The Colorado St. Rams (3-8, 1-5) received an amazing individual performance from sophomore running back Chris Nwoke, but the relentless offense of the Air Force Falcons (7-5, 3-4) overwhelmed the Rams defenders, leading to CSU's 7th straight loss of the season.
Nwoke dominated the Air Force defense, compiling a total of 269 rushing yards on 29 carries (9.3 yards per carry) with 2 touchdowns. The Rams QB Garrett Grayson did not have such a great game, losing two fumbles and tossing an interception. Grayson managed only 125 yards and a touchdown through the air, but did add 43 yards on the ground.
Falcons QB Tim Jefferson Jr., meanwhile, threw only three incompletions, connecting on 9 of 13 attempts for 221 yards and three touchdowns. Jefferson's two touchdown passes in the second quarter -- both to Zack Kauth, who finished with three TDs and 123 receiving yards -- gave the Air Force a tied 7-7 game and their first lead, 14-7.
The Air Force offense proceeded to add another 17 points, entering the half with a 31-7 lead. Nwoke contributed a pair of touchdowns in the second half for the Rams, but the Falcons had all but sealed their 7th win by the half.
The Falcons, now bowl eligible, have helped the late-season bowl stock as much as they can, finishing the season winning 4 of their last 5.
After scoring 31 unanswered points in the second quarter to take a comfortable 31-7 lead at halftime, Air Force maintained its 24-point advantage over Colorado St., as the Falcons lead 38-14 heading into the final quarter. This would be a huge win for the Falcons because a victory would ensure they are bowl-eligible.
The Falcons returned to the rushing attack that they are known for following an opening half that saw them rely on the passing game. Mike Dewitt scored the lone TD of the quarter for Air Force, rushing in from three yards out. Asher Clark has led the attack on the ground for Air Force, rushing for 96 yards on nine carries.
Colorado St. has relied on a tremendous performance from RB Chris Nwoke for nearly all of its offensive success. Nwoke has rushed for 213 yards and a TD on just 22 carries.
After a lackluster performance in the opening quarter, Air Force has rallied to score 31 consecutive points and take a comfortable 31-7 lead over Colorado St heading into the half. With a win, Air Force will become bowl-eligible.
The story of the game has been the play of Air Force QB Tim Jefferson, who has dominated the game through the air. Known primarily for his ability to run the ball, Jefferson has been excellent throwing the football, completing 8/11 for 198 yards and three TD's. The primary target through the air has been Zack Kauth, who has three receptions for 123 yards and three TD's. Asher Clark has been impressive on the ground, rushing for 69 yards on six carries.
Colorado St. has struggled to generate any offense since a TD on its opening drive. Chris Nwoke has been steady on the ground, as he has rushed for 60 yards on 11 carries. Freshman QB Garrett Grayson has completed 4/8 for 94 yards.
After allowing an early TD, the Air Force Falcons have rebounded with two consecutive TD's of their own to take a 14-7 lead over Colorado St. early in the second quarter. With a victory, the Falcons will become bowl-eligible.
Following a fumble by Air Force QB Tim Jefferson on the opening drive of the game, Colorado St. delivered an impressive drive to take the early lead. Sophomore RB Chris Nwoke led the Rams down the field, while QB Garret Grayson hooked up with Byron Steele for a 4-yard TD pass to finish off the drive. Nwoke has already rushed for 57 yards on just nine carries.
While it's not surprising that Air Force responded with two TD's, the manner in which it scored may have caught Colorado St. off-guard. Instead of relying on their ground game, the Falcons have allowed their senior QB to throw the ball down the field. Jefferson has responded in impressive fashion, completing 7/9 for 148 yards and 2 TD's.
It's been a rough season for the Colorado State Rams, who, by the time they take on the the Air Force Falcons on Saturday, won't have won a game in over two months. They still have two games left to change that, starting with the Falcons, who will come into the game fresh off a win over the UNLV Rebels that gave them bowl eligibility.
A win for the Falcons would leave them with a 7-5 record to finish the season and would improve their standing in the bowl pecking order. The Falcons defeated the Rams 49-27 last season, and Colorado State will have to turn the tables if they want to avoid a near repeat of 2009, when they finished the season with nine straight losses.
Game date, time: 4 p.m. MT, Saturday, Nov. 26
Location: Sunny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium, Fort Collins. Colo.
"I want to make sure he gets the chance to play," Fairchild said at his weekly press conference, according to the team's website. "I think we owe that to him. We'll just see if Pete is available."
Thomas is still being bothered by a knee injury which he suffered in the 18-15 loss against the San Diego St. Aztecs. Fairchild dodged when asked who would start if both Thomas and Grayson were healthy.
Grayson has brought a spark to the Colorado State offense and he brings a different style of play compared to Thomas as Grayson can throw the ball nearly as well as Thomas, but he is more mobile and can keep plays alive longer with his scrambling ability.
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