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Falcons Win Fourth Straight Over Power 5

Defense and rushing attack overcome sloppy conditions

Photo by Trevor Cokley

Only three plays into the game, Brad Roberts took a handoff up the middle from Haaziq Daniels and rambled his way to a 14 yard touchdown, giving the Falcons a lead they would not relinquish on their way to a 41-10 victory over the Colorado Buffaloes.

Once again the rushing attack was dominant, consistently moving the ball while occasionally ripping off a big gain and pushing the Falcons past 1000 rushing yards gained in only two games. Brad Roberts had another big game with 177 yards and is now in second place in FBS football with 144 yards per game.

The Falcon defense held the Buffs to only 162 yards of total offense and produced three turnovers. The turnovers were aided by the wet, cold conditions on the field. Those conditions also contributed to three turnovers by the Falcons.

The key play of the game came in the middle of the third period after an errant snap on a punt sailed over the head of Falcon punter Carson Bay and gave the Buffs the ball on the Air Force 13 yard line. Five plays later at the two yard line, Buff RB Alex Fontenot leaped for the end zone but was met with a hard hit from DB Jayden Goodwin that dislodged the ball at the one yard line. Alec Mock recovered the fumble, keeping the Falcons ahead by two scores.

The Falcons will hit the road this week for their first road game at Laramie, Wyoming to meet the Pokes on Friday night at 8:00 PM MT.

Notes on the Game

The biggest surprise in the game was on the defense. With Jayden Thiergood injured, the Falcons decided to give Bo Richter the start at defensive end. Coach Calhoun has always said he likes moving personnel around to get his best players on the field, and Richter is a talented defender. This move gave the Falcons down linemen who weigh in at 265, 260, and 240 pounds. Compare that to Colorado’s offensive linemen who average about 310 pounds. On the very first play, Richter ran right around the tackle and caught QB Shrout in the backfield for a 3 yard loss. When Shrout fumbled on the next play, Richter just missed grabbing the ball before Chris Herrera pounced on it.

I thought maybe the Buffs would be able to run the ball on a line that undersized, and in the second period, they did have a couple drives of success mostly running the ball. However, the Falcons jumped to a large enough lead that the Buffs were forced to emphasize the pass. The size difference was a not a factor in the game.

Both Camby Goff and Jayden Goodwin had good games on defense. Goff had his second interception in two games, and had two passes defended and 4 tackles. Goodwin had the big forced fumble and 5 tackles. They share the NittanyFalcon Player of the Game this week.

Zach Larrier had his debut at the slot/tailback position and flashed his talents by running 6 times for 61 yards. There is a real traffic jam in the backfield vying for playing time. DeAndre Hughes started but only carried the ball twice. John Lee Eldridge had the most playing time, carrying 8 times for 88 yards. Dane Kinnamon and Ben Jefferson are splitting the time at slot receiver. Jefferson is an excellent blocker and also took his first pitchout for a 48 yard gain.

Kyle Patterson started and played most the game, without any noticeable effect from his injury. He was only targeted once and Daniels pass sailed well over his head.

Saturday was a great day blocking on the edge and up front. Several commentators mentioned it on Twitter.

Come back Thursday for my Wyoming preview.