Conant's kicking has been one of the few bright spots for the Falcons (1-6). He leads the team in scoring with 45 points, has hit all 18 of his extra-point tries and is 9-of-11 in field-goal attempts, including making two from 52 yards.
Conant came to the Air Force Academy from Edmond, Okla., and has made a career of kicking in football except for a brief try at tight end in middle school.
"I've played soccer all my life," Conant said, referring to his kicking résumé. "As a kicker you dream about kicking a winning field goal late in a game. I never look at the yard line. I just run out and approach all of kicks the same."
Conant has been a consistent scoring machine for coach Troy Calhoun for an otherwise anemic offense. He hasn't missed on five field-goal tries from 39 yards and closer. He's 2-for-3 from 40 to 49 yards and 2-for-3 from 50 yards or more.
"Our kicker has done a solid job," Calhoun said. "But it also comes down to solid jobs by our holder (David Baska) and deep snapper (Harrison Elliott). Our punter (Baska) has been solid. Our special teams have done some good things so far."
Special teams play has played a big part in previous Air Force wins over Notre Dame. The Irish (5-2) lead the series 23-6. A blocked field goal by Christian Funk preserved a 23-22 victory for Air Force in
However, in 2000 Air Force kicker David Adams, who had been superb all season, had a potential winning kick blocked near the end of regulation time and the Irish won 34-31 in overtime.
Calhoun set the stage for today's game.
"We're facing as talented a team as there is in college football," Calhoun said. "We are going to see players who are something else athletically."
Canant has heard the speech.
"We know who's coming to town," Conant said. "We chose to come here for the chance to play those kinds of teams. Every game is winnable. That's how you have to approach it."