Error-prone Air Force falls to San Diego St. 28-9
SAN DIEGO (AP)
Despite a huge offensive advantage, Air Force could not overcome a multitude of mistakes.
The Falcons moved the ball up and down the field but San Diego State's defense produced four turnovers that led to 21 points and a 28-9 win over Air Force on Saturday.
Air Force (5-5, 4-2 Mountain West) gained 393 yards in total offense, including 320 on the ground. But the Falcons could not sustain drives despite converting on 6 of 9 fourth-down plays.
''To beat a really good football team, you have to be able to conclude some drives with touchdowns,'' Air Force coach Troy Calhoun said. ''There were far too many drives that ended up in either turnovers or ended with no points.''
After coming in averaging 33 points per game, the Falcons were held to their fewest points since a 38-7 loss to No. 4-ranked TCU on Oct. 23, 2010.
Quarterback Connor Dietz threw one interception and lost two fumbles that led to three Aztecs touchdowns, including Everett Beed's 52-yard fumble return.
''We should have had probably 20 or 30 more points if I wasn't playing the way I did,'' Dietz said. ''This is one of those games where we lost primarily because of me.''
Air Force's defense played reasonably well as it held San Diego State (8-3, 6-1) to 268 yards in offense - 178 on the ground.
''I think we did a pretty good job of shutting them down, for the most part,'' Air Force linebacker Alex Means said. ''A couple of times when the offense had a couple of mishaps and put us in a bad position, we didn't respond. We needed to step up and we didn't.''
Beed's 52-yard TD came after he picked up a loose ball when Dietz had the ball slip out of his hand as he brought it back to pass. The score put the Aztecs up 21-3 early in the third quarter.
''No excuses, the ball came out,'' Dietz said. ''Bottom line, it was my fault.''
The Aztecs have converted 17 of their opponents' last 19 turnovers into points.
Parker Herrington kicked a 22-yard field goal on the Falcons' first possession but also missed a 42-yard attempt at the end of the first half.
Wes Cobb scored on a 5-yard run later in the quarter for Air Force to cut the lead to 28-9.
Air Force's Cody Getz ran for 55 yards on 15 carries to give him 1,006 yards this season. Getz is the 14th Falcon to reach the 1,000-yard mark.
San Diego State won its sixth straight game and stayed alive for the conference title.
The Aztecs, who began the day tied for first place, remain in the hunt for their first Mountain West title in their last season in the conference. San Diego State is scheduled to move into the Big East in football next season
The last time San Diego State won a conference title was in 1998 when it took the Western Athletic Conference Pacific Division championship.
The Aztecs, who registered the program's 500th win, have a week off before ending the regular season at Wyoming on Nov. 24.
San Diego State reached eight victories for the third consecutive season. The last time the Aztecs won at least eight games in three consecutive seasons was from 1972-77.