Army Football Game Notes: The Air Force Game

Geoffery Bacon is among the nation's top 10 tacklers.

Geoffery Bacon is among the nation's top 10 tacklers.

Oct. 29, 2012

Army vs. Air Force Notes Get Acrobat Reader

Date: Nov. 3, 2012
Time: 12:05 p.m. ET
Location: West Point, N.Y.
Venue: Michie Stadium
Capacity: 38,000
TV: CBS Sports Network
Series: Air Force leads, 32-13-1
Last Meeting: Nov. 5, 2011
   Air Force 24, Army 14

TELEVISION    
CBS SPORTS NETWORK
Play-by-Play: Ben Holden
Color Analyst: Randy Cross
Cadet Sideline Reporter: Ted Kostich

ARMY RADIO    
Army Sports Network
Flagship: WABC (770-AM, New York, N.Y.)
Affiliates: WALL (1340-AM, Middletown, N.Y.);    WEOK (1390-AM, Poughkeepsie, N.Y.); WPLJ-HD3 (95.5-3 (HD)-FM, New York, N.Y.); WKXP* (94.3-FM,  Kingston, N.Y.);  WKDM^ (1430-AM, New York, N.Y.); WAZZ (1390-AM, Fayetteville, N.C. — Fort Bragg); WZZN (97.7-FM,  Huntsville, Ala. — Redstone Arsenal); KXCA (1380-AM, Lawton, Okla. — Fort Sill).

*will carry partial schedule, including Army-Navy game
^Spanish broadcasts

Play-by-Play: Rich DeMarco
Color Analyst: Dean Darling
Sideline: Tony Morino
Program Hosts: Joe Beckerle, John Minko

► The 90-minute “Army Football Tailgate Show,” begins at 11 a.m. ET

SATELLITE RADIO    
SiriusXM Satellite Radio
The Army Sports Network broadcast can be heard on Sirius (channel 134) and XM Satellite Radio (channel 193).

INTERNET STREAMING    
goARMYsports.com
► The entire Army Sports Network broadcast, including the “Army Football Tailgate Show,” will be streamed live (audio) via Knight Vision on www.goARMYsports.com each week. Subscription fees apply.

► The “This Week in Army Football,” show will be streamed live from the West Point First Class Club on Thursday, Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. The event is available only to Knight Vision subscribers.

COACHING MATCH UP
ARMY HEAD COACH Rich Ellerson
Alma Mater: Hawai’i, 1977
4th Season at Army (16-29, .356)
13th Season Overall (76-70, .521)
Record vs. Air Force: 0-3

AIR FORCE HEAD COACH TROY CALHOUN
Alma Mater: Air Force, 1989
6th Season at Air Force (46-27, .630)
6th Season at Air Force (46-27, .630)
Record vs. Army: 5-0

SATURDAY’S HEADLINES
► Army begins its quest for its first Commander In Chief’s Trophy since 1996 on Saturday when it hosts service academy rival Air Force. Saturday’s outcome, however, can not determine the trophy’s residence for the upcoming year. The Falcons lost to Navy earlier this season so an Army victory would eliminate them from contention and set up a winner-take-all match up in Philadelphia on the second Saturday of December. In the case of an Air Force win, Army could salvage a three-way tie with a win over Navy. In that scenario, the trophy would stay in Colorado Springs. Regardles of Saturday’s result, the Mids control their own destiny by virtue of their win over the Falcons.
► The Black Knights are coming off a 30-22 home loss to Ball State. After falling behind 14-0 less than 10 minutes into the game, Army rallied to pull within 17-13 in the third quarter. Senior QB Trent Steelman (101) and junior FB Hayden Tippett (100) each ran for 100 yards in the contest.
► Saturday’s tilt features the top two rushing offenses in the nation. The Black Knights own the top spot at 383.13 yards per game, while the Falcons are next on the list with 366.25 yards per game. On paper, both offense have the opportunity to add to those totals. Army ranks 116th in the nation against the run (233.88 yards/game), and Air Force is 107th (215.38 yards/game) in the country in rushing defense.
► Both teams also specialize in picking up large chunks of yardage. Army leads the nation with 89 rushes of at least 10 yards, while the Falcons are third with 81 such runs. The Black Knights’ 24 runs covering at least 20 yards are fourth in the nation. Air Force ranks seventh with 21 runs of at least 20 yards.
► Army has had at least two 100-yard rushers in five of the first eight games. The five games with multiple 100-yard runners is a new Academy standard. The previous mark of four had stood since 1948.
► With the addition of Tippett, Army has had five players gain 100 yards at least once this season. It is the most since the 1999 squad also had five different players reach the 100-yard mark.
► The Black Knights are on pace to have two 1,000-yard rushers for just the second time in program history (1984). Junior RB Raymond Maples leads the team with 834 yards (104.2/game), while Steelman is close behind with a career-high 810 yards. If Maples can reach the millenium mark, he will be just the third Army player to record multiple 1,000-yard seasons (Mike Mayweather, Carlton Jones). Maples ran for 1,066 yards as a sophomore. Steelman would be only the third Army quarterback to reach the 1,000-yard mark (Tory Crawford, Nate Sassaman). Steelman needs 269 yards to break Crawford’s single-season quarterback rushing record of 1,078 yards set in 1986.
► Sophomore LB Geoffery Bacon is sixth in the country with 10.88 tackles per game. Bacon has recorded double-digit tackles in five of the last six games, including a career best 14 stops in three of the last five outings. His 87 total tackles are 26 better than Brandon Fusilier-Jeffires, Army’s second-leading tackler.

SCOUTING THE FALCONS
► 1989 Air Force Academy graduate Troy Calhoun is in his sixth season leading the Falcons. Calhoun has posted a 46-27 mark during his tenure and has guided Air Force to bowl appearances in each of his first five seasons. Calhoun and the Falcons won the Commander In Chief’s Trophy in 2010 and 2011. Calhoun took over the Falcons after a four-year stint in the NFL with the Denver Broncos (2003-05) and the Houston Texas (OC/QB, 2006). A former assistant to Wake Forest head coach Jim Grobe, Calhoun’s collegiate experience includes stops with the Falcons (1989-90; 1993-94), Ohio (1995-2000) and Wake Forest (2001-02).
► The Falcons are coming off a 48-31 win over Nevada last Friday. Despite playing without leading rusher Cody Getz, Air Force rang up 461 yards on the ground and 600  yards of total offense against the Wolfpack. Wes Cobb ran for 152 yards and a touchdown on 30 carries to lead a group of six Falcons with at least 46 yards. Quarterback Connor Dietz ran for 68  yards and a score, while completing six of his seven throws for 139 yards and two touchdowns. Christian Spears led the defense with nine tackles. James Chambers and Nick Dejulio each made two tackles for loss.
► Air Force is the nation’s No. 2 rushing attack at 366.25 yards per game, trailing only the Black Knights. The Falcons’ 480.63 yards of total offense per game is 17th in the country, while their 34.50 points per game is 30th in the nation. While 117th in the nation in passing yards per game (114.38), Air Force leads the country in passing efficiency (186.71). The Falcons completed 61.7 percent of their throws and lead the nation with 11.3 yards per pass attempt. Opponents have been able to intercept the Falcons just once this season.
► Getz leads the team and is ranked fourth in the nation in rushing at 132.6 yards per game. His 122 attempts and eight touchdowns are also tops on the squad. Getz injured his ankle versus Wyoming, but returned to start the next week opposite New Mexico. He aggravated the injury on the first  play from scrimmage and did not return. He did not play last week against Nevada.
► Dietz is the team’s second-leading rusher with 527 yards and four touchdowns. He has completed 63.2 percent of his passes (48-76) without throwing an interception for 847 yards and seven touchdowns.
► Air Force has had 10 different players rush for at least one touchdown, including seven with multiple rushing scores.
► Ty MacArthur has been the Falcons’ top receiver with 18 catches for 346 yards and a touchdown. Drew Coleman is averaging 26.9 yards per catch. Three of his eight receptions have gone for scores.
► Defensively, Air Force is allowing an average of 421.5 yards and 27.5 points per game. Austin Niklas leads the team with 75 tackles, while Spears is next with 63 total stops. Alex Means has racked up 7.5 tackles for loss and is tied with Alexander Hansen with 2.0 quarterback sacks. Means is also tied for the team lead with Steffon Batts with two interceptions. He leads the squad with seven pass breakups.
► Anthony Lacoste leads the Air Force special teams, averaging 29.1 yards per return, good enough for 10th in the nation. MacArthur is averaging 7.6 yards on five punt returns. David Baska has handled teh punting duties, and is averaging 45.7 yards per kick. Air Force has punted just 15 times in eight games. Parker Herrington is 3-for-8 on field goal tries. His longest make of the season is 45 yards. Briceton Cannada handles the kickoff duties. Opponents’ average drive start on kickoffs is their own 26-yard line.

A WIN VS. AIR FORCE WOULD …
► Snap Army’s three-game losing streak.
► End the Black Knights’ six-game losing streak against Air Force.
► Stop Army’s 13-game skid in the Commander In Chief’s Trophy series.
► Be the Black Knights’ first win against Air Force at Michie Stadium since 1996.
► Set up a CIC Trophy winner-take-all showdown with Navy.
► End Army’s four-game losing streak in games played during November.
► Mark the first time this season Army beat a team that defeated it in 2011 as well (SDSU, NIU, BSU).
► Be Head Coach Rich Ellerson’s 17th win at West Point (16-29).

THE ARMY-AIR FORCE SERIES
► Air Force leads the all-time series with the Black Knights, 32-13-1. The two teams first met in 1959 and have played annually since 1971.
► The Falcons own a decided advantage on their home field, winning 19 of the previous 22 meetings in Colorado. One of Army’s three victories at Falcon Stadium was in 2005, the Black Knights’ last win in the series. Army is 9-12 all-time against Air Force at Michie Stadium. The series is tied at 1-1-1 at neutral sites. The Black Knights and Falcons squared off at Yankee Stadium in 1959 and Soldier Field in Chicago in 1963 and 1965.
► Most of the last several meetings have been lopsided affairs. Only one of the last 16 games has been decided by a touchdown or less (27-24 Army win in 2005), and only three games in that span have had a single-digit margin of victory (31-22 Air Force in 2004; 27-24 Army in 2005; Air Force 16-7 in 2008).

TEN YARDS AND A CLOUD OF DUST
► The Army rushing offense is not only No. 1 in the nation in yards per game, but also leads the country in most rushes that cover at least 10 yards.
► The Black  Knights have 89 runs that have gained a minimum of 10 yards, which is 16.7 percent of their total rushing attempts.  
► Army’s 24 runs of at least 20 yards ranks fourth in the country.

OTHER NOTABLES
► Junior FB Hayden Tippett posted career highs with 20 carries, 100 yards and a long run of 26 yards against Ball State. Tippett made his first career start at Eastern Michigan, but came off the bench against the Cardinals.
► Sophomore WR Chevaughn Lawrence has caught a pass in six straight games, the longest such streak since Austin Barr made at least one catch in eight straight outings during the 2010 season.
► Freshman QB A.J. Schurr has thrown a touchdown pass in each of the last two games he has appeared in. Schurr connected with junior WR Anthony Stephens on a career-long 35-yard score at Eastern Michigan.
► Sophomore RB Trenton Turrentine found the end zone for the first time since last season’s opener at Northern Illinois. Turrentine scored on his first collegiate carry against the Huskies.
► Army has used only two starting offensive line combinations this season. Senior LT Ben Jebb, senior LG Frank Allen, sophomore RG Steve Shumaker and junior RT Michael Kime have started all eight games. Sophmore Ryan Powis and senior Will Wilson have split time at center due to injuries to Powis.

UP NEXT …
► The Black Knights go back on the road next weekend to face Rutgers at High Point Solutions Stadium. Army’s last trip to New Brunswick was the 2008 season. The two teams played at New Meadowlands Stadium in 2010 and Yankee Stadium in 2011.
► Army and Rutgers have played in each of the last five seasons. The Scarlet Knights have won eight straight in the all-time series and own a 20-18 overall series lead.

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