Updating The Numbers

Fisher DeBerry's record after 234 games, through the Wofford game of 2003, as head coach at Air Force stands at 150-83-1(.643) overall; 71-53-1(.572) on the road or at neutral sites and 79-30(.724) in home games.

DEE-FENSE, DEE-FENSE? From November 18, 1999, through the 2002 San Francisco Bowl, Air Force has played thirty-seven games against division 1-A opponents. In 25 (69.4%) of those games Air Force has allowed 24 or more points to the opposition. In those 25 games when allowing 24 or more points AFA has gone 11-14(.440). In the twelve games in which the defense has allowed fewer than twenty-four points AFA has gone 10-2(.833). When AFA limits the opposition to fewer than 24 points it wins. When AFA allows twenty-four points or more its chances to win decrease rapidly and the figures support this assessment.

In these thirty-seven games against division 1-A opponents Air Force has compiled a 21-16(.568) record.

On October 19, 2002, Notre Dame became the first team to defeat AFA when scoring fewer than 24 points since Utah beat the Falcons 21-15 in the Snow Bowl on October 16, 1999. The only other game Air Force has lost since November 18, 1999, when allowing fewer than twenty-four points is the San Francisco Bowl to Virginia Tech by a 20-13 score.

A CHANCE TO ADVANCE. Here is a look at the leading rushers in AFA history through the Wofford game of the 2003 season. Leotis Palmer finished his superb career in seventeenth place on the list. Chance Harridge gained 92 yards in the season opener and surpassed Palmer and Jake Campbell on the AFA career rushing leaders list. Harridge needs 498 yards rushing to become the sixth player in AFA history to reach the 2,000 yard mark. Harridge could challenge fullback John Kershner for third place on the career rushing list. He needs to run for 1,225 more yards to surpass Kershner--an exceptional FB in his playing career--as the third leading rusher in AFA football history. By gaining 50 yards against Northwestern--a modest total--Harridge will surpass Mike Thiessen and Shelby Ball on the career rushing list.

Dee Dowis

1. 3612 Dee Dowis

2. 3379 Beau Morgan
3. 2726 John Kershner
4. 2284 Pat Evans
4. 2284 Brian Bream
6. 1993 Greg Johnson
7. 1860 Marty Louthan
8. 1762 Jason Jones
9. 1760 Rodney Lewis
10. 1702 Rob Perez
11. 1677 Bart Weiss
12. 1633 Terry Issacson
13. 1630 Ken Wood
14. 1551 Shelby Ball
15. 1534 Mike Thiessen
16. 1502 Chance Harridge
17. 1478 Jake Campbell
18. 1470 Leotis Palmer
19. 1406 Qualario Brown
20. 1400 Scotty McKay
21. 1371 Mike Quinlan
22. 1354 Spanky Gilliam
23. 1347 Larry Thomson
24. 1296 Nakia Addison
25. 1233 Johnny Smith
26. 1129 Blane Morgan
27. 1091 Curtis Martin

The next name for which AFA fans should keep an eye peeled is that of current halfback Anthony Butler. He had a quiet start to the season carrying the ball a mere three times for twelve yards against Wofford. Butler's career totals now stand at 736 yards on 139 attempts for a 5.29 yards per carry average. He needs two hundred sixty-four more yards to become the 28th player to reach the one thousand yard mark in AFA history.

TOUGH NEIGHBORHOOD. Now that the Falcons have played one game in the 2003 season there are five offensive backs in AFA's history who have gained from 1400 to just over 1500 yards. None of them had, or have, overwhelming size, but every one of them was tougher than a week's worth of night shift duty at any job you can name. This quintet of players is emblematic of the average sized, tough, quick runners who have sustained AFA's ground based option attack over the past decade. The five and where they rank in the pantheon of AFA career ground gainers are:

16. 1502 Chance Harridge
17. 1478 Jake Campbell
18. 1470 Leotis Palmer
19. 1406 Qualario Brown
20. 1400 Scotty McKay

The careers of these players serve as evidentiary proof of why Air Force has been able to produce successful records during the option era of football at the academy. (Chance Harridge, already on the list), Anthony Butler, Darnell Stephens and Matt Ward are the latest examples of players whose efforts will help this well-established trend to continue.

AND JUST FOR KICKS. Entering the 2003 PK Joey Ashcroft is on a pace to set and/or challenge several significant place-kicking records in AFA football history. Have a look at where he stands in some prominent categories. The Falcons' offense was in prime form after a sluggish first quarter and therefore did not need to call upon Ashcroft's strong leg in downing Wofford, 49-0.

AFA Career FG Percentage Leaders
1. Joey Ashcroft-current 16-18 .889
2. Jackson Whiting-1998-99 19-23 .826
3. Joe Wood-1989-91 39-49 .796
4. David Adams-1998-2000 26-34 .765
5. Carlos Mateos-1984 12-16 .750

Career Field Goals Made
1. Dave Lawson 51 (1972-75)
2. Sean Pavlich 42 (1980-83)
3. Joe Wood 39 (1989-91)
4. Dennis Leuthaser 27 (1967-69)
5. Dave Adams 26 (1998-2000)

Ashcroft needs ten FGs to join this list. He will enter the Northwestern game having kicked sixteen field goals in his career.

Field Goals Made in a Season
1. 19 Dave Lawson 1974
1. 19 Dave Adams 2000
3. 17 Joe Wood 1991
4. 16 Jim Sturch 1978
4. 16 Joey Ashcroft 2002

AFA AGAINST THE POINTS. From 2001 to the present here's look at how the Falcons have fared against the point spread. Bear in mind that Las Vegas does not set a line for a game matching a division 1-A team against a division 1-AA team. In 2001, Air Force went 3-8 against the spread. (That number three contains an asterisk. The Falcons beat Utah 38-37 that season, but when the game was played the contest was "off the board" in Las Vegas due to the "Dirty Dozen" incident. Playing in Hawaii a week prior to the Utah game, AFA had 12 players miss a curfew and the dozen players were subsequently suspended for the next game. Unless a bet was placed by the Monday before the AFA-Utah game, there were no bets accepted on the game, therefore the asterisk next to the three. Air Force was a 13 point underdog, won the game and would have covered the line. In 2002, AFA went 9-4 against the point spread. From the start of the 2001 season through this season's Wofford game, the Falcons have gone 12-12 against the point spread.

WHITEWASHED. Air Force posted its ninth shutout during Fisher DeBerry's tenure as head coach when it beat Wofford, 49-0, to open the 2003 season. Army (1991), The Citadel (1993), San Jose State (1996) Colorado State and Army (1997), Wake Forest (1998), Army (1999) and Tennessee Tech (2001) are the other shutouts administered by the Falcons in the DeBerry era.

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