DEE-FENSE, DEE-FENSE? From November 18, 1999, through this season's Wyoming game, Air Force has played forty games against division 1-A opponents. In 26 (65.0%) of those games Air Force has allowed 24 or more points to the opposition. In those 26 games when allowing 24 or more points AFA has gone 12-14(.461). In the fourteen games in which the defense has allowed fewer than twenty-four points AFA has gone 12-2(.857). 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 forty games against division 1-A opponents Air Force has compiled a 24-16(.600) record. The Wyoming game marked the first contest this season in which the Falcons have surrendered more than 24 points. The last time AFA allowed a team to score at least twenty-four points and still posted a victory was last season in Las Vegas against UNLV.
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 Wyoming
game of the 2003 season. Chance Harridge needs 316 yards rushing to become the
sixth player in AFA history to reach the 2,000 yard mark. Harridge had his best
day of the young season in running for 117 yards against the Wyoming Cowboys.
His efforts sped him past Ken Wood, Terry Issacson and Bart Weiss on the AFA
career rushing list. By gaining 19 yards against BYU not only will Harridge
crack the 1,700 yard barrier, but he will also supplant Rob Perez for tenth
place on the all-time rushing chart at the academy.
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. 1684 Chance Harridge
12. 1677 Bart Weiss
13. 1633 Terry Issacson
14. 1630 Ken Wood
15. 1551 Shelby Ball
16. 1534 Mike Thiessen
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 solid performance against Wyoming in running
ten times for seventy yards. Butler has gained 955 yards in his career on 170
carries for a 5.61 yards an attempt clip and will enter the BYU game needing to
run for 45 yards to hit the 1,000 yard plateau. Butler is in line to become the
28th player to reach the 1,000 yard mark in career rushing in AFA football
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. In 2002, AFA went 9-4 against the point spread. The Falcons are 1-2 against the spread this year. Air Force never came close to covering the twenty point line by which the team was favored against Wyoming.
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.
TAKING THE OFFENSIVE. Chuck Petersen has been the offensive coordinator for the Falcons from the outset of the 2000 season. Since Petersen has assumed the reins to the Air Force attack the Falcons have posted a record of 27-14(.658) in forty-one games entering this week's BYU contest.
BLOCK PARTY. The Falcons blocked two kicks in the Wyoming game. The Cowboys had their first PAT attempt smothered by the Falcons and later in the game Jeff Overstreet blocked a punt. AFA began a drive immediately after the block which ended in an Adam Cole TD run. The Falcons are continuing their preeminence as one of the nation's best kick-blocking teams over the past fifteen seasons.