The Falcons handed the Cougars one of its most embarrassing losses in years, drubbing the Cougars 50-9 in Colorado Springs last season. However, the most humiliating part was what led up to that blow-out that really strains the vein.
Air Force ran trick plays and long bombs in the 4th quarter with a runaway score; left starters in; and relentlessly blitzed the Cougars until the final whistle. BYU and its fans want payback. Of course, Air Force fans might contend the Cougars did the same to them in 2001, but the fact is BYU took out starters out at half time and still whipped them.
This fall, the Falcons come to Provo, no longer in the comfortable confines of their home field and crowd. And you better believe the Cougars are hungry. Air Force, with three straight losses so far this season, has also lost three of their starting four secondary players to injury -- during the third week of the season.
BYU wins the toss and elects to receive. The Cougars start the drive at their 20 after Thomas Stancil downs the ball in the end zone for a touchback. BYU comes out red-hot, with Matt Berry hitting Marcus Whalen, Daniel Coats, Chris Hale and Reynaldo Braithwaite each for first down pick ups using a no-huddle scheme. Air Force is reeling in the early going.
With BYU at the Air Force 40, the Falcons call a time out to catch their breath. However, on the opening play after the break, BYU runs a fake option as Whalen throws the football down field and connects with Toby Christensen for a 40-yard touchdown strike.
Before the Falcons know it, they are down 21-3 at the end of the 1st quarter of play.
1st Quarter - BYU 21 - Air Force 3
Starting out the second quarter with continuing momentum after a spectacular opening, the Cougars march right down the field and Whalen scampers for a 31- yard touchdown from a pass connection with Berry.
Air Force has only gained two first downs all game, coming from passes by Chance Harridge to Leotis Palmer. However, it it gets worse for the Falcons. BYU take Harridge out of the game with just 35 seconds remaining in the half. Harridge is diagnosed with a concussion and is expected to miss three weeks. He finishes the game with 13 carries for -2 yards.
To add insult to injury, Harridge fumbled as he was hit and BYU recovers the ball at the AFA 30. They add another field-goal as time expires at the half and the teams headed to the locker room.
Halftime - BYU 31 - Air Force 3
BYU, highlighted by a stellar defensive performance and an outstanding rushing performance on offense, does not let the Falcons move offensively and they shut down their potent rushing game defensively.
Cornerback Chad Barney adds a 21-yard interception return for a touchdown and running backs Stancil and Taufui Vakapuna both account for another 145 yards rushing. Defensive tackle Manaia Brown again sacks the replacement quarterback, recording four tackles for losses and two sacks so far in the game.
3rd Quarter - BYU 38 - Air Force 3
In the 4th quarter, BYU eases up and does not throw a single pass, but continues to pummel the Falcons on the ground. Stancil and Whalen both scored again on 31-yard (Stancil) and 20-yard (Whalen) runs for touchdowns early in the fourth.
Final Score - BYU 52 - Air Force 3
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