AFAFalcons Staff Writer
Against Wyoming, Harridge did the same thing. While he was the Falcons' leading ground gainer the focus of the brunt of the load was ably carried by the team's halfbacks. If Chance doesn't beat an opponent with his own artistry he will get the ball into the hands of a player who will do just that. It's a hallmark of a leader, team player and winner.
1) Northwestern. AFA wins 52-3 at home. Harridge runs for 94 yards and passes for 47. He throws a TD pass to TE Adam Strecker.
3) California. AFA wins 23-21 on the road. Chance runs for 124 yards and three TDs. Passes for 22 yards. AFA goes 1-0 when Harridge hits the 100 yard mark in either passing or running.
5) Navy. AFA wins 48-7 at home. For the first time in his career Harridge
goes over the 100 yard mark on the ground and through the air, rushing for 161
and 4 TDs while throwing for 107 yards. AFA rises to 2-0 when Harridge hits
the 100 yard mark.
6) BYU. AFA wins 52-9 at home. Harridge burns the Cougars for 104 on the ground and 4 TDs. Throws for 77. The streak continues as the Falcons move to 3-0 when Harridge hits the century mark.
7) Notre Dame. AFA loses 21-14 at home. Harridge held in check all night. Runs for 31 yards and passes for just 57 more.
8) Wyoming. AFA loses 34-26 in Laramie. Harridge rushes for 91 yards and 1 TD. He passes for 169 more. The Falcons, now 3-1, drop one for the first time when Harridge runs and/or passes for in excess of 100 yards.
9) CSU. AFA loses 31-12. Chance runs for 115 yards and 1 TD against the Rams. Passes for a mere 29 yards and a TD to Strecker. Falcons drop to a 3-2 record when Harridge surpasses the 100 yard barrier on the ground and/or through the air.
10) Army. AFA wins 49-30 on the road. Harridge runs for 76 yards. He passes for 106 and another TD to Strecker. Air Force moves to 4-2 with Harridge hitting for more than 100 yards.
11) UNLV. AFA wins 49-32 on the road. For the first time in his career Harridge runs and passes for 100 yards on the road. He rushed for 114 and two scores while throwing for 102 and TDs to Strecker and J.P. Waller. Falcons now a strong 5-2 when Harridge tops one hundred yards on the ground and/or in the air.
12) San Diego State. AFA loses 38-34 at home. It doesn't always work as this
game demonstrates. Harridge ran for 117 yards and 3 TDs while passing for 125
yards and a TD to Alec Messerall. AFA lost anyway. Air Force drops to 5-3 when
Harridge tops the 100 level.
13) Virginia Tech. AFA loses 20-13 in the San Francisco Bowl. The alarming feature of this game was how poorly Harridge threw the ball. He connected on 4 of 19 attempts and threw two interceptions. He threw for 91 yards and ran for 70. If AFA fans are looking for a measuring stick of Harridge's importance to the team try this stat: this was the only game of the season in which he neither ran for a TD nor threw a TD pass. And the Falcons lost.
14) Wofford. AFA wins 49-0 at home. Harridge runs for 92 yards and passes for 61 in a season opening win. The Falcons' record is now 5-3 (.625) in games when Harridge passes and/or runs for 100 or more yards. Air Force is 4-2(.666) in games when Harridge reaches neither of these plateaus.
15) Northwestern. AFA wins 22-21 on the road. For the second time in his career when facing Northwestern, Harridge neither passed nor ran for 100 yards against the Wildcats, but the Falcons won the game. Harridge carried the ball seven times for 45 yards and completed two of seven passing attempts for 51 yards. Air Force is now 5-2(.714) when Harridge fails to throw and/or run for 100 or more yards. AFA is 5-3(.625) when he does. The Falcons are 10-5(.667) in games started by Chance Harridge.
16) North Texas. AFA wins 34-21 at home. Harridge was the focus of attention for the Mean Green's defense and was held to twenty yards on the ground. Harridge turned to the passing game completing 10 of 15 attempts for 156 yards and three, first half TD passes in directing the Falcons to a comfortable halftime lead and eventually, their third win of the season.
17) Wyoming. Air Force wins 35-29 at home. Harridge has an impressive day as he runs for 117 yards on 15 carries for a 7.8 yards per attempt mark. He completes just enough passes to bring some balance to the Falcons' attack as he hits on 8 of 13 throws and 1TD pass to Alec Messerall, while suffering one interception. Air Force gains 79 yards through the air.
18) Brigham Young. Air Force wins 24-10 on the road. In helping to lead the team to a win in Provo, Harridge became the answer to a trivia question in the process. He will be remembered in Falcons' lore as the starting QB on Fisher DeBerry's first team to post a win in Provo against BYU. While the Cougars held Chance to 18 yards rushing Harridge again showed his improvement in the passing game as he connected on 11 of 20 attempts, including a 30 TD pass to J. P. Waller in the fourth quarter which provided the Falcons with the game's winning points.
For the second consecutive season Harridge has led the team to a 5-0 start
on the season. Under his steadying influence and skillful leadership the team
is now poised to begin its quest for yet another Commander-in-Chief's trophy
when it travels to the East Coast to face Navy in the Falcons' sixth game of
the current campaign.
There are two camps into which assessments of Chance Harridge's performance this season fall. There is the alarmist view which wonders aloud why his rushing total and TDs scored total don't match the stupendous figures he posted in 2002. There is also the pragmatic view which focuses on the fact that Harridge has led his team to another splendid, 5-0, overall start while helping the team mount an assault on an MWC title with its 2-0 record in league play. He has marshaled the team's forces to 13 wins in 18 games and thrust the Falcons headlong into the thick of the title chase in the Mountain West Conference. When Harridge has run and/or passed for more than 100 yards in a game the team has compiled a record of 7-3 (.700). When he has not reached either mark the team has posted a 6-2 (.750) mark.
Approaching the halfway point in the regular season he has completed 36 of 64 passes for a 56.25% rating. He's thrown just two interceptions and connected for 5 TD passes. He's thrown TD passes in three consecutive games and in so doing has made it necessary for opposing defenses to respect the Falcons' increasing proficiency in the passing game. Historically, the Falcons have been most dangerous on offense when they have been able to pass the ball when they chose to do so rather than when being forced by down and distance to throw the ball. Harridge's improvement in the passing game is on the verge of making 2003 a memorable season in AFA history.