Air Force Football 2012 Bowl Capsule

Air Force Falcons
Mountain West


Air Force put together another solid season, finishing 6-6 overall and fourth place in the Mountain West with a 5-3 mark. That puts the Falcons back into yet another bowl game. However, Air Force has struggled down the stretch of the 2012 campaign, losing three out of four games in November. And they were not close games either. The Falcons need to turn things around quickly if they want to win the Armed Forces Bowl for the second time in four years.

2012 Record: 6-6, 5-3
Coach: Troy Calhoun
Coach Bowl Record: 2-3

Big Wins: 10/13 at Wyoming (28-27), 10/26 Nevada (48-31)
Bad Losses: 9/22 at UNLV (35-38), 11/3 at Army (21-41)

Air Force, as usual, gets the job done on the ground. Running back Cody Getz has rushed for 1,213 yards and nine touchdowns. With Jon Lee and Wes Cobb, Coach Troy Calhoun can run his option offense very effectively. This was a relatively inexperienced group heading into the season, but Coach Calhoun found the players he needed to run his sneaky scheme. Even with time to prepare for the option offense, it is extremely tough to stop. Getz and Lee can break big runs on any given play and Cobb has emerged as more of a short yardage specialist and has a knack for getting into the end zone. Of course it is quarterback Connor Dietz who makes the entire option work. Dietz is yet another productive rusher, tallying 658 yards and five touchdowns on the ground. When Air Force needs to pass, Dietz is pretty productive. He only threw for 1,127 yards and eight touchdowns during the regular season, but Dietz did complete 62.0 percent of his passes and only got picked off three times.

The problem with an option team is almost always struggling to come back from a deficit. When the opposition knows Air Force is going to throw the ball, the Falcons have serious problems stringing together a few completions. Only two teams in the country averaged fewer passing yards per game than Air Force. And it is very probable that this team can fall behind. The defense is not bad, but they certainly have not been good in November. Linebacker Austin Niklas is a great tackler, a big hitter and led the team with 114 tackles. Fellow linebacker Alex Means is the big playmaker. His versatility is a huge asset and Air Force will need Niklas and Means to create some turnovers. That has been a problem for the defense all season long. They have only created 13 turnovers in 12 games and they cannot afford to lose the turnover battle yet again.

Statistical Leaders:
Rushing: Cody Getz, RB, 1,242 yards
Passing: Connor Dietz, QB, 1,127 yards
Receiving: Ty MacArthur, WR, 411 yards
Tackles: Austin Niklas, LB, 114
Sacks: Alexander Hansen, DL, 4.0
Interceptions: Alex Means, LB, 2; Steffon Batts, CB, 2

2012 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 328.75 (2nd in nation, 1st in conference)
Passing Offense: 107.17 (118, 9)
Total Offense: 435.92 (41, 3)
Scoring Offense: 28.50 (69, 5)
Rushing Defense: 198.00 (97, 5)
Pass Defense: 203.58 (27, 5)
Total Defense: 401.58 (65, 5)
Scoring Defense: 28.67 (71, 4)
Turnover Margin: -1.08 (109, 9)
Sacks: 1.25 (106, 9)
Sacks Allowed: 0.50 (1, 1)

Recent Bowl Appearances:
2011    Military Bowl             Toledo (41-42)
2010    Independence Bowl    Georgia Tech (14-7)
2009    Armed Forces Bowl    Houston (47-20)
2008    Armed Forces Bowl    Houston (28-34)
2007    Armed Forces Bowl    California (36-42)

*all team stats through 11/24


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