Falcon Football Closes Out Regular Season at Fresno State

    Senior linebacker Austin Niklas.

    Senior linebacker Austin Niklas.

    Nov. 19, 2012

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    Air Force (6-5, 5-2) at Fresno State (8-3, 6-1)
    Saturday • Nov. 24 • 1:30 p.m. MT
    Bulldog Stadium (41,031) • Fresno, CA

    The Last Meeting
    Air Force37
    Fresno State34
    December 31, 2000
    San Jose, Calif.

    TELEVISION
    • NBC Sports Network
    • Todd Harris (play-by-play) and Anthony Herron (color).

    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 closes out the regular season this week at Fresno State ... Air Force and Fresno State are playing for the first time since the 2000 Silicon Valley Bowl, a 37-34 Air Force win ... The last time the two played in the regular season was in 1997, as members of the WAC, at Falcon Stadium which resulted in a 20-17 Fresno State win ... Air Force leads the overall series 4-2, including a 1-1 mark at home, a 2-1 mark at Fresno and a 1-0 record in neutral site games ... This week marks Air Force's third road game in the last four weeks, as the Falcons played at Army (Nov. 3), at San Diego State (Nov. 10) and at home last week (Nov. 16) ... This week's game is the first-ever with both teams being coached by Air Force Academy graduates ... Air Force head coach Troy Calhoun is a 1989 Academy graduate while Tim DeRuyter of Fresno State is a 1985 AFA graduate ... Fresno State is in a three-way tie for first place in the MW with Boise State and San Diego State ... Air Force is just one game back at 5-2 ... The Falcons defeated Hawai'i last week, 21-7, to become bowl-eligible ... The team accepted an invitation to the 10th Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth, Texas, on Dec. 29 against a team from Conference-USA.

    COACHES
    • Air Force: Troy Calhoun (Air Force, 1989) is in his sixth season. He has led the Falcons to a 47-29 career record. Calhoun is 29-17 in MWC games, 18-12 in non-conference games, 28-9 in Falcon Stadium, 16-17 in road games (12-10 in MW road games) and 2-3 in bowl games.
    • Fresno State: Tim DeRuyter (Air Force, 1985) is in his first year as head coach at Fresno State. He has led the Bulldogs to an 8-3 overall record and 6-1 mark in the Mountain West. DeRuyter was an assistant at Air Force from 2007-09 under head coach Troy Calhoun and from 1991-94 under head coach Fisher DeBerry.

    THE SERIES
    • Air Force and Fresno State are meeting for the seventh time overall and sixth time as conference foes.
    • The Falcons lead the overall series, 4-2, including a 3-2 mark in conference games.
    • Air Force is 1-1 at home , 2-1 at Fresno and 1-0 in neutral site games.
    • The teams are playing for the first time since the 2000 Silicon Valley Bowl, a 37-34 Air Force win.
    • Air Force won the last meeting in Fresno, 44-38, in 1996.
    • The teams first played in 1993 in Fresno, resulting in a 33-20 Bulldog victory.

    1993 FSU 33-20 (A)
    1994 AFA 42-7 (H)
    1995 AFA 31-20 (A)
    1996 AFA 44-38 OT (A)
    1997 FSU 20-17 (H)
    2000 AFA 37-34 (N)
    Site () is for AFA

    THE LAST TIME AT FRESNO STATE: Air Force completed the biggest comeback in school history to defeat Fresno State, 44-38, in overtime in 1996. Michael Pittman scored two touchdowns to pace Fresno State to a 31-3 halftime lead. In the second half, Air Force scored on every possession and Beau Morgan's 17-yard touchdown pass to Dustin Tyner with 39 seconds left in the fourth quarter tied the score at 38. Morgan scored on a two-yard run in the overtime period to complete the comeback. Morgan led the Falcons with 217 yards rushing on 38 carries. Fullback Craig Tanner added a career-high 102 yards rushing. Pittman led Fresno State with 138 yards and three touchdowns.

    AIR FORCE - FRESNO STATE CONNECTIONS
    • This week's game is the first-ever with both teams being coached by Air Force Academy graduates. Air Force head coach Troy Calhoun is a 1989 Academy graduate while Tim DeRuyter of Fresno State is a 1985 AFA graduate. The two coached together at Air Force in 1993-94 as assistants under head coach Fisher DeBerry and again at Ohio from 1995-98 as assistants under head coach Jim Grobe. DeRuyter was the associate head coach and defensive coordinator under Calhoun at the Academy from 2007-09.
    • 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 MacArthur - Newhall, CA (Hart); Scott Day - San Jose, CA (Lynbrook); Austin Niklas - Fullerton, CA (Servite); Kevin Carrington - Valencia, CA (Valencia); Marcus Hendricks - Folsom, CA (Folsom).

    PLAYING BEST WHEN IT MATTERS MOST: Air Force is 23-12 under head coach Troy Calhoun in games during the second half of the season (last six games). The Falcons, 3-2 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 8-5 under head coach Troy Calhoun in November conference games, including a mark of 8-2 against unranked teams. The Falcons are 6-2 at home and 2-3 on the road. Three of the 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.

    LAST WEEK: Air Force defeated Hawai'i, 21-7, in Falcon Stadium to become bowl-eligible for a sixth consecutive season. Cody Getz led the Falcons with a game-high 125 yards rushing and a touchdown. Jon Lee added 72 yards and Wes Cobb 54 yards and two touchdowns. The Falcons rushed for 338 yards and didn't attempt a pass, marking the first time since 1992 that the team didn't have a pass attempt. The Air Force defense held Hawai'i to just 162 total yards and 10 first downs. The Warriors had just three first downs and 41 total yards in the second half. Freshman defensive lineman Alex Hansen led the way with five total tackles and career highs of two sacks for 13 yards and four tackles for loss for 18 yards. Joseph Champaign added five tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss for 17 yards and two sacks for 18 yards. Austin Niklas led the team with nine total tackles while Alex Means added eight. Getz scored on a five-yard run in the third quarter to break a 7-7 halftime tie and give the Falcons a 14-7 lead. Cobb scored his second TD of the game on a two-yard run late in the third to make up the final margin.

    Team Notes
    • Air Force uses game captains. The captains for the Hawai'i game were QB Connor Dietz, OT Jason Kons, LB Alex Means.
    • Air Force extended its streak of consecutive games with at least one rushing touchdown to 45 straight games dating back to Navy Oct. 3, 2009. The streak is the longest current active streak in the nation.
    • Air Force did not attempt a pass for the first time since 1992 vs. Wyoming (42-28 win). It marked the fifth time in school history the Falcons did not attempt a pass: George Washington, 1960; UCLA, 1964; UTEP, 1984, Wyoming, 1992.
    • Air Force now leads the series with Hawai'i, 12-6-1. The win is the first over Hawai'i since 1997.
    • With the win, Air Force closes out the home schedule with a 5-1 record which ties as the fourth-best mark in school history. Air Force was also 5-1 at home in 2009 and 2010.
    • Air Force accepted a bid to the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl, marking the sixth straight year the Falcons have gone to a bowl, extending its school record. Air Force has been to a bowl game every season under coach Troy Calhoun. This season marks the fourth time in the last six years that the Falcons have played in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl. AFA lost to California (36-42) in 2007, lost to Houston (28-34) in 2008 and beat Houston (47-20) in 2009.

    Individual Notes
    Ty MacArthur's 33-yard punt return in the first quarter is a career long. His previous was 15 yards vs. CSU earlier this season.
    Wes Cobb's second quarter touchdown marked the fifth straight game he has found the end zone. He now has eight touchdowns in the last five games.
    Cody Getz rushed for more than 100 yards for the sixth time this season. His six games with 100 or more yards rushing are tied as the third most in a single season at Air Force and the most since Chad Hall also had six in 2007. Brian Bream holds the school record with nine 100-yard games in a season (1970). Beau Morgan had seven in 1995.
    • With his 125 rushing yards against Hawai'i, Cody Getz now has 1,131 rushing yards this season. His 1,131 yards this season are the 10th most in school history.
    Jon Lee's 52-yard run in the third quarter is the longest of his career. His previous long was 49 vs. Tennessee State in 2011.
    • Getz moved into 27th place on the career rushing list with 1,417 career rushing yards.
    Alex Hansen recorded career highs with two sacks and four tackles for loss. His four tackles for loss ties as the seventh most in a game in Air Force history and are the most by a Falcon since 2003. The four tackles for loss are the most ever by an Air Force freshman and the most by any player in the Troy Calhoun-era.
    Joseph Champaign recorded career highs of 1.5 sacks and 2.0 tackles for loss.

    Team Notes

    AIR FORCE ACCEPTS BID TO BELL HELICOPTER ARMED FORCES BOWL: Air Force has accepted a bid to play in the 2012 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl. Since adopting the "armed forces" theme in 2006, the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl will feature a service academy team for the fifth time as the Falcons are slated to play a team from Conference USA in the postseason bowl game on Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012 at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas.
    "We are thrilled to have the Air Force Academy as the Mountain West Conference's representative for our 10th anniversary game," said Brant B. Ringler, executive director of the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl. "What better way to honor our armed forces than with a service academy competing in our game. With the Falcons and military fans numerous at the 2007, 2008 and 2009 games, we established record attendance figures each time."
    The 10th anniversary Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl will kick off at 10:45 a.m. (CT) as the game returns to the Fort Worth facility after playing the past two years at Gerald J. Ford Stadium in Dallas, while the 45,000-seat Amon G. Carter Stadium was undergoing a $164-million renovation. The game will be aired on ESPN and ESPN Radio.
    The 2007, 2008 and 2009 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowls featured the Falcons. Air Force split a pair of games with the University of Houston from Conference USA in 2008 and 2009 after facing Cal of the then-Pac-10 Conference in their initial Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl appearance in 2007.
    "This is a great opportunity for the Air Force Academy and we're very excited to be going back to Fort Worth for the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl," said Air Force director of athletics, Dr. Hans Mueh. "We are very honored to take part in the 10th anniversary of such a prestigious, well-run bowl game."
    Air Force will be playing in the NCAA postseason for the sixth-straight year under Coach Troy Calhoun. The current string of bowl appearances started in 2007 with a 42-36 loss to Cal in the Falcons' first of three-straight Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl appearances. After dropping a 34-28 decision to Houston in the 2008 Amon G. Carter Stadium postseason game, Air Force rebounded the next December by upsetting the Cougars 47-20. Air Force defeated Georgia Tech 14-7 in the 2010 Independence Bowl followed by a 42-41 setback to Toledo last December.
    Tickets for the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl are on sale now. With prices starting as low as $20 a ticket and ranging up to $150 for a Bud Light Platinum Club seat, tickets can be selected and purchased through the bowl's website at www.ArmedForcesBowl.com. Armed forces veterans and active duty personnel can also request complimentary tickets through the bowl's website, or by calling the bowl office at 817-810-0012. Complimentary armed forces tickets are available via the bowl's corporate military ticket underwriting program while supplies last.
    For additional information about the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl, please visit ArmedForcesBowl.com, Facebook.com/ArmedForcesBowl or Twitter.com/ArmedForcesBowl.

    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 SECOND IN THE NATION WITH FIRST-TIME STARTERS IN 2012: Air Force has had 25 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 eight of 11 games. Hawai'i leads the nation in first-time starters with 29. Temple is third with 22.
    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 (2): Jon Lee and David Lore. San Diego State (3): Alex Ludowig, Reggie Barnes, Joey Nichol.

    AIR FORCE BY THE NUMBERS
    6 - Air Force extended its school record of consecutive bowl game appearances to six.
    8 - Air Force is one of eight teams nationally to have at least three players with 50-plus carries that are averaging 5.0 yards per carry -- the others are Oregon, Army, Cincinnati, Florida State, LSU, North Carolina and Texas Tech.
    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.
    25 - players that have made the first start of their career for Air Force this season.
    28 - wins in 37 games in Falcon Stadium for Air Force under head coach Troy Calhoun.
    37 - games under head coach Troy Calhoun with a 100-yard rusher (28-9 record).
    45 - 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 before his first miss earlier this season.
    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.

    DEFENSE PLAYING ITS BEST LAST TWO WEEKS: Air Force has played some of its best defense of the year the last two weeks, at San Diego State and vs. Hawai'i. The Falcons have allowed an average of just 215 total yards per game, holding SDSU to 268 and Hawai'i to 162. Air Force has allowed just 17.5 points per game and 12.5 first downs per outing. Air Force has allowed 215 rushing and passing yards each the last two weeks which is an average of 107.5 per game. The Falcons held Hawai'i to just three first downs and 41 total yards in the second half of last week's game.

    TEAM DEFENSIVE NOTES
    • Air Force ranks fourth in the MW in scoring defense with a 26.9 average.
    • The Falcons are third in the MW and 12th nationally in pass defense with an average of 178.5.
    • Air Force is fourth in the MW and 51st nationally in total defense with an average of 383.3.
    • Air Force held Hawai'i to just seven points and 162 total yards. The Warriors were held scoreless and had just three first downs and 41 total yards in the second half.
    • 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.
    • DL Alex Hansen recorded two sacks and four TFLs against Hawai'i, the seventh most in school history and most-ever by a freshman.
    • 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 penalties per game with a 25.7 average.
    • Air Force is second in the MW and seventh in nation in third-down conversions with a 52.5 mark.
    • Air Force leads the nation in sacks allowed with three.
    • Air Force leads the MW and ranks 27th nationally in passing efficiency with a 149.7 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 34th nationally in total offense with a 446.7 per-game average.
    • Air Force is second in the nation in rushing with a 335.5 per-game average.

    SPECIAL TEAMS NOTES
    • Air Force is fourth in the MW and 31st nationally in kickoff returns with a 24.0 average.
    Anthony LaCoste ranked second in MW and 10th nationally in KOR with a 29.1 average before being sidelined with an injury.
    • Air Force leads the MW and ranks 28th nationally in net punting with a 39.0 average.
    • Air Force didn't attempt a punt vs. Nevada.

    AIR FORCE HAS FOURTH LONGEST ACTIVE SCORING STREAK IN NATION
    • Air Force has scored in a school record 244 consecutive games.
    • The streak is the fourth longest active streak in the nation.
    • Air Force's streak is the 10th longest in Division I-A history.
    • The Falcons were last shutout by Mississippi, 13-0, in the 1992 Liberty Bowl.

    FALCONS LEAD NATION IN FEWEST PENALTIES: Air Force leads the nation in penalties with an average of just 25.7 yards per game. The Falcons have been penalized 36 times for 283 yards in 11 games. The team is averaging just 3.3 penalties per game.

    FALCONS SECOND NATIONALLY GOING FOR IT ON FOURTH DOWN: Air Force has gone for it on fourth down 37 times this season which ranks second nationally. The Falcons have been successful 22 times for a 59.46 percentage which ranks 36nd nationally. Army leads the nation with 40 fourth-down attempts while Penn State is third with 33.

    AIR FORCE TAKEAWAYS
    • Air Force is ninth in the MW and 109th nationally in turnover margin with a -1.00 mark (-11).
    • Air Force is a combined +39 in TO margin overall the last six seasons, but -6 the last three seasons.
    • The Falcons have forced 151 turnovers since 2007, 79 interceptions and 72 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.

    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

    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 went the first nine games of the season without allowing a sack. The Falcons were the final team in the nation to allow one, and have allowed just three all season.
    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 11 games. Despite the changes and injuries, the offensive line has paved the way for Air Force to rank second in the nation in rushing with a 335.5 per-game average. The Falcons are third in the conference and 34th nationally in total offense with a 446.7 norm.

    HOME SWEET HOME: Air Force finished 5-1 at home this season which ties as the fourth best mark in school history and the third time under head coach Troy Calhoun the team has accomplished it. The Falcons are 28-9 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.

    THE KUTER TROPHY: Air Force defeated Hawai'i, 21-7, earlier this year to win the General Laurence S. Kuter Trophy, named after the first PACAF commander which is a tribute to the friendship between Hawai'i and Air Force and to the cooperation between the people of Hawai'i and their Air Force. The trophy was conceived by the University of Hawai'i, sponsored by the Pacific Air Command, and the Air Force Academy helped design it. The Kuter trophy is presented to the winner of the annual football game between the two schools. The teams have been competing for the trophy since 1982. Air Force has 11 trophy titles while Hawai'i has five. There has been one tie (1989).

    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.

    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).

    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 4-of-10 on the season and ranks ninth in school history in career field goal percentage with a mark of .678 (19-28). Herrington ranks seventh in Air Force history in career extra point percentage with a .957 mark (88-92). He has hit 43-of-44 this season and had hit 64 straight dating back to last season before his first miss of the season at San Diego State. The streak was the fifth longest in Mountain West history.

    Chris Jordan EARNS ACADEMIC ALL-DISTRICT HONORS: Air Force senior wide receiver Chris Jordan was named to the Capital One Academy All-District Football team, released by the College Sports Information Directors of America. Jordan, a senior from Maryville, Tenn., carries a 3.78 grade point average and is majoring in biology. Jordan is one of five football players from the Mountain West to earn academic all-district.

    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 1,331 yards and scored nine touchdowns in his career. He has hit 97-of-164 passes for 1,487 yards and 10 touchdowns with just four interceptions. Dietz is the Air Force career leader in pass interception avoidance with a .024 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 150.55.
    Dietz is having a great 2012 season. He would lead the Mountain West and rank eighth in the nation in passing efficiency with his 167.38 mark, but lacks enough attempts to qualify. Dietz has hit 65-of-104 passes for 1,095 yards with seven touchdowns and three interceptions. He was one of just three players, A.J. McCarron of Alabama and Louisiana Tech's Colby Cameron, to not throw an interception until the ninth game of the season. Dietz has hit 62.5 percent of his passes which is the third-best single season mark in school history.
    He is second on the team in rushing with 653 yards and five touchdowns while averaging 5.0 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 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.
    He led the Falcons with 55 yards on 15 carries at San Diego State and went over the 1,000-yard mark for the season. Getz is the 14th player in school history to top the 1,000-yard mark in a season. He rushed for 125 yards and a touchdown last week vs. Hawai'i and now ranks 10th school history in single-season rushing yards with 1,131.
    Getz is fourth in the Mountain West and 16th nationally in rushing with a 113.1 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 added his sixth 100-yard yard game of the season vs. Hawai'i with 125 yards. His six 100-yard efforts tie as the third most in school history in a single season. 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.
    • Six 100-yard rushing performances in a season ties as the third most in school history.
    • First Air Force player since All-American Beau Morgan in 1995 with five straight 100-yard rushing games.
    • Became the 14th player in Air Force history to top the 1,000-yard mark in a single-season.

    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 27th in school history with 1,417 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 1,331 yards.

    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.

    MEANS, NIKLAS LEAD DEFENSE: Senior Austin Niklas (ILB) and Alex Means (OLB) lead the Air Force defense. Niklas is second in the conference and 24th nationally in tackles with a 9.7 per-game average. He has led the team in tackles in seven 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, who went over the 100-tackle mark for the season and now has 107, is also fifth in the conference and tied for 36th nationally in forced fumbles with three which is an average of .27 per game.
    Means is third on the team and eighth in the conference in tackles with a 7.6 per-game average. He leads the team and ranks seventh in the conference with 10.0 tackles for loss and has two interceptions and eight pass breakups. Means ranks in the top 10 in the conference in four categories: interceptions (2, T7th); tackles for loss (10.0, 7th); tackles (7.6, 8th) and tackles by linebackers (7.6, 7th). 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 (211), tackles for loss (21.0), quarterback sacks (9.0) and pass breakups (11). He has been involved in nine turnovers in his career, including three interceptions, three forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries. He has also blocked four kicks in his career.

    MACARTHUR DOING IT ALL: Junior receiver Ty MacArthur is doing it all for Air Force. He leads the team in receiving with 22 catches for 379 yards. He is averaging 17.2 yards per catch. He is fifth on the team in rushing with 411 yards and two touchdowns on 47 carries. He is averaging a team-best 8.7 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 925 all-purpose yards which is second on the team and is averaging 84.1 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 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.

    HANSEN HAS RECORD DAY VS. HAWAI'I: Freshman Alex Hansen had the best day of his young career in last week's 21-7 win over Hawai'i. In fact, Hansen had one of the best days ever by a Falcon defensive player. He recorded five total tackles, including four unassisted, which is the second most of his career. He also recorded a career-high two quarterback sacks for 13 yards which is the most by a Falcon this season. Hansen also recorded a career-high four tackles for loss for 18 yards which is the most by a Falcon this season and most in the Troy Calhoun-era. His four tackles for loss ties as the seventh-most in school history, just two behind the school record of six, and are the most since Monty Coleman had four vs. North Texas in 2003. The four tackles for loss is also the most by a freshman in school history.

    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 running back 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 ... named to the Doak Walker National Running Back of the Year Watch List.
    • 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.
    • WR Chris Jordan: Capital One Academy All-District Football team selection.
    • DL Alex Hansen: College Football Performance honorable mention defensive lineman of the week vs. Hawai'i.

     

     

    Inside Football