Air Force Academy, CU – After losing last week in their first Mountain West matchup against Boise State, the Air Force Falcons soared ahead with a 41-24 win against the San Jose State Spartans.
Both teams began the game with touchdowns on their opening drives, and the first quarter ended with a 7-7 tie. San Jose’s offense turned the ball over on downs for the first of four times on their final drive in the first quarter.
“I think that was a big turning point in the game,” said Falcons free safety Jeremy Fejedelem, “The first time we got a fourth-down stop. And then to consistently get those fourth-down stops is huge for our defense.”
The offense in the second quarter took advantage of the defense’s turnovers with a 64-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Donald Hammond III to receiver Geraud Sanders.
A one-yard touchdown run by Falcon fullback Taven Birdow turned the Falcons lead into a 14-point game until the Spartans ended the half with a field goal decreasing the lead to 21-10.
A total of nine Falcon players shared the load in their powerful running game which gained over 382 yards on the ground against the Spartans.
The Falcons have averaged 332 yards a game on the ground.
Three unanswered touchdowns by the Falcons put the nail in the coffin for a Spartan comeback.
San Jose scored twice late in the fourth quarter, and despite their loss, the offense had 378 total yards.
“They execute exceptionally,” said Air Force Coach Troy Calhoun as he gave San Jose’s offense credit, “Just the way they throw and catch, and the precision and timing.”
This win places the Falcons at 3-1, and 1-1 in the Mountain West Conference. At this time last year, they were 1-3.
Next week Air Force heads to Maryland to play against 2-1 Navy. While San Jose is home against New Mexico.