Air Force Academy, Colo. – It didnâ€™t take long for things to get out of hand on Saturday near Colorado Springs.
The Air Force Falcons (5-1, 3-0 MWC) imposed their will on the Colorado State Rams from start to finish. When the dust cleared, the Rams were left with a 49-27 defeat, their 10th consecutive conference loss.
â€œWe couldnâ€™t get (Air Force) off the field often enough,â€ Fairchild said. â€œWeâ€™ve certainly got our work cut out for us.â€
The Falconsâ€™ game-opening drive took all of 1:37 off the clock, and ended with a touchdown run by fullback Jared Tew. On Air Forceâ€™s second drive, it took only 1:09 for the Falcons to find paydirt.
CSU (1-5, 0-2) failed to slow down the Falconsâ€™ triple option running attack, allowing 248 yards rushing to the nationâ€™s most potent ground game.
Air Forceâ€™s effort was led by junior running back Asher Clark, who diced the Rams for 125 yards on 17 carries.
Surprisingly, the traditionally run-oriented offense of the Falcons were incredibly effective in its passing game, throwing for 185 yards and three touchdowns on only 10 pass attempts.
â€œWe were ganging up on the run, we peeked into the backfield and gave up some big plays,â€ Fairchild said. â€œThat hurt us.â€
Conversely, the Rams passed for just 136 yards on 35 attempts.
The Rams â€“ who entered the game ranking 120th in the country in rushing â€“ actually outgained the Falcons on the ground. Senior running back Leonard Mason accounted for the bulk of that production, with 139 yards and one touchdown.
â€œIâ€™ve been waiting since training camp to get back in the mix,â€ said Mason, who scored his first touchdown since CSUâ€™s loss to Utah exactly one year ago. â€œIt felt great.â€
The Rams were without true freshman Tony Drake, who was left in Fort Collins after violating undisclosed team rules. Junior running back Derek Good filled in exceptionally for Drake on kick returns. Goodâ€™s 263 return yards on Saturday breaks a school and conference record for single game return yardage.
The Rams return home next week, as they host the UNLV Runninâ€™ Rebels.
Assistant Sports Editor Joel Hafnor can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.