Nov. 3, 2011
WEST POINT, N.Y. -
The Army football team begins its quest for the Commander in Chief's Trophy on Saturday, Nov. 5, when the Black Knights travel to USAFA, Colo., to face service academy rival Air Force. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. ET.
An Army win would clinch at least a share of the CIC Trophy for the first time since 1996 and set up the chance to win the series outright versus Navy next month. A win by the Falcons would give Air Force its second straight CIC Trophy.
CBS will carry a live broadcast of Saturday's showdown with Spero Dedes (play by play), Steve Beuerlein (color analyst) and Lewis Johnson (sideline reporter) calling the action.
The Army Sports Network will have the audio call of the game on its flagship station WABC (770-AM), as well as WALL (1340-AM) and WEOK (1390-AM), Sirius Satellite Radio (channel 117), XM Satellite Radio (channel 203) and ITT Knight Vision. Rich DeMarco (play by play), Dean Darling (color analyst) and Tony Morino (sideline reporter) will cover the game on the Army Sports Network.
Army (3-5) got back on the winning track last weekend as the Black Knights blanked Fordham, 55-0, in the team's home finale. The Black Knights racked up over 500 yards rushing en route to the convincing victory.
Air Force (4-4) posted a 42-0 road win at New Mexico last Saturday. The victory over the Lobos snapped a three-game losing streak and has the Falcons back at the .500 mark with four games left of the docket.
Saturday's matchup features two of the top rushing outfits in the country as Army leads the nation in rushing yards per game (369.0) and Air Force ranks third nationally (326.9).
Army and Air Force have met 45 times previously in a series that began in 1959. The Falcons, who have won the last five meetings between the two service academy rivals, show a 31-13-1 all-time record versus the Black Knights. Air Force won last year's meeting, 42-22, at West Point. Army's last win in the series dates back to 2005 when the Black Knights scored a 27-24 victory in USAFA, Colo.
Army head coach Rich Ellerson is in his third season as the Black Knights' mentor. He enters Saturday's matchup with a 15-18 record at West Point. Ellerson, who led Army to its first bowl victory since 1985 last year, has amassed a career record of 75-59 in 12 seasons as a college head coach. Ellerson shows a 0-2 record versus Air Force.
Air Force is coached by Troy Calhoun, who is in his fifth year leading the Falcons. Calhoun, who is 4-0 in his career versus Army, has led Air Force to bowl game appearances in each of his first four seasons in Colorado Springs. The 1989 Air Force graduate brings a 38-22 career record into Saturday's matchup versus the Black Knights.
Army's offense enters Saturday's contest averaging 29.6 points and 418.6 yards of total offense per game. The Black Knights are coming off their most prolific offensive performance of the season in last week's victory over Fordham.
Army junior quarterback Trent Steelman, who was injured in the Black Knights' game at Vanderbilt two weeks ago, had his program-record streak of 32 consecutive starts snapped last weekend versus Fordham. Army's third-year signal caller, who is hoping to get back into the lineup this week, leads the team with 347 yards passing and ranks second on the squad with 576 yards rushing. Steelman has rushed for 11 touchdowns and thrown for two TDs.
Sophomore running back Raymond Maples leads Army on the ground with 759 rushing yards. The second-year back, who has posted four 100-yard games already this season, rushed for a career-high 159 yards on just 10 carries last week versus Fordham. Maples lists second on the team with four rushing touchdowns.
Sophomore wide receiver Jared McFarlin paces Army's receiving corps with seven receptions for 74 yards and one touchdown. Senior wide out Davyd Brooks has hauled in four passes for a team-best 95 yards and one TD.
Senior linebacker Steven Erzinger, who saw his 32-game starting streak snapped when he missed the Fordham game due to injury, leads Army's defense with 73 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss and 3.0 quarterback sacks. He begins this weekend's action ranked 15th in the nation in tackles per game (10.43).
Sophomore defensive back Tyler Dickson lists second on the squad with 43 tackles and is tied for the team lead with one interception. Junior defensive tackle A.J. Mackey has been a force for the Black Knights on the defensive side of the football as well, listing second on the team with 5.0 tackles for loss.
Army authored its best defensive effort of the season last Saturday, limiting Fordham to just 86 yards of total offense and six first downs en route to the Black Knights' biggest shutout victory in 21 years.
Air Force's high-powered triple option offense is averaging 475.9 yards per game. The Falcons' attack, which averages 35.2 points per game, is led by senior quarterback Tim Jefferson. The fourth-year signal caller has thrown for 1,007 yards and eight touchdowns and rushed for 298 yards and seven scores.
Senior running back Asher Clark paces Air Force's ground attack with 654 rushing yards and four TDs. Junior fullback Mike Dewitt, meanwhile, has rushed for 410 yards and six scores. Dewitt posted four rushing touchdowns last week versus New Mexico.
Senior wide receiver Jonathan Warzeka is the Falcons' top threat in the passing game, having hauled in a team-leading 22 passes for 275 yards and three touchdowns. Senior wide out Zach Kauth has caught 17 passes for a team-best 285 yards and one score.
Air Force's defense is allowing 406.8 yards of total offense and 31.2 points per game. The Falcons' stop unit turned in its best performance of the season last week versus New Mexico, holding the Lobos to 223 yards of total offense and forcing two turnovers en route to the shutout victory.
Senior linebacker Brady Amack, who leads the Falcons' defense with 80 tackles. The fourth-year linebacker ranks tied for 21st in the country in tackles per game (10.00). Junior linebacker Alex Means, who lists third on the squad with 41 hits, tops the team with 5.0 tackles for loss and 3.0 quarterback sacks.
Following Saturday's game, Army will make the short trip down the Hudson River to Bronx, N.Y., to tangle with Rutgers at Yankee Stadium. Kickoff for the contest, which will be televised live to a national audience on CBS Sports Network, is set for 3:30 p.m.