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GAME BLOG: Air Force 35, BYU 14

GAME BLOG: Air Force 35, BYU 14

Estimated read time: 5-6 minutes

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FINAL Fourth Quarter
Air Force 35, BYU 14

It'll be a long week of piecing together what went wrong for BYU in this one. The Cougars got off to a fast start, and had all the momentum in the world. BYU led 14-7 at the end of the first quarter, but turnovers and key misses and miscues on 3rd downs turned the tide for Air Force. The Falcons led 21-14 at the break, and with no BYU offense in the 3rd quarter, the game felt over at 28-14. Ultimately, the Falcons won 35-14 and rolled to 409 rushing yards. In the pregame, I said this game reminded me of 1995, when the Steve Sarkisian-led Cougars went into Colorado Springs in the opener and got thumped 38-12. The similarity was BYU taking in an inexperienced quarterback. In this game, BYU took in two inexperienced quarterbacks and lost in a similar result. Riley Nelson was 8/19 for 73 yards passing. Jake Heaps was 2/6 for 15 yds and an INT. He never played after throwing that pick in the first half. Another interesting stat that appeared to hold up was BYU's performance vs Air Force in September. After September, the Cougars are 14-2. In September, they are now 6-5 after this loss, including 2-3 in Colorado Springs. While inexperience on defense I feel hurt the Cougars -- especially at linebacker -- the game was really lost with the lack of production on offense and the inability to regain momentum in the second and third quarters. Florida State did not look like world-beaters obviously in a 47-17 loss at #10 Oklahoma. Utah State played the Sooners better last week in a 31-24 defeat. Still, the Seminoles will be an immense challenge, even if the team appears to be vulnerable on defense. The spread of the 54-28 loss to FSU last year felt like a bit of an anomaly spawned by 5 turnovers and no momentum. The Cougars are capable of playing a better game this year in Tallahassee, but it will all be moot if BYU cannot address the lack of consistency on offense that plagued the team versus Air Force. The biggest question is what to do about the quarterbacks. Riley Nelson did nothing to hurt his chances, also rushing for 95 yards. However, on critical downs, he did not make plays through the air. Jake Heaps in the 6 pass attempts did not get much of a shot to show anything in this game. What Bronco Mendenhall and the offensive coaches decide will be critical in determining the team's ability to succeed next week. -Andrew Adams

6:12 Fourth Quarter
Air Force 35, BYU 14

The Air Force Academy has just run over BYU for the most part since the 1st Quarter. Give Air Force credit for running an efficient, steady offnsive game for the 2nd, 3rd and 4th quarters.

9:04 Fourth Quarter
Air Force 35, BYU 14

BYU just not able to overcome the TO's at this point. They were able to run the ball without much resistance from the Air Force defense, but the inability to get the touchdowns early that were for the taking has come back to haunt BYU. Is there enough time for BYU to make any sort of comeback?????

END 3rd Quarter Fourth Quarter
Air Force 28, BYU 14

28-14 Air Force leads, End of the 3rd Quarter.

2:24 Third Quarter
Air Force 28, BYU 14

Air Force scores on a long run to Warzeka. It feels like an insurmountable lead right now for the Academy, even though there is plenty of time left. The Cougar offense has sputtered the last quarter and a half. Turnovers have made a difference in this game, but the continuity at quarterback is showing right now. Heaps hasn't been effective in his few appearances. Riley Nelson is now back for his third-straight series. On defense, BYU's inexperience at linebacker appears to be getting exploited right now.

9:30 Third Quarter
Air Force 21, BYU 14

BYU continues to have trouble holding onto the ball. No more turnovers, but a couple of more fumbles. The defense will again be asked to step up and make a play against the Falcons. 3rd down and the Falcons convert.

HALFTIME Second Quarter
Air Force 21, BYU 14


5:17 Second Quarter
Air Force 21, BYU 14

Turnovers are the difference right now! A second fumble and the Academy takes advantage and the lead! 21-14 A Force and the BYU offense is running at will, but not holding onto the ball.

5:53 Second Quarter
BYU 14, Air Force 14

BYU 14 Air Force 14

2:29 First Quarter
BYU 14, Air Force 7

The 1st turnover of the year on the Diluigi fumble. The defense comes out and makes a stand after being run over on the first series by the Air Force offense. The rotating QB's continues and both have looked as they did against Washington. Cougar offense looks like it will be able to run at will unless AF makes some adjustments. Riley Nelson into the end zone on another run heavy drive. 14-7 BYU.

7:00 First Quarter
BYU 7, Air Force 7

BYU just had a huge run with J.J. Di Luigi. Roughly 50 yards, but the ball was punched out of his arms. Air Force recovered in the endzone. BYU is running all over the Falcons early, with or without Riley Nelson. Heaps was in this series. That bodes well for the Cougars, but this turnover was costly.

7:07 First Quarter
BYU 7, Air Force 7

Mike Hunter 37 yard reception. 4 plays 61 yards only taking 1:07 off the clock.

9:37 First Quarter
BYU 7, Air Force 0

Riley Nelson rushed for 47 of the Cougars' 74 total yards on the opening drive culminating with JJ Diluiggi's 1 yard run to give BYU the early lead. The key play of the drive was Nelson's 19 yard scramble on a 3rd and 13 to keep the drive alive. Chewing up that clock is the way to beat the Air Force Academy.

15:00 First Quarter
BYU 0, Air Force 0


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