Calhoun not gauging success at Air Force by wins and losses
The Air Force Academy is fundamentally different than other Mountain West football programs. Accordingly, head coach Troy Calhoun, a former cadet himself, has a fundamentally different outlook on coaching.
"I think ultimately at our place, to be able to evaluate how a season went, we may not know until 2035 or 2040," says Calhoun. "They earn the chance to graduate from the Air Force Academy and ultimately it's how well they honorably serve."
The last time Boise State welcomed Air Force to the blue, the Falcons gave Kellen Moore and the 6-0 Broncos a run for their money.
Air Force ran for 264 yards, holding the football for over 36 minutes of game time. Just two of Boise State's current defensive starters were around for that game in 2011, forcing coach Petersen to turn to the film to show the uniquities of the Air Force offense.
"They did a good job of hanging onto the ball. We had 8 possessions on offense," recollected Petersen. "Everyone wants to put it on our defense, but they kind of held it and had long drives and converted third downs."
"When you play Air Force, it's a complete team game. Our offense has to be efficient. We can't mess around," he added.
Air Force has been ranked no worse than sixth in the country in total rushing yards for six straight seasons, but perhaps this year's Falcons will put the "Air" back in Air Force. Sophomore quarterback Jaleel Awini has taken over for Kale Pearson, who tore an ACL in week one.
Awini was 4-12 against Utah State, but at least six of those incompletions were drops. Last year, the Falcons threw as many as 29 passes in a game, and as few as zero, but in Troy Calhoun's system, a quarterback is worth more than his number of attempts.
"We realize at our place that the team element is vital. We're not going to be a squad that overwhelms you," says Calhoun. "So certainly that means that quarterback, especially from a leadership aspect of it, is a vital part of the way we work."