Air Force unsettled at quarterback again

October 14, 2009
photo - Tim Jefferson was Air Force's starting quarterback until he was injured. Photo by KEVIN KRECK, THE GAZETTE
Tim Jefferson was Air Force's starting quarterback until he was injured. Photo by KEVIN KRECK, THE GAZETTE 

For at least the fourth time since the end of the 2007 season, when four-year starter Shaun Carney’s career came to a close, Air Force has uncertainty at quarterback.

Early in 2008, the question was who would replace Carney — then-senior Shea Smith or then-junior Eric Herbort.

Smith won the job, but soon after speculation arose that then-freshman Tim Jefferson would supplant him.

Jefferson did and seemed to lock up the job after starting the final eight games and winning Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year honors. But then tailback Asher Clark was moved back to quarterback, his high school position, to compete with Jefferson.

Jefferson won back his job in August but has missed two of the past three games because of a right ankle injury, opening the door for sophomore Connor Dietz. And while coach Troy Calhoun has acknowledged Dietz has begun to build a case to start even when Jefferson is healthy, he was noncommittal this week about which player would get the nod Saturday against Wyoming.

“It’s kind of tough,” Dietz said. “I have to just take it how I have, where you just go into the week thinking you’re going to be playing. That’s kind of the mentality you have to approach it with.”

Jefferson, who was not made available to the media this week, is a more polished passer, while Dietz is a more explosive runner. Calhoun said this week he was open to using two quarterbacks but that it “works best” when a team settles on one.

But the question, again, is which one will it be?

See our Air Force blog at

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