Air Force head coach Troy Calhoun addressed the media at his weekly teleconference Tuesday. The Falcons host Utah State Saturday, Nov. 25, at 8:15 p.m. MT in the regular season finale for both squads.
Air Force and Utah State are playing for the sixth time overall and fifth as conference members. The Falcons lead the series, 3-2, overall. The series is tied 2-2 in conference games. Air Force is 2-1 at home and 1-1 at Utah State. The Falcons defeated the Aggies, 27-20, last season in Logan, Utah. Air Force beat Utah State, 35-28, in 2015 the last time the two played in Falcon Stadium. The teams first played Nov. 8, 1969 in Falcon Stadium resulting in a 38-13 Air Force win.
Air Force defeated Utah State, 27-20, in Logan, Utah, last season in the Mountain West opener for both schools. Luke Strebel got the Falcons on the board with first-quarter field goal. Utah State scored 10 unanswered points to take a 10-3 lead early in the second quarter. The Falcons responded with a Tyler Williams four-yard touchdown run to tie it and Nate Romine and Ryan Reffitt hooked up on a 12-yard touchdown connection to give the Falcons a 17-10 halftime lead. The Aggies added a fourth quarter field goal to cut the lead to 17-13 before Jacobi Owens scored on a one-yard run and Luke Strebel added a field goal in the final five minutes to put the Falcons up 27-13. Utah State scored a late touchdown to make up the final margin. D.J. Johnson rushed for 59 yards and Williams added 51 to lead the Falcons, who had 326 total yards. The defense was led by Grant Ross, who had 10 tackles, and Weston Steelhammer added nine. D.J. Dunn chipped in with seven tackles, 2.0 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks. Dunn had the defensive play of the game with a sack, forced and recovered fumble to set up Owens’ fourth-quarter TD run to make it a two-score game.
Air Force beat Utah State, 35-28, in 2015 the last time the schools played in Falcon Stadium The teams exchanged four scores in the first quarter with Air Force’s scores coming on touchdown runs by D.J. Johnson and Jacobi Owens and Utah State’s coming on touchdown passes from Kent Myers. The Falcons took the halftime lead, 21-14, on a Karson Roberts TD run and opened the second half with a Roberts to Jalen Robinette 74 yard TD pass to take a 28-14 lead. Utah State answered with a Myers TD pass before Owens added his second touchdown run to keep the Falcons in front 35-21. Myers threw his fourth touchdown pass on the final play of the third quarter to make up the final margin. Safety Weston Steelhammer prevented a late scoring toss, batting a pass away in the end zone in the final minute. Air Force rolled up 580 total yards with a balanced attack. Air Force rushed for 309 yards and passed for a season-best 271. Johnson and Tyler Williams led the team in rushing with 79 yards each. Roberts hit 11 of 17 passes for a career-best 271 yards while Robinette hauled in a career-best seven passes for 210 yards, the third most in Air Force history. Utah State finished with 439 total yards, including 364 passing from Myers. Hunter Sharpe had 13 catches 193 yards and three touchdowns.
Air Force has 33 senior players and 13 senior managers participating in their final home game this week. The program will honor each senior prior to kickoff on Saturday. The seniors have helped Air Force to a 32-19 overall record, including a 19-4 mark at home. The class has also gone to three bowl games, winning two.