The Falcons celebrate after defeating Colorado on Sept. 10, 2022
U.S. Air Force/Trevor Cokley
The Air Force Falcons are the kings of Colorado right now.
“It’s an awesome feeling to beat Colorado,” Air Force running back Brad Roberts said after a convincing 41-10 win over the Colorado Buffaloes on Saturday.
The victory over the Pac-12 school put Air Force on top of this week’s Nevada Appeal Mountain West Football Rankings.
“To come out and dominate,” Air Force quarterback Haaziq Daniels said. “You can’t put it into words.”
No. 1 Air Force, now 2-0 this season, controlled the ball for over 38 minutes and outgained Colorado, 443-162. Air Force also had more first downs (25-8) and held Colorado to 1-of-11 on third-down plays. Daniels also completed just one pass as the Falcons ran the ball 70 times for 435 yards and five touchdowns.
Roberts did the bulk of the work on the ground, rushing for 174 yards on 24 carries. He scored three touchdowns, on runs of 14, 20 and 46 yards.
“I just think the team chemistry we have right now is better than any place in the country,” Roberts said.
No. 2 Fresno State, No. 6 San Jose State and No. 7 UNLV all lost close games to Power Five opponents.
Fresno State (1-1) fell to Oregon State, 35-32, as the Beavers’ Jack Colletto scored on a 2-yard run on the final play of the game. Fresno State had taken a 32-29 lead with 65 seconds to play on a 4-yard pass from Jake Haener to Erick Brooks.
San Jose State (1-1) fell just 24-16 at Auburn after leading 10-7 at halftime. San Jose State quarterback Chevan Cordeiro passed for 275 yards.
UNLV (1-1) dropped a 20-14 decision at California. Doug Brumfield passed for 206 yards for the Rebels and Aidan Robbins ran for 84 yards and a 31-yard touchdown.
“We let that one get away,” UNLV coach Marcus Arroyo said. “We have a locker room full of guys who are disappointed because they wanted to finish that game.”
UNLV sacked Cal quarterback Jack Plummer four times.
“Our guys fight,” Arroyo said. “There’s no doubt about that.”
No. 4 Boise State (1-1, 1-0) beat New Mexico (1-1, 0-1), 31-14, in the first Mountain West game of the year. Boise State held New Mexico to just eight first downs and outgained the Lobos, 318-123.
The victory was Boise’s State’s 23rd in a row in conference-opening games. The last conference opener the Broncos lost was in 1999 to North Texas in the Big West Conference.
No. 3 San Diego State (1-1) whipped Idaho State, 38-7. The Aztecs’ Jordan Byrd scored on a 66-yard punt return and a 57-yard run.
“We still have a lot of work to do on both sides of the ball,” San Diego State coach Brady Hoke said.
Idaho State coach Charlie Ragle took a lot of positives out of the 31-point loss. “I am very proud of our guys,” Ragle said. “This is a game people thought we would get rolled over by 60. We played our tails off.”
No. 5 Wyoming (2-1) rolled over Northern Colorado, 33-10. The Cowboys’ John Hoyland kicked four field goals, three in the first half for a 9-0 lead.
“I definitely had a big body of work this week,” Hoyland said.
Titus Swen scored three touchdowns for Wyoming and had 76 yards on 15 carries.
“This game didn’t turn out like I thought it would,” said Wyoming coach Craig Bohl, who expected a closer final score. “I’m glad we got a little separation at the end.
“But we wanted Northern Colorado to go the long distance (on offense) and I didn’t think they could.”
Utah State (1-2) fell to No. 8 after a disappointing 35-7 loss to Weber State. The Wildcats intercepted four passes and converted 10-of-19 third-down plays.
“I love ’em and I hurt for ’em,” Utah State coach Blake Anderson said of his players. “I thought we’d be a better football team three weeks in than we are.
“There are a million things we need to work on. We are not a good football team right now. We are floundering, from the head coach on down.”
No. 9 Nevada (2-1), like Utah State, also lost to a Division I-AA team, falling to Incarnate Word, 55-41 at home. No. 10 Colorado State fell to 0-2 under new coach Jay Norvell with a 34-19 loss at home to Middle Tennessee.
Former Nevada quarterback Clay Millen passed for 256 yards and three touchdowns, all to former Nevada wide receiver Tory Horton.
“I’m really disappointed about some of the fundamental things we did not do early in the game,” Norvell said.
The Nevada Appeal’s Mountain West football rankings for the week of Sept. 12-18:
1. AIR FORCE (2-0, 0-0). Last week: Air Force 41, Colorado 10. This week: Air Force at Wyoming, Friday.
2. FRESNO STATE (1-1, 0-0). Last week: Oregon State 35, Fresno State 32. This week: Fresno State at USC, Saturday.
3. SAN DIEGO STATE (1-1, 0-0). Last week: San Diego State 38, Idaho State 7. This week: San Diego State at Utah, Saturday.
4. BOISE STATE (1-1, 1-0). Last week: Boise State 31, New Mexico 14. This week: UT-Martin at Boise State, Friday.
5. WYOMING (2-1, 0-0). Last week: Wyoming 33, Northern Colorado 10. This week: Air Force at Wyoming, Friday.
6. SAN JOSE STATE (1-1, 0-0). Last week: Auburn 24, San Jose State 16. This week: Idle.
7. UNLV (1-1, 0-0). Last week: California 20, UNLV 14. This week: North Texas at UNLV, Saturday.
8. UTAH STATE (1-2, 0-0). Last week: Weber State 35, Utah State 7. This week: Idle.
9. NEVADA (2-1, 0-0). Last week: Incarnate Word 55, Nevada 41. This week: Nevada at Iowa, Saturday.
10. COLORADO STATE (0-2, 0-0). Last week: Middle Tennessee 34, Colorado State 19. This week: Colorado State at Washington State, Saturday.
11. NEW MEXICO (1-1, 0-0). Last week: Boise State 31, New Mexico 14. This week: UTEP at New Mexico, Saturday.
12. HAWAII (0-3, 0-0). Last week: Michigan 56, Hawaii 10. This week: Duquesne at Hawaii, Saturday.