Bowl Season

Air Force plays defense, beats Georgia Tech 14-7.
3 Stars
1. Air Force QB Tim Jefferson: He passed for 117 yards and ran for an additional 30.
2. Georgia Tech QB Tevin Washington: He ran for 141 yards and passed for 41.
3. Air Force Kicker Zach Bell: The kicker made two field goals, of 41 yards and 42 yards.


ACC vs. Mountain West Shreveport, La.
Independence Stadium
Dec. 27
5 p.m.

AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl Preview
The Air Force Falcons bring the 2nd ranked rushing attack to the Independence Bowl. Led by QB Tim Jefferson, the Falcons can also pass. He has 25 total TDs, while passing for 1342 and running for 769 yards. His backfield mate is Asher Clark, who has rushed for 1001 yards. Fullback Jared Tew, who hasn't played since October 16, will play, but is "rusty." Jonathan Warzeka is the leading receiver with 17 receptions for 394 yards and three touchdowns.
Georgia Tech boasts the number 1 rushing attack in the nation. They will be led by backup QB Tevin Washington, who took over for Josh Nesbitt. Though not as physical a runner, Washington has rushed for 383 yards in only a short time. His fullback is Anthony Allen. He hasn't scored much lately, but he has racked up 1225 yards on the ground. The Yellow Jackets won't pass much, but when they do, look for Stephen Hill, who has 291 yards receiving. It will be very important for Georgia Tech to take care of the ball. They have struggled a lot in this area, and the Falcons are known for getting takeaways.
The Georgia Tech defense has struggled some this year. They gave up 42 in their last game, but they will probably have some familiarity with this offense, with it being similar to that of the Yellow Jackets. It will be key for them to get stops, particularly on third down, where they have struggled mightily. CB Mario Butler will need to have a big game, making tackles on the outside. LB Brad Jefferson will make a majority of the tackles in the middle. Also, look for FS Jerrard Tarrant to make plays against the pass, and also in special teams.
This could not be any different for the Air Force defense opponent wise from last year's bowl game. Last year, Houston was the leading pass offense. This year, Tech is the leading rush offense. They have done well against run teams Army and Navy, giving up only 14 points a game. 2 of their better players are CBs Reggie Rembert and Anthony Wright. Rembert has 3 interceptions, while Wright has 2. FS Jon Davis leads the team with 89 tackles and LB Jordan Waiwaiole has 88.

The pick:
I like Air Force to win this game. I think they will have success moving the ball, and will have a few big plays through the air with QB Tim Jefferson. Also, Georgia Tech has struggled in bowl games under Paul Johnson, going 0-2.

This pick has been made by and therefore will be correct.
 But if you disagree or agree with me send and email to saying who you think will win and why and I'll post it...

Frank Schwab was kind enough to give us his insights on this year's Air Force team. He is a beat writer for the Colorado Springs Gazette. You can check him out at

BS: It was a very impressive 8-4 season for the Falcons having 3 of the losses against top 10 teams at that point. Air Force won the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy for the first time in seven years. How big is that for Air Force football?

Frank Schwab:Many of the seniors - who will be playing in their fourth straight bowl game and won a bowl game last year - said winning the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy was the highlight of their careers. The accomplishment was special because of the drought against Navy, which had beaten the Falcons every year since 2002. Winning the trophy is something that is near or at the top of Air Force's goals every season. The games against Army and Navy have a unique passion and intensity.

BS:The offense was great, averaging over 300 yards rushing per game. How hard to stop is the rushing of QB Tim Jefferson and RB Asher Clark? Also please comment on the offense in general and personnel.

Frank Schwab:Jefferson has become one of the better quarterbacks in Air Force history because of his passing ability. He is a great runner, as most AFA quarterbacks have to be, but teams have to respect the Falcons' passing game now too. That's a major reason Air Force is second in the nation in rushing offense. The Falcons offense suffered a big blow when fullback Jared Tew went down with a leg injury in midseason (he is questionable for the bowl game), but Clark picked up a lot of those extra yards. He was a high-school quarterback and came to Air Force as a recruited quarterback, so he is still just learning how to be a tailback, and his improvement was easy to see over the season. Clark and Jefferson are both juniors, so next year they should each put up huge numbers.

BS:The defense was very good this year, though not as good as last year. How would you characterize the defense that forced 6 Case Keenum interceptions in last year's bowl game?

Frank Schwab:Turnovers have been a problem for Air Force, which has been very good getting interceptions and fumbles since Troy Calhoun took over as head coach. Teams seem to be more careful against the Falcons, knowing the reputations of cornerbacks Reggie Rembert and Anthony Wright, and they also seem to hold onto the ball a little tighter because the Falcons like to strip it. Also, losing nose guard Ben Garland - who spent the preseason with the Denver Broncos - was a big loss for the defense. He was a disruptive force.

BS:If you had to choose one player who will have a breakout performance in the bowl game, who would it be?

Frank Schwab:I'd go with Zack Kauth, who had just 14 catches in the regular season but had four touchdowns. He stepped in when Kevin Fogler hurt his knee and played very well, impressing the coaches. Fogler is in line to play in the bowl but hasn't played a full game since September, so Kauth should play a lot and I can see him hitting a big play or two.

Thanks a lot to Frank Schwab of the Colorado Springs Gazette


John Bird from was nice enough to answer some questions about the Yellow Jackets...

      BS:A 6-6 season has to be disappointing coming off an Orange Bowl season. Georgia Tech lost 4 of their last 5. How much of the lack of            success towards the end of the season would you attribute to the loss of QB Josh Nesbitt? Any other factors?

John Bird: The story of the season offensively was turnover margin.  We increased our lost fumble rate by 65% and our interception rate by 17%.  We also decreased our takeaway rate by 6% per game.  And I like to factor failed fourth downs in to the equation so our true turnover margin went from +4 in 2009 to -11 in 2010.  That's a pretty big swing.

Josh Nesbitt's loss was definitely a contributing factor.  Our red zone offense under Nesbitt scored 89% of the time, which included a 66% TD rate.  Our red zone offense since Nesbitt's injury decreased to 53% with a measly 41% TD rate.  Nesbitt was our power running game in 2010 and without him, it was relatively easy to bog down our offense in short yardage situations.

BS: The rushing attack ranked #1 in the country. How would you describe Tevin Washington's quarterbacking style and also your comments on the rest of the offense including RB Anthony Allen.

John Bird: Tevin is a smooth runner who is still adjusting to live fire while running the option.  I'd like to see him next season with more #1 offense reps before I dub him the heir apparent of Josh Nesbitt.  Personally, I don't think he's a strong enough runner for the midline option but he is definitely a better running passer than Nesbitt.  Our particularly porous offensive line hasn't given much protection to the passer in 2010 giving up a sack every 11 pass plays so having an accurate arm while on the run has added a new dimension to our attack.

 Anthony Allen has really improved as the B-Back (fullback) since the outset of the season.  He fumbled 4 times in his first 86 carries of the season and then went on a tear carrying 107 times before fumbling against UGA in the season finale (which he promptly recovered himself).  Allen's only struggle has been finding the end zone.  He's only scored 1 TD in the last 5 games.  This is the worst TD drought for a starting B-Back in CPJ's three year tenure at Georgia Tech. 

BS:The defense was not very good this year. Who are the playmakers and what does the defense have to do to keep the 'Jackets in the bowl game?

John Bird:There aren't really any playmakers.  That's why the defense isn't that great.  We have some solid players that may develop and some older players who never really blossomed.  The defense just has to limit big plays.  We are routinely gashed on 3rd down in the passing game after stopping teams short on 1st and 2nd down. 

BS:If you had to choose one player to have a breakout performance in the bowl game, who would it be?

John Bird: I think there are several players that Georgia Tech fans need to step up: Brad Jefferson, Jerrard Tarrant, and Mario Butler.  Butler is the most penalized player on Georgia Tech's squad.  He's committed 62 yards in pass interference penalties after getting beat deep by opposing #1 receivers.  He's probably our best player in the secondary and his tackling ability will be desperately needed to slow down Air Force's rushing attack to the edge.  Brad Jefferson is our best tackler at linebacker and will get a majority of the tackles against Air Force's fullback.  He's gotta prevent the Falcons from getting a good chunk of yardage every other down.  Jerrard Tarrant is our punt returner and starting safety.  We've gotta get good field position as our offense has really stalled out in the field position game this season.  Tarrant is potentially explosive at PR and will also be needed to defend Air Force's efficient passing attack.

Thanks a lot to John Bird. Check out

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