AIR FORCE ACADEMY -- Air Force is down to its final two practices at its facilities before heading to Fort Worth, Texas, for its Dec. 29 meeting with Rice in the Armed Forces Bowl. Quarterback Connor Dietz has just one practice remaining on the home turf, though.

Dietz will be at Tuesday night's practice, but has a previously scheduled event Wednesday morning when his teammates will practice before going home until Dec. 24 when the team assembles in Fort Worth.

Dietz has a mid-term graduation ceremony scheduled Wednesday morning and will be a second lieutenant in the Air Force when the next practice session is scheduled on Christmas Eve.

"Maybe just briefly," coach Troy Calhoun said Sunday when asked if Dietz could mix the graduation ceremony with a stop at practice.

Dietz was slowed by an assortment of bumps and bruises toward the end of the regular season when the Falcons lost three of their last four games. Calhoun predicted Dietz would be 100 percent for the bowl game.

"He should be rippin' and roarin' in two weeks," Calhoun said of Dietz, who finished the season with 1,127 yards and eight touchdowns passing and 658 yards and five touchdowns rushing.

The Falcons were together for a short time Sunday while mixing final academic examinations with football. The session lasted for a little more than an hour before the players went to the classroom for a 3:45 exam. Tuesday's practice is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. and Wednesday's at 9:30 a.m.


OL questions

Calhoun may not know the depth chart on his offensive line until the practice sessions scheduled Dec.24-27 in Fort Worth.

The status of junior center Austin Hayes and junior guard David Lore remained indefinite with knee injuries. When Hayes was injured, Calhoun moved senior Jordan Eason from guard to center. If either Hayes or Lore, or both, are able to play, it strengthens Air Force's offensive line.


Calhoun is preparing his team for a sixth consecutive bowl appearance in his six years as coach. He believes teams change more before a bowl game than at any other part of the season.

"You have to wait and see what direction the change is going to be," Calhoun said. "We'll find out for us against a really good opponent."

The Falcons (6-6) need a victory to clinch a sixth straight winning season. "You've got to earn it," Calhoun said. "Having the seven come before the six wouldn't be all bad."