Goal-line stand lifts AFA to 27-20 win over No. 20 Boise St
AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. (AP) Air Force had a late goal-line stand, Tyler Weaver returned a blocked punt 11 yards for a touchdown and the Falcons beat No. 20 Boise State 27-20 on Friday, ending the Broncos' bid for the Mountain West title.
Haji Dunn Jr. recovered quarterback Brett Rypien's fumble on fourth down with around 2 minutes remaining to help the Falcons (9-3, 5-3 Mountain West) knock off Boise State for a third straight season. They join Idaho (1982-93) and Nevada (1996-98) as the only teams to beat the Broncos in at least three straight years.
The Broncos (10-2, 6-2, No. 19 CFP) needed a win at Air Force and for New Mexico to upset Mountain Division-leading Wyoming on Saturday to earn a spot in the conference's title game.
Jeremy McNichols rushed for 60 yards - and a score - on his opening two carries, but was held to 28 yards the rest of the way. He had three carries at the goal line on Boise State's last possession, but couldn't get in.
Off target most of the day, Rypien found his touch in the fourth quarter and led a spirited Broncos rally. He found Cedrick Wilson for a 75-yard TD pass to pull Boise State to 27-20 with 8:50 remaining.
Brett Baldwin gave the Falcons a big boost when he broke through and blocked a punt by Sean Wale just before halftime. Weaver caught the ball out of the air and ran it in to give the Falcons a 17-7 lead.
Boise State: An offense that scored 40 or more points in each of the last games struggled to find its rhythm until the fourth quarter. Rypien overthrew receivers and McNichols never could find a lane.
Air Force: A lot to like about an offense led by elusive quarterback Arion Worthman, who rushed for 80 yards. He has the Falcons heading to their ninth bowl game since coach Troy Calhoun took over in 2007.
Boise State: This figures to drop the Broncos out of the poll.
Air Force senior wide receiver Jalen Robinette wore "Rowell" on the back of his jersey. Just his way of honoring his mom, Trine Rowell, who was on hand as the Falcons recognized 32 seniors playing in their final game at Falcon Stadium. This is the biggest senior class in Academy history.
Both teams will wait to find out their bowl pairings.
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