Air Force gave a big scare into Oklahoma in Saturday's game, but the Falcons came up just short as they lost 27-24 to the number seven ranked Falcons. The defense started slow and allowed Oklahoma to march down the field on their first position with a 60 yard touchdown drive.
Special teams hurt the Falcons as well as a squib kick did not go as planned, and that attempt resulted in Oklahoma returning the ball to the Falcons side of the field and then scoring in two plays. After looking back, the play of the game that made the difference was a fumble by Air Force quarterback Tim Jefferson deep in Oklahoma territory in the third quarter with the game tied at ten. The fumble lead to an Oklahoma field goal, who then extended their lead ultimately to 27-10.
The game seemed all but lost, but then the Air Force offense moved the ball with ease to make the game 27-17 mid way through the fourth quarter. Then on the following Sooner position, Oklahoma was around midfield and elected to pass on a fourth down play instead of punting the ball and forcing Air Force to go at least 80 yards instead of a manageable 50 yards to score. The play by Oklahoma would have worked, but the pass was other thrown. Air Force got the ball with about six minutes left and drove down the field for a score. On that drive the Falcons completed a huge third and long play by a Tim Jefferson run to keep the drive alive.
At this point there was just under four minutes left and Air Force had all three timeouts, but Oklahoma was able to complete a few first downs to run out the clock.
Air Force did what they normally do by running the ball for a lot of yards and control the time of possession. The Falcons ran for 343 yards and held the ball for well over 30 minutes, but the defense was the culprit in this game. Not that the defense played bad since Oklahoma only scored 27 points and Oklahoma threw the ball 41 times and managed only 248 yards by Landry Jones. The running game was tough for Air Force to defend as DeMarco Murray ran for 111 yards and scored twice. Oklahoma was able to gain key first downs when they need to, and even though Air Force held the Sooner offense to seven of fifteen on third downs, the converted third downs were the ones that obviously hurt the Falcons.
The second half adjustments by Oklahoma were the key to the Sooners winning. In the first half after Oklahoma scored on their opening drive and then after that they had trouble moving the ball as they had three drives in the half that resulted in four punts, with two of those drives resulting in negative yards, one with two yards, and the only drives that did not result in a punt were a field goal and a 13 play 36 yard drive that also resulted in a punt.
Oklahoma made some half time adjustments and rolled off 17 straight points to put the game away. The Falcons showed a lot in this game and proved that they are a team to be taken serious by Utah and TCU in the upcoming weeks. The one big mistake they made was that fumble and had Air Force came away with any kind of points the outcome may have been different.