On Oct. 26, Air Force’s football team was rolling along with a 5-3 record after a 48-31 smackdown-victory over Nevada. Good times seemed ahead.
They weren’t. The Falcons lost three of their final four games by a combined score of 124-66. They ended the season with a 48-15 defeat at Fresno State that was even more lopsided than the score indicated.
On Friday, just as practice began at the academy, quarterback Connor Dietz told running back Cody Getz, “It’s amazing how much better you feel and how much more confidence you have when you’re feeling good.”
Dietz had struggled with ankle, elbow and shoulder pain during the final days of the season.
The Falcons are hoping a relatively light practice schedule will help them heal as they prepare to meet Rice in the Armed Forces Bowl on Dec. 29 in Fort Worth, Texas. The Falcons have practiced twice since losing to Fresno State.
A football season, said offensive tackle Jason Kons is similar to “getting tossed in a blender.”
“It takes a toll on your body,” he said. “It takes it out of your hide, that’s for sure.”
One of the key questions for Air Force’s offense is Getz’s health. In the first five games of the season, Getz gained 887 yards and led the nation in yards per game.
Then he suffered an injured left ankle on a rainy night in Wyoming. In the season’s final seven games, he gained 326 yards.
He said Friday his ankle is back to 100 percent.
“It feels good,” Getz said. “A lot better than the last game.”
Falcons fail to make all-MWC 1st team
No one on the Falcons made the Mountain West Conference’s first team. Offensive lineman Jordan Eason and linebacker Alex Means were named to the all-MWC second team, and Kons, Getz, defensive back Brian Lindsay and linebacker Austin Niklas were named honorable mention.
Kons had no complaints.
“When your team goes 6-6, that’s what you should expect,” he said. “You’ve got to produce. When your team goes 6-6, I don’t know if anybody deserves to be on the first team.”
Getz disagreed. He believes Means, Eason, Kons and Lindsay deserved consideration for first-team honors.
Fresno pain might help
Kons believes the Falcons will be motivated by the debacle in Fresno. The Falcons were never in contention in the season finale.
“It left a sour taste,” Kons said. “A sour taste that won’t go away unless we win that bowl game.”