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Friday night lights at the Air Force Academy

Week seven on my cross-country journey, had me in probably my favorite stadium venue.   The Air Force Academy is a must see for the true college football fan, and The Academy offers more than just a football experience.    Once on base, there are numerous attractions to see, including the most popular man-made attraction in the state of Colorado, the stunning Cadet Chapel.    Military history runs deep throughout the base, at the Barry Goldwater Visitor Center, and there are several

Blue skies above the stadium

decommissioned aircraft.    The Stadium was dedicated in 1962 and sits at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, at a height of 6,621 feet above sea level.   The view of scenery from seats in the upper deck is incredible.    The pre-game flyover featuring both F-15 fighters and B-52 bombers is remarkable.

HISTORY The Air Force Academy started their football program back in 1955, and the Falcons have had only seven coaches in that time.   Many big name coaches have walked the sidelines, including  Bill Parcells  who was the head coach for one season in 1978.   It was Ken Hatfield that actually put the football program on the national map, when he installed what is now known as the triple option offense.   This offense allows for smaller quicker players to play at a higher level, by using deception and misdirection.    Fisher DeBerry took over in 1984 and immediately took the program to a No. 5 ranking in the final polls in 1985, the highest ranking the Falcons have been able to achieve.    DeBerry stepped down in 2006 and was replaced by Troy Calhoun who played quarterback for the Falcons from 1985-88.    Since adopting the triple option offense the Falcons have ranked in the top 10 nationally in rushing 19 of the last 21 years.   Currently the Falcons are ranked No. 2 in the country in rushing, averaging 366 yards per game!   The Falcons have won or shared three WAC Championships and are 10-11-1 all time in bowl appearances.

TRADITION  Each year, Army, Navy and Air Force play a round robin of games, with the Commander in Chief’s Trophy going to the winner of the round robin.  Air Force has won the trophy the last two seasons.  Colorado State University is the only other traditional rival.

The Air Force Falcon

THE GAME  The Falcons jumped out to a 31-21 halftime lead, and used a late one-yard plunge by Quarterback Connor Dietz to salt away a 48-31 victory.    The Falcon rushing attack put up 461 yards on the ground on 82 carries, led by Tailback Wes Cobb who rushed for 152 yards.   The victory gives the Falcons five wins on the season, only one short of becoming bowl eligible.

UP NEXT I’ll be in Berkeley, California Friday evening for the Washington-California match-up!

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