Falcons talk about series with Cowboys

With all the talk surrounding Air Force leaving the Mountain West for the Big East in football only, who knows if Saturday will be the last time Wyoming plays the Falcons (I still think Air Force stays in the MW).

But if it is the last time, I talked to some former Air Force players about what it means to them to play Wyoming.

“For me personally, its one of those series where its one of the most underrated rivalries,” said Blane Morgan, Air Force’s quarterbackk from 1996-98 and the Falcons’ co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

Wyoming beat Air Force 22-19 in Laramie in 1996 en route to a 10-2 record. In 1997 and 1998 it lost to the Falcons by scores of 14-3 and 10-3, respectively.

After Morgan left, Mike Thiessen took over as Air Force’s quarterback from 1998-2000. He also is on the current  Air Force coaching staff as co-offensive coordinator and receivers coach.

“It was a blood bath,” he said. “It’s always been a series that’s been physical and a tough-minded match up. It’s been a series where you traded punches until somebody broke a tackle for made a big play. It’s been the same the last few years.”

Wyoming beat Air Force in 1999 10-7 but lost in 2000 51-34 — one of the rare blowouts in the series over the last 20 years.

Four of the last six games have been decided by one-score margins, and 16 of the last 30 have been decided by 10 points or less. Saturday’s game will be the 50th game in the series. Air Force has won five straight and leads 26-20-3.

Thiessen and Morgan were two of the better quarterbacks to play at Air Force. Find out if they think senior Tim Jefferson is among the elite lists of Falcons to play quarterback in Friday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang.

  • Mark

    This is one Cowboy fan, who lives in Colorado Springs mind you, that will be very disappointed and a little sad if Air Force leaves the Mountain West. I agree with what Blain Morgan said about this being an underrated rivalry. I think the fact that the games are typically close and there have been some very memorable games on both sides that has led both fan bases to really respect one another to a level I don’t think is in place with any other opponent in the MWC. I would imagine this is likely due to the patriotic sentiment that comes from a service academy, but it has always seemed there was something more than that. I think the type of players both programs recruit may have something to do with it also. The kids are not blue chippers and are hard-nosed, blue collar types. Obviously they are not identical programs, but that is where I see similarities and why at least this Cowboy fan will be sad to see the series go away if Air Force decides to go to the Big East (which I don’t blame them if they do).

    • rgagliardi

      Good stuff, Mark. Always appreciate your comments and feedback.

      RG

  • Ralph

    Troy Calhoun said it in his Press Conference Monday that he did not consider the Wyoming-Air Force a rivalry. I think that is the way Air Force views this game as well.

    During the 2010 game in Laramie, I keep looking around the stadium for the cadets. Did not see many. Remember back in the 70’s, 80’s and following years the outside sections of the “War” were filled with cadets and they were dressed in their Class A uniforms.

    Air Force seems to have lost it’s respect for Wyoming and it’s football program. They circle this game as a win and the cadets travel to other games.

    Wyoming salutes the Air Force Academy by hosting them on Military Day. Coach Christensen salutes the Military with the Special Forces. Then Air Force shows their disrespect to UW when cadets don’t even show for the game.

    I really feel the Cowboys can win the game this year. In doing so they will bring back the respect of Air Force to this football series.

    • Timmy Jack

      Good call Ralph. If Falcons think they’re superior, it’s because the last 5 give Air Force the margin, 26-20-3 overall. It’s been close thru out. I’m leaning towards giving the Pokes the edge in this game. They can win this game, and we really need it- to secure a bowl eligible program for the young Pokes. We’re due and Christensen will have the Cowboys ready for a tough battle in Colorado Springs, bank on it.