Cody Getz and the Air Force offense piled up the yards rushing Saturday to bury the Colorado State Rams 42-21 at Falcon Stadium. Getz finished with a career high 222 yards while Air Force had 459 on the ground, but Getz was held out of the endzone for the first game this season.
Air Force quarterback Connor Dietz completed only 2 pass on 5 attempts, but both went for touchdowns. Dietz was finally able to hook-up with an open receiver deep down the middle on the second possession of the game. Drew Coleman had beaten the Rams secondary and Dietz hit him in stride for a 53 yard strike to put the Falcons up 14-0 less than 5 minutes into the game. The second completion came late in the second quarter after the Falcons fumbled at the CSU 45 with 2:00 left. The Rams gave it back 2 plays later at the 50. After a 44 yard scamper by Getz and a 2 yard run by Sophomore Jon Lee, Dietz hit sophomore tight end Marcus Hendricks on a bootleg pass at the Rams 4 and Hendricks walked into the endzone to put the Falcons up 35-14 at the break.
What was the difference in the game though was CSU starting quarterback Garrett Grayson leaving with a broken collarbone with 1:00 remaining in the first quarter on an option run. Grayson's injury forced Senior M.J. McPeek into the game. Now while McPeek did well at times and drove the Rams for 3 scores, he had difficulty with his timing hitting his open receivers. The Air Force defense wasn't stopping the Rams, in fact the Falcons were unable to get any kind of pressure on McPeek until late in the second half.
The Air Force defense still struggled to make tackles and was also victimized on short passes by McPeek, which was nothing new against the Falcons. What was surprising was that CSU did not try any screen passes in the game. Michigan, and UNLV thrived against the Falcon defense the past two games and was extremely successful. Now this could be attributed to McPeek not getting many reps during practice all week since Grayson was the starter. However, the Rams coaching staff should have seen the success that opponents have had with the screens to receivers and running backs all season against the Air Force defense. Ram fans should wonder if the offense was properly prepared given the problems that Air Force has had all season.
For Air Force, the offense has not shown any signs of slowing down this season when they are able to stick to the game plan of running an up-tempo no-huddle style. Defenses are struggling to stop the Falcons rushing attack as Air Force is leading the nation with a 396.3 yard average per outing. What is still a concern is Air Force's defense. The attacking style that the coaching staff preached during fall camp is still not there. The secondary is still playing too far off the line of scrimmage and the linebacker corp. is not flying to the holes in the line.
For CSU, the excitement of the opening win against Colorado has worn off completely and questions have to be asked about the preparation of the players on a weekly basis. The loss of Grayson will be difficult, but McPeek has the ability to get the ball to the Rams playmakers. They just need to execute.
Air Force is still in search of its destiny for the season.
Colorado State has probably hit rock bottom and has only one way to go...Up.