2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner
  • Calhoun talks up Northwestern State

    Tue, August 31, 2010 by admin with no comments

    Troy Calhoun is a polite man, and while he didn’t raise his voice very high when it was suggested in his press conference today that Air Force had “way more talent” than Northwestern State, he shot back right away.

    “Wait a minute, can you say that again?” Calhoun said, not waiting for the statement to be repeated before his diatribe began. “How many draft picks have they had in the history of their school? 32. And Air Force has had five. They’ve had 13 guys that have been chosen in the first four rounds of the NFL draft. How many has the Air Force Academy had?”

    The answer, of course, is none. Calhoun went on.

    “We’ve got plenty of work to do, and our guys understands that too,” Calhoun said. “You’re playing against an extremely capable opponent.”

    Calhoun talked about Northwestern State’s transfers – a few that came from from Texas Tech, Oklahoma State and LSU.

    “”We don’t have anybody in our program who was offered or signed by a Big 12 school,” Calhoun said.

    None of that should matter. Northwestern State was 0-11 in the lower-division FCS last year, and lost to Nicholls State. Air Force beat Nicholls State 72-0 last season.

    Calhoun is mindful of Air Force’s typical role as an underdog, at least when it comes to recruiting top athletes out of high school, so he had to balance out the kind words for Northwestern State with some for the Falcons too.

    “I’ve also learned in due time, that even though other places have guys might have had more stars behind their name in high school, what you end up coming to find out is we have good players too,” Calhoun said.

  • A healthy Jefferson should be better in 2010

    Tue, August 31, 2010 by admin with no comments

    Quarterback Tim Jefferson played hurt almost all of last season. He tore the meniscus in his right knee less than two quarters into the season. That, and an ankle injury suffered in Week 3 bothered him all year. The injuries are part of the reason Jefferson’s averaged just 2.9 yards per rushing attempt.

    This year, Jefferson feels 100 percent after training camp.

    “It’s nice being able to not worry about being hurt, and playing through pain,” Jefferson said. “When you’re 100 percent, you can do more things on the field.”

    Jefferson said the injuries affected how he played all last season because he always had it in the back of his mind.

    “I was mindful of every move I was making,” Jefferson said. “I wasn’t running the same way. That affected our offense a bit. It hurt our whole team offensively that I wasn’t playing to my full potential.”

  • Tuesday’s daily links

    Tue, August 31, 2010 by admin with no comments

    We finally have a game to talk about, and today’s main story is that Troy Calhoun won’t dial anything down for Northwestern State. While I don’t think they’re gonna use whatever super-secret trick play they have up their sleeve before BYU, this staff has been very serious about this game all month. The coaches probably don’t want to give off any indication this is an easy game (though, Northwestern State did go 0-11 in the FCS last year, so it should be an easy game). Basically, no team wants to be the one that’s in that “They lost to who???” sentence in the first week of the season.

    If you read the blog you knew about Jamil Cooks, but read further and there’s some interesting offensive line news in the notes.

    Around the Mountain West/service academies: BYU might not be going to the WAC. … Big news out of UNLV, where Mike Clausen won the starting quarterback job. … BYU’s two quarterback plan is going to be heavily second guessed if the Cougars lose in September. Here’s a couple of stories from the Deseret News on the topic. … Stefan, you’re killing me. TCU. Good. Everywhere. … Colorado State is figuring on a lot of passes from the Buffs. … A look at Wyoming’s first game, against Southern Utah. … Gonna be fun to watch these guys match up against Air Force’s corners. … How can an offensive tackle expected to handle big-game pressure when Utah doesn’t even trust him to speak to the media? Don’t get that. … USA Today puts New Mexico’s Mike Locksley on the hot seat. … Army’s depth chart for the first week. … Navy wants to go to the next level.

  • One advantage for BYU as it leans toward indy status:

    Tue, August 31, 2010 by David Ramsey with no comments

    It’s an easier path to football victories. Just ask Navy and Notre Dame.

    For details:

    http://daveramseysez.freedomblogging.com/

  • Calhoun discusses the depth chart

    Mon, August 30, 2010 by admin with 2 comments

    You’ve had some time to look at the initial depth chart. Was able to speak with Troy Calhoun about it, and there were a lot of interesting tidbits:

    – When a coach goes out of his way to praise a freshman, that has to mean something (and, honestly, it might mean he is sending a message to the other players at the freshman’s position).

    Without being asked about him specifically, Calhoun complimented freshman outside linebacker Jamil Cooks, a Sierra High School graduate.

    “I wouldn’t be surprised one bit if Jamil Cooks plays a lot at outside linebacker,” Calhoun said.

    Cooks is listed as the backup to Andre Morris Jr., but Air Force’s outside linebacker positions are mostly interchangeable. Calhoun said Cooks, who hasn’t been with the second team for most of camp, made a lot of plays in Saturday’s scrimmage to earn his spot on the depth chart.

    “We knew that, in due time, he’d be a good football player for us,” Calhoun said. “Out of all our outside linebackers right now, he’s the one guy that I do see a fever and a tenacity every single day.”

    – Kyle Halderman is listed as the backup to Kevin Fogler, who plays the outside “X” receiver, and could see time there or at the “Z” receiver, which is more of a wingback on many downs.

    “You’re going to see him moving around a little bit,” Calhoun said. “We’ve got to utilize him in a few different ways.”

    – Tim Jefferson was the starting quarterback. When asked if Connor Dietz might see some plays in a normal rotation, Calhoun was non-committal.

    “Every game is different,” Calhoun said. “We’ll see as we get in the games.”

    – Keil Bartholomew is listed as the starting punter, with Ben Cochran second. Calhoun wouldn’t say if Cochran would get a chance to punt on Saturday.

    “We’ll see how that goes,” Calhoun said.

    – Reggie Rembert is not listed as a kickoff returner, and hasn’t done much of that in camp.

    “He has fumbled too much as a kickoff returner,” Calhoun said. “And I think his greatest contribution is as a punt returner and a cover cornerback. It goes back to ‘Let’s find a role where a guy can excel, instead of stretching him out too much.’”

    Jonathan Warzeka, Mikel Hunter and Cody Getz are listed as the kickoff returners, but Calhoun said Asher Clark and Jared Tew could also return kickoffs this season.

    – Darius Jones was listed ahead of Getz at tailback behind Clark, but the No. 2 tailback spot is too close to call.

    “It’s probably either way,” Calhoun said. “I think both those guys will play.”

    – P.J. Adeji-Paul, who played cornerback last year, is listed at safety now, and will be the Falcons’ fifth defensive back in nickel packages to start the season.

    “You’ve seen the lights come on the last eight days,” Calhoun said about Adeji-Paul.

    Starting strong safety Brian Lindsay also could play an outside linebacker-type role in passing situations.

    – There was one change from the initial depth chart that was released: at right guard, Kevin Whitt is the backup, not Chase Douglass.

    Calhoun said among the third-string players, Daniel Pickett is very close to Josh Freeman at backup tight end, Harry Kehs is not far behind No. 2 nose guard Bradley Connor and at defensive end, and Ben Kopacka could play on running downs while Caleb Konemann could play on passing downs.

  • Calhoun on Anthony Wright: Not ruled out, “not ready to rule him in”

    Mon, August 30, 2010 by admin with no comments

    Troy Calhoun is waiting to see who is healthy after Tuesday’s practice to see which players might miss Saturday’s game against Northwestern State, but the only player he has already ruled out is linebacker Ken Lamendola (knee).

    “Were doing everything we can to get every guy ready to play this week,” Calhoun said.

    That means cornerbacks Anthony Wright (ribs) and Josh Hall (ankle) could play. They were both listed on today’s depth chart, which is a sign they could be ready to go. Wright’s status will be monitored this week.

    “Not ruling him out,” Calhoun said. “Now, we’re not ready to rule him in.”

    That Wright and Hall haven’t been ruled out this week is a good sign they will be in the lineup for the Sept. 11 game against BYU.

  • Air Force releases initial depth chart

    Mon, August 30, 2010 by admin with 2 comments

    The Falcons sent their first weekly release of the season, which means the first depth chart of the season. Most of this information shouldn’t be too surprising to you, especially if you follow the blog, but there were a few interesting tidbits:

    - Darius Jones, not Cody Getz is listed as the second tailback. I have to believe that’s very close though. Both ran extensively with the second-team offense through camp.

    - Alex Means is listed ahead of Patrick Hennessey at outside linebacker.

    - Freshman Jamil Cooks is listed behind Andre Morris Jr., which surprised me. He must have made a late push to pass Wale Lawal.

    - P.J. Adeji-Paul is listed at safety, and as the first-team nickel back.

    - Jonathan Warzeka, Mikel Hunter and Cody Getz are the kickoff returners. Not a surprise Reggie Rembert isn’t on kickoff return, he did very little of that in camp.

    - Tim Jefferson is listed as the starting quarterback, which is no surprise.

    - Kyle Halderman is listed as Kevin Fogler’s backup, but I would anticipate he and Warzeka split time at the “Z” spot.

    - No surprises on the starting offensive line – that group remained intact from spring practice on.

    - Keil Bartholomew is listed as the punter ahead of Ben Cochran.

    Here it is in full, from Air Force’s release:

    OFFENSE
    Pos. No. Name Ht. Wr. Yr. Hometown

    WR 83 Kevin Fogler 6-5 215 Sr. Fort Wayne, IN
    4 Kyle Halderman 5-11 175 Sr. Katy, TX

    TE 82 Chaz Demerath 6-2 220 Sr. Wichita, KS
    81 Joshua Freeman 6-3 200 Jr. Anacortes, WA

    LT 71 Jason Kons 6-4 255 So. Germantown, WI
    60 Alexander Arndt 6-4 255 Sr. Austin, TX

    LG 61 Tyler Schonsheck 6-1 265 Sr. Wixom, MI
    67 Jordan Eason 6-3 255 So. Smithfield, VA

    C 54 Michael Hester 6-3 250 Jr. Birmingham, AL
    63 Jeffrey Benson 6-0 255 Jr. Hoover, AL

    RG 73 A.J. Wallerstein 6-4 280 Jr. Canyon Country, CA
    72 Chase Douglass 6-6 275 So. Flower Mound, TX

    RT 74 Chase Darden 6-3 255 Jr. Plano, TX
    68 Nick Jackson 6-4 260 So. Acworth, GA

    QB 7 Tim Jefferson 6-0 200 Jr. Atlanta, GA
    11 Connor Dietz 6-0 185 Jr. Columbus, OH

    FB 42 Jared Tew 6-0 217 Sr. Park City, UT
    39 Nathan Walker 5-11 210 Sr. Colorado Springs, CO

    TB 17 Asher Clark 5-8 185 Jr. Lawrenceville, GA
    21 Darius Jones 5-9 160 So. Atlanta, GA

    WR 15 Jonathan Warzeka 5-9 180 Jr. Lake Elsinore, CA
    10 Mikel Hunter 5-9 170 So. Conyers, GA

    DEFENSE
    Pos. No. Name Ht. Wr. Yr. Hometown

    DE 51 Zach Payne 6-3 255 Jr. Hoover, AL
    92 Wylie Wikstrom 6-2 240 Sr. St. Paul, MN

    DL 86 Ryan Gardner 6-3 240 Jr. San Jose, CA
    89 Bradley Connor 6-2 270 Sr. Fayetteville, GA

    DE 90 Rick Ricketts 6-3 260 Sr. San Jose, CA
    88 Ben Kopacka 6-5 255 Jr. Alpharetta, GA

    OLB 50 Alex Means 6-5 220 So. Mankato, MN
    44 Patrick Hennessey 6-2 225 Sr. Strongville, OH

    ILB 41 Brady Amack 6-0 225 Jr. Pleasanton, CA
    57 Austin Niklas 6-2 225 So. Fullerton, CA

    ILB 32 Jordan Waiwaiole 6-3 230 Jr. Spring Lake Park, MN
    45 James Chambers 6-0 220 So. Wichita Falls, TX

    OLB 36 Andre Morris, Jr. 6-3 235 Jr. Newnan, GA
    46 Jamil Cooks 6-4 205 Fr. Colorado Springs, CO

    DB 5 Anthony Wright, Jr. 5-10 190 Jr. Cleveland, OH
    14 Josh Hall 6-0 175 Jr. Atlanta, GA

    DB 8 Reggie Rembert 5-8 185 Sr. Flower Mound, TX
    3 Chris Miller 5-8 183 Fr. Coppers Cove, TX

    DB 31 Brian Lindsay 6-1 210 So. Chicago, IL
    34 Anthony Wooding, Jr. 6-2 177 Fr. Folkston, GA

    DB 6 Jon Davis 6-1 198 Jr. Cincinnati, OH
    24 P.J. Adeji-Paul 6-0 185 Jr. Tulsa, OK

    Nickel 24 P.J. Adeji-Paul 6-0 185 Jr. Tulsa, OK
    14 Josh Hall 6-0 175 Jr. Atlanta, GA

    SPECIAL TEAMS
    Pos. No. Name Ht. Wr. Yr. Hometown

    PK 99 Erik Soderberg 6-1 190 Jr. Eden Prairie, MN
    94 Zach Bell 6-2 180 Sr. Darien, IL

    P 97 Keil Bartholomew 5-8 165 Sr. Gulfport, MS
    12 Ben Cochran 6-0 185 Sr. Dublin, GA

    DS 56 Colton Reid 6-0 255 Jr. Atlanta, GA
    40 Ryan Southworth 5-10 220 Sr. Paris, TX

    H 12 Ben Cochran 6-0 185 Sr. Dublin, OH
    80 Brandon Hirneise 6-1 185 So. Scottsdale, AZ

    PR 8 Reggie Rembert 5-8 185 Sr. Flower Mound, TX
    5 Anthony Wright, Jr. 5-10 190 Jr. Cleveland, OH

    KOR 15 Jonathan Warzeka 5-9 180 Jr. Lake Elsinore, CA
    10 Mikel Hunter 5-9 170 So. Conyers, GA
    28 Cody Getz 5-7 170 So. Buford, GA

  • Monday’s daily links

    Mon, August 30, 2010 by admin with 1 comment

    The first game week of the season is upon us, will be nice to have football that counts back, won’t it?

    Not much on the Air Force front, but here’s a quick overview of this week’s lamb being led to slaughter opponent, Northwestern State.

    Around the Mountain West/service academies: BYU is still hoping to go independent in football. Really, there was never any concrete indication the Cougars had decided to stay in the Mountain West. … Some teams have interesting matchups this week, like BYU trying to slow down Washington’s Jake Locker. … I’ve made wise cracks about Gary Patterson trying to find holes in his TCU team to keep it motivated, but this is a real one: If Andy Dalton goes down, there’s not much experience behind him at quarterback. … Things seem to be running more smoothly in Mike Locksley’s second year at New Mexico. … Utah has first-team all-MWC pick Eddie Wide at tailback, but Tauni Vakapuna is looking good too. … A look at Navy going into its season opener.

  • Sunday’s daily links

    Sun, August 29, 2010 by admin with no comments

    Starting today with a story about Troy Calhoun and how he changed a few things at the end of his first season. Notably, he doesn’t do all the offensive playcalling (though, it’s pretty obvious he’s got a huge hand in it), and he is heavily involved in planning for offense, defense and special teams.

    David Ramsey weighs in on Jared Tew and Tew’s hometown of Park City, Utah.

    Around the Mountain West/service academies: Another day, another story from Stefan Stevenson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram breaking down how deep and talented one of TCU’s positions is. Today, it’s the running backs. The Horned Frogs are as good as any teams in the nation. … Here’s a few details from Colorado State’s final scrimmage. … In year two under Dave Christensen, Wyoming expects a better offense, Eric Schmoldt of the Casper Star-Tribune explains. … San Diego State’s “Aztec” position in its 3-3-5 defense will be manned by Andrew Preston. … Cool story by the Seattle Times, taking a poll of college football coaches. When asked what coaches they have the least regard for, New Mexico’s Mike Locksley got a vote. … UNLV doesn’t have an easy opener, going against Wisconsin and reigning Big Ten player of the year, running back John Clay. … Since they’re not holding press conferences to announce they’re staying (guess that’s not been decided yet after all), the BYU Cougars are preparing to play Washington. … Utah will be down a running back against Pitt. …  Navy and Maryland will be playing for the new Crab Bowl Trophy. … Projected offensive and defensive depth charts for Army.

  • Saturday’s daily links

    Sat, August 28, 2010 by admin with no comments

    Unless BYU has made that announcement, let’s just go to the links. Nothing yet? OK …

    Wrote today about Falcons coaches and players and Twitter. Troy Calhoun trusts his kids to do it, but just doesn’t want to partake.

    Air Force women’s volleyball wins in new coach Matt McShane’s debut. Women’s soccer won as well, in double overtime. Maybe the women’s programs can start to overcome their history.

    Chad Hall apparently misjudged a punt last night with the Eagles. That won’t help. He got in the boxscore just for 5 punt return yards.

    Around the Mountain West/service academies: It’s odd to me how columnists’ reactions to BYU have become such a big deal there. Dick Harmon lists ‘em. … Breakdown of the two-quarterback plan in BYU. … SDSU is using the Padres as an example (what, they’re going to try to hit the jackpot with Mat Latos, too?). … Utah’s captains announced. … Oh, hey, another position TCU is loaded at. … UNLV wants to run the ball. …  Army had its last big tune-up. … Navy simulated game conditions too.