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Quick look: New Mexico vs. Air Force

The surging New Mexico Lobos travel to the thin air of Colorado Springs to face the Air Force Falcons in a key Mountain West Conference game for both squads and their respective post-season hopes. Here's a quick look at the Air Force.

Chris Humphreys-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

GAME 8: New Mexico Lobos vs. Air Force Falcons

WHEN: Saturday, Oct. 20, 5 p.m. MT

WHERE: Falcon Stadium, Colorado Springs, CO (46,692)

CONFERENCE: Air Force, New Mexico - Mountain West Conference

WEB SITES: New Mexico Football | Air Force Football

2012 SEASON: UNM 4-3, 1-1 MWC) | Air Force 3-3, 2-0 MWC

COACHES: New Mexico: Bob Davie 4-3 at UNM (1st year), 39-28 overall (6th year) | Air Force: Troy Calhoun 44-27 at AFA (6th year), 44-27 overall (6th year).

TV: ROOT Sports Rocky Mountain (Comcast channel 261, DirecTV channel 683, Dish Network channel 414)


RADIO: UNM - Lobo Radio Network / KKOB 770 AM (Flagship, English) / ESPN Deportes ABQ (KRZY)1450 AM (Flagship, Spanish) | Air Force – KVOR AM 740 (Colorado Springs< CO); The Fan 104.3 in Denver, CO


SERIES RECORD: 30th meeting. AFA leads 19-10.

LAST MEETING: Oct. 29, 2011 in Albuquerque, NM – AFA 42-0.

This midseason meeting for these two long-time features two of the top rushing attacks in the country with Air Force ranked second in the nation and New Mexico standing at seventh. The Lobos are new to option football implementing the Pistol under first-year coach Bob Davie after three years of attempting the Spread offense. Air Force is an old hand at the triple option, running the more traditional style. The game will come down to which option attack is more successful – and which defense can stop or slow the other team down.

THIS WEEK'S OPPONENT – AIR FORCE: Sixth-year coach Troy Calhoun is at a big of a crossroads at the midway point to the season. The Falcons are in a bit of a rebuilding year and had to overcome an early deficit against Wyoming last week to squeak out a 28-27 win to get to .500. The Falcons three losses this year are by a total of 16 points but only one of those teams, Michigan, has a winning record at this point. Loses at UNLV and in overtime at home to Navy came as a surprise. AFA predictably opened MWC play with a 42-21 drubbing of cellar dwellers Colorado St. three weeks ago.

ON OFFENSE: Senior running back Cody Getz is ranked second in the nation and the MWC averaging 154.7 yards per game. But Getz was knocked out of last week’s game against Wyoming with an ankle injury. His status for this week’s game was unknown as of Tuesday. Senior quarterback Connor Dietz is second on the team with 401 yards on the year and a pass efficiency rating of 167.46 this season.

ON DEFENSE: Senior inebacker Austin Niklas leads the Air Force defense with 62 tackles while linebacker Alex Means has collected 45 tackles on the season. Senior Nick DeJulio leads Falcon defensive linemen with 19 tackles on the season.

NOTES: Air Force is No. 2 in the nation in rushing with an average of 363.0 yards per game and No. 23 in total offense at 479.8 yards per game.

  • The Falcons rank No. 3 in the country in fewest penalty yards at 26.0 per game and have yet to allow a sack this season.
  • The one area in which the Falcons are struggling is field goals. AFA is just 1 of 6 this season.
  • Carrier now ranks fifth in the league and 25th nationally with an average of 105.0 rushing yards per game.

  • New Mexico currently is ranked seventh in the nation in rushing offense with an average of 280.3 yards per game. UNM has rushed for 1,962 yards and 23 rushing TDs this season. The Lobos had 2,654 rushing yards and 23 rushing TDs during the 2010 and 2011 seasons combined. The 2012 offense has five 300-yard rushing games; the last Lobo team to do that was the 1972 edition that averaged 280.5 yards per game.

  • The Lobos are No. 20 in the nation in fewest penalty yards at 37.6 yards per game.

  • UNM is also tied for No. 19 in turnover margin at plus 1.14 per game and tied for No. 12 in turnovers forced with 16.

  • New Mexico is currently 11th in time of possession at 33:08 per game.