Dec. 12, 2012
Air Force (6-6) vs. Rice (6-6)
Saturday Dec. 29 9:45 a.m. MT
Amon G. Carter Stadium Fort Worth, TX
Beth Mowins (play-by-play), Joey Galloway (color) and Lewis Johnson (sidelines).
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 is playing in a bowl game for a school-record sixth straight year ... The previous record for consecutive bowl games was four (1982-85 and 1989-92) ... Air Force is playing in its fourth Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl (2007-09, 12) ... Air Force is 10-11-1 all-time in bowl games ... Air Force head coach Troy Calhoun is 2-3 in bowl games, including a 1-2 mark in the Armed Forces Bowl ... Air Force is playing its first game in the state of Texas since playing at TCU in 2010 ... Air Force is 1-7 all-time at Amon G. Carter Stadium with the lone win coming in the 2009 Armed Forces Bowl ... Air Force and Rice are playing for the seventh time overall and first since 1998 ... Air Force and Rice are two of the top academic institutions in the nation, both ranking in the top 10 in Academic Performance Rate (APR) ... The Owls are sixth with a 986 mark while Air Force is 10th with a 980 ... Air Force and Rice are playing each other for the first time in a bowl game ... This will be Troy Calhoun's fourth appearance in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl while Rice coach David Bailiff is making his second appearance overall and first as a head coach ... Bailiff coached in the first-ever Fort Worth Bowl while as an assistant at TCU ... Troy Calhoun and his coaching staff ranks 11th nationally in consecutive bowl apperances with six (at the same school).
Air Force: Troy Calhoun (Air Force, 1989) is in his sixth season. He has led the Falcons to a 47-30 career record. Calhoun is 29-18 in MWC games, 18-12 in non-conference games, 28-9 in Falcon Stadium, 16-18 in road games (12-11 in MW road games) and 2-3 in bowl games.
Rice: David Bailiff (Texas State, 1981) is in his sixth season. He has led the Owls to a 29-44 record. Bailiff has a 50-59 career record in his ninth season.
Air Force and Rice are meeting for the seventh time overall and first time since 1998.
This marks the first meeting at a neutral site or in a bowl game.
Air Force leads the series 5-1 overall, including a 3-0 mark in conference games.
Air Force is 4-0 at home and 1-1 at Rice.
Air Force defeated Rice, 22-16, in 1998 in Falcon Stadium the last time the two played
The teams first played in 1985 in Falcon Stadium, resulting in a 59-17 Air Force win.
Year - Result
1985 AFA 59-17 (H)
1986 Rice 21-17 (A)
1992 AFA 30-21 (H)
1996 AFA 45-17 (H)
1997 AFA 41-14 (A)
1998 AFA 22-16 (H)
Site () is for AFA
AIR FORCE VS. CONFERENCE-USA: Air Force is 2-1 all-time against teams in Conference-USA. All three meetings have come against Houston, twice in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl. The Falcons defeated Houston, 31-28, in Dallas, Texas, on Sept. 13, 2009. The game was moved from Houston to Dallas due to weather. The Cougars defeated Air Force, 34-28, later that year at the bowl. Air Force beat Houston, 47-20, the following year in a bowl rematch.
The Falcons are 29-11 all-time against teams that are currently in C-USA. Air Force played them all prior to the teams joining the conference.
AIR FORCE - RICE CONNECTIONS
Ken Hatfield coached at both Rice and Air Force during his career. He led the Falcons to a 26-32-1 mark from 1979-83 ... Hatfield led the turnaround at Air Force, leading the Falcons to back-to-back bowl games while posting an 8-5 mark in 1982 and a 10-2 mark in 1983 ... The 1982 bowl game was the first for Air Force in 11 years dating back to the 1971 Sugar Bowl ... Hatfield also brought Falcon Legend Fisher DeBerry to the Academy as an assistant ... DeBerry replaced Hatfield and coach the Falcons from 1984-2006, compiling a 169-109-1 mark ... Hatfield was head coach at Rice from 1994-2005 and posted a record of 56-89-1.
Rice offensive coordinator and running backs coach John Reagan was the offensive line coach at Air Force for Fisher DeBerry from 2003-04 ... Air Force led the conference and was ranked fourth nationally in rushing each year Reagan coached at Air Force ... The Falcons averaged 280.6 yards per game in 2003 and 277.4 in 2004.
Rice quarterback Taylor McHargue and Air Force receiver Drew Coleman were high school teammates at Vista Ridge High School in Cedar Park, Texas. The two have continued a close friendship since their playing days.
Brandon Hamilton of Rice and Chris Miller of Air Force each attended Copperas Cove High School in Copperas Cove, Texas ... Bryce Callahan of Rice and Colton Huntsman of Air Force each attended Cypress Woods High School in Cypress, Texas ... James Radcliffe of Rice and Alex Ludowig of Air Force each attended Cinco Ranch High School in Katy, Texas.
Rice has two players that are transfers from Air Force. Trevor Caswell of Stony Point, Texas, and Ryan Pollard of Arlington, Texas, each began their careers at Air Force before transfering. Pollard saw action in four games as a freshman in 2011 at Air Force.
Air Force has 17 players on its varsity roster from the state of Texas: 3 Chris Miller, Copperas Cove (Copperas Cove); 14 Colton Huntsman, Cypress (Cypress Woods); 16 Drew Coleman, Cedar Park (Vista Ridge); 21 Christian Spears, Grand Prairie (Timberview); 25 Mike DeWitt, Lake Travis (Lake Travis); 32 Broam Hart, Alvarado (Alvarado); 35 Wes Cobb, Houston (Cypress-Fairbanks); 41 Reggie Barnes, Odessa (Berkeley Prep); 43 Jared Jones, Dallas (Basha); 45 James Chambers, Wichita Falls (Rider); 49 Joey Nichol, Austin (Cedar Park); 55 Steven Sumpter, Flower Mound (Flower Mound); 59 Moshood Adeniji, Dallas (Garland); 77 Jerry Henry, Killeen (Robert M. Schowmaker); 81 Luke Duncavage, League City (Clear Creek); 83 Alex Ludowig, Katy (Cinco Ranch); 97 Nick Fitzgerald, Flower Mound (Marcus).
Head Coach Troy Calhoun spent the 2006 season as the Houston Texans offensive coordinator before coming back to the Academy in 2007.
Co-Offensive Coordinator and Quarterback Coach Blane Morgan is a native of Dallas. He attended Trinity Christian Academy in Addison, Texas, where he played for his father, Barry.
Video Coordinator Dan Whisenhunt is a 1982 graduate of Texas Tech.
BOWL ATTENDANCE/TICKET NOTES: Air Force has averaged 9,816 tickets sold in its five bowl games dating back to 2007. Air Force sold a then-record 11,945 for the 2007 Armed Forces Bowl and broke that mark in the 2010 Independence Bowl with 12,098 sold.
The average attendance in Air Force's five bowl games is 37,750. The school played in three straight Armed Forces Bowl games and set a record attendance mark each year. Air Force set the first record in 2007 with 40,905, then broke it in 2008 with 41,127 and in 2009 with 41,414. Prior to Air Force's arrival, the bowl game had hit 40,000 in attendance just once.
BOWL HISTORY: Air Force is playing in its 23rd bowl game this season. The Falcons extended its school record for consecutive bowl games to six years with the 2012 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl. Air Force has a 10-11-1 all-time bowl record.
AIR FORCE AT AMON G. CARTER STADIUM: Air Force is 1-7 all-time at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas. The Falcons have lost five times to TCU at the home field of the Horned Frogs and twice in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl. The lone win came in the 2009 bowl game vs. Houston.
AIR FORCE TO WEAR SPECIAL UNIFORMS FOR BOWL GAME: The Air Force football team will wear a specially designed uniform for the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl that was inspired by the Air Force's B-2 Spirit and F-22 Raptor aircrafts. The helmet logo is the top view of a B-2 Spirit aircraft. The name on the back of the even numbered jerseys will have F-22 Raptor while the odd numbered jerseys will have B-2 Spirit in place of the name. The team used the uniforms for the Navy game earlier this season.
AIR FORCE VS. NON-CONFERENCE FOES UNDER CALHOUN
Air Force is 18-12 against non-conference foes under head coach Troy Calhoun.
The Falcons are 11-2 at home, 4-7 on the road and 3-3 in neutral site games.
Air Force is 1-3 this season vs. non-conference opponents.
CALHOUN, STAFF RANK AMONG THE BEST IN CONSECUTIVE BOWLS: Air Force Head Coach Troy Calhoun and his coaching staff are headed to a sixth consecutive bowl game which ranks among the top programs nationally. Frank Beamer of Virginia Tech is making is 20th straight, followed by Bob Stoops of Oklahoma with 14 and Mark Richt of Georgia with 12. The Air Force coaching staff's six-year streak ranks 11th nationally.
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.
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.
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.
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 12 games. Hawai'i leads the nation in first-time starters with 31. Temple is third with 23 followed by TCU and Colorado with 21 each.
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.
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).
46 - 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.
91 - straight rushes by Air Force, between the fourth quarter of the San Diego State game and the second quarter of the Fresno State game. The Falcons didn't attempt a pass in the Hawai'i game.
37,570 - average attendance in Air Force's last five bowl games.
TEAM DEFENSIVE NOTES
Air Force ranks fourth in the MW in scoring defense with a 28.7 average.
The Falcons are fifth in the MW and 28th nationally in pass defense with an average of 203.6.
Air Force is fifth in the MW and 65th nationally in total defense with an average of 401.6.
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 24.7 average.
Air Force is second in the MW and ninth in nation in third-down conversions with a 50.3 mark.
Air Force leads the nation in sacks allowed with just six.
Air Force is second in the MW and 29th nationally in passing efficiency with a 146.6 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 42nd nationally in total offense with a 435.9 per-game average.
Air Force is second in the nation in rushing with a 328.8 per-game average.
SPECIAL TEAMS NOTES
Air Force is fifth in the MW and 35th nationally in kickoff returns with a 23.4 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 is second in the MW and 33rd nationally in net punting with a 38.5 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 245 consecutive games.
The streak is the fourth longest active streak in the nation.
Air Force's streak is the ninth 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 24.7 yards per game. The Falcons have been penalized 39 times for 296 yards in 12 games. The team is averaging just 3.3 penalties per game.
FALCONS LEAD THE NATION GOING FOR IT ON FOURTH DOWN: Air Force has gone for it on fourth down 41 times this season which leads the nation. The Falcons have been successful 24 times for a 58.54 percentage which ranks 38th nationally. Army is second with 40 fourth-down attempts.
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
AIR FORCE TAKEAWAYS
Air Force is ninth in the MW and 109th nationally in turnover margin with a -1.08 mark (-13).
Air Force is a combined +37 in TO margin overall the last six seasons, but -8 the last three seasons.
The Falcons have forced 152 turnovers since 2007, 79 interceptions and 73 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.
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 six 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. 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 328.8 per-game average.
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 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.
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, 3-3 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.
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.
Air Force outright CIC title years:
`82, `83, `85, `87, `89, `90, `91, `92, `94, `95, `97, `98, `99, `00, `01, `02, `10, `11
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 competition 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 played 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 2012 rushing average of 328.8 and total offense average of 435.9 are the best in the Troy Calhoun era (2007-present).
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 (89-93). He has hit 44-of-45 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 1,336 yards and scored nine touchdowns in his career. He has hit 99-of-168 passes for 1,519 yards and 11 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 151.72.
Dietz is having a great 2012 season. He would lead the Mountain West and rank fourth in the nation in passing efficiency with his 168.58 mark, but lacks enough attempts to qualify. Dietz has hit 67-of-108 passes for 1,127 yards with eight 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 62.0 percent of his passes which is the third-best single season mark in school history.
He is second on the team in rushing with 658 yards and five touchdowns while averaging 4.8 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.
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 vs. Hawai'i and added 82 yards on 19 carries at Fresno State now ranks ninth school history in single-season rushing yards with 1,213.
Getz is fifth in the Mountain West and 20th nationally in rushing with a 110.3 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 25th in school history with 1,499 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 1,336 yards.
GETZ ADDED TO DOAK WALKER AWARD WATCH LIST: Air Force senior Cody Getz was 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. 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 28th nationally in tackles with a 9.5 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 114, is also ninth in the conference and tied for 47th nationally in forced fumbles with three which is an average of .25 per game.
Means is second on the team and ninth in the conference in tackles with a 7.4 per-game average. He leads the team and ranks fourth in the conference with 11.0 tackles for loss and has two interceptions and nine pass breakups. Means ranks in the top 10 in the conference in four categories: tackles for loss (11.0, 7th); tackles (7.4, 9th), tackles by linebackers (7.4, 7th) and passes defended (.92, 8th). 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 (216), tackles for loss (22.0), quarterback sacks (10.0) and pass breakups (12). 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 which ranks fourth in school history.
MACARTHUR DOING IT ALL: Junior receiver Ty MacArthur is doing it all for Air Force. He leads the team in receiving with 24 catches for 411 yards. He is averaging 17.1 yards per catch. He is fifth on the team in rushing with 419 yards and two touchdowns on 48 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 965 all-purpose yards which is second on the team and is averaging 80.4 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. The 20 stops are the third most in the Mountain West this 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 third on the team in tackles with 86. He is averaging 7.2 tackles per game which ranks third in the conference among defensive backs.
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 ALL-MW SELECTIONS: Senior offensive lineman Jordan Eason and senior outside linebacker Alex Means were each named second-team all-Mountain West Conference, as selected by the 10 head coaches and a select media panel. The Falcons also had senior running back Cody Getz, senior defensive back Brian Lindsay, senior offensive lineman Jason Kons and senior linebacker Austin Niklas named honorable mention all-MW.
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 ... Second-team all-MW.
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 ... Honorable mention all-MW.
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 ... Second-team all-MW.
OL Jason Kons: Phil Steele's Magazine mid-season third-team all-MW ... Honorable mention all-MW.
LB Austin Niklas: Phil Steele's Magazine mid-season first-team all-MW ... Honorable mention 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.
DB Brian Lindsay: Honorable mention all-MW.