Air Force Falls to UNLV, 41-21
Nov. 22, 2013
AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. (AP) - Tim Cornett rushed for a career-high 220 yards and four touchdowns and UNLV defeated Air Force 41-21 Thursday night.
Temperatures in the single digits, a wind chill below zero and a snow-covered field didn't slow Cornett, UNLV's all-time leading rusher. He crossed the 1,000-yard mark for the second consecutive season while notching his 16th career 100-yard game.
The Rebels (6-5, 4-3 Mountain West) defeated the Falcons (2-9, 0-7) for the second consecutive year, their first back-to-back wins over Air Force since 2000-01.
Air Force cut the Rebels' lead to 33-21 with 5:18 remaining in the third, but Cornett's 46-yard touchdown run with 2:03 left in the fourth put the game out of reach.
UNLV quarterback Caleb Herring added first-quarter touchdown runs of 1 yard and 6 yards to help the Rebels build a 27-0 lead. Devante Davis had six catches for 75 yards to become just the seventh Rebels receiver to reach 1,000 yards in a single season.
Anthony LaCoste led Air Force with 75 yards on 15 carries.
The Rebels racked up a season-high 330 yards rushing and capitalized on a pair of early Air Force miscues. A blocked punt and fumble recovery in the first quarter set up UNLV touchdowns.
Just about the only thing holding UNLV back was its kicking game. Alex Hanson blocked a pair of Nolan Kohorst's extra-point attempts in the first half, and Kohorst missed a 29-yard field goal with 8:59 left in the third quarter.
The Falcons took the ensuing drive and marched 80 yards in 10 plays to cut UNLV's lead to 33-21 on a 1-yard touchdown run by D.J. Johnson.
The Rebels had a chance to add to their lead early in the fourth, but Shaquille Murray-Lawrence fumbled on third-and-goal from the 1 and Air Force's Donnie Wharton recovered in the end zone for a touchback.
It was all UNLV early on. Trent Langham blocked David Baska's punt attempt after Air Force's opening drive stalled 2:29 into the game, and the Rebels' David Greene returned the ball to the Falcons' 30-yard line.
Cornett scored from 22 yards out two plays later, and UNLV led 6-0. The Rebels turned favorable field position into another first-quarter score with 4:29 remaining on Herring's 1-yard touchdown plunge.
Air Force continued to be its own worst enemy in the opening quarter. Running back Jon Lee couldn't handle a high pitch from quarterback Nate Romine on an option off right tackle and UNLV's Tim Hasson recovered the ball on the Falcons 48.
Herring made it 20-0 Rebels four plays later on a diving touchdown run with 1:47 remaining, and Cornett's 7-yard touchdown run with 9:47 left in the second quarter gave UNLV a 27-0 lead. UNLV's three first-quarter scoring drives took a total of 3:59.
Air Force finally got on the scoreboard with 8:59 remaining in the first half when Romine hit Alex Ludowig for a 31-yard touchdown pass. Broam Hart added a 1-yard touchdown run for the Falcons with 8 seconds remaining in the first half, and UNLV led 33-14 at the break.