Air Force runs over UNLV on senior day; finishes regular season at 9-3

Sports

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY– With a San Diego state win over Boise State, the Mountain West Division title was out of reach for the Air Force Falcons shortly after kick-off against UNLV. Regardless, Air Force seniors said earlier in the week they could only control what was in front of them, and that was to get a win against the Runnin’ Rebels. The Falcons did just that in a 48-14 routing on senior day.

“It’s been a long time coming especially for us prep school guys,” senior defensive tackle Jordan Jackson said. “Five years. It’s just been a long time coming. It feels really good especially to go out on a win against a good team. It’s just a good night.”

It was a very good night for the Falcons run game. Air Force ran for a season-high 511 yards on the ground. Junior fullback Emmanuel Michel led the team with 123 yards. With such a strong performance from the run game, the Falcons didn’t attempt or complete a throw the entire game for the first time since 2012.

“[We] take a lot of pride in being able to run the ball,” Michel said. “It feels good when you don’t have to throw the ball and you can just get six, seven yards a pop and keep going driving down the field.”

While an offensive performance like the one Air Force put on UNLV is one for the record books, special teams and defense set the tone early. Air Force forced and recovered a fumble on the opening kick off. That led to one of two Brad Robert’s touchdowns.

“The different weapons that we have on offense [makes] it very hard. Stop one and another will just get loose,” Robert said. “Big props to the offensive linemen. They created great running lanes and everyone executed pretty well today.”

The Falcons defense shut out UNLV in the first half. Jackson finished with two sacks and a forced fumble.

“I think it’s a good way to go out,” Jackson said. “I can give thanks to the rest of the defense, the coaches, the play calling, they way everybody else played to open up stuff for me. All I can say is thank you, and it’s been a blessing.”

The Falcons finish the regular season at 9-3 and await their bowl game match up. San Diego State hosts Utah State in the Mountain West Championship game on December 4.

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