The Nevada Wolf Pack and the Air Force Falcons did not disappoint in their Saturday afternoon battle in the bitter elements in Colorado Springs. In a back and forth affair, the Falcons defeated Nevada 45-38 in an overtime game that was a showcase for two teams who are highly efficient offensively. Nevada was not able to answer the overtime touchdown by Shayne Davern when Cody Fajardo threw high and wide on fourth and five in what was one of the few mistakes made on the day by either team offensively.
It was a day of long drives for both teams as the defenses were not able to make enough plays consistently. And while there were great defensive efforts and plays, the offenses ruled the action. Air Force was led by senior quarterback Kale Pearson, who would outplay counterpart Fajardo on the day by rushing for 109 yards with one touchdown and throwing for another three touchdowns. Pearson would find wide receiver Jalen Robinette twice in the end zone and also greeted back junior play-maker Garrett Brown with a touchdown pass. Pearson's four total touchdowns would offset the day Nevada running back Don Jackson would have for the visitors. Jackson would rush for 123 yards and three touchdowns against the Falcons defense.
Fajardo would have a good day with 100 yards rushing and throwing for 270 yards and two touchdowns. However, he seemed to struggle with the wind in the second half, throwing a late interception to Weston Steelhammer with 1:46 left in the game and the errant throw to end the game in overtime.
The Wolf Pack took advantage of their receivers size mismatch against the Falcons defensive backs but balls were over thrown or under thrown when the Falcons started to blitz in overtime and create pressure on Fajardo. Losing super sized receiver Hasaan Henderson to a concussion late in the game was unfortunate for the Wolf Pack as well, as he was winning his match-ups with the smaller Air Force defensive backs.
The Falcons were able to stop Nevada's three game winning streak and open the door for complete chaos in the West Division of the Mountain West. Nevada was tied with San Diego State for first place in the division and now waits to see what happens later today when San Diego State takes on Boise State on the blue turf in Idaho. That game is big for the Falcons (8-2 overall, 4-2 in conference) as well, since they trail Boise State by one game in the Mountain Division. Air Force owns the tiebreaker versus the Broncos and still has a home matchup against Colorado State. A Boise State loss makes the Colorado State-Air Force game a possible Mountain Division championship game. Utah State is also well in the mix of the Mountain Division with a win over Air Force but having lost to Colorado State and yet to play Boise State. Both tight races make the Mountain West must see television in the final two weeks.