Air Force Football Military Bowl Game Notes
Dec. 7, 2011
Military Bowl Presented by Northrop Grumman
Air Force (7-5) vs. Toledo (8-4)
GAME FACTS: Air Force is making its first-ever trip to the Military Bowl ... Air Force is making a school-record fifth consecutive appearance in a bowl game (2007-11) ... Air Force and Toledo are meeting for the first time ... The Falcons are 1-1 all-time against teams in the Mid-American Conference with both meetings coming against Kent State, the last in 1978 ... Air Force is 10-10-1 all-time in bowl games, including a 2-2 mark under head coach Troy Calhoun ... Air Force has won two straight bowl games, defeating 25th-ranked Houston, 47-20, in the 2009 Armed Forces Bowl and Georgia Tech, 14-7, in the 2010 Independence Bowl.
THE SERIES/AIR FORCE VS. THE MAC: Air Force and Toledo are playing for the first time. The Falcons are 1-1 all-time vs. teams from the Mid-American Conference. Air Force is 1-1 against Kent State with the last meeting coming in 1978.
BOWL ATTENDANCE/TICKET NOTES: Air Force has averaged 9,771 tickets sold in its previous four bowl games dating back to 2007. Air Force sold a then-record 11,945 for the 2007 Armed Forces Bowl and broke that mark last year in the 2010 Independence Bowl with 12,098 sold.
BOWL HISTORY: Air Force is playing in a bowl game for a school-record fifth straight year. The 2011 Military Bowl will be Air Force's 22nd all-time. The Falcons have a 10-10-1 all-time bowl record and have won two straight.
Air Force Bowl History
AIR FORCE/TOLEDO/OHIO TIES: Air Force has nine players on the varsity roster from the state of Ohio. The players follow: Name -- hometown (High School). Anthony Wright, Jr. -- Cleveland (Maple Heights); Jon Davis -- Cincinnati (Winton Woods); Connor Dietz -- Columbus (Hilliard Davidson); Patrick Hennessey -- Strongsville, OH (St. Ignatius); Ken Lamendola -- Westlake, OH (St. Edward); Josh Kusan -- Westerville, OH (St. Francis DeSales); Ross Fleming -- Powell (Olentangy Liberty); Ike Ariguzo -- Columbus (St. Francis DeSales); Zack Kauth -- Dayton (Chaminade-Julienne).
AIR FORCE VS. NON-CONFERENCE FOES UNDER CALHOUN
AIR FORCE BY THE NUMBERS
DEFENSE TOUGH: Air Force has allowed just 15.8 points per game the last five games. The team has given up just 6.8 points in the second half of those games, including just 5.4 scored by the opponent's offense. The Falcons posted a shutout vs. New Mexico which is the first for Air Force on the road in Mountain West Conference play and first since beating Colorado State, 24-0, in Fort Collins in 1997 as a member of the Western Athletic Conference. Air Force held New Mexico to just 223 total yards which is the best since holding Nicholls State to just 151 to open the 2009 season. The 223 total yards are the fewest allowed against an FBS team and on the road since holding Navy to 209 in 2009. Lastly, the 223 total yards is the best conference road mark since holding Wyoming to just 216 in Laramie in 2008.
TEAM DEFENSIVE NOTES
TEAM OFFENSIVE NOTES
OFFENSE RANKS AMONG BEST IN SCHOOL HISTORY: The Air Force offense ranks among the top 10 all-time in several categories for a single season. A complete look at where this season's offense ranks and the school record for each category follows. Air Force's season averages of 320.3 rushing yards, 138.5 passing yards, 458.8 total yards and 34.4 points per game are all the best in the Troy Calhoun era (2007-present).
AIR FORCE TAKEAWAYS
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 six of the last eight games. Air Force had a season-best 12:36 advantage at Boise State. The team's TOP for the season is up to 29:10, which is a season best (29:09 previous high).
SPECIAL TEAMS NOTES
AIR FORCE FOURTH NATIONALLY WITH 232-GAME SCORING STREAK
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
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.
DEBERRY RECEIVES AFCA'S AMOS ALONZO STAGG AWARD: Former Air Force Academy head coach Fisher DeBerry has been named the 2012 recipient of the AFCA's Amos Alonzo Stagg Award. The award, which honors those "whose services have been outstanding in the advancement of the best interests of football," will be presented to DeBerry at the AFCA Awards Luncheon on January 10 during the 2012 AFCA Convention in San Antonio, Texas.
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:
THE RAM/FALCON TROPHY: Air Force won its sixth straight Ram-Falcon Trophy this season be defeating Colorado State, 45-21, Nov. 26 in the final regular season game. The title is the 19th for the Falcons. Colorado State has won the trophy 13 times. This season marks the 32nd year of the competition for the trophy. 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.
FALCONS TOUGH IN NOVEMBER: Air Force is 13-4 under head coach Troy Calhoun in the month of November, including a 3-1 mark this season. Three of the four losses have come at the hands of nationally-ranked teams, including two on the road.
PLAYING BEST WHEN IT MATTERS MOST: Air Force is 22-10 under head coach Troy Calhoun in games during the second half of the season (last six games), including a 4-2 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.
HOME SWEET HOME: Air Force is 23-8 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.
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.
WARZEKA CAREER RECORD HOLDER 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 to move past Reggie Rembert (2007-10), who had 1,388 yards on 65 returns. Warzeka has 58 career returns for 1,477 yards and ranks third in school history with a 25.5 career return average.
START CHART: Several Falcons have significant streaks going in terms of consecutive games started. Senior DB Anthony Wright leads the way with 48 straight dating back to 2009. Senior DB Jon Davis has the second-longest streak with 38. Senior RB Asher Clark is third at 31 followed by senior QB Tim Jefferson with 30. Wright leads the way in overall games started as well with 48. Jefferson is second with 43, Clark is third with 39 and Davis is fourth with 38. A look at both lists follows.
AMACK AMONG MW/NATION'S BEST: Senior LB Brady Amack is second in the Mountain West and 15th nationally in tackles with an average of 10.4 per game. Amack has led the team in tackles in eight of the last 10 games this season. He has hit double figures in tackles in six of the last nine. Amack is also fourth in the MW and 19th nationally with four forced fumbles.
DAVIS AMONG MW'S BEST: Senior safety Jon Davis ranks eighth in the Mountain West in tackles with a 7.4 average. Davis has 89 total tackles, including 43 unassisted, and has had 10 or more tackles in a game five times this season. He is third in the conference in tackles by defensive backs. Davis is second in the conference and 23rd nationally in interceptions with a team-best four. He has 10 career interceptions which is tied for sixth in Air Force history.
WARZEKA ON HORNUNG WATCH LIST: Air Force senior WR/KR Jonathan Warzeka was 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.
HERRINGTON LEADS THE MOUNTAIN WEST: Junior kicker Parker Herrington leads the Mountain West in field goals with a 1.25 average and in field goal percentage with an 83.3 mark. He is 13-of-14 inside 40 yards and had a streak of 10 straight made field goals snapped vs. UNLV. Herrington is fifth in the conference and second among kickers in scoring with a 7.1 average. He is 15-of-18 on the season and has kicked two or more field goals in a game five times.
COOKS 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 block 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 28-15 career record as a starter. His 28 wins ranks third 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: Senior QB Tim Jefferson has hit 98-of-161 passes for a career-high 1,478 yards on the season with 12 touchdowns and six interceptions. His 60.9 completion percentage is fourth best for a single season at Air Force and best since Shaun Carney had a .642 mark in 2007. Jefferson's 146.36 career QB rating is the second best in school history.
Alex Means BUSINESS: Junior linebacker Alex Means leads the team and ranks ninth in the Mountain West in tackles for loss with 9.0 for 44 yards. He also leads the team and ranks seventh in the conference in sacks with 6.0 for 39 yards. Means was named MW defensive player of the week in Air Force's last game with five tackles, two sacks and two forced fumbles both resulting in turnovers at Colorado State. Means has also blocked three kicks this season, including an extra point in overtime at Navy to set up a one-point Air Force win. He also blocked a PAT at Boise State and a field goal vs. Tennessee State.
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.
SEVERAL FALCONS ON SINGLE SEASON LISTS: Several Falcons have posted statistics this season that rank among the top 10 all-time in Air Force history. A complete look at the list follows.
WALLERSTEIN ON AND OFF THE FIELD: Air Force senior offensive lineman A.J. Wallerstein was 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 was one of 51 candidates for the 2011 Doak Walker Award, according to an announcement by the PwC SMC Athletic Forum. 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. 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 POSTS SECOND STRAIGHT 1,000-YARD SEASON, CLOSING IN ON CAREER MARK: Senior tailback Asher Clark posted his second straight 100-yard effort against Colorado State in Air Force's last game with 111 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries. He had a career-best 169 yards and scored on a career-best 67-yard run against UNLV prior to the CSU game. Clark went over the 1,000-yard mark for the second straight season and has a career-high 1,096 this season. He is just the third player in school history to record two 1,000-yard seasons and just the second ever and first since Beau Morgan in 1995-96 to record back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons. Clark rushed for 1,031 yards last year.
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.
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.
SEVEN FALCONS EARN ALL-CONFERENCE HONORS: The Air Force football team had seven players selected to the all-Mountain West Conference football team. Senior offensive lineman A.J. Wallerstein, junior kicker Parker Herrington and senior defensive back Jon Davis were each named first-team all-MW. Senior running back Asher Clark, senior linebacker Brady Amack and senior defensive back Anthony Wright were all second-team honorees. Junior linebacker Alex Means was an honorable mention selection.
HONORS: Honors won by Air Force players in 2011 follow.
Jonathan Warzeka: Paul Hornung Award watch list ... Preseason Mountain West Special Teams Player of the Year by MW media ... Preseason first-team all-MW by MWC media ... Preseason first-team all-MW by Phil Steele's Magazine ... College Football Performance Awards preseason kickoff return specialist watch list ... Preseason second-team all-MW by Athlon Magazine ... Preseason first-team all-MW by Blue Ribbon Magazine.
Tim Jefferson: College Sports Madness Mountain West Conference offensive player of the week vs. Tennessee State ... Mountain West offensive player of the week vs. Navy ... College Football Madness Mountain West offensive player of the week vs. Navy ... Rivals.com Mountain West offensive player of the week vs. Navy ... National Football Foundation Colorado Chapter player of the week vs. Army ... MW offensive player of the week vs. Colorado State.
Jon Davis: First-team all-MW ... preseason first-team all-MW by MWC media ... Preseason first-team all-MW by Phil Steele's Magazine ... College Football Performance Awards preseason defensive back watch list ... Preseason first-team all-MW by Athlon Magazine ... Preseason first-team all-MW by Blue Ribbon Magazine ... Midseason second-team all-MW by Phil Steele's Magazine ... MW defensive player of the week vs. Army ... Collegefootabllawards.com defensive back of the week vs. Army ... Collegefootballmadness defensive player of the week vs. Army ... Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week vs. Army ... ESPN Helmet Sticker vs. Army.
Asher Clark: Second-team all-MW ... Doak Walker National Running Back Award watch list ... Preseason second-team all-MW by Phil Steele's Magazine ... Preseason second-team all-MW by Athlon Magazine ... Midseason second-team all-MW by Phil Steele's Magazine ... College Football Performance Awards running back of the week vs. UNLV ... National Football Foundation, Colorado Chapter player of the week vs. UNLV.
Jason Kons: Preseason second-team all-MW by Phil Steele's Magazine ... Preseason second-team all-MW by Athlon Magazine ... Midseason first-team all-MW by Phil Steele's Magazine.
Jordan Waiwaiole: Preseason second-team all-MW by Phil Steele's Magazine.
Brady Amack: Second-team all-MW ... preseason second-team all-MW by Phil Steele's Magazine ... College Sports Madness Mountain West Conference defensive player of the week vs. TCU ... Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week vs. Navy ... College Football Performance Awards honorable mention linebacker of the week vs. Navy ... Mountain West defensive player of the week vs. Navy ... National Football Foundation, Colorado Chapter player of the week vs. Navy ... Football Writers Association of America/Bronco Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week vs. Navy ... CollegeFootballInsiders.com national defensive player of the week vs. Navy ... ESPN Helmet Sticker vs. Navy ... Midseason honorable mention All-American by Phil Steele's Magazine ... Midseason first-team all-MW by Phil Steele's Magazine.
Anthony Wright: Second-team all-MW ... preseason first-team all-MW by MWC media ... Preseason second-team all-MW by Phil Steele's Magazine ... College Football Performance Awards preseason punt return specialist watch list ... Preseason second-team all-MW by Athlon Magazine.
Erik Soderberg: College Football Performance Awards preseason kickoff specialist watch list.
David Baska: College Football Performance Awards honorable mention punter of the week vs. Navy ... Midseason first-team all-MW by Phill Steele's Magazine.
Alex Means: Honorable mention all-MW ... Mountain West special teams player of the week vs. Navy ... CollegeFootballInsiders.com national special teams player of the week vs. Navy ... Midseason second-team all-MW by Phil Steele's Magazine ... MW defensive player of the week vs. Colorado State ... College Football Performance Award defensive player of the week vs. Colorado State ... MAACO Las Vegas Bowl Mountain West Player of the Week vs. Colorado State.
Jamil Cooks: ESPN Helmet Sticker vs. TCU.
Michael Hester: Midseason second-team all-MW by Phil Steele's Magazine.
Parker Herrington: First-team all-MW ... midseason third-team all-MW by Phil Steele's Magazine ... MW special teams player of the week vs. Army ... Collegefootballawards.com kicker of the week vs. Army.
Zack Kauth: College Football Performance Award offensive player of the week vs. Colorado State ... College Football Madness MW offensive player of the week vs. Colorado State.