Troy Calhoun isn’t ready to judge his Air Force team yet.
The Falcons are on a three-game losing streak. But, the team has dealt with injuries, and its four losses are to teams that are a combined 30-3.
There was still disappointment over Saturday’s 28-23 loss to Utah, but Calhoun is ready to look forward. At 5-4, the team can still make it a productive season — even if it won’t be the transcendent season that seemed possible a few weeks ago.
“Where we are right now, we are charging into November with a chance at a winning record, a chance to play in a bowl game and a chance to win the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy,” Calhoun said. “We’ve put ourselves in that position with a pretty stern first three-fourths of the schedule.”
The biggest game left on the schedule is this week. Air Force goes to Army, and with a win will claim the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy. Because of Navy’s dominance against the other service academies — which the Falcons stopped with a win over the Midshipmen on Oct. 2 — the Falcons haven’t won the trophy since 2002.
“There’s something definitely there you can go after,” Calhoun said. “We haven’t entered this game with that door open since 2002.”
The Falcons could get a boost on defense if nose guard Ryan Gardner returns from a groin injury. He has been out since the Navy game. Gardner warmed up on Saturday, but didn’t play. Calhoun said he could play this week but only if he can be healthy and effective.
Air Force’s players promised to be refocused after their third straight loss, because they know what reclaiming the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy would mean.
“It’s really important to me, and I’m sure it’s important to all of our seniors and the team in general,” cornerback Reggie Rembert said. “We want to come out and play on fire and learn from what we did in this (Utah) game. We need to go out on the field and have as great of a week of practice as we can and bring the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy back to Colorado Springs.”