Air Force running back Cody Getz, front, slips past Navy safety Wave Ryder on the way to a touchdown in the third quarter of Navy's 28-21 overtime victory in an NCAA college football game at Air Force Academy, Colo., on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Cody Getz is not the fastest or the strongest. But at this point in time, he's the best.
"He's 5-feet-6. He weighs 161 pounds. And he runs a 4.65 (40-yard dash)," Air Force coach Troy Calhoun said Monday. "I don't know if you absolutely anticipated this."
This season, Getz has been the premier running back on the Mountain West's most successful running team. The Air Force senior averages 177.4 rushing yards per game -- more than any other running back in the nation. Thanks to his help, Air Force runs for a conference-best 389.6 rushing yards per game.
Getz, a Buford grad, is getting more carries, more yards and more touchdowns (he already has eight) as a senior than ever before. His success has been a pleasant surprise for Calhoun -- and a problem Mountain West teams have to prepare for.
"Getz is their best back," UNLV coach Bobby Hauck said. "He runs really hard. I was impressed with his toughness."
Hauck's team held Getz to 113 yards and one touchdown in the Rebels' win against Air Force earlier this season.
Colorado State was not as successful.
Getz did not score. But he gashed the Rams for 222 yards on 25 carries. It was one of three times he has ran for 200 yards or more this season.
"Air Force's scheme lends itself to a lot of rushing yards," Hauck said. "They're hard to stop. You can look at the Michigan game as a good example of that (Air Force ran for 290 yards in a 31-25 loss). Nobody stops them much."
Wyoming is the next Mountain West team to try. The Cowboys play Air Force in Laramie for homecoming on Saturday.
"I watched him (on film)this morning with some of the defensive staff," Wyoming coach Dave Christensen said. "I was impressed. He's physical. And he's not the biggest guy in the world in stature. But he sure runs hard and makes plays."
UW has been plagued by an iffy run defense this season. But against Nevada last week, the Pokes held another one of the nation's top back's to a season low. Wolf Pack senior Stefphon Jefferson ran for just 78 yards against Wyoming, nearly 100 yard less than his average.
That success doesn't necessarily translate to this weekend, however.
While Jefferson prefers to run into middle of defenses (an area where Wyoming's defense is the strongest), Getz will attack Wyoming's weaker outside defenders in Air Force's option-style offense.
"He gets the ball out on the perimeter," Christensen said. "He's a tough runner. He's always going forward. You don't see many guys tackle him backwards."