Meet the Falcons of Air Force

Graduation was not kind to the Falcons. Entering this season Air Force lost from 2007 95.7% of its passing yards, 89.4% of its rushing yards and 61.1% of its receiving yards. In all the Falcons return only 8.8% of their total offensive production from last season. The offense is now under the direction of quarterback Shea Smith (#14).

Air Force Academy
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Colors: Blue & Silver
Former Falcons: Chad Hennings - Defensive tackle - Dallas Cowboys (1992-2000), Steve Russ - Linebacker - Denver Broncos (1997-1999), Chris Gizzi - Linebacker - Green Bay Packers - (2000-2001), Bryce Fisher - Defensive end - Buffalo Bills (2001); St. Louis Rams (2002-2004); Seattle Seahawks (2005-2007); Tennessee Titans (2007-present), (non-football) Susan Grant - Class of 1982 - author, Heather Wilson - Class of 1982 - First Academy graduate to serve in Congress, representing New Mexico from 1998-2008, LeRoy Homer - Class of 1987 - Co-pilot of United Airlines Flight 93, Reichen Lehmkuhl - Class of 1996 - Winner of the Amazing Race season 4
Fast Facts:  Air Force is a member of the Mountain West Conference.  In the 13 seasons from 1990 to 2002, Air Force won 11 Commander-in-Chief's Trophy titles.

Troy Calhoun enters his second season as the head man in Colorado Springs.  Coach Calhoun finished 9-4 in his first season after replacing legendary Air Force coach Fisher DeBerry.  Coach Calhoun is an alumnus of the Air Force Academy, where he played under coach DeBerry.  After graduation, he served as a graduate assistant and then JV coach and varsity assistant.   In 1995, Calhoun left the Academy to work with Jim Grobe at Ohio University.  He followed coach Grobe to Wake Forest as Offensive Coordinator, the position he held at Ohio the prior four seasons.  After the 2002 season, Calhoun left Wake for the NFL.  While in the NFL he worked for Denver Broncos until Gary Kubiak was named head coach of the Houston Texans.  Calhoun went to Houston to become the Texans Offensive Coordinator.  After coach DeBerry retired, he returned to become the sixth head coach in Air Force history.  He is the first Air Force graduate to hold that position.  But Calhoun isn't the only alumni on the staff.  Seven former Air Force Cadets are current Falcons' coaches, including former quarterback Blane Morgan who is Co-Offensive Coordinator/ Quarterbacks Coach.  Morgan had a 20-3 record as a starter after starting his career with seven consecutive victories.  He was undefeated in CIC games and is the only quarterback in school history to lead the Falcons to an outright conference title.

Graduation was not kind to the Falcons.  Entering this season Air Force lost from 2007 95.7% of its passing yards, 89.4% of its rushing yards and 61.1% of its receiving yards.  In all the Falcons return only 8.8% of their total offensive production from last season.  The offense is now under the direction of quarterback Shea Smith (#14).  Smith (5-11, 190lb, Sr.) attended the famous Permian High School of Odessa, Texas, the school chronicled in the book/movie "Friday Night Lights".  He has started all four games this season.  Smith has completed 18 of 36 passes for 228 yards with 2 touchdowns and 3 interceptions.  He is 3rd on the team in rushing with 224 yards, but has a team high 5 touchdowns.  Eric Herbort was the starter coming out of spring practice, but lost the job to Smith in fall camp.  After the first game of the season, which he did not play, Herbort left the team.  This leaves freshman Tim Jefferson (#7) as the backup.  Jefferson (6-0, 200lb, Fr.) has nine college snaps, all in the first game of the season.  He has 2 carries for minus-5 yards.

The Falcons leading rusher is tailback Kyle Lumpkin (#28).  Lumpkin (5-9, 180lb, So.) has 258 yards on 67 carries.  He also has 2 catches for 11 yards and a touchdown.  Savier Stephens (#2) sees a lot of time at tailback as well.  Stephens (5-11, 190lb, So.) has 56 carries for 192 yards and 2 touchdowns on the season.  Combined these two had 139 yards on 35 carries against Southern Utah, 108 yards on 29 carries at Wyoming and 138 yards and a touchdown on 34 carries verses Houston.  Fullback Todd Newell (#25) has yet to factor in the offense.  Newell (5-10, 215lb, R-Sr.) has 18 carries for 41 yards and a touchdown on the season.

In Troy Calhoun's offense the receivers are as apt to run the ball as they are to catch passes.  Z-receiver Kyle Halderman (#4) is second on the team with 243 yards on just 24 carries.  Halderman (5-11, 175lb, So.) has a 74 yard run against Wyoming.  He has yet to catch a pass this season.  The team's leading receiver is X-receiver Kevin Fogler (#83).  Fogler (6-5, 205lb, So.) has 7 catches for 131 yards.  The current starter who has the most experience is tight end Keith Madsen (#85).  Madsen (6-3, 230lb, Sr.) has appeared in 27 games and has caught 8 passes for 63 yards and 3 touchdowns in his Air Force career.  This season he has 3 catches for 14 yards and a touchdown.  Madsen replaces returning starter Travis Dekker (#88), who suffered a broken ankle during fall practice.  Dekker (6-4, 245lb, R-Sr.) has rejoined practice in hopes of playing on Saturday.  Another player hoping to return to the lineup on Saturday is Ty Paffett (#19).  Paffett (5-11, 180lb, Sr.) had 14 carries for 123 yards and 4 touchdowns from the Z position last season.  But he is recovering from two off-season back surgeries to repair a herniated disc.  Neither Dekker nor Paffett have played this season.

The one area of the Air Force offense that has some experience is the offensive line.  Keith Williams (#79) started all 13 games of 2007, with 12 starts coming at left tackle.  This season, Williams (6-6, 275lb, Sr.) has started all 4 games at the position.  Left guard Nick Charles (#57) started all 13 games last season and was named second team all-Mountain West Conference.  Charles (6-4, 285lb, Jr.) has 23 starts for his career.  Starting at the other guard is Peter Lusk (#62).  Lusk (6-3, 270lb, Jr.) played in all 13 games in 2007 with three starts.  Right tackle Chris Campbell (#60) started 2 games last season at that position.  Campbell (6-3, 270lb, Jr.) was the started in Annapolis last season, one of the 9 games he appeared in.  Center Andrew Pipes (6-1, 265lb, Sr.) is the only lineman who did not start a game in 2007, though he did appear in 10 as a reserve.  Pipes (6-1, 265lb, Sr.) played on the junior varsity his first two seasons in Colorado Springs.

Defensive end Jake Paulson (#95) is off to a fantastic start to the season.  Paulson (6-4, 255, Sr.) has 7 sacks through the first four games, which leads the nation.  He recorded a safety against Southern Utah and returned a fumble for a touchdown verses Utah.  Paulson's 7 sacks have already eclipsed his previous career total of 6.  The other end, Ryan Kemp (#91) has 1.5 sacks and 2 fumble recoveries.  Kemp (6-5, 255, Sr.) was honorable mention all-Mountain West Conference last season finishing with 54 tackles and 4 sacks.  Nose guard Ben Garland (#93) has 12 tackles and 2 forced fumbles on the season.  Garland (6-5, 275, Jr.) started the last 8 games of 2007.

Ken Lamendola (#47) leads the Falcon defense with 36 tackles from his inside linebacker spot.  Lamendola (6-2, 230lb, So.) has recorded double digit tackles in each of the last three games.  He also has a fumble recovery on the season.  Manning the other inside spot in the Falcons 3-4 is Brandon Reeves (#48).  Reeves (6-1, 225lb, Sr.) has 16 tackles, a sack, an interception and 2 fumble recoveries this year.  Outside linebacker Hunter Altman (#32) is tied for second on the team with 24 tackles.  Altman (5-11, 205lb, Sr.) started 13 games last season, missing only the start against BYU due to injury.  He did however play in that game, coming off the bench.  Andre Morris, Jr. (#36) was one of only two freshmen to earn a start in 2007.  This season, Morris (6-3, 235lb, So.) has 8 tackles and a sack from his outside linebacker position.

The other freshman to start in 2007 was cornerback Reggie Rembert (#8).  Rembert (5-7, 175lb, So.) is currently 4th on the team with 20 tackles and has an interception and a team high 3 pass breakups.  Starting at the other corner is Anthony Wright (#5).  As Rembert was a freshman in 2007, Wright (5-10, 189lb, Fr.) is a freshman in 2008.  He was first-team all-Ohio as a senior and was selected to play in the PNC Big 33 game.  Strong safety Chris Thomas (#34) has 24 tackles, tied with Hunter Altman for second on the team.  Thomas (5-11, 205lb, Jr.) is also second on the team with 3 sacks and has recovered 2 fumbles.  Last season he started all 13 games and was honorable mention all-Mountain West Conference.  The lone senior in the Air Force secondary is free safety Aaron Kirchoff (#23).  Kirchoff (6-0, 200lb, Sr.) started three games in 2007, including the game in Annapolis.  He has 18 tackles in 2008.

Special Teams
All of the kicking duties are handled by Ryan Harrison (#13).  Harrison (6-1, 180, Sr.) has converted all 12 PAT's and 8 of 9 field goal attempts this season.  His strong leg is shown on kickoff where he has 15 touchbacks on 24 kickoffs.  On his 11 punts in 2008, Harrison is averaging 38.5 yards per kick.  For his career, Harrison has a 42.1 yard average per punt.

Entering 2008, the Falcons had no one on their roster that had returned a collegiate punt.  Starting corners Reggie Rembert and Anthony Wright now have.  Rembert has 4 returns for an average on 20.2 yards per return.  Wright has one return for minus - 1 yard.  Rembert is also the leading kickoff returner with 9 returns for an average of 18.2 yards per return.  His longest kickoff return is 28 yards, while his longest punt return is 53 yards. Top Stories