2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner
  • Air Force Hockey’s First Opponent Picked to win its League

    Mon, September 28, 2009 by admin with no comments

    From our college hockey writer, Joe Paisley

    After winning the 2008-09 College Hockey America championship and reaching to the NCAA Frozen Four, Bemidji State has been selected as the preseason favorite to claim the 2009-10 CHA regular season title in the last season before the league disbands.

    The Beavers locked up two first-place votes, finishing atop the standings with eight points. Niagara finished in second with seven points, with Robert Morris (six points) and Alabama-Huntsville (three points) rounding out the rest of the CHA.

    Air Force opens play at Bemidji State Oct. 9-10.

    Click here for more.

  • New Two-Deep Chart

    Mon, September 28, 2009 by admin with no comments

    Only two small tweaks to the new two-deep chart just released:

    -Freshman Alex Means is listed as a starter ahead of Patrick Hennessey at one outside linebacker spot.

    -Junior Reggie Rembert now is listed as the starting kick returner, in place of Jonathan Warzeka.

  • Rembert Named MWC Defensive Player of the Week

    Mon, September 28, 2009 by admin with no comments

    Air Force junior cornerback Reggie Rembert was named the Mountain West Conference’s defensive player of the week today for his performance in the Falcons’ 26-14 victory over San Diego State.

    Rembert made a team-high seven tackles and had a hand in four turnovers, picking off a pair of passes, forcing a fumble and recovering a fumble that he returned 47 yards for his first career touchdown. The fumble return came on San Diego State’s first possession, gave Air Force a 7-0 lead and set the tone for a game in which the Falcons’ defense forced six turnovers.

    This is the second week in a row an Air Force player has been selected as the MWC defensive player of the week. Last Monday, junior outside linebacker Andre Morris Jr. earned the honor for his play against New Mexico.

    TCU quarterback Andy Dalton and Wyoming quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels shared the MWC offensive player of the week award, and Wyoming kicker Ian Watts was named the MWC special teams player of the week.

  • Monday Morning Links

    Mon, September 28, 2009 by admin with no comments

    Air Force begins its preparation for Navy today with one of the big questions being how sophomore quarterback Tim Jefferson looks in practice. I wrote about the Falcons’ quarterback situation, and some other injuries, in today’s edition of The Gazette.

    Speaking of injuries, SI.com’s Stewart Mandel takes a look at some of the big ones in college football, and tons of other stuff, in his Monday column.

  • Sunday Odds and Ends

    Sun, September 27, 2009 by admin with no comments

    As I wrote in an article that will appear in tomorrow’s edition of The Gazette, Air Force coach Troy Calhoun avoided naming a starting quarterback for Saturday’s game at Navy.

    Sophomore Connor Dietz made his first career start yesterday against San Diego State in place of Tim Jefferson. Calhoun said he wanted to see how both look in practice this week.

    However, I would expect that if Jefferson is able to go in practice on Monday and Tuesday, he’ll get the start against the Midshipmen.

    A few other quick notes from Calhoun’s day-after-game teleconference:

    -Navy is converting 56 percent of its third downs, which Calhoun called “an extraordinary number.” Calhoun gave much of the credit for that conversion percentage to junior quarterback Ricky Dobbs.

    “The quarterback’s a really physical player, and I think that also helps them to convert in short yardage,” Calhoun said.

    -Calhoun was surprisingly candid talking about injuries. He said Asher Clark injured his shoulder against San Diego State, and on the subject of Clark’s availability for Saturday’s game, he said, “he’ll probably be a wait-and-see over the next couple of days.”

    -Senior punter Brandon Geyer has averaged 43.4 yards on his 13 punts this season, and he’s pinned opponents inside their 20-yard lines seven times.

    Calhoun said Geyer “could” become a weapon for the Falcons during the remainder of the season.

    “You can see where he’s got a good leg, he’s got good hands and he’s just got a smooth strike when he hits the ball,” Calhoun said.

  • Jake’s and Calhoun’s Ballots

    Sun, September 27, 2009 by admin with 3 comments

    You can find the latest Associated Press and USA Today Coaches polls at this link. Below you can see my ballot for the AP poll and Air Force coach Troy Calhoun’s ballot for the coaches’ poll.

    Jake’s Ballot
    1. Florida
    2. Texas
    3. Alabama
    4. LSU
    5. Virginia Tech
    6. Oklahoma
    7. Boise State
    8. TCU
    9. USC
    10. Ohio State
    11. Houston
    12. Cincinnati
    13. Iowa
    14. Kansas
    15. Penn State
    16. Michigan
    17. Oklahoma State
    18. Miami
    19. Georgia
    20. Oregon
    21. Georgia Tech
    22. South Carolina
    23. Mississippi
    24. BYU
    25. California

    Calhoun’s Ballot
    1. Florida
    2. Alabama
    3. Texas
    4. LSU
    5. Oklahoma
    6. Virginia Tech
    7. TCU
    8. USC
    9. Ohio State
    10. Iowa
    11. Boise State
    12. Cincinnati
    13. Penn State
    14. Kansas
    15. Houston
    16. Miami
    17. Georgia
    18. Mississippi
    19. California
    20. South Florida
    21. Michigan
    22. Oklahoma State
    23. BYU
    24. South Carolina
    25. Missouri

  • Sunday Morning Links

    Sun, September 27, 2009 by admin with 1 comment

    Before we fully dive into Navy week, a final glance at the fourth game of the season – yesterday’s 26-14 victory over San Diego State.

    My game story discusses the defense, the conservative offense and the caliber of opponent; I wrote a sidebar on cornerback Reggie Rembert’s big day and a sidebar on quarterback Connor Dietz’s first start; and my notebook touches on a variety of subjects, including kicker Erik Soderberg’s performance.

    Also, check out my “3 Headlines” video and reporter Brian Gomez’s video report from the game. My thoughts and observations on the game are in the post below.

    Finally, columnist David Ramsey looks ahead at next weekend’s game in his piece.

  • San Diego State Wrap

    Sat, September 26, 2009 by admin with no comments

    Air Force is a third of the way through its regular season.

    We’ll start finding out how good the Falcons are next week.

    Yes, Air Force is 3-1. But its victories have come against a dreadful Division I-AA squad, the worst Mountain West Conference team I’ve seen in four years of covering the league (New Mexico) and a typically poor group from San Diego State. The one game Air Force has played against a legitimate opponent, in week two at Minnesota, it fumbled away.

    So starting in Annapolis, against a Navy program that has owned the Falcons of late, we’ll begin to see what this Air Force team is made of. And we’ll know for sure by the end of an October slate that also includes a home game against TCU and road games at Utah and Colorado State.

    Post-Game Observations

    -I’m sure I’ll get some e-mails and comments on the blog about the offensive game plan. And, yes, it was the Sarah Palin of game plans. About as conservative as they come.

    Air Force coach Troy Calhoun acknowledged this, saying that once the Falcons got the lead, they were going to “grind away” at the Aztecs with fullback Jared Tew. It was a conscious decision, in part because the Falcons had a new quarterback, and in part because Calhoun knew he could win with not much offense and good, solid defense.

    He likened it to last season’s 16-7 victory at Army.

    But he admitted the Falcons won’t be able to play that close to the vest in their remaining eight games.

    “In the long-haul you can’t play that way,” he said. “You cannot win week in and week out and play that way. And yet today, we were able to.”

    -I wrote a sidebar for tomorrow’s paper on junior Reggie Rembert, who had an outstanding game – two interceptions, one forced fumble and another fumble he returned 47 yards for the game’s first touchdown.

    Calhoun said Rembert has benefited from not having as many responsibilities this season. Remember, last year he was used a bit on offense at Z receiver.

    “I think one of the things you’ve got to be really, really aware of when you work at the academy is not to stretch guys too much,” he said. “We weren’t fair to him. That starts here. We weren’t fair to him last year. We had him doing far too many things. We had a guy we were trying to make a jack of all trades and never really be good at something.”

    -San Diego State’s lone points before garbage time came from the safety that resulted when deep snapper Colton Reid snapped the ball over punter Brandon Geyer’s head in the second quarter.

    “The snap over the punter’s head, that’s inexcusable,” Calhoun said. “You have one job as a deep snapper, and it’s not unreasonable. You’ve got 18 inches by 18 inches, and you’ve got to be able to hit that square every time. And we did not do that.”

    -It’s easy to see why coaches are excited about freshman outside linebacker Alex Means. He showed pretty impressive explosion in drilling Aztecs quarterback Ryan Lindley early in the second quarter for his first career sack.

    Means blitzed almost directly into Lindley, who was carrying out a bootleg fake toward Lindley. What I liked was how instead of hesitating and giving Lindley a chance to get rid of it, he accelerated through Lindley’s chest.

    And on the very next play, Means separated from a block, jumped into the air and batted down a Lindley throw. He later applied pressure to Lindley in the third quarter, forcing a bad throw that Anthony Wright Jr. returned 47 yards for a score.

    “He had a lot of chances to make plays,” Calhoun said. “And there are times where you’ve got a chance to make plays, but whether or not you can make them is a different story. He did it.”

    -Tew wasn’t really happy with his performance.

    “I couldn’t really get anything going in there,” he said. “I don’t think I had the best game, but we came out with the win, so I can’t really complain.”

    Tew might not have broken as many tackles as he would have liked, but he carried a heavy load and showed he can be a work horse and survive tons of contact. It was a gutty performance.

    -Not much more to say. It’s Navy week.

  • FINAL: Air Force 26, San Diego State 14

    Sat, September 26, 2009 by admin with no comments

    Air Force’s defense forced six turnovers, and the Falcons breezed to a 26-14 victory over San Diego State on Saturday at Falcon Stadium.

    The Air Force offense – under the direction of sophomore quarterback Connor Dietz, who was filling in for the injured Tim Jefferson – failed to score a touchdown. But the Falcons’ defense scored enough on its own to dispatch the Aztecs.

    Junior cornerback Reggie Rembert returned a fumble 47 yards for a touchdown, and sophomore cornerback Anthony Wright Jr. took an interception back 47 yards for another score, giving the Falcons three defensive touchdowns in the last two weeks.

    Sophomore kicker Erik Soderberg made four of six field goals, including a career-long of 48 yards for Air Force, which improved 3-1 and 2-0 in the Mountain West Conference.

    San Diego State, which fell to 1-3 and 0-1, scored two touchdowns in the last three-and-a-half minutes against Air Force’s reserves.

  • Halftime: Air Force 16, San Diego State 2

    Sat, September 26, 2009 by admin with no comments

    Air Force got a touchdown from its defense and three field goals from sophomore kicker Erik Soderberg and leads San Diego State, 16-2, at halftime at Falcon Stadium.

    Sophomore Connor Dietz got the start at quarterback in place of sophomore Tim Jefferson (sprained right ankle), who dressed and was on the sideline but did not play. Dietz was solid, running for 53 yards on six carries and completing 2-of-3 passes for 51 yards.

    Air Force drove to the San Diego State 28-yard line on the game’s first possession, but Soderberg missed a 45-yard field goal. But the Falcons defense made a big play on the Aztecs’ next possession.

    With San Diego State facing a third-and-inches from its own 49-yard line, Aztecs quarterback Ryan Lindley tried a sneak. But Air Force outside linebacker Andre Morris Jr. forced a fumble, and junior cornerback Reggie Rembert scooped up the ball and raced 47 yards for a score.

    Air Force drove from its own 20 to the San Diego State 4 on its next possession to set up a 21-yard field goal by Soderberg. The drive was sparked by a 44-yard pass from Dietz to Jonathan Warzeka.

    An interception by Chris Thomas on San Diego State’s next possession set up a career-long 48-yard field goal by Soderberg to give Air Force a 13-0 lead.

    The Aztecs got their only points of the half on Air Force’s next possession when sophomore long-snapper Colton Reid snapped the ball over punter Brandon Geyer’s head and it rolled out of the back of the end zone for a safety. San Diego State returned the ensuing free kick to the Air Force 39-yard line but could gain only two yards before kicker Lane Yoshida missed a 54-yard field goal attempt.

    Rembert picked off a pass with 2:46 left in the half, and Air Force drove from its 31-yard line to the San Diego State 3 before getting a 20-yard field goal as time expired.