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Falcons to face Western Michigan in Famous Idaho Potato Bowl

Air Force Falcons kicker/punter, Will Conant, kicks a 39-yard field goal in the last second of the Air Force vs. Colorado State University game at Falcon Stadium Nov. 28, 2014. The Falcons won 27-24. The win kept Air Force undefeated at home and closes out the Falcons' regular season at 9-3. (U.S. Air Force photo/John Van Winkle)

Air Force Falcons kicker/punter, Will Conant, kicks a 39-yard field goal in the last second of the Air Force vs. Colorado State University game at Falcon Stadium Nov. 28, 2014. The Falcons won 27-24. The win kept Air Force undefeated at home and closes out the Falcons' regular season at 9-3. (U.S. Air Force photo/John Van Winkle)

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. (AFNS) -- The Air Force Falcons accepted a bid to play in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Dec. 20, in Boise, Idaho, against Western Michigan from the Mid-American Conference (MAC).

This will be the first time the two teams have ever competed against each other.

"We are thrilled to represent the Mountain West in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl against a quality opponent like Western Michigan," said U.S. Air Force Academy athletic director Hans Mueh. "This will be a great opportunity for our team to compete in a Mountain West city and to finish out what has been a remarkable season. I'm very happy for our staff and players to play in a seventh bowl game in eight years. What a tribute to the kind of (cadets) we have at the Air Force Academy."

The Falcons are 2-1 all-time against MAC teams, including a 0-1 record in bowl games.

In its last game against a MAC opponent the Falcons lost to Toledo, 42-41, in the 2011 Military Bowl in Washington, D.C. Western Michigan finished the season 8-4 overall and 6-2 in league play.

This matchup will be Air Force's 24th bowl game, and the team's first since 2012. The Falcons earned a bowl bid seven times in head coach Troy Calhoun's eight seasons, the best run in school history.

Air Force has a 10-12-1 all-time bowl record, including a 2-4 mark under Calhoun.

The Falcons had a season for the record books in 2014, posting a 9-3 overall record and went 5-3 in conference play, after going 2-10 overall and 0-8 in conference play last season. Air Force's seven-game turnaround is a school record and ties with TCU and bowl opponent Western Michigan as the best in the nation. The Falcons opened the season winning four of its first five, including beating service academy rival Navy, 30-21.

Following a loss to Utah State, the Falcons closed the regular season winning five of six games, including a 23-6 win at Army to claim a record 19th Commander in Chief's Trophy victory.

Following their only loss during the stretch at San Diego State, 30-14, Air Force rebounded to beat No. 21-ranked Colorado State, 27-24. The 2-1 mark against the first place teams solidified the Falcons standing as one of the top teams in the conference.

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