2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner
  • Monday Air Force Notes

    Mon, July 21, 2008 by admin with no comments

    Here are some of the more interesting Air Force-related notes from the first day of MWC media days in Las Vegas …

    -According to Air Force coach Troy Calhoun, none of his official visit recruits (in other words, the top recruits that Air Force brought to the academy for a visit) have quit basic training. Calhoun estimated that number at about 23.

    Calhoun said retaining the recruits that are brought in on official visits prior to national signing day is “going to be one of the keys over the long haul … because those are the kids that probably we’re competing with other schools for from a recruiting standpoint.

    “All those kids have hung in there pretty good. Now they aren’t head over heels thinking they’ve landed in a rose garden, but their spirits have been very good.”

    -Calhoun said the incoming freshmen would practice for the first time on Sunday, Aug. 3. They will practice without the rest of the varsity, and the practice likely will be closed. The next day they would practice after the varsity session, again by themselves. They will first practice with the rest of the varsity in the second of two sessions on Wednesday, Aug. 6.

    -Calhoun said senior Z receiver Ty Paffett, who had back surgery in late June, still is “not able to do anything lifting- and running-wise with complete exertion. And yet he seems to think that by the middle of August he’s going to be in good shape and ready to go. … I know this, if Ty Paffett cannot practice or cannot lift every day with our football team once we get into game plans and preparation, he’ll struggle. But if he can, he will play well.”

    -My main story that will appear in tomorrow’s edition of The Gazette is about the quarterback position and the quarterback situation at Air Force. So I talked with Calhoun a lot about quarterbacks Monday. And I had to ask this question at the end of our discussion: Would you rather have your quarterback situation or the Green Bay Packers’ situation?

    “Oh, shoot,” Calhoun said, laughing. “I mean the Packers, they’ve got two very capable guys. And we do too, though. We’ve got capable guys too.”

    -Check back in tomorrow, with more notes flying at you fast and furiously.

  • Pressure Building on Glenn?

    Mon, July 21, 2008 by admin with 2 comments

    Wyoming coach Joe Glenn led the Cowboys to a 7-5 record and a Las Vegas Bowl title in 2004, but two of Wyoming’s three seasons since then have ended in collapse. The Cowboys lost six straight after a 4-1 start in 2005 and six of seven after a 4-1 start last season.

    Factor in the amount of starters Wyoming has back (15), the amount of seniors the Cowboys have (18) and the number of home games they’ll play (seven out of 12), and this seems to be a make-or-break year for Glenn.

    But if the temperature of Glenn’s office chair is steadily rising, that’s fine with him.

    “I always feel pressure,” he said. “More what we put on ourselves than what media or anybody else puts on you. Sure you feel pressure, but that’s a little bit why we do what we do. If I didn’t want a high-pressure deal, I’d do something else.”

    Glenn said the Cowboys “have the talent to be as good as any team we’ve had since I’ve been at Wyoming.” He added: “It’s time to get over the hump at Wyoming. … I’m confident, I’m optimistic, but at the same time I have to tell you it’s a strong league.”

  • Random Observations from Vegas, Vol. 1

    Mon, July 21, 2008 by admin with 2 comments

    Colorado State tight end Kory Sperry is one impressive-looking dude. Both the Air Force players in attendance at the media days – senior defensive end Ryan Kemp and senior tight end Travis Dekker – said as much Monday.

    Sperry is listed at 6-foot-6 and 250 pounds – a prototype frame for an NFL tight end. And I’d be surprised if Sperry wasn’t playing on Sundays in about 13 months.

    BYU quarterback Max Hall, meanwhile, looks like a regular college kid. Hall, who was picked to be the conference’s offensive player of the year by the media, is listed at 6-1 (and that might be on tip-toes) and 201 pounds.

  • High Expectations for NM’s Porterie

    Mon, July 21, 2008 by admin with no comments

    New Mexico has a tough schedule and must replace 15 starters from its 2007 squad that went 9-4. But the Lobos still were picked to finish fourth in the Mountain West Conference, according to the preseason media poll released Monday.

    One of the biggest reasons for optimism at New Mexico is located under center, where junior Donovan Porterie returns. After starting five games his freshman year, Porterie started all of last season, passing for 3,006 yards and 15 touchdowns.

    On Monday New Mexico coach Rocky Long called Porterie a “great talent,” who “gets better every year.”

    “When we recruited him, I thought he was going to be the guy that leads us to our first conference championship since 1964,” Long said. “So it’s got to be the next year or the year after.”

    Porterie embraced the pressure of Long’s expectations.

    “Any quarterback in the conference wants to be a quarterback to lead his team to a conference championship,” Porterie said. “Like coach said, it’s been since 1964, so I’m looking forward to doing my best to try to do so. That’s probably one of the expectations I have of myself also is trying to get this team back to those championship days.”

    Porterie will have to do it without graduated receivers Marcus Smith and Travis Brown, both of whom earned first-team all-conference honors in 2007 after combining for 167 receptions for 2,156 yards and 10 touchdowns.

  • Kemp Honored, Motivated

    Mon, July 21, 2008 by admin with 2 comments

    Air Force senior defensive end Ryan Kemp was one of two Falcons named to the preseason all-Mountain West Conference team that was released on Monday.

    Kemp earned honorable mention all-MWC honors in 2007 after making 54 tackles (the most among Air Force defensive linemen) and four sacks.

    “One of my goals this year is to get first-string all-conference, and I was certainly happy last year that I made even honorable mention,” Kemp said. “To be considered with any of those names that were on that list was, to me, amazing. I would never consider myself to be at that level. But that’s my goal is to make first string, and I’m definitely going to strive for that.”

  • Calhoun on AF’s Spot in the Preseason Poll

    Mon, July 21, 2008 by admin with no comments

    Here’s what Air Force coach Troy Calhoun had to say about Air Force being picked to finish sixth out of nine teams in the Mountain West Conference’s preseason media poll.

    “I think, by and large, there are rarely going to be years where we’re going to be picked very high – I just think that tends to be the nature of the beast a little bit,” Calhoun said. “Ultimately, the key is the way that it’s played out. I think last year we might have been chosen seventh or eighth (the Falcons were picked to finish seventh), so that’s going to happen. And yet, that’s not to have any disdain at all for preseason polls. I think they’re healthy for the conference, they’re healthy for the dialogue, and ultimately the caliber of play within this conference. It’s good for our league to have preseason polls, I just don’t like where Air Force is right now.”

  • MWC Preseason All-Conference Teams Released

    Mon, July 21, 2008 by admin with 1 comment

    Here are the preseason All-Mountain West Conference teams that were released this morning at the league’s media days. Two Falcons on the list: Junior guard Nick Charles and senior defensive end Ryan Kemp.


    WR Austin Collie (BYU, Jr.)

    WR Ryan Wolfe (UNLV, Jr.)

    OL Nick Charles (Air Force, Jr.)

    OL Ray Feinga (BYU, Sr.)

    OL Dallas Reynolds (BYU, Sr.)

    OL Blake Schlueter (TCU, Sr.)

    OL Robert Conley (Utah, Sr.)

    TE Dennis Pitta (BYU, Jr.)

    QB Max Hall (BYU, Jr.)

    RB Harvey Unga (BYU, So.)

    RB Rodney Ferguson (New Mexico, Sr.)


    DL Jan Jorgensen (BYU, Jr.)

    DL Paul Kruger (Utah, So.)

    DL John Fletcher (Wyoming, Jr.)

    DL Ryan Kemp (Air Force, Sr.)

    LB Ward Dobbs (Wyoming, Sr.)

    LB Russell Allen (San Diego State, Sr.)

    LB Jason Phillips (TCU, Sr.)

    DB Brice McCain (Utah, Sr.)

    DB DeAndre Wright (New Mexico, Sr.)

    DB Stephen Hodge (TCU, Sr.)

    DB Robert Johnson (Utah, Jr.)


    P Louie Sakoda (Utah, Sr.)

    K Louie Sakoda (Utah, Sr.)

    Ret. Devin Moore (Wyoming, Sr.)

    Offensive Player of the Year: Max Hall (BYU, Jr., QB)

    Defensive Player of the Year: Jason Phillips (TCU, Sr., LB)

    Special Teams Player of the Year: Louie Sakoda (Utah, Sr. P/K)

    Freshman of the Year: Braylon Broughton (TCU, DE)

  • MWC Preseason Poll Released

    Mon, July 21, 2008 by admin with no comments

    LAS VEGAS – Got on a flight from Denver at 6:10 this morning, and I’m here at the Mountain West Conference media days. Expect a bunch of posts today dealing with a wide variety of topics.

    Here’s the first story that I posted for the Gazette.com site. The Falcons are picked to finish sixth in the league. …

    Expectations for Air Force in 2008 aren’t much higher than they were a year ago, despite the Falcons’ surprisingly successful 2007 campaign.

    Air Force was picked to finish sixth in the nine-team Mountain West Conference in the preseason media poll that was released Monday at the conference’s media days. The Falcons were picked to finish seventh last season but responded with a 9-3 record, including 6-2 in league play, under first-year coach Troy Calhoun.

    The Falcons lost 14 starters to graduation from last season’s team, including last season’s conference offensive player of the year Chad Hall and four-year starting quarterback Shaun Carney.

    Two-time defending league champion BYU was picked to win the conference, garnering 29 of 34 first-place votes in the poll. Utah, which picked up the other five first-place votes, was picked to finish second.

    TCU, New Mexico and Wyoming were picked to finish third, fourth and fifth, respectively.

    2008 Mountain West Conference Preseason Poll

    1. BYU (29)                 299

    2. Utah (5)                    274

    3. TCU                         239

    4. New Mexico             197

    5. Wyoming                  156

    6. Air Force                141

    7. San Diego State         92

    8. Colorado State           73

    9. UNLV                      59

  • Frequent Updates from Vegas

    Sun, July 20, 2008 by admin with no comments

    I’ll be updating the blog frequently on Monday and Tuesday, as I’ll be in Las Vegas for the Mountain West Conference’s football media days.

    The conference’s nine head coaches and two players from each team will be in attendance, along with Mountain West officials, including commissioner Craig Thompson, who will give his state of the conference address on Tuesday.

    So I’ll post some notes and interesting comments from those in attendance, and I’ll post the preseason media poll and preseason all-conference team as soon as they are released, likely on Monday morning.

  • Early Football Practice Schedule

    Fri, July 18, 2008 by admin with no comments

    Thursday, July 31 – 8:40-11:30 a.m.

    Friday, Aug. 1 – 8:40-11:30 a.m.

    Saturday, Aug. 2 – 8:40-11:30 a.m.

    Monday, Aug. 4 – 8:40-11:30 a.m.

    Tuesday, Aug. 5 – 3:05-5:30 p.m.

    Wednesday, Aug. 6 – 8:15-10:15 a.m. AND 2:50-5:00 p.m. *

    Thursday, Aug. 7 – 2:30-4:30 p.m. **

    * – This will be Air Force’s lone “two-a-day” during the preseason.

    ** – This is the first day of class at the academy.