Cal’s passing versus Air Force’s ground game

It will be Cal’s explosive passing attack against the Air Force’s ball-controlled ground game when the two schools meet Tuesday, Dec. 29 in the 13th annual Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl at Amon G. Carter Stadium.

The game, the ninth gridiron contest between the two schools, kicks off at 1 p.m. (CT) Dec. 29 on ESPN.  With Air Force making its fifth appearance in the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl, the game will also be aired in both English and Spanish on the Armed Forces Bowl Radio Network.

The Dec. 29 meeting also marks the first contest between the two schools since 2007 when Cal overcame an early 21-0 deficit in the 2007 Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl to defeat the Falcons 42-36.  In the New Years’ eve contest, the Bears’ threw for 305 yards while Air Force rushed for 312 yards.  It was the sixth Cal win in the series with the Falcons that was first played in 1961.

“First of all, we are delighted to have a Pac-12 school in our game,” said Brant B. Ringler, Executive Director of the patriotic bowl.  “Secondly, with the offensive attacks that these two schools have, I expect another high-scoring affair.  If the two schools can recreate the excitement that they did in 2007, the fans will be in for another exciting game at Amon G. Carter Stadium.”

While Air Force ended its regular-season with an 8-5 after losing in the final moments at San Diego State in the Mountain West Conference championship game Saturday, Cal finished with a 7-5 record to earn the school’s bowl berth since 2011.

The Bears will be playing in their 22nd post-season game and first since losing 21-10 to Texas in the 2011 Holiday Bowl.  With a 10-10-1 post-season record, Cal will be playing in its third bowl game in Texas starting with a 1993 appearance in the Alamo Bowl where the Bears defeated Iowa 37-3.

With Sonny Dykes coaching the Bears to their first winning season since 2008, Cal set team single-season records in passing yardage (4,425), passing TDs (38) and total offense (6,293) as the Bears closed out their regular-season schedule by winning two of their last three games.

Cal is led by junior quarterback Jared Goff, who is the school’s all-time career passing leader in yards (11,733) and touchdowns (90).  A first-team All-Pac 12 selection, Goff closed out the regular season with a school single-game record 542 yards and five TDs against Arizona State to become the ninth Pac-12 quarterback to compile more than 4,000 yards in a single season.

Air Force uses its ball-control offense (16th-ranked in terms of time of possession) featuring the country's No. 3 rushing attack (321.1 yards per game) to its advantage that helps the defense to be ranked 19th-nationally (337.1 yards allowed by per game).

Ticket prices for the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl range from $30 for general admission seating to $75 dollars for lower bowl reserved seats.  A limited number of seats are also available in the exclusive Bud Light Platinum Club, located on the West side of Amon G. Carter Stadium.  At $125, these tickets include premium seating, complimentary food and beverages, and access to the inside of the club level.

One of 13 bowl games owned and operated by ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl has featured the “armed forces” theme since 2006. Patriotic overtones recognizing all five branches of the service are prevalent throughout the game. Past Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowls have included fan-fest areas showcasing armed forces hardware; flyovers; demonstrations by several of the military's top skydiving teams; custom homes awarded to wounded warriors; on-field induction ceremonies; armed forces bands and honor guards; the annual Great American Patriot Award presented by Armed Forces Insurance; and the annual Armed Forces Merit Award presented by the Football Writers Association of America.