2008 CFN Air Force Preview
2008 Air Force
2008 Air Force
2008 Air Force
2007 CFN Air Force Preview
2006 CFN Air Force
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about Mountain West football?
Head coach: Troy Calhoun
2nd year: 9-4
Off. 10, Def. 12, ST 1
Lettermen Lost: 25
Best Falcon Players
2. NG Ben Garland, Jr.
3. CB Reggie Rembert, So.
4. WR/RB Ty Paffett, Sr.
5. P/PK Ryan Harrison, Sr.
6. OG Nick Charles, Jr.
7. DE Ryan Kemp, Sr.
8. LB Hunter Altman, Sr.
9. OT Keith Williams, Sr.
10. OT Chris Campbell, Jr.
CFN Prediction: 7-5
2008 Record: 0-0
Sept. 6 at Wyoming
Sept. 13 at Houston
Sept. 20 Utah
Oct. 4 Navy
Oct. 11 at San Diego State
Oct. 18 at UNLV
Oct. 23 New Mexico
Nov. 1 at Army
Nov. 8 Colorado State
Nov. 15 BYU
Nov. 22 at TCU
CFN Prediction: 5-7
2007 Record: 9-4
S Carolina St
Sept. 8 at
Utah W 20-12
Sept. 13 TCU W 20-17 OT
Sept. 22 at
BYU L 31-6
Sept. 29 at
Navy L 31-20
6 UNLV W 31-14
Oct. 13 at Colorado St W 45-21
at New Mexico
Notre Dame W 41-24
San Diego St
Armed Forces Bowl
Dec. 31 California L 42-36
need a fresh start, others need a total change of direction, and others
simply need a breath of fresh air. Troy Calhoun provided a little of all
Air Force had become a bit stale under Fisher DeBerry, who received more
attention for a few controversial remarks than for what his teams did on
the field. Calhoun didn’t make sweeping fundamental changes and he
didn’t ruin the foundation of what DeBerry built. Instead he enhanced it
by winning how a program like Air Force, with all its recruiting
restrictions, has to win.
The Falcons ran the ball as well as ever, played good, aggressive
defense that got picked apart by the offenses with the far superior
talent, like California’s and BYU’s, but shut down the mediocre. And
there weren’t many mistakes finishing 15th in the nation in
turnover margin and 8th in penalties.
There’s rebuilding to be done this year, but replacing players will be
easier than changing the program’s momentum.
What to watch for on offense: A desperate, ongoing search for
players who can make big things happen. This will be an inexperienced
group that'll need to fight through mistakes by being consistent, and to
hit a home run here and there. The coaching staff would love if it Ty
Paffett could come close to being the type of runner Chad Hall grew into
last season, while there might be more from the receiving corps that
shows promise and has a nice target in tight end Ty Dekker to work
What to watch for on defense: Ben Garland in the middle. One of
the team's best linemen last season, Garland moves from the outside in
to provide more bulk. It's not like the run defense was all that bad
with the veterans returning to the front three, but putting Garland
inside should bring even more activity.
The team will be far better if … the quarterback situation
can be quickly settled. Air Force always used to plug in offensive
players under DeBerry with consistent results, and that also went for
the quarterbacks. Four-year starter Shaun Carney needs to be replaced,
and the issue is hardly settled with Shea Smith and Eric Herbort almost
dead even after a decent, but not great spring for each.
It's not that bad. Getting BYU and
Utah at home, along with the New Mexico game, gives the Falcons a
fighting shot at being in the league title hunt, but closing with a trip
to TCU after the date with the Cougars will be tough. There's not a
non-conference game that's not winnable facing Southern Utah, at
Houston, Navy and at Army. The midseason stretch of three road games in
four weeks would normally be tough, but the away dates are at San Diego
State, UNLV and Army.
Best Offensive Player:
Senior TE Travis Dekker. Ty Paffett will likely get most of the
attention and the honors if he emerges in the Z position like Chad Hall
did last year, but Dekker is the best talent on a team in need of
receiving weapons. He'd be a lock for first team All-Mountain West
honors if he played at BYU or Utah.
Best Defensive Player:
Junior NG Ben
Garland, but it could quickly become sophomore CB Reggie Rembert.
Rembert will be used as a kick returner, a receiver, a runner, and as
the team's No. 1 corner. While there might be a little too much on his
plate, he's needed most in the secondary that will be in big, big
trouble if he's not making big plays.
Key player to a
Junior QB Eric Herbort of senior QB Shea Smith. There are more options
than these two to play around with, but they got most of the key reps
this spring. These two are neck-and-neck going into the fall, but
Herbort, after a great off-season, appears to have the edge.
The season will be a
... Air Force gets back to a bowl game. That's never a given for Air
Force, with all of its recruiting restrictions and all the difficulties
in turnover. The program was a huge surprise in Calhoun's first year,
but a winning season and another bowl appearance would show that the
coaching staff can fill in the gaps in a big hurry, and that it can
adjust and adapt to the personnel to fit the system.
Sept. 6 at Wyoming.
Call this game against UW a momentum setter. The Cowboys will be looking
for a hot Mountain West start and will desperately need the home win.
The Falcons can reestablish that they'll be players in the league race
in what could be a must win with a loaded Utah coming to Colorado
Springs two weeks later.
2007 Fun Stats:
- Rushing yards per game: Air Force 299.5 – Opponents 136.5
- Fourth down conversions: Air Force 17 of 25 (68%) – Opponents 16 of 29
- Interceptions thrown: Opponents 15 – Air Force 5