Depth Chart |
DeBerry has long been among the most respected head coaches for
what he's been able to do at Air Force. Despite all the recruiting
restrictions and the lack of all-around D-I talent that just about
everyone else can get, DeBerry has always fielded competitive teams
that have occasionally flirted with greatness when all the parts
were humming. Unfortunately, things are starting to slide for a
variety of reasons.
DeBerry's legacy has taken a sudden turn with
controversial comments last season about the need to get more black
players and with other issues concerning religion and its place in
the football program. On the field, the rest of the Mountain West
has gotten so much better that Air Force will find itself having a
harder and harder time battling to be in the conference title race.
Racial undertones aside, DeBerry was right that his team just can't
run with the elite Mountain West teams like last year's TCU squad.
Head coach: Fisher DeBerry
23rd year: 165-101-1
Off. 21, Def. 15, ST 4
Lettermen Lost: 21
Best Falcon Players
1. QB Shaun Carney, Jr.
2, FS Bobby Giannini, Jr.
3. DT Gilberto Perez, Sr.
4. LB Drew Fowler, Jr.
5. CB Chris Sutton, Sr.
6. OG Curtis Grantham, Sr.
7. OT Robert Kraay, Sr.
8. FB Jacobe Kendrick, Sr.
9. CB Carson Bird, Jr.
10. RB Chad Hall, Jr.
at San Diego State
2005 Record: 4-7
2005 predicted wins
San Diego St
at Utah L 38-35
at Colorado St L 41-23
TCU L 48-10
at BYU L 62-41
at New Mexico W 42-24
However, it's not all doom and gloom. As bad as last season's 4-7
campaign might have been, Air Force lost to Wyoming by one, at Utah by
three, at Navy by three, and against Army by three. A right bounce or
big play here or there, and the Falcons could've just as easily have
been 7-4. The hope is for things to tighten up all the way around and
force those one or two positive plays that Air Force used to make when
it was winning on a consistent basis.
The defense has to stop giving up so many game-changing big plays, the
turnover margin (Air Force finished 95th in the nation) has to become a
positive, and the offense has to be much sharper. Quarterback Shaun
Carney is well on his way to being the greatest passer in the DeBerry
era, but he has to get the ground game back to the point where it can
hang 300 yards a game on anyone. It only hit the 300-yard mark once last
Talent-wise, this isn't DeBerry's best team, but there aren't any
problems he hasn't dealt with before. If Carney can take the next step
up in his ability to run the attack, and if some reliable receivers and
game-breaking running backs can emerge, and if Bobby Giannini and the
veteran secondary can slow down the better passing teams just a little
bit, then a winning season is more than possible.
Schedule: It's not horrible even with non-conference games against
Tennessee and Notre Dame to go along with the normal games against the
other service academies. In conference play, three of the road games are
against 2005 bottom feeders Wyoming, San Diego State and UNLV to go
along with the regular-season ending rough one at TCU. Utah, New Mexico,
Colorado State and BYU all have to come to Colorado Springs; you can't
ask for much more than that.
Offensive Player: Junior QB Shaun Carney. His passing numbers are
likely to take a tumble with the graduation of top receivers Jason Brown
and Greg Kirkwood, but he has two years of experience and should be able
to run the ground attack more efficiently with a veteran backfield to
get the ball to.
Defensive Player: Junior FS Bobby Giannini. One of the Mountain
West's best all-around defenders, Giannini is a sure tackler and a
cornerback-like coverman. He'll have to be a rock early on with two new
Falcon Backs (safeties) taking over.
to a successful season: Senior WR Victor Thompson. How can an Air
Force wide receiver be the key to anything? With a good passer like
Shaun Carney under center, there has to be some threat of the deep ball
to open things up for the ground game. With top receivers Jason Brown
and Greg Kirkwood gone, Thompson has to fill the void.
will be a success if ... Air Force has a winning season. This is probably no better
than the sixth or seventh best team in the conference, but the schedule
works out nicely with only three games (at Tennessee, Notre Dame and at
TCU) that it likely has little chance of winning. Seven wins is a very
Sept. 23 at Wyoming. The Falcons lost a heartbreaker last year to
the Cowboys and could use a little revenge to get off to a positive
start in conference play. With two weeks off after the road trip to
Tennessee, there will be time to prepare.
- Air Force third quarter scoring: 51 - Air Force fourth quarter
- Rushing touchdowns: Air Force 28 - Opponents 28
- Fourth down conversions: Air Force 78% (18 of 23) - Opponents 63% (12
The Last Time Air Force…
…played in a bowl game…2002 (San Francisco vs. Virginia Tech)
…missed a bowl game…2005
…pitched a shutout…2003 (Wofford)
…was shutout…1992 (Ole Miss)
…scored 50 points…2002 (BYU)
…won a conference title…1998 (WAC)
…had a 3,000-yard passer…never
…had a 1,000-yard rusher…2002 (Chance Harridge)
…had a 1,000-yard receiver…1970 (Ernie Jennings)
…had a first-round draft choice…never