CSU football looks to beat Air Force for first time since 2015

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Collegian | Gregory James

Colorado State University defensive lineman Mohamed Kamara (8) celebrates getting a sack against the University of Wyoming Nov. 12. Kamara had two tackles in the game. The Rams lost 14-13.

Leah Cackowski

Kaden Porter, Staff Reporter

After a heartbreaking 14-13 Border War loss last weekend, Colorado State University football will travel south to Colorado Springs, Colorado, Nov. 19 to attempt to beat the United States Air Force Academy for the first time since 2015.

It’s the second rivalry game in back-to-back weeks for the Rams, who will look to win the Ram-Falcon Trophy after being unable to reclaim the Bronze Boot from the University of Wyoming Nov. 12.

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“It’s tough to walk away with a loss, but you can’t do anything about it now,” safety Henry Blackburn said after the Border War loss. “We’ve just got to focus on the next game: … Air Force, an in-state rivalry. That’s all we can focus on now.”

“CSU’s rushing defense will be put to the test against the Falcons, who are known for their relentless option rushing attack.”

The Rams enter the game with a 2-8 record and are 2-4 in the Mountain West Conference. Currently on a three-game losing streak, the Rams are looking for their first win since Oct. 22, which was a 17-13 home victory against the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa.

Air Force, who is currently 7-3 (3-3 in the conference), beat The University of New Mexico 35-3 last weekend. They also won their 21st Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy this season after defeating the other two Football Bowl Subdivision military academies.

Against CSU, Air Force leads 37-21-1 all-time, including 9-2 since 2010. The Falcons have won five straight games since the Rams last beat them Oct. 17, 2015.

CSU looks to beat the betting odds that are strongly in favor of Air Force, with ESPN listing the Falcons as 22-point favorites. 

CSU’s rushing defense will be put to the test against the Falcons, who are known for their relentless option rushing attack. Their quarterback, Haaziq Daniels, has just 719 passing yards on the season but has also racked up 560 rushing yards on 103 attempts. Air Force’s leading rusher, running back Brad Roberts, has 1,241 yards on 236 attempts; both Daniels and Roberts are averaging just over five yards per carry so far on the season.

For comparison, CSU quarterback Clay Millen has 1,517 passing yards so far this season despite missing two games. CSU’s leading rusher, Avery Morrow, has recorded 730 yards on 143 attempts.

Head coach Jay Norvell also announced Nov. 14 that six athletes on the team were awarded scholarships: running back Keegan Holles, offensive lineman Keegan Hamilton, linebacker Drew Kulick, safety Ayden Hector and kickers Michael Boyle and Henry Katleman.

Three of the athletes — Holles, Hamilton and Kulick — are Colorado locals. Boyle, a transfer, became the team’s starting placekicker following Cayden Camper’s departure earlier in the season. Katleman, also a transfer, has handled kickoff duties for the team this season. Hector, a transfer from Washington State University, is tied with safety Jack Howell for the most interceptions on the team with three. Hector is the team’s only defensive player to score a touchdown so far this season.

Reach Kaden Porter at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @kqporter5.

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