Air Force Report Card: San Diego State

Air Force fell to San Diego State 27-20 on Saturday. Falcons Report's D. Yates grades Air Force's performance in several key team areas.

Freshman quarterback Nate Romine completed 5-of-11 passes for 111 yards. Romine's 111 yards passing are the most by a Falcon this season. The freshman's 71-yard TD pass to Sam Gagliano in the third quarter is the longest scoring play by the Falcons this season. Gagliano himself completed a 39-yard pass to Jalen Robinette. Garrett Griffin had a pair of catches for 37 yards to lead Air Force. Gagliano, Robinette, Marcus Hendricks, and all had single catches. Gagliano's catch was a 71-yard scoring reception that gave the Falcons a 20-6 third quarter lead. The Falcons gave up two sacks to the Aztecs. Both were by reserve defensive end Alex Barrett. Total passing yardage of 150 yards with a touchdown and no interceptions is a solid effort for an option team.

Air Force as a team gained just 169 yards on 49 carries (3.4 YPG). Anthony LaCoste had 22 carries for 102 yards to lead Air Force. It was a career high for LaCoste. Broam Hart added 27 yards on 9 rushes. Romine (8 car., 16 yards) scored the Falcons only rushing TD on a 16-yard run in the second quarter.

It was an 'A' effort the first three quarters. Aztec quarterback Quinn Pumphrey completed 15-of-26 passes for 249 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. The Aztecs gained 146 of those yards during their fourth quarter rally. The interception was by linebacker Kristov George; it was his first career interception. The Falcon's Spencer Proctor and Joey Nichol each had sacks.

San Diego State running back Donne Pumphrey ran for 117 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries (6.9 YPC). Dexter Walker and Joey Nichol each had 11 tackles to lead the Falcon defense. SDSU also got 86 yards from Adam Muema on 18 carries. Nichol had two tackles for losses.

Falcon kicker Will Conant matched his career long mark with a 52-yard field goal. David Baska had six punts for an impressive 47-yard average. He had a long punt of 54 yards. Troy Timmerman blocked a SDSU extra point attempt in the fourth quarter. The Falcon kick coverage squad allowed one 35-yard return.

Another fine job by Troy Calhoun and his assistants of getting the backup QB ready for the game. This is the third different backup we've seen start a game this year which is nuts. The freshman Romine showed impressive poise and looks like winner. The Air Force coaching staff had no answer for the Aztec offense in the fourth quarter when things unraveled.

It was yet another miserable loss for the Falcons. It's one thing to lose a lopsided game but it's another thing to lead and play well most of the game only to see your hopes vanquished in the final moments. Air Force must regroup and get ready for the Fighting Irish. They'll have an extra week to prepare and, unfortunately, think about what could have been on October 3.

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