Air Force runs all over Nevada 48-31


Air Force runs all over Nevada 48-31

AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. (AP) Senior Wes Cobb ran for a career-high 152 yards and a touchdown on 30 carries in place of injured Cody Getz and Air Force stymied Stefphon Jefferson in a 48-31 victory over Nevada on Friday night in the first meeting between the schools.

The Falcons (5-3, 4-1 Mountain West) snapped a four-game road winning streak by the Wolf Pack (6-3, 3-2) and held Jefferson to 93 yards - 63 below his nation-leading average - six days after surrendering a conference-record 338 yards to New Mexico's Kasey Carrier.

Jefferson came in as the nation's top rusher by a whopping 17 yards per game, but it was the Falcons running wild on this bitterly cold night, rushing for 461 yards, including 96 by Jon Lee, 76 by Ty MacArthur and 68 by quarterback Connor Dietz, who scored on a 1-yard run and also threw two long touchdown passes while going 6 for 7 for 139 yards.

The Falcons limited Johnson to 22 yards on nine first-half carries and took a 31-21 lead into the locker room after scoring on five of their six drives.

They turned the ball over on their first possession of the second half and Johnson made them pay with a 21-yard TD run following linebacker Dray Bell's recovery of Jon Lee's fumble at midfield.

Cobb, who topped his old career high of 83 yards set last year against Colorado State, restored the Falcons' 10-point cushion with a 1-yard TD run.

The Wolf Pack had to settle for Allen Hardison's short field goal after its drive stalled inside the Air Force 10, and his 26-yarder on the first snap of the fourth quarter made it 38-31.

Dietz's 1-yard keeper gave the Falcons a two-TD cushion, their largest of the game, with 9 1/2 minutes left.

Nevada defensive back Duke Williams made two big plays that had the Falcons on their heels in the opening minutes.

First, he tackled Dietz for a 19-yard loss after a high snap, forcing the Falcons to try a 45-yard field goal. Parker Herrington, just 1 for 6 coming in, converted the attempt, matching his career long with his first field goal since Sept. 8 at Michigan.

Williams recovered Dietz' fumble at the Air Force 35 on the ensuing series, and Cody Fajardo's 1-yard keeper gave the Wolf Pack a 7-3 lead.

The Falcons responded by scoring touchdowns on their next four possessions.

Mike DeWitt ran it in from 8 yards out, Dietz hit Dontae Strickland with a 46-yard TD toss and Marcus Hendricks from 29 yards out and Strickland added a 12-yard TD run.

Nevada, the only team in the nation averaging more than 260 yards both passing and rushing, couldn't keep up with the efficient Falcons.

The Falcons took control early in the second quarter on a perfect play-action pass. After running the ball on 25 of their first 27 snaps, the Falcons went to the air. Dietz faked a handoff while Strickland slipped behind three defensive backs to haul in the 46-yard touchdown pass that put Air Force ahead 17-7.

That capped a 95-yard drive in which the Falcons ran the ball seven times before Dietz's TD throw.

Fajardo scored on a 3-yard keeper and threw a 14-yard TD Aaron Bradley just as he was getting hit, but after Hendricks' hauled in his 29-yard scoring pass with 56 seconds left in the first half, the Wolf Pack couldn't answer.

Fajardo quickly drove Nevada into Air Force territory but after hitting 10 of his first 13 passes, he threw four incompletions from the 40-yard line to end the first half.

Nevada's other two losses were both by a point, including 39-38 to San Diego State in overtime last weekend.


Follow AP Pro Football Writer Arnie Melendrez Stapleton on Twitter:

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3 reasons the Caps beat the Red Wings

3 reasons the Caps beat the Red Wings

Not much separated the Washington Capitals and the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday. A late 2-on-0 goal for Brett Connolly proved to be the difference.

Here's why the Caps ultimately walked away with the 1-0 win.

A first period goalie interference call

Andreas Athanasiou thought he had given the Red Wings a first period lead, but Barry Trotz challenged the call for goalie interference. The review showed that Tyler Bertuzzi clipped Philipp Grubauer in the head with an elbow right before the shot went in. Given how long it took the Caps to get going in this game, it is fair to say an early deficit would have been hard to overcome.


Killing off a full two-minute 5-on-3

Two man advantages are hard to kill. Killing off a full two-minutes at 5-on-3, that's a tall task. With the game still scoreless in the second period, T.J. Oshie and Lars Eller were both assessed penalties giving Detroit two-full minutes at 5-on-3. The Red Wings managed four shots on goal, but Washington was able to successfully kill off the penalty and keep the game scoreless.

Philipp Grubauer

There were few players who had strong efforts on Tuesday, but Grubauer was phenomenal. Even when the game felt sleepy in the first two periods, Detroit still managed 28 shots on goal, all of which were turned aside by the German netminder. When Washington finally took the lead in the third, the Red Wings woke up and began pushing the offense, but Grubauer was in the zone at that point and could not be beaten. His best save came in the third period when he stared down a breakaway from Athanasiou and extended the pad to deny the shot.


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Tarik's 3 stars: Grubauer, Caps shut down the Red Wings

Tarik's 3 stars: Grubauer, Caps shut down the Red Wings

It wasn’t pretty but the Caps eventually got what they needed in Detroit: two points.  

After a sleepy first 40 minutes, Brett Connolly scored midway through the third period and then Philipp Grubauer made sure it stood up at Little Caesars Arena, where Washington eked out a 1-0 victory Thursday over the scuffling Red Wings.


Tarik’s three stars of the game:

1-Philipp Grubauer, Capitals

For much of the game, Grubi was left to fend for himself. Good thing for the Caps he was up to the task. The German netminder, who has been one of the NHL’s top goaltenders since Thanksgiving, turned aside 39 shots, including three stops on a pivotal 5-on-3 penalty kill in the second period.

2-Brett Connolly, Capitals

The Caps didn’t get many Grade-A opportunities vs. Jimmy Howard. But Connolly buried one of the few they got…on a 2-on-0, set up by Jakub Vrana in the third period.

Connolly’s goal was his 15th of the season in his 63rd game, equaling the career-high he set a year ago in 66 contests. Vrana, meantime, has three goals and five assists since getting scratched 12 games ago.

3-Lars Eller, Capitals

Eller didn’t record a point, but he was all over the puck in Motown. The veteran center finished with a game-high six shots on net. He also had a key backcheck against Darren Helm, on a shorthanded breakaway, in the first period.

Eller was good in the dot, too, winning eight of 12 faceoffs.

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