The latest in the always close series with Air Force finally went the Cowboys way. Wyoming (6-3,3-1) beat Air Force 25-17 and for the first time since 2005. It is also the first time Wyoming has beaten Air Force and San Diego State in the same year since 2004.
Two big factors affected this game: the wind and injuries.
Wind gusts ranging from 30-50mph played havoc with passing, kicking and the TV transmission. The Cowboys adapted to the wind much better the Air Force did as Brett Smith finished 17 of 30 for 139 yards and a touchdown. Meanwhile Air Force attempted just five passes all game and completed just two of them but didn't gain any yardage. This forced both teams to run the ball even more then normal. The two teams combined for a total 106 rushing attempts. Air Force gained 313 yards on the ground but also lost three fumbles.
The Falcons were without their leader Tim Jefferson who was injured in the first quarter. That added to the already lengthy injury report that the Falcons have compiled this year. In fourth quarter Wyoming lost it's leading receiver Chris McNeill for the year with a shoulder injury. He was having a great game with 9 catches for 67 yards and a touchdown before the injury.
With six wins Wyoming is just one victory away from becoming bowl eligible for the first time since 2009. With an upcoming game against New Mexico that certainly makes the chances look good for locking up that bowl bid. What bowl the end up is a bigger question now that Boise State lost.
The defense really did a great job of stepping against the triple option attack of the Falcons who were #4 in the nation in rushing. Wyoming was up 18-17 after a gutsy drive by Brett Smith that included a 4th and 10 pass to Mazi Ogbonna to keep the drive alive. Air Force was driving and fumbled on a hook and ladder that had one too many laterals. Marqueston Huff recovered and raced into the endzone to secure the victory.
Truly a great game by both the offense and defense. This has secured itself as at least the third best team in the Mountain West. It is unforunate that McNeill won't be apart of the remaining games. That will hurt the passing game as he was having a great year.