Nov. 22, 2011
Air Force plays its final regular season game of the season this Saturday when the Falcons travel to Fort Collins, Colo., to take on Colorado State at 4 p.m. in Hughes Stadium. Air Force head coach Troy Calhoun discussed the game and the season during his weekly press conference this week.
Game 12: Air Force at Colorado State
Saturday • Nov. 26 • 4 p.m. MT • Hughes Stadium (32,500) • Fort Collins, CO
The Mountain West Sports Network (The Mtn.)
Ari Wolfe (play-by-play); Blane Fowler (analyst); Darius Walker (sidelines)
KVOR AM 740 in Colorado Springs; KCKK 1510 AM in Denver; Goairforcefalcons.com
Jim Arthur (play-by-play); Lee Douglas (analyst); Jay Ritchie/Bob Ihle (pre- and post-game)
GAME FACTS: Air Force concludes the regular season this week ... A victory this week would be Air Force’s seventh of the season and mark the first time in school history the program has had five straight seasons with seven or more wins ... Air Force leads the Colorado State series, 29-19-1, including a 12-8 mark in Fort Collins ... The Falcons have won five straight and six of the last seven in the series ... Air Force is 12-4 in November under head coach Troy Calhoun and three of losses have come against ranked teams ... The Falcons and Rams play annually for the Ram-Falcon Trophy ... This week marks the latest regular season game Air Force has played since Dec. 2, 2006 at TCU ... Air Force has won three of its last four games overall dating back to a 42-0 win at New Mexico.
Air Force: Troy Calhoun (Air Force, 1989) is in his fifth season. He has led the Falcons to a 40-23 career record. Calhoun is 23-15 in MWC games, 17-8 in non-conference games, 23-8 in Falcon Stadium, 13-12 in road games (10-7 in MW road games) and 2-2 in bowl games.
Colorado State: Steve Fairchild (Colorado State, 1981) is in his fourth season at Colorado State. Fairchild has guided the Rams to a 16-31 record.
• Air Force leads the overall series, 29-19-1, including an 18-13 mark in conference games.
• The Falcons are 17-11-1 at home and 12-8 at Colorado State.
• Air Force has won five straight and six of the last seven games in the series.
• Prior to Air Force’s streak, Colorado State had won three straight and four of five.
• Air Force has won two straight in Fort Collins, including a 34-16 win in 2009.
• The Falcons defeated Colorado State, 49-27, last season in Falcon Stadium.
• The teams first played in 1957 in Colorado Springs. Colorado State won the game, 20-7.
THE RAM/FALCON TROPHY: Air Force and Colorado State compete each year for the Ram-Falcon Trophy. This season marks the 32nd year of the competition for the trophy. Air Force has won the trophy 18 times, while Colorado State has won it 13 times. The trophy’s origin is traced 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 battle was in 1980.
LAST YEAR VS. COLORADO STATE: Air Force defeated Colorado State, 49-27, to win its fifth straight game over the Rams. Asher Clark rushed for 125 yards and a touchdown and Tim Jefferson hit five of nine passes for 160 yards and two touchdowns to lead Air Force. The defense was led by Jon Davis, who had a career-high 12 tackles. Reggie Rembert added a season-high seven tackles, an interception, a fumble recovery and three pass breakups.
The Falcons jumped to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter with touchdown runs by Jared Tew and Clark and raced to a 28-7 halftime lead. Jonathan Warzeka highlighted the second half with a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and Zach Kauth added his second touchdown catch to give Air Force a 49-13 lead after three quarters. Colorado State added two fourth quarter touchdowns to make up the final margin.
• Air Force blocked two kicks vs. Colorado State. Anthony Wooding, Jr., recorded the first block of his career with a blocked punt. Jamil Cooks added his third block of the season with a blocked PAT.
• Air Force, ranked 25th, snapped a three-game losing streak as a ranked team. The victory marked Air Force’s first as a ranked team since beating BYU, 52-9, in Falcons Stadium in 2002 while ranked No. 19/21.
• QB Tim Jefferson rushed for 27 yards and became the 37th player in Air Force history to rush for 1,000 yards in his career. Jefferson also hit five of nine passes for 160 yards and two touchdowns to mark his third straight game with 100 or more yards and two touchdown passes vs. Colorado State.
• RB Asher Clark rushed for 125 yards to record his second 100-yard rushing performance of the season (BYU, 121). Clark became ninth player in school history to hit the 2,000-yard mark for his career.
• TE Joshua Freeman recorded his first-career reception, good for 51 yards.
• WR Jonathan Warzeka recorded his second-career kickoff return for a touchdown with his 100-yard return in the third quarter. Warzeka became the first Falcon since 1985 to return a kickoff for a touchdown when he went 100 yards vs. Houston in the 2009 Armed Forces Bowl.
LAST TIME AT COLORADO STATE: Air Force defeated Colorado State, 34-16, to win back-to-back games in Fort Collins for the first time since 1989-91. Quarterback Tim Jefferson returned to the lineup after missing the previous game due to injury to lead the Falcon offense to its best effort since early in the season. Jefferson hit seven of 12 passes for 111 yards and two touchdowns. Fullback Jared Tew rushed for 87 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries while Asher Clark added 75 yards on 10 carries. Air Force finished with 382 total yards, including 271 rushing. The Falcons scored touchdowns on their first two drives and kicker Erik Soderberg added a career-long 50-yard field goal to give the Falcons a 17-10 halftime lead. The Falcons added a touchdown on the opening drive of the second half and pulled away 34-10 before a late CSU touchdown made up the final margin. John Falgout led the defense with nine tackles while Chris Thomas added eight. Myles Morales added six tackles, including two for losses.
AIR FORCE/CSU TIES: Air Force head coach Troy Calhoun and Colorado State head coach Steve Fairchild have similar backgrounds. Both are coaching at their alma maters, Calhoun is a 1989 Air Force graduate, Fairchild a 1981 Colorado State graduate, and both previously coached at the school as an assistant. Calhoun coached at Air Force from 1989-90 and 1993-94 while Fairchild coached at Colorado State from 1993-2000. Finally, both coached in the NFL prior to returning to their respective schools. Calhoun coached with the Denver Broncos from 2003-05 and with Houston in 2006. Fairchild coached with Buffalo (2001-02, 2006-07) and St. Louis (2003-05).
PLAYING BEST WHEN IT MATTERS MOST: Air Force is 21-10 under head coach Troy Calhoun in games during the second half of the season (last six games), including a 3-2 mark this season. The Falcons were 4-3 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 12-4 under head coach Troy Calhoun in the month of November, including a 2-1 mark this season. The Falcons had a four-game November win streak snapped with a 25-17 loss at home against Wyoming. Three of the four losses have come at the hands of nationally-ranked teams, including two on the road.
LOOKING AT COLORADO STATE: Colorado State has lost six straight games after opening the season 3-1 ... The Rams have lost 10 starters to injury during the season ... Colorado State has three linebackers that rank among the conference’s top tackles, James Skelton (T3rd, 8.0), Mike Orakpo (T6th, 7.5) and Sahquil Barrett (T3rd, 8.0) ... Garrett Grayson, a true freshman, started last week vs. TCU, making Colorado State one of just four schools nationally to start a true freshman at quarterback the last two years ... Colorado State has used 19 freshman this season, which is the second most in the conference behind TCU’s 22 ... Colorado State averages 21.7 points per game, while allowing 30.8 ... The Rams are second in the MW and 10th nationally in passing defense with a 174.3 per-game average ... Colorado State leads the MW in sacks with 25.