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Air Force Football: History in the Armed Forces Bowl and versus California

The Air Force Falcons will face the California Golden Bears in the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl on December 29th at noon on ESPN. This is Air Force’s fifth trip to the bowl game and their second Armed Forces Bowl matchup with Cal.

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The Air Force Falcons football team is going to be visiting an old friend this bowl season when it travels to Fort Worth to play in the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl. This will be the fifth trip for the Falcons to play in this bowl game, and the matchup with the California Golden Bears will be a rematch of a 2007 bowl game that was highly explosive in a 42-36 victory for Cal. That game versus Cal was highlighted by talented wide receiver/kick returner DeSean Jackson who helped his team overcome a 21-0 deficit to the Falcons for a come from behind victory. That game was also the first bowl game for current head coach Troy Calhoun, who has now taken his team to a bowl game in eight of his nine seasons as head coach.

Air Force History in the Armed Forces Bowl:

Year

Opponent

Air Force Score

Opponent Score

2012

Rice

14

33

2009

Houston

47

20

2008

Houston

28

34

2007

California

36

42

When you first look at this game, it has all the makings of another offensive showcase as both teams bring in high powered offenses. For the Falcons, they boast the third-ranked run offense that is averaging 321.1 yards per game. Behind running back Jacobi Owens and quarterback Karson Roberts, the offensive approach for Air Force is attack you from all angles in the rushing attack, get your safeties closer to the line of scrimmage, and then hit you with play action bombs to Jalen Robinette and Garrett Brown on the outside or tight end Garrett Griffin on the inside. Also, coming on strong late in the season is running back Timothy McVey, who is a threat rushing or catching the ball.

For California, the name of the game is on the right arm of talented quarterback Jared Goff. Goff leads the fifth best passing attack in the nation that averages 368.8 yards a game through the air. This could mean trouble for an Air Force squad that has surrendered big plays through the air this season as they try to take the opponent's running game away and put their cornerbacks on an island in coverage. The Falcons can pressure the quarterback, but they might have to rethink their defense philosophy as they face a quarterback who seems destined to be a high first round draft pick in the upcoming NFL draft.

This will be the ninth matchup between the two programs, with California holding a 6-2 lead in the head-to-head matchups.

Date

Site

Air Force

California

12/31/2007

Ft. Worth, TX

36

42

9/4/2004

USAFA

14

56

9/21/2002

Berkley

23

21

9/17/1977

Berkley

24

14

11/15/1975

USAFA

14

31

10/7/1967

Berkley

12

14

10/9/1965

USAFA

7

24

11/11/1961

Berkley

15

14

There will be lots of news and notes on this match-up, which is one of the more attractive of the games involving Mountain West schools. Mountain West Connection will be your source for all the bowl games involving the Mountain West schools, including the Air Force Falcons.