CSU grounds Falcons, 30-20
By John Van Winkle, U.S. Air Force Academy Public Affairs
/ Published October 17, 2003
FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AFPN) -- The pros and the nation were watching as the Colorado State University Rams grounded the Air Force Academy Falcons on Oct. 16, 30-20.
The nationally-televised game featured 994 yards of offense. Air Force pounded out 276 of its 430 total yards on the ground, but Falcons quarterback Chance Harridge was 3 of 12 passing, for only 85 yards and was intercepted twice. Two of those passes went to running backs.
With the passing game stifled, the Falcons were perpetually left facing a strong run defense and with many third-and-long situations. Without a solid passing attack to take the heat off the run, the Falcons weren't able to put the game away.
“I thought we played hard; we never gave up. But we didn’t make plays when we had the opportunity,” said Fisher DeBerry, the Falcons head coach.
“It seemed like every time their offense came up, they were second and two or second and one, or it was always third down and short,” DeBerry said. “We never could get them in that long yardage situation -- and then the times when we did … (CSU's) Bradlee Van Pelt did a great job in throwing the post-corner route. He caught us when we were trying to stop the run and didn’t have enough coverage, and sometimes he just threw it in there very, very well.”
Van Pelt passed for 258 yards and one touchdown.
The Falcons will be looking to rebound during their next game, against Utah. That game against the Utes has conference title implications, as Utah is 5-1 overall and now leads the Mountain West Conference standings with a 2-0 conference record. The Falcons fall to 6-2 with the loss to CSU and are second in the conference with a 3-1 conference record.
However, the Air Force-Utah game isn't until Nov. 1, and the Utes have two conference games Oct. 18 and 25, while the Falcons have two weeks off.
“It’s going to be a good time for us to hopefully get some guys well. It will also be a time for us to study -- as coaches -- what we’ve gotten done the first eight ball games and see what we’ve got to do to make a run down the stretch in these last four games,” DeBerry said.
“I think we’ve got a good football team; we’ve got a competitive football team,” he said. “But tonight we were not the better football team.”