COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. Air Force has six named to all-Mountain West team
Falcons have three first- and three second-team selections
Senior offensive lineman Scott Hattok and nose guard Mosese Fifita, along with junior offensive lineman Nolan Laufenberg were named to the first team. Senior offensive lineman Connor Vikupitz, senior inside linebacker Kyle Johnson and junior inside linebacker Demonte Meeks were named to the second team.
Air Force had eight additional players named honorable mention all-MW: junior DB Milton Bugg III, senior DB Jeremy Fejedelem, junior DL Jordan Jackson, sophomore FB Timothy Jackson, senior PK Jake Koehnke, senior DB Zane Lewis, senior WR Geraud Sanders and junior RB Kadin Remsberg.
The lineman trio of Hattok, Laufenberg and Vikupitz helped Air Force to the conference rushing title and No. 3 national ranking with a 292.5 per-game average. The offensive line ranks first nationally in fewest sacks allowed with four and earned Joe Moore Award midseason honors as one of the top units in the nation. The Falcons lead the nation in passing efficiency (203.7), rank second in third down percentage (54.8) and seventh in time of possession (34:43).
Fifita recorded 45 total tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks. He was part of five turnovers with two forced fumbles and a conference-best three fumble recoveries which ranks fifth in the nation. He had a career-best seven tackles, a tackle for loss and two quarterback hurries vs. Wyoming in his final home game.
Johnson is the 2019 winner of the Charlotte Touchdown Club Defender of the Nation award for his work on and off the field. He is second on the team in tackles with 76 and has 5.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and an interception return for a touchdown. He had a season-high 11 tackles vs. Army and had six tackles, a sack, a pass breakup and the INT return for a score vs. Fresno State.
Meeks leads the team and ranks seventh in the MW in tackles with 97, an average of 8.1 per game. He leads the Falcons and ranks 10th in the MW in tackles for loss with a .75 average. Meeks has led the team in tackles a team-high seven times this season, including three games of 10 or more. He had a career-high 14 tackles at New Mexico and had eight tackles, 2.0 sacks and 4.0 tackles for loss and first-career forced fumble in Air Force’s win over West Division champion Hawaii earlier this season.
The 25th-ranked Falcons completed the regular season with a 10-2 overall record and finished second in the Mountain West Mountain Division with a 7-1 mark. Air Force has a seven-game winning streak, the program’s longest in one season since 1998 when the team won eight straight. The seven-game winning streak is tied as the seventh longest overall in program history.
Air Force’s 10 wins ties as the third-most in program history, trailing the 12 wins in 1985 and 1998. The team’s 10-2 mark is tied for the fourth-best in program history, trailing the 9-0-2 mark in 1958 and 12-1 marks in 1985 and 1998. Air Force has posted its first 10-win regular season under head coach Troy Calhoun and first since the 1998 team went 11-1.
Air Force matched the school record with a 7-1 mark in conference play, marking the first time the program has accomplished it in the Mountain West. The Falcons finished 7-1 in the Western Athletic Conference in 1985 and 1998.