Air Force Accepts Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl Bid
The Falcons will appear in their first postseason game since 2002
Nov. 26, 2007
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The Air Force Falcons have accepted a bid to represent the Mountain West Conference and play in the fifth annual Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl.
"We are thrilled to have the Air Force Academy as the Mountain West Conference's representative in the 2007 game," said Tom Starr, the Executive Director of the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl. "With our military theme, what better way is there to honor the armed forces by having an Academy play in our game. With nine wins and a strong finish to their season, the Falcons will bring an exciting brand of football to Amon G. Carter Stadium on New Year's Eve."
The Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl, an ESPN Regional Television (ERT) owned-and-operated event, will be aired at 11:30 a.m. (CST) on ESPN, live from Amon G. Carter Stadium. The previous four Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl games have been played on December 23 with the University of Utah defeating the University of Tulsa 25-13 last year.
With three-straight wins and six victories in their last seven games to end the 2007 season, the Falcons are the first school since the inaugural Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl game in 2003 to enter the Amon G. Carter Stadium game with more than seven regular-season wins as Air Force is currently 9-3 this fall after posting a 55-23 win at home November 18 over San Diego State.
The 9-3 record is Air Force's first winning season since posting a 7-5 mark in 2003. The Falcons' six wins in Mountain West Conference play is their most-ever and best league record since finishing the 1998 season with a 7-1 record in the Western Athletic Conference. With Jim Ollis (163 yards), Chad Hall (151) and Ty Paffett (105) rushing for more than 100 yards in the San Diego State victory, Air Force is now 9-0 when it has a player rush for over 100 yards in a game this season.
Air Force is the second-best rushing attack in the country (298.5) to rank among the top 10 in the nation for the 21st-straight season. The Falcons won the national rushing title in 2002 (307.8) when Air Force played in their last post-season game by losing 20-13 to Virginia Tech at the 2002 Emerald Bowl in San Francisco.
Troy Calhoun also becomes the third first-season coach at the Air Force to lead the Falcons to a post-season bowl game following in the footsteps of Ben Martin (1958) and Fisher DeBerry (1984). A 1989 graduate of the Academy, Calhoun replaced DeBerry last December as only the sixth coach in the 52-season history of Air Force football.
The first Academy graduate to coach the Falcons, Calhoun was an active duty officer in the Air Force (1989-1995) and was the school's recruiting coordinator and the junior varsity offensive coordinator in 1993-94. An assistant for one season for the NFL's Houston Texans before taking the Air Force job, Calhoun started at quarterback for the Academy in 1986 and was one of only two freshmen to letter for the 1985 team that finished fifth in the final polls with a 12-1 record that included wins over national powers Notre Dame and Texas.
Appearing in its first post-season game since 2002, the Air Force will be competing in their 18th bowl since the start of their intercollegiate football program in 1956. The Falcons first-ever bowl appearance was following the 1958 season when Air Force and TCU played to a 0-0 tie in the 1959 Cotton Bowl.
Since the Dallas appearance on New Year's Day in 1959, the Falcons have split their next 17 bowl games to enter the 2007 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl with an 8-8-1 post-season record. Two of the Air Force's previous 17 bowl games have been played in the state of Texas as the Falcons posted a 24-16 win over Texas in the 1965 New Year's Eve Bluebonnet Bowl in Houston.
While Z-wide receiver Hall is the only player in the country to lead his team in rushing (1,415 yards and 14 touchdowns to rank ninth nationally) and receiving (488 for 46 receptions and one touchdown), Air Force quarterback Shaun Carney has become the Academy's all-time passing leader as a four-year starter by breaking records this season for passing yardage (5,323), passing touchdowns (38) and total yardage (7,776).
2007 BHAFB TICKETS - Ticket prices for the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl are $40 for sideline seats and $15 for end zone tickets. Military veterans receive half off any $40 seat and active duty personnel get in free via the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl corporate military ticket underwriting program. A portion of local ticket sales will go to designated military charities. Tickets for this year's game can be obtained by calling the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl office at 817/810-0012, or by going to the website for more information at www.ArmedForcesBowl.com.
BELL HELICOPTER ARMED FORCES BOWL MEDIA CREDENTIALS - Please apply on-line at http://www.sportssystems.com/bhafb.