AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- Air Force coach Fisher DeBerry
announced Monday that junior quarterback Adam Fitch will start in
place of freshman Shaun Carney this Saturday at Army.
"It was just a gut feeling," DeBerry said Monday in a
teleconference. "I just think our football team, with where we are
and the way things have been going we just need to change some
Air Force (3-5, 2-3 MWC) has lost four of its last five games.
The move comes after Carney, the first freshman in school
history to start the season at quarterback, has struggled at times
in the last two games. In a 41-24 home loss to BYU on Oct. 23, he
completed just 10 of 22 passes and threw an interception. In Air
Force's 43-26 loss at Wyoming last Saturday, he completed just 3 of
10 and had an interception.
Fitch relieved Carney in the second half against Wyoming, and
completed 7 of 11 for 132 yards and a touchdown. He also led the
Falcons on two other scoring drives one of which he capped with a
one-yard touchdown run.
Carney also has in recent weeks made poor or ill-advised option
pitches. Being a junior, Fitch is considered a better runner
because he is more familiar with the triple option's complex reads.
Fitch played down the promotion, given how the Falcons must win all
three remaining games to avoid their first losing season since
1993. It would be only the second in Fisher DeBerry's 21 seasons as
"There's definitely excitement about it," Fitch said. "But
again our record is 3-5, there's nothing to be excited about there.
Right now that's more important."
It will be Fitch's first start, but not his first relief role.
In 2003, he came in off the bench and lead the Falcons to a
come-from-behind win at Northwestern after starter Chance Harridge
DeBerry said the on- and off-field demands of being a freshman
at the Air Force Academy may have worn Carney down.
"As the season goes a long along," DeBerry said. "With all
their other responsibilities, academically as well as the military
responsibilities that they have, they somewhat get beat down a
Although Fitch will get the start at West Point, DeBerry said
Carney could also see playing time.