Jared Tew, Nathan Walker, Ryan Southworth. Gone with the trio went 1,117 yards and an 85.9 per-game average. Cobb and DeWitt proved they are up to the challenge providing the kind of tough running that the Air Force fullback position is known for.
=ALLERSTEIN ON AFCA GOOD WORKS LIST: Air Force senior offensive lineman A.J. Wallerstein is one of a record 132 nominees for the AFCA Good Works Team, announced by the AllState Insurance Company and the American Football Coaches Association.
Wallerstein has been active in his Academy cadet squadron in leadership positions of element leader and academic officer and was on the cadet leadership team during Basic Cadet Training this summer where he was responsible for leading basic cadets in various areas of military training. He was also active in a community service project that donated over 50 man-hours to the Black Forest Animal Sanctuary in Colorado Springs.
WALLERSTEIN SEMIFINALIST FOR CAMPBELL TROPHY: Air Force senior offensive lineman A.J. Wallerstein is among the 127 semifinalists for the 2011 William V. Campbell Trophy, endowed by HealthSouth, and announced by the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF). Each of the 127 individuals is also a candidate for the 2011 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Award, presented by Fidelity Investments.
CLARK ON DOAK WALKER LIST: Air Force senior running back Asher Clark is one of 51 candidates for the 2011 Doak Walker Award, according to an announcement by the PwC SMC Athletic Forum. Ten semifinalists will be announced on Nov. 11 and the recipient will be named live on ESPN on Dec. 8. Clark was a second-team all-Mountain West selection last season after rushing for 1,031 yards, becoming just the 13th player overall and fourth tailback in Air Force history to hit the 1,000-yard mark in a season. Clark was third in the conference in rushing with a 79.3 per-game average. A native of Lawrenceville, Ga., Clark became the ninth player in Air Force history to hit the 2,000-yard mark for his career. CLARK CAREER RUSHING NUMBERS: Senior tailback Asher Clark ranks third in career rushing yards in Air Force history with 3,138. Clark passed Chad Hall (2005-07), who had 2,606 career rushing yards, against TCU to become the school's career leader for a tailback. Clark recorded his eighth-career 100-yard game with 148 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries vs. Tennessee State to move past fullback John Kershner (1980-83), who had 2,726 career yards, to become the all-time leader for a non-quarterback. Clark added his ninth-career 100-yard game with 102 yards on 11 carries at Notre Dame to become just the third Falcon player to surpass the 3,000-yard mark for his career. Clark is third in the Mountain West in rushing this season with a 81.3 per-game average. He is averaging 7.0 yards per carry which is second-best mark among the league's top 10 rushers.
LEE'S IMPRESSIVE DEBUT: Freshman tailback Jon Lee had a great start to his career in Air Force's 63-24 win over Tennessee State. Lee ran 49 yards for a touchdown on his first-career carry. He finished the game with 65 yards rushing on two carries which was third on the team. He also had a 33-yard kickoff return which ties as the second-longest by a Falcon this season. Lee saw action for the second time in his career at Notre Dame and responded with 25 yards on three carries and scored a touchdown on an eight-yard run. He has rushed for 90 yards on five carries with two touchdowns and an 18.0 per-carry average this season in two appearances.
CALHOUN EARNS HERBIE AWARD: ESPN/ABC Analyst Kirk Herbstreit ranked Air Force head coach Troy Calhoun second in his top five underrated coaches in college football. Herbstreit listed Utah's Kyle Whittingham first, Les Miles of LSU third, Northwestern's Pat Fitzgerald fourth and Bret Bielema or Wisconsin fifth.
HALL SOLID AS A STARTER: Senior Josh Hall is making the most of his opportunity to start the last six games. Hall recorded a career-best seven tackles against Navy, then matched that output with seven more against Notre Dame. Hall set a new career high with eight vs. San Diego State. Hall recorded his first-career interception at Boise State and had two tackles and a pass breakup at New Mexico. He added one tackle and forced a fumble at the Air Force one which resulted in a touchback last week vs. Army.
WALLERSTEIN, AMACK EARN MID-SEASON HONORS: Senior OL A.J. Wallerstein and senior LB Brady Amack were each named Midseason All-American honorable mention by Phil Steele's Magazine. The pair, along with junior OL Jason Kons and sophomore SPC David Baska were named midseason first-team all-Mountain West Conference by the magazine. Senior RB Asher Clark, senior DB Jon Davis, senior OL Michael Hester and junior LB Alex Means were all named second-team all-conference. Junior SPC Parker Herrington was named to the third-team.
HONORS: Honors won by Air Force players in 2011 follow.
AIR FORCE VS. NON-CONFERENCE FOES UNDER CALHOUN
AIR FORCE'S BRUTAL OCTOBER STRETCH:Air Force defeated New Mexico, 42-0, Oct. 29 to conclude a brutal stretch of games. The Falcons played four of five games in October away from home. The Falcons played at Navy Oct. 1, defeating the Midshipmen, 35-34, in overtime and at Notre Dame Oct. 8 (ND 59-33). The one home game was a Thursday night tilt with San Diego State Oct. 13, a 41-27 Aztec win. Air Force played at No. 5/7 Boise State Oct. 22 (L 37-26). The stretch is widely considered one of the toughest in school history.
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