SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — It'll be a holly jolly Christmas for the Air Force football team (10-2) this week as the prepare to meet Washington State (6-6) in the Cheez-It Bowl Friday at Chase Field.
Following two 5-7 seasons, the Falcons put it all together in 2019, winning 10 games to return to bowl eligibility for the first time since 2016.
"It would mean a lot, that was one of our goals, win as many as we can," Falcons senior wide receiver Ben Waters said. "Obviously we wanted to win 14 or 15 games but circumstances changed that. One of our goals was when we went to a bowl game, we're going to win it, so that's what we're coming here to do."
Spending the week at Chapparal high school in Scottsdale, AFA's defense is preparing for the nation's top passing attack while also continuing to add a few wrinkles to their No. 3 rushing offense.
It will be the first meeting all-time between the Mountain West and Pac-12 schools, although Air Force did top Colorado 30-23 in overtime earlier this year.
"This is going to be a special moment for me, for my family, especially being a Lieutenant and being healthy and able to contribute to the team," senior safety Garrett Kauppila said. "Hopefully, help us do what we can to get a W."
Both teams will practice again on Wednesday before hosting their Media Day availability on Thursday. Kick-off is set for 8:15 p.m. Friday from Chase Field in Phoenix.