AFA By the Numbers

In his twenty-first season as AFA's head coach, Fisher DeBerry's record through 252 games stands at 159-92-1(.632) overall; 74-58-1(.560) on the road or at neutral sites and 85-34(.714) in home games. A greater number of these games have been played on the road or at neutral sites--133 or 52.9%--while 119 or 47.0% have been played as home games.

DEE-FENSE, DEE-FENSE? Chris Field, AFAFalcons Staff Writer The Fisher DeBerry era, now in its twenty-first season, has demonstrated that a crucial determinant in AFA's ability to win a game is the frequency with which the Falcons hold opponents to twenty-three points or less.  Fisher DeBerry had coached AFA in 252 games and posted an overall record of 159-91-1(.635). In 141 games the Falcons held their opponents to 23 or fewer points and posted a dazzling 121-20 (.858) winning mark. In the 111 games the Falcons allowed their opponents to score 24 or more points they have posted a desultory 38-72-1 (.346) record.          

This trend, established from 1984 through 1998, has continued in recent seasons as well. From November 18, 1999 through this year‘s BYU game, Air Force has played fifty-four games against division 1-A opponents. In those fifty-four games Air Force has compiled a 29-25(.537) record. In 35 (64.8%) of those games Air Force allowed 24 or more points to the opposition. In those 35 games when allowing 24 or more points, AFA's record is 12-23 (.342). In the nineteen games in which the Falcons allowed twenty-three points or less AFA posted a mark of 17-2(.894).

            The preponderance of evidence over twenty years is clear: when AFA limits the opposition to 23 points or less it wins. When AFA allows twenty-four points or more its chances to win decrease rapidly and the figures support this assessment. Whether you take the long view over Fisher's twenty years as the team's coach or the short view from November 1999 to the present the outcomes are strikingly similar: when AFA holds its opponent to twenty-three or fewer points it wins and when it allows twenty-four or more points it loses.

RUSHING AHEAD. Here is an updated look at the leading rushers in AFA history through the most recently played game. 

        1. 3612     Dee Dowis

         2. 3379     Beau Morgan

         3. 2726     John Kershner

         4. 2324     Chance Harridge

         5. 2284     Brian Bream

         5. 2284     Pat Evans

         7. 1993     Greg Johnson

         8. 1860     Marty Louthan

         9. 1762     Jason Jones

       10. 1760     Rodney Lewis

       11. 1702     Rob Perez

       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. 1379       Darnell Stephens <=

       22. 1371     Mike Quinlan

       23. 1354     Spanky Gilliam

       24. 1347     Larry Thomson

       25. 1304    Anthony Butler <=

       26. 1296     Nakia Addison

       27. 1242     Keith Boyea

       28. 1233     Johnny Smith

       29. 1129     Blane Morgan

       30. 1091     Curtis Martin

       31. 1074     Bill Berry

       32. 1005     Joel Carlson

      Anthony Butler continues his climb up the chart of career rushing leaders at the academy. After topping the one-thousand yard plateau in the 2003 season Butler stands positioned to make a concerted charge up the ranks of the all-time leaders during his senior campaign in 2004. Butler was held in check by BYU as the Cougars allowed Butler to gain just 26 yards on half a dozen carries. His career ledger now shows he's carried the ball 243 times for 1,304 yards a 5.36 yards per carry average and 11 TDs.

        The newest name to be added to the list of career rushers to have reached or surpassed the 1,000 yard mark is Darnell Stephens. Stephens ripped New Mexico for 94 yards in the first half and was well on his way to a 100 yard game before suffering an injury while returning the second half kickoff. Still, the 94 yard game represents a career high for the senior. His 58 yard TD run opened the game's scoring. Stephens has now totaled 231 carries for 1,379 yards  a 5.96 yards per carry average and 11 rushing TDs in his career.

The individual and collective performances of Stephens and Butler give evidence as to why the AFA ground based option attack has focused more upon the halfbacks' efforts and less upon production from the fullbacks in recent years, although this year‘s team has shown the fullback game may be reemerging as a central force in the Falcons' option attack. The two have a solid chance to surpass the 1,400 yard career barrier as seniors, which would place them among the top twenty ground gainers in academy history. The pair of HBs now stands 21st and 25th on the career rushing list at AFA just 75 yards apart.

THE MWC VERSUS  THE BCS. There's a frequent cry of anguish which arises from camps of followers of MWC teams bemoaning the fact that the league's teams deserve more recognition on a national basis given their individual and collective records against BCS affiliated teams. Frankly, since the inception of the MWC, its teams have not fared well when stepping outside conference play to face teams in leagues affiliated with the BCS. During the course of the 2004 regular season MWC teams are scheduled to face members of BCS affiliated conferences in19 games. Here's a look at when and where the match-ups are taking place as well as the outcomes and the MWC's record in the games played to date.

The MWC has completed its regular season meetings with BCS affiliated teams in 2004 and posted a lackluster 6-13 (.315) record. Utah went 3-0 in its games versus BCS aligned teams. Here are the embarrassingly bad records compiled by the rest of the MWC teams against BCS affiliated teams: AFA 0-1; BYU 1-2; CSU 0-3; SDS 0-2; UNM 1-2; UNLV 0-2; and Wyo 1-1.

            Once again as a conference, in the 2004 regular season the MWC's play versus BCS aligned teams did nothing to warrant its inclusion in future BCS postseason extravaganzas. But remember: there's always next year.


Home team



Sept. 2


Texas A & M

Utah  41-21 (1-0)

Sept. 3

New Mexico

Washington State

WSU  21-17 (1-1)

Sept. 4


Notre Dame

BYU  20-17 (2-1)

Sept. 4

Air Force


Cal  56-14  (2-2)

Sept. 4


Colorado State

Colo.  27-24 (2-3)

Sept. 5



Tenn  42-17  (2-4)

Sept. 11

Southern Cal


USC  49-0  (2-5)

Sept. 11

New Mexico

Texas Tech

UNM  27-24  (3-5)

Sept. 11



Wisc.  (3-6)

Sept. 11



Utah  23-6 (4-6)

Sept. 11

Texas A & M


A & M 27-24  (4-7)

Sept. 11



Stan. 37-10  (4-8)

Sep. 18



Minn. 34-16 (4-9)

Sept. 18

Oregon State

New Mexico

OSU  17-7 (4-10)


Sept. 18


San Diego State

Mich. 24-21 (4-11)

Sept. 18

Southern Cal


USC  42-10 (4-12)

Sept. 25



Wyo  37-32 (5-12)

Oct. 2


San Diego State

UCLA 33-10(5-13)

Oct. 16


North Carolina

Utah  46-16 (6-13)


Falcon Authority Top Stories