Hillman leads San Diego State past Air Force 41-27
San Diego State running back Ronnie Hillman (13) breaks out of the grasp of Air Force linebacker Jamil Cooks (46) for a first down in the first quarter of an NCAA college football game, Thursday, Oct. 13, 2011, in Air Force Academy, Colo.
San Diego State tight end Alston Umuolo makes a 27-yard catch for a touchdown in the first quarter of an NCAA college football game against the Air Force, Thursday, Oct. 13, 2011, in Air Force Academy, Colo.
AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. (AP) — It all unraveled in a matter of seconds for Air Force.
A pair of third-quarter turnovers and big plays by San Diego State did in the Falcons, who lost to the Aztecs 41-27 on Thursday night.
Aztecs turned Tim Jefferson's third-quarter interception into a tying
field goal, then took the lead for good 14 seconds later.
Air Force running back Mike DeWitt fumbled on the ensuing play from scrimmage at the Falcons 28, and San Diego State struck right away with Ryan Lindley passing 28 yards for a touchdown to Colin Lockett to go in front 27-20.
Ronnie Hillman added to the Aztecs' lead with two fourth-quarter touchdown runs and finished the night with 172 yards rushing.
stretch of about seven plays, I thought, was a pretty significant part
of the game," Falcons coach Troy Calhoun said. "There's no doubt (the
turnovers) were key plays. Fundamentally, there's some work that
certainly has to be done."
Hillman scored on runs of 22 and 57 yards in his 11th 100-yard performance in 18 career games for San Diego
State (4-2, 1-1 Mountain West). Air Force (3-3, 0-2) and its
injury-riddled defense and special teams were hurt by quick scores,
giving up 10 points in a span of 14 seconds.
The Falcons have allowed 122 points in their last nine quarters.
thing led to another, and they just ran away with it," Air Force
linebacker Jordan Waiwaiole said. "We didn't execute tonight, and they
got the better of us. The bottom line is they made plays tonight, and we
Lindley finished with 209 yards and two touchdowns.
had touchdown passes of 18 and 26 yards to Jonathan Warzeka among his
career-best 22 completions in 36 attempts for 224 yards for Air Force,
but also had two interceptions.
Air Force has been sloppy with the ball this season, holding a minus-6 turnover ratio through six games.
got to control the turnover ratio, and offensively we haven't been able
to do that all year," Warzeka said. "That doesn't help the defense at
all. Secondly, we've got to finish. We haven't been able to finish a
Air Force kept it close for much of the game.
Mikel Hunter helped to break a tie with his second big run on a reverse,
gaining 33 yards to the San Diego State 17.
Falcons advanced to the 14 before Parker Herrington, who earlier kicked
a 44-yard field goal, came on to add a 31-yarder for a 20-17 lead
midway through the third quarter.
Herrington kicked his first
field goal, and Air Force pulled into a 17-all tie in the finishing
touch to a pulsating second quarter during which the teams combined for
San Diego State went in front 10-7 on Lindley's 27-yard touchdown pass to tight end Alston Umuolo with 14:11 left in the second.
Force answered with a scoring drive that featured two trick plays. On
third-and-9, Hunter broke free on a reverse for a 29-yard gain to the
11. Air Force managed to get to the 4, where the Falcons lined up for an
apparent field goal on fourth down. But holder Tucker Tipton pitched
the ball back to kicker David Baska, who dove over a San Diego State defender and shoved the ball one-handed over the goal line for a touchdown.
The Aztecs wasted no time responding. Brandon Davis returned the ensuing kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown and a 17-14 San Diego
State lead. Davis bolted up the middle, stepped out of a tackle at
about the 25 and quickly veered into the clear down the right sideline,
going the rest of the way untouched.