COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Going into their game against the Air Force Falcons, the Colorado State Rams knew that they were going to have to do all that they could to try and slow down one of the nation's top rushing attacks.
On Saturday, the Rams (1-4) were unable to do that as they fell to the Falcons (2-2) 42-21 at Falcon Stadium at the Air Force Academy.
After receiving the opening kickoff, Air Force unleashed a no-huddle option attack for its first possession and was able to move down the field on CSU very quickly. Using just 1:21, the Falcons marched 75 yards down the field on five plays and finished off the drive with a 7-yard touchdown run by Jon Lee. The drive was sparked by a 52-yard run by Cody Getz who was on his way to a career game.
Getz finished the game with 222 yards rushing making him the first player in Air Force history to begin a season with four consecutive 100-yard rushing games.
The Falcons kept the pressure on the Rams in the first quarter. After forcing a quick punt from CSU, Air Force again was able to march down the field, this time connecting on a 53-yard touchdown pass from Connor Dietz to Drew Coleman.
After a 16-play 80-yard drive, the Falcons were able to extend their lead to 21-0 heading into the second quarter.
Colorado State found its bearings offensively on the opening play of the second quarter. Starting quarterback Garrett Grayson was injured on a 3-yard rush late in the first quarter and had to leave the game, giving way to senior quarterback M.J. McPeek. After a rush for no gain by freshman Joe Hansley to end the first quarter, McPeek found senior Lou Greenwood for a 55-yard touchdown play to put the Rams on the board.
McPeek helped the Rams get in a rhythm offensively after his insertion, directing touchdowns on three of his first seven possessions.
After Air Force answered with a touchdown to build its lead to 28-7, and an exchange of punts, McPeek went to work again, directing a 10-play, 84-yard drive that culminated in a 13-yard touchdown pass from McPeek to tight end Crockett Gillmore. It was Gillmore's second touchdown of the season.
That score pulled Colorado State to a 28-14 deficit, but 14 points was as close as the Rams could get. After recovering a fumble to take possession at the CSU 40-yard line late in the half, the Rams looked to narrow the gap further. On the second play of the possession running back Chris Nwoke fumbled, Air Force recovered and the Falcons made the Rams pay with a three-play, 50-yard touchdown drive that was started with a 44-yard rush by Getz.
With a 21-point lead at halftime, Air Force looked comfortable in the second half and was able to maintain that lead to close out the game.
In his first career action, McPeek threw for 292 yards and two touchdowns while completing 65 percent of his passes. McPeek provided big-play capability for the Rams and helped CSU average a season-best 6.3 yards per play.
Senior punter, Pete Kontodiakos, recorded three punts of 50 yards or longer, including a 73-yard punt in the game, marking the sixth consecutive game with at least one punt of 50 yards or longer. Kontodiakos entered the game ranked seventh in the nation in punting average.