Falcons come up short in loss to Horned Frogs

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Raymond Hoy
  • U.S. Air Force Academy Public Affairs
In what looked like a replay of last year's game in Fort Worth, Texas, the Texas Christian University Horned Frogs blasted the U.S. Air Force Academy Falcons in their second home game of the season Sept. 10 here.

The Horned Frogs continued last year's dominance over the Falcons by gaining more than 400 yards of total offense on their way to a 35-19 victory.

Air Force had a good showing on their first series after quarterback Tim Jefferson completed three of his first four passes for 30 yards. The rest of the first quarter went downhill from there as the Horned Frogs scored 14 on the Falcons in the first quarter, one through the air and one on the ground.

TCU came in hungry after last week's loss to Baylor Univerisity. The Horned Frogs came back from a 24-point deficit only to lose by two points following Balyor kicker Aaron Jones' 37-yard field goal with 1:04 left in the game.

"We've had two hard road games, we knew they'd be hard road games," said TCU head coach Gary Patterson. "We've got to learn how to finish. That's what we're looking at doing, so we've got a ways to go."

Air Force started the second quarter strong with a long run from running back Asher Clark and a couple of near breakaways from Jefferson. They were unable to make anything of the effort though after a fumble from Jefferson and a couple of fizzled-out series.

"They pushed us around," said Air Force head coach Troy Calhoun. "We made it a short field a couple of times with turnovers, and we weren't able to convert on a fourth down. That didn't help either."

In a brief moment of solid execution, the Falcons were able to finish the half with a 37-yard field goal by Parker Herrington.

Air Force made a strong defensive showing on the opening series of the second half, holding the Horned Frogs to a three-and-out. However, Falcons' punt returner Mikel Hunter fumbled the ensuing punt return leading to another TCU touchdown, bringing the Falcons' deficit to 25 points.

"I thought there were parts that were good, but not good enough to beat this team," Calhoun said.

The Falcons followed up with a five-play, 72-yard drive that was capped by a 32-yard touchdown pass from wide receiver Jonathon Warzeka to fellow receiver Zach Hauth. The point-after attempt was no good following a botched snap.

The Horned Frogs regained their swagger when a 10-play, 80-yard drive was polished off with a 4-yard run by TCU running back Waymon James.

As the "Falcon faithful" lost the faith and streamed out to the parking lot, Falcon backup quarterback Connor Dietz got a chance to give his team a shot in the arm at the end of the third quarter.

Dietz would seem to be a placebo though as the Falcons' offense couldn't make anything happen to open the fourth quarter. However, punter David Baska was able to pin the Frogs inside their own 10, and the Falcons' defense held TCU to one of their few three-and-out series.

Air Force would only muster a field goal on the ensuing drive after having a first-and-goal on the TCU 7-yard line.

The rest of the fourth quarter was more of the same as the Falcons and Frogs traded punts, despite a valiant Falcon effort on the last drive of the game in which the Falcons capped a 78-yard drive with a 1-yard Dietz touchdown run.

Air Force continued their triple option magic gaining 249 yards on the ground. They even showed glimmers of brilliance through the air, but continued to show they are a running team gaining only 167 yards of passing with 52 of those yards coming on the final drive of the game.

"The score is closer than what happened," Calhoun said. "That's everybody that's involved. That's players, coaches; just collectively."

Patterson was a little more forgiving of the Falcons' performance.

"I'm going to tell you right now, that was a tough game," he said. "I value what the Academy is about and what they do for us, and it was a special place to play this weekend."

After a questionable showing in the season opener, Coach Calhoun said he is looking forward to the bye week before the upcoming home game against Tennessee State University.

"We need a bye," he said. "For us to improve as a football team, this is the week we're gonna have to do it, before we get back to playing any other games."

Both Air Force and TCU are now 1-1.