Air Force (1-1, 0-0) at San Diego State (1-2, 1-0)
Sept. 29, 2001, 8:05 p.m. Qualcomm Stadium
Television: The Air Force at San Diego State game will be televised live nationally by ESPN2.
Radio: All San Diego State football games can be heard live in southern California on XTRA Sports (690 AM).
San Diego State enters the game with a 1-2 record (1-0 Mountain West), defeating Colorado State, 14-7, in Fort Collins last week. Air Force enters the game at 1-1 and is coming off a 42-0 victory over Tennessee Tech, Sept. 8.
Saturday's game at Qualcomm will be the 20th between San Diego State and Air Force. The Falcons lead the all-time series, 14-5. The last three meetings in San Diego have been decided by a total of seven points.
San Diego State is the very, very early leader in the Mountain West Conference race after posting a 14-7 win over two-time defending league champ Colorado State last week in Fort Collins. It was the first league game played this season. The Aztecs are 1-2 overall and 1-0 in conference play. Air Force is a bit of a wild card. The Falcons opened the season with a blowout loss at home against defending national champion Oklahoma and then trounced Tennessee Tech to enter the game at 1-1. The Falcons had an open week last week and like the rest of America did not play Sept. 15th due to the national tragedy.
Air Force leads the series with the Aztecs, 14-5, including three straight wins. However, these games have typically been nail biters. The Academy's last visit to Qualcomm in 1999 resulted in a 23-22 win over the Aztecs with Air Force rallying late for the victory in what was San Diego State's first-ever Mountain West Conference game.
Last year it looked to be another tight ending before the Academy erupted for 14 points in the final period for a 45-24 win. Air Force rolled up 540 yards of offense and benefited from three Aztec turnovers. The Falcons held the ball the ball for over 36 minutes. San Diego State led the total offense war at the half by a yard. Aztec receiver Derrick Lewis had a big game against the Falcons. He caught four passes that covered 138 yards and he had a 41-yard punt return. Two of his receptions and the punt return all set up San Diego State scores.
The question this week is how will be the league's best road team play at home. Since the inception of the Mountain West Conference, San Diego State is 6-2 away from home, the best road mark in the league. San Diego State is the lone Mountain West team to post a win at Colorado State and the Aztecs have done it twice. On the flip side, in Mission Valley, where San Diego State is historically one of the best at defending its home turf, the Aztecs have struggled. San Diego State is 1-6 in Mountain West home games. The lone win came Nov. 27, 1999, when SDSU blew out Wyoming, 39-7.