The victory clinched the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy for Air Force. Awarded to the service academy that wins the round-robin series among Army, Navy and Air Force, the Falcons won it thanks to their victories over Army and Navy. This season is the 43rd year of trophy competition. The Falcons have a series-best 56-30 overall record and 20 titles. Navy has won the trophy 17 times; Army six times.
“It’s huge for the seniors, how hard they worked in the off season and how hard the team worked in the off season,” Air Force head coach Troy Calhoun said. “Looking at this time last year, we were kind of down in the dumps and we told ourselves in the off season that we’re going to work hard all off season and it’s going to pay off. And it has paid off and it’s pretty awesome to see that we put the formula in place and it’s starting to pay off.”
Air Force has not only won the CIC Trophy, but with a record of 6-2 they are quickly becoming bowl eligible.
“I don’t know if you can aptly describe it right now,” Calhoun said. “We have plenty of football to play. It would be pretty special if this group could earn a winning season. It’s not something we’ve done yet, but these are good milestones.”
Army’s total of 122 yards rushing was by far its worst of the season. The Black Knights’ previous low was 198 against Stanford.
“This is a game we’ve been waiting on for what seems like forever,” Air Force linebacker Jordan Pierce said. “We practice against this kind of offense every week, we were excited and we knew what we were doing on every play and were able to shut it down. That’s our nature to run the ball, all of the service academies. We knew that’s what they were going to try to do and that’s how we planned it. Luckily their pass game wasn’t running on all cylinders and we had a good pass rush by the defensive line. After a while we got used to how they were playing it and we were able to stop them.”
Army coach Jeff Monken said somewhat sarcastically that Air Force “knew exactly what we were going to run. I am sure they knew every play.”
Then, changing tones, he added, “I mean you can’t guess plays. I mean they are playing their defense. They are slanting, exactly like us. I mean you can’t guess plays. It doesn’t happen. It is blocking them and when you don’t block them and they tackle you at the line of scrimmage, it looks like they are anticipating the play. We are not doing a good job blocking them. It is not at all that they know the play is coming. We don’t have that many tendencies. We only have these backs in the game and we only have these formations. We tried a lot of stuff and we didn’t come into the game thinking we were going to empty the playbook or anything. We had some things we thought would work and the fact is we didn’t block them very well.”
Army punter Alex Tardieu is among 79 nominees for the Ray Guy Award, given to the nation’s best punter. Saturday he punted six times for 226 yards, an average of 37.7 yards per punt. He had a 52-yard punt in the fourth quarter, his fifth punt of 50 or more yards this season.
Army linebacker Jeremy Timpf made a career-best 17 tackles. That’s the most for Army since Steve Erzinger had 21 against Northern Illinois Sept 3, 2011, a 49-26 loss. Timpf established a career-high with 12 solo stops, in addition to a career-best three tackles for losses of 10 yards. This season, Timpf has a team-high 75 tackles. He also has three interceptions and three pass breakups.
Army senior running back Terry Baggett has been selected as a 2014 National Football Foundation National Scholar-Athlete. and is a finalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy.
Baggett, an Academic All-America as a junior, is one of 17 finalists for the Campbell Trophy which recognizes an individual as the best football scholar-athlete in the nation. Baggett was selected as a finalist from a pool of 169 semifinalists among all NCAA divisions and the NAIA. Baggett is the 15th National Scholar-Athlete from Army and the first since Andrew Rodriguez won the Campbell Trophy in 2011.