WR Chad Hall

2006 Statistics

Coach: Troy Calhoun
1st year
2006 Record: 4-8
at Tennessee LOST 30-31
at Wyoming WON 31-24
at San Diego State LOST 12-19
at Army WON 43-7
at UNLV LOST 39-42
at TCU LOST 14-38

2006 Final Rankings
AP-UR, Coaches-UR, BCS-UR

2007 Outlook

The longest I-A coaching tenure, that of beleaguered departee Fisher DeBerry, is over. It gives way – for the first time in school history – to an alum. New head coach Troy Calhoun brings a rather well-rounded résumé that will allow him to intently oversee the many areas he is updating. He keeps or brings back many assistants who were here under DeBerry, so the continuity of many key intangibles will already be established. Calhoun is even keeping the “flexbone” since most of the team already knows it, but that scheme gives way to (and will share the play-calling with) the current spread looks. Overall, the spread will dominate the AFA offense. We see the most immediate need – that of a QB who can run such complex formations and make them work – already met since senior Shuan Carney ran this type of offense in high school and was very successful at it. As usual, the OL is undersized and thusly challenged against well-sized foes. But the spread allows them to often pass-block against four or five guys instead of running all the time from side to side trying to stop nine guys like in the labor-intensive, somewhat predictable flexbone. The Falcons enter the 21st century, and their players can now be more productive for their efforts…or as some have put it, Calhoun is putting the “air” back in Air Force. That’s all well and good, but it will be the defense, if anything, that costs this team any chance at a bowl birth. The same size troubles along the DL luckily can be cleaned up by a decent LB corps led by All-MWC Drew Fowler, but little can compensate for a secondary that tackles well, but is often suspect in coverage. This is a team made up of two-star cadet airmen, a pretty tough place to find lots of individual talent, but a great place to find discipline and teamwork beyond that of most programs. And it translates – Air Force had 17 winning seasons out of DeBerry’s 23 here. The Falcons fly into Annapolis, South Bend, Provo, and Salt Lake, a daunting road slate to say the least. But this team has the looks of one that can finish above .500 if they can take early lumps and turn them into lessons for later victory. Otherwise, results from the tough early half of their schedule could infect the psyche throughout 2007 in Colorado Springs. This may, again, not be the Airmen’s year, so improving their defensive showing should be the biggest priority, one that would best affect the team’s worth for seasons to come.

Projected 2007 record: 6-6
LB Drew Fowler
QB - 3.5 DL - 3
RB - 3 LB - 3
WR - 2.5 DB - 2.5
OL - 3 ..

Passing: Shaun Carney, 149-91-6, 1315 yds., 11 TD

Rushing: Shaun Carney, 159 att., 596 yds., 6 TD

Receiving: Justin Handley, 13 rec., 127 yds., 1 TD

Scoring: Shaun Carney, 6 TD, 1 two-pt. conv., 38 pts.

Punting: Donny Heaton, 47 punts, 41.3 avg.

Kicking: None

Tackles: Mark Carlson, 73 tot., 35 solo

Sacks: Dennis Poland, 4 sacks

Interceptions: Chris Sutton, 2 for 44 yds.

Kickoff returns: Justin Handley, 8 ret., 20.5 avg., 0 TD

Punt returns: Chris Sutton, 11 ret., 7.0 avg., 0 TD


OFFENSE: Victor Thompson-WR, Robert Kraay-OT, Stuart Perlow-C, Tyler Dohollow-OG, Curtis Grantham-OG, Jacobe Kendrick-FB, Beau Suder-HB, Zach Sasser-K/P
DEFENSE: Gilberto Perez-DE, Kevin Quinn-DT, Grant Thomas-NG, Joey Keller-ILB, Chris Sutton-CB, Brad Meissen-FS

The triple “flexbone” option that defined the Falcons for over two decades under DeBerry isn’t going to be discarded like many believe. Instead, Tim Horton, who served here as an assistant but has never been a coordinator, will learn to juggle the spread, the ‘I’ and the flexbone as he is mentored by coach Calhoun. Predictability was slowly killing the Falcon offense in these modern days of innovation, so Calhoun and Horton will play-call to their players’ strengths instead of asking them all to bend to the rigidity of the archaic wishbone-type running plays (AFA ran 80% of the time). This won’t be a problem for their signal caller, Shuan Carney, who ran a variation of the spread in high school – his senior prep campaign yielded 3,849 passing yards and 30 TDs, which nearly eclipses his career AFA totals of 3,900 yards and 30 TDs. The all-conference senior is only 5’10, and with the newness and unpredictability of the spread, don’t be surprised when Horton has him roll out on pass plays to get him a better view downfield. Carney makes good decisions, but he will have to learn to throw it away more often instead of running it if/when receivers aren’t open. Backup Eric Herbert looked decent in spring reps, but his lack of experience and size means former backup Jim Ollis could still find himself behind center, if necessary. Horton has been keen on the quick, well-sized Ollis being utilized somehow/where since his last tenure under DeBerry, and the move is a good one that keeps defenses guessing when he is in the backfield. Another player looking to expand his responsibility is 2006’s team leading rusher, smallish senior Chad Hall. Moved to become the official ‘Z’ receiver, All-MWC Hall now plays a Reggie Bush-type of ‘slash’ role, lining up in different capacities to promote matchup troubles. Hall’s move is due to the confidence coaches have in Chad Smith, a heady senior who led the team with his 6.2 ypc average. But the main reason most running plays have worked in the recent past is due to fullback Ryan Williams – he’s that unsung kind of hero, the one whose blocks always make more room for a Falcon runner and who always gets positive yards when given the rock (oops, he did lose a few yards…a total of two during his 174 carrier carries). The poignancy of using these weapons en mass (via the flexbone) should have even more damage with foes spread out and forced to send extra men into coverage. The linemen only return two with starting experience – Blaine Guenther moves back to center and Nicholas Charles has bulked up to make his mobility work better. Guenther is their best lineman, and being able to oversee the blocking calls will help the new faces in these ever-intricate schemes. Chris Monson’s move from DE has gone well so far; with the increased passing, this former prep TE’s assignment at left tackle is just as important as Guenther’s and he has the toughness to overcome his size deficiency. Seniors Ryan Zeman and Caleb Morris earned their starts, but they will have to prove their worth before many runs are sent to their right side. Lighter linemen mean worthy downfield/lateral blocking, but how they fare as a unit in the spread could cause coaches to readjust the line’s look accordingly. Travis Dekker will find himself downfield in the pattern more since coaches have been clear about expanding the tight end’s capacity. Receiver Mark Root, like Dekker, will become a field-stretcher since the two of them are the biggest targets available. Prep state sprint champ (100m & 200m, Utah) Matt Davis is too fast not to have a contributing role as a Z-slot reserve. It is important more receivers are found, for the multiple-WR sets now seen here need to have enough threat so DBs/LBs will be effectively spread and will also bite on (play-action) fakes. Carney thrived all spring, but the rest of the offensive players, recruited/procured mostly for the flexbone, are still adapting, hence the continued inclusion of the old approach. A confident QB means this offense should do better than many that are in first-year regimes and dealing with revamped strategies, but growing pains and fine tuning shouldn’t affect where the AFA offense will find itself by November.


QB Shaun Carney


Returning Starters in bold
QB Shaun Carney-Sr (5-10, 190) Eric Herbort-So (5-11, 180)
FB Ryan Williams-Sr (5-9, 215) Scott Peeples-Sr (5-10, 220)
TB Chad Smith-Sr (5-10, 190) Jim Ollis-Sr (5-11, 190)
Kip McCarthy-Sr (5-10, 190)
WR Chad Hall-Sr (5-8, 180) Matt Davis-Jr (5-11, 175)
WR Mark Root-Jr (6-2, 195) Mike Moffett-Jr (5-11, 195)
TE Travis Dekker-Sr (6-4, 240) Keith Madsen-Jr (6-3, 230)
OT Chris Monson-Sr (6-4, 255) Dan Holder-Sr (6-6, 280)
OG Nicholas Charles-So (6-4, 280) Peter Lusk-So (6-3, 260)
C Blaine Guenther-Sr (6-2, 270) Andrew Pipes-Jr (6-1, 260)
OG Caleb Morris-Sr (6-2, 275) Tyler Weeks-Jr (6-1, 270)
OT Ryan Zeman-Sr (6-4, 265) Chris Campbell-So (6-5, 250)
K Ryan Harrison-Jr (6-1, 175) Trey Eaton-Jr (6-2, 180)



For the past few years, this side of the ball has been the main reason the Falcons haven’t had a winning record. They allowed fewer points in ’06 than the two previous years, but four of the six games in which they allowed 30+ (all six were losses) last year occurred in the second half of the season, and allowing 42 points to bottom-feeder UNLV (2-11) was an ominous swansong for DeBerry. Enter coordinator Tim DeRuyter, a former AFA player/assistant who returns after his successful tenure as DC at Nevada and Ohio. DeRuyter’s 2006 results in Reno saw only Arizona State, Hawai’i and Boise State break the 30-point barrier, and his guys holding Miami to 21 points in their bowl loss shows his ability to motivate. Six legitimate starters out of the front seven should mean improvements to Air Force’s No.68 rushing defense. The two starting ends in the new-look 3-4 are well-sized and hungry – Ryan Kemp is a 255-lb. top-notch high jumper, while heady ex-LB Jake Paulson regularly takes up two blockers, as does former starter Josh Clayton (lost the start when he broke his wrist). The tackle is tough, but Jared Marvin is simply too small (at 230lbs.) to force the amount of double-teams a NT must command. Lifetime AFA-er Keith Williams offers more size and will see lots of reps if/when Marvin comes up short as a clogger. Inside linebacker Drew Fowler will clean up the middle with his all-conference status; the senior is the best defenseman on the team, nearly doubling the tackles of OLB John Rabold. Fellow outsider Julian Madrid is another senior who excels in coverage, but he tentatively lost his starting nod to Hunter Altman since he was held out this spring recovering from a knee injury. Aaron Shanor played his way into the start at the other inside linebacker spot through his fabulous spring showing, but he will have to stay on top of his game to hold off experienced senior Austin Randle. The corps (and the entire front seven, sans the NT) has the athleticism and size to keep up with foes at any level, so adding an extra guy can only help their stat line(s) as they swarm. Still, more sacks and TFLs are needed for this D to take it to any ‘next levels’. The secondary features Bobby Giannini, their free safety who is great in run support but marginal (at best) when the rock is thrown. Soph Chris Thomas has the same moniker, and with other underclassmen behind both, something will have to give for the Falcons not to eventually pay huge costs due to these factors. Senior corner Garrett Rybak did well as the No.2 corner last year, but handling the top assignment(s) weekly now could prove too much. Senior Carson Bird lulled last year after a standout sophomore campaign, but speedy Nathan Smith will push Bird as he realizes his climb up the learning curve. This secondary broke up a mere 21 of their foes’ 300+ passes, had a modest nine INTs, and allowed two-thirds of their attempts to be completed on the way to 20 aerial scores. Furthermore, the defense allowed opponents to convert 56% of their third-down tries and gave up 4.1 ypc on runs. The new staff has to get the pass rush up to par before the passing defense can make some big plays and have the desired impact. With their largest lineman listed at 260, speed and teamwork have to compensate against those bigger opponents…and, after three years of that “maybe” happening (but which leads to eventual failure), proof will only be found in the pudding.


DB Bobby Giannini


Returning Starters in bold
DE Jake Paulson-Jr (6-5, 260) Myles Morales-So (6-3, 240)
NG Jared Marvin-Jr (6-2, 230) Keith Williams-Jr (6-6, 255)
Ben Garland-So (6-4, 240)
DE Ryan Kemp-Jr (6-5, 235) Josh Clayton-Sr (6-4, 260)
OLB John Rabold-Sr (6-4, 220) Trent Burney-Jr (6-2, 185)
ILB Drew Fowler-Sr (6-2, 235) Austin Randle-Sr (6-0, 230)
ILB Aaron Shanor-Sr (6-1, 225) Jon Falgout-So (6-0, 215)
OLB Julian Madrid-Sr (6-0, 205) Hunter Altman-Jr (5-11, 195)
CB Carson Bird-Sr (5-11, 190) Kevin Rivers-Jr (6-0, 190)
CB Garrett Rybak-Sr (5-11, 175) Nathan Smith-Jr (5-10, 180)
SS Chris Thomas-So (5-11, 198) Blake Brooks-So (6-0, 180)
FS Bobby Giannini-Jr (6-2, 210) Aaron Kirchoff-So (6-1, 200)
P Ryan Harrison-Jr (6-1, 175) Brandon Geyer-So (6-4, 190)




Junior Ryan Harrison was accurate and consistent throughout spring ball, enough so to secure both kicking duties. Coverage on kick returns has been excellent, but the same cannot be said of punt coverage. The new attitude on defense, along with so many on the JV squad wanting to prove their worth, should help the new staff find better results these ways. Almost anyone who had a kick and/or punt return of some kind has moved on. Of those left, corner Chris Thomas did the best job; he will find a new bunch of no-names ready to compete for the nod and finally get some meaningful reps themselves. One steady performer at each return job has to be the goal, though, or special teams won’t be much help. This team has had 99 kick blocks since 1990, a tradition that needs to continue for this team to get those well-earned and needed breaks.