Air Force Falcons football runs right through Rams, 24-12

Colorado+State+University+quarterback+Clay+Millen+%2811%29+escapes+a+sack+against+the+United+States+Air+Force+Academy+Nov.+19+at+Falcon+Stadium.+The+Rams+lost+the+game+24-12.

Collegian | Kaden Porter

Colorado State University quarterback Clay Millen (11) escapes a sack against the United States Air Force Academy Nov. 19 at Falcon Stadium. The Rams lost the game 24-12.

Braidon Nourse, Sports Editor

Death, taxes and the United States Air Force Academy running the football. In the 24-12 victory against Colorado State University, the Falcons ran the ball 71 times, only attempting two passes.

The penultimate game of the season for CSU was the fourth coldest in history at 21 degrees at kickoff in Colorado Springs, Colorado. As such, it took a while for the Rams’ offense to warm up, punting in their first three drives.

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The lone spark on offense for the Rams in the first half was redshirt junior running back Jaylen Thomas, who tallied a team-high 36 offensive yards in the half. Thomas, who is from Colorado Springs, recorded his season-high with 58 total yards in his return to his hometown.

“(Thomas) is a really hard-working guy, he’s a physical player,” head coach Jay Norvell said. “He does a great job in pass protection. He’s done a great job as a receiver too for us.”

Clay Millen also had a quietly solid performance in the first half, going 10-11 for 53 yards of his own in the half. Once again, he showed off his ability to scramble for big yards, netting 18 yards on the ground in the frame. 

“(Millen) is a good athlete,” Norvell said. “That’s a part of his game where he could be effective is the scramble, and he did a good job tonight.”

Air Force’s running game was shown early and often, and proved to be effective against CSU’s defense. Before attempting their first pass, the Falcons ran the ball 23 times, scoring a touchdown in the process. Air Force would close out the half with three scoring drives under their belt to CSU’s none, making it a 17-0 deficit for the Rams at the break.

Following another Falcons touchdown, the first score for the Rams would come at the end of the third quarter after a muffed punt by Air Force gifted the Rams the ball at the Falcons’ 22-yard line, and Millen lofted an outside post to Tory Horton for a touchdown. A two-point attempt failed, keeping the score at 24-6.

Millen finished the game with a very efficient 19-24 for 179 yards and two touchdowns. Despite the impressive outing from him, the Rams weren’t able to capitalize on anything big. The Rams missed out on two scoring opportunities before scoring their first points, both on failed fourth down attempts in field goal position. 

CSU moves to 2-9 on the season, 2-5 in conference play. Their final game will be against The University of New Mexico Nov. 25 for the Rams’ celebration of senior day. 

“You’ve just got to have your mindset, know the plan and trust it,” fifth-year C.J. Onyechi said. “For one thing, you’ve got to trust it, and you’ve got to trust your teammates that they’re going to be in their positions and play ball.”

Reach Braidon Nourse at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @BraidonNourse.

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