A goal line stand by the Air Force Falcons helped the home team defeat the Boise State Broncos by a score of 27-20, which is the Falcon’s third win in a row over the powerhouse Broncos program. This is an extremely painful loss for Boise State, as a loss denies them a chance to capture a major bowl as the Group of 5 representative. Boise State had to win and have Wyoming lose to play in the Mountain West Championship game.
Boise State did not go down without a huge effort from wide receivers Cedrick Wilson and Thomas Sperbeck. With Air Force leading 27-13, the Broncos went deep and Wilson and Sperbeck both produced as the Broncos got themselves back into the game. Wilson scored on a 75-yard touchdown that cut the lead to the final score. After forcing a punt, the Broncos went bombs away again, with Sperbeck catching a long pass that saw him give the Broncos the ball on the Falcon’s two yard line with a great opportunity to tie the game.
Three Jeremy McNichols runs netted a total of one yard, setting up a huge fourth and one situation for the Broncos. Quarterback Brett Rypien tried to sneak the ball in, but middle linebacker Grant Ross met him in the hole and in the scrum that followed, the ball was fumbled and recovered by Air Force on the two-yard line. The Falcons were able to get a first down with three carries by fullback D.J. Johnson to eventually seal the Air Force victory over the 19th ranked team in the nation.
The beauty of the Air Force offense is in its patience. The offense will refuse to panic over the one and two yard runs and continue to grind out the ball with fullback dives, quarterback leads and quick sweeps until it finds the hole and turns those two-yard runs into bigger runs and before you know it, the team has over 300 yards rushing and a victory. And when it gets the lead, the opponent feels like the clock is just melting away.
The Falcons would end the game with 314 yards rushing behind a balanced attack that saw seven Air Force rushers carry the ball. Leading the way was quarterback Arion Worthman, who would finish the game with 80 yards. For Worthman, the victory would improve his starting record to 4-0 since taking over in the third quarter of the Fresno State game. Worthman has been a spark for the Falcons as they finish the year 9-3 and wait to see what bowl they are invited to this season.
It was also senior day at Air Force. The Falcons will be saying goodbye to 32 seniors, including three that could possibly be playing on Sunday. For Weston Steelhammer, Jalen Robinette and Jacobi Owens, they led a group of seniors that only lost one home game during their three years starting for the Falcons. They also captured two Commander-in-Chief trophies and will be playing in their third bowl game later this year.