Friday, November 25, 2016

Air Force Stymies Boise State 27-20

AIR FORCE ACADEMY, CO--Air Force dominated the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball and Tyler Weaver returned a blocked punt 11 yards for a touchdown to hand #19 Boise State a crippling 27-20 loss this afternoon.  It was the Falcons' third straight win in the series.

The Bronco offensive line, which freed up Jeremy McNichols for an 56-yard run on the opening play from scrimmage, could not open up a hole for one of the nation's top rushers in three tries from the Air Force five-yard line with the game on the line in the final minutes. 

 McNichols tried three consecutive runs up the middle before Brett Rypien tried a quarterback sneak on fourth down.  In an effort to keep the play alive, Rypien fumbled and Air Force ran out the clock.

''Thank goodness they didn't run wide,'' said senior safety Brodie Hicks, who forced the fumble. ''We put all our marbles inside.''

It was a frustrating defeat for Boise State against a team that fell to Hawai'i five weeks ago.  The loss eliminates Boise State from a chance at the Mountain West Conference title, meaning Wyoming will play San Diego State December 3.  The Broncos were the conference's only hope to play in a New Year's Six game, with that spot likely secured by undefeated Western Michigan.

"It's like an empty feeling,'' Boise State receiver Cedrick Wilson said. ''We wish we could have pulled through like we practiced but sometimes you fall short.''

Air Force (9-3, 5-3 in the Mountain West) held a huge advantage in time of possession (41:27 to 18:33), constantly keeping the Boise State defense on their heels despite the Bronco defense knowing what they were going to do nearly every play.  Falcon student-athletes are training to join the world's top aerial attack in the United States Air Force, but it was their ground game that once again gave Boise State fits.  

''It's a game I thought we prepared well for and our guys were looking forward to coming in here and playing our best football,'' Boise State coach Bryan Harsin said. ''We didn't do that tonight, so a lot of disappointment in the locker room.''

Boise State fell to 10-2 and 6-2 with the loss.  The usually unpredictable, high-powered Bronco offense was instead a unit that produced only four players in the game's box score. Harsin elected to stay with Rypien despite his quarterback starting the game 0-8 and 1-12 and completing just three passes in 16 first-half attempts.

 McNichols (22 carries for 88 yards), Rypien (2 carries for 1 yard) and Thomas Sperbeck (1 carry for a negative 5 yards) were the only ball carriers for Boise State. 

Wilson and Sperbeck were spectacular for the Broncos, as Wilson caught four passes for a career-high 193 yards and a touchdown and Sperbeck recorded five catches for 123 yards.  Wilson tied John Smith (1974), Titus Young (2009) and Austin Pettis (2010) with his 10th receiving touchdown this year.  Boise State, which often included 8-10 receivers in their passing game in their heyday, didn't feature any other players to catch a pass today except Wilson and Sperbeck.

For the first time in school history, Boise State has two 1,000-yard receivers in the same season.  Sperbeck moved into third on the single-season list with 1,193 while Wilson is in 10th with 1,041.  With 122 catches between them, Sperbeck and Wilson are the #7 pass-catching duo in school history.   The incredible duo are the only two receivers at Boise State to combine for over 300 yards in a game twice.    

Sperbeck tied Mike Wilson (76 receptions in 1992) for seventh all-time in catches in a season, passing Jeremy Childs (72 in 2008) and Austin Pettis and Titus Young (71 each in 2009).

McNichols, whose 60 yards on the first two carries gave Boise State a 7-0 lead, managed just 28 yards in his next 20 carries as the Bronco offensive line had major difficulty pushing their opponent off the line of scrimmage despite possessing a decided weight advantage.  Boise State converted on just 1-of-12 third-down opportunities.

McNichols has 1,663 yards this season and passed Brock Forsey (1,611 in 2002) for third-best in Bronco history (see charts at conclusion of article.)  McNichols is 50 yards away from Ian Johnson's total in 2006 and 160 yards behind Jay Ajayi's school record of 1,823 in 2014.  Jeremy also passed Forsey with 2,185 all-purpose yards and is 14 behind another school record set two years ago by Ajayi.  McNichols tied Ajayi for fifth in career points with 330. 

The Air Force defense stiffened after allowing the opening touchdown drive, and Brett Baldwin made the play of the game when he broke through and blocked a Sean Wale punt just prior to halftime.  Weaver caught the ball and easily ran it in to give the Falcons a 17-7 lead.

Rypien finally got on track in the fourth quarter, finding Wilson for a 75-yard touchdown pass to bring the Broncos within seven with 8:50 remaining.  Rypien connected with Wilson for 39 yards and Sperbeck for 47 yards before the Falcon goal-line stand.  Rypien finished the game 9-of-26 for 316 yards.

Rypien jumped Taylor Tharp's 2007 senior season and now owns the #8 and #9-best single season marks for passing yards.  With 6,794 yards in two seasons, Rypien is 228 yards shy of the total that Kellen Moore (2008-11) accumulated in his first two seasons.  Rypien tied Bart Hendricks (1997-2000) with his 10th career game over 300 yards and his 212 completions in 2016 now rank as the 10th-most in school history, but he is 61 short of last year's total despite playing in more games.

However, Rypien has topped his 2015 yardage in total offense and now owns the #9 and #10 marks in that category.

Falcon fullbacks D.J. Johnson and Shayne Davern combined for 111 yards.  Johnson plunged in from one yard out in the first quarter and Davern found paydirt on an 8-yard run in the third.  Quarterback Arion Worthman added 80 rushing yards of his own, the latest in a long line of running quarterbacks to confuse a beleaguered Bronco defense.  Jalen Robinette had three catches for 45 yards to give him 118 career receptions, second in school history.

Air Force will be playing in their ninth bowl game since coach Troy Calhoun came to Colorado Springs in 2007.  Boise State will play in their 16th-straight bowl game.  Both teams will find out their postseason travel plans Sunday.

*************************************************************
Receiving Yards, Season:
1.    Thomas Sperbeck (1,412) 2015
2.    Titus Young (1,215) 2010
3.    Thomas Sperbeck (1,193) 2016
4.    Tim Gilligan (1,192) 2003
5.    Matt Miller (1,140) 2013
6.    Billy Wingfield (1,138) 2002
7.    Kipp Bedard (1,101) 1981
8.    Mike Holton (1,080) 1974
9.    Jeremy Childs (1,045) 2007
10.  Titus Young (1,041) 2009
10.  Cedrick Wilson (1,041) 2016
12.  Terry Hutt (1,032) 1977
13.  Al Marshall (1,003) 1972


Most Receiving Yards by a Duo, Game:
1.    365--Thomas Sperbeck (198) and Cedrick Wilson (167) vs. New Mexico, 2016
2.    357--Tim Gilligan (255) and Lawrence Bady (102) vs. Louisiana Tech, 2003
3.    341--Tim Gilligan (209) and T.J. Acree (132) vs. BYU, 2004
4.    324--Lawrence Bady (173) and Jerry Smith (151) vs. SMU, 2003
4.    324--Lou Fanucchi (178) and Billy Wingfield (146) vs. Fresno State, 2002
6.    323--Mike Holton (252) and John Smith (71) vs. UNLV, 1974
6.    323--Terry Hutt (176) and Lonnie Hughes (147) vs. UNLV, 1977
8.    320--Jeb Putzier (164) and Jay Swillie (156) vs. Tulsa, 2001
9.    316--Cedrick Wilson (193) and Thomas Sperbeck (123) vs. Air Force, 2016
9.    304--Rodney Smith (200) and Antwain Wilson (104) vs. New Mexico State, 1998


Receptions, Season:
1.  Matt Miller (88) 2013
1.  Thomas Sperbeck (88) 2015)
3.  Jeremy Childs (82) 2007
4.  Titus Young (79) 2010
5.  Shane Williams-Rhodes (77) 2013
6.   Thomas Sperbeck (76) 2016
6.   Mike Wilson (76) 1992
8.   Jeremy Childs (72) 2008
8.   Austin Pettis (71) 2009
8.   Titus Young (71) 2009
11. Shane Williams-Rhodes (68) 2014
12. Tim Gilligan (67) 2003
13.  Matt Miller (66) 2012
13.  Don Hutt (66) 1971
15.  Rodney Smith (64) 1997
15.  Mike Holton (64) 1974
17.  Shane Williams-Rhodes (63) 2015
17. Austin Pettis (63) 2009
17.  Eric Andrade (63) 1987
17.  Don Hutt (63) 1973
17.  Austin Pettis (63) 2010


Most Catches by a Duo:
(the top two receivers)


1.    Matt Miller & Shane Williams-Rhodes (165) 2013

2.    Thomas Sperbeck & Shane Williams-Rhodes (151) 2015 
3.    Titus Young & Austin Pettis (142) 2009
3.    Titus Young & Austin Pettis (142) 2010
5.    Jeremy Childs & Austin Pettis (128) 2007
6.    Matt Miller & Tyler Shoemaker (124) 2011
7.    Thomas Sperbeck & Cedrick Wilson (122) 2016
8.    Jeremy Childs & Austin Pettis (121) 2008
9.    Mike Wilson & Sheldon Forehand (119) 1992
10.  Tim Gilligan & T.J. Acree (118) 2003
10.  Shane Williams-Rhodes and Jay Ajayi (118) 2014
12.   Don Hutt & Al Marshall (113) 1972
13.  Don Hutt & Al Marshall (108) 1971
14.  Mike Holton & John Crabtree (104) 1974
15.  Matt Miller & Kirby Moore (102) 2012
15.  Eric Andrade & Chris Jackson (102) 1987
17.  Billy Wingfield & Lou Fanucchi (100) 2002
18.  Shane Williams-Rhodes & Thomas Sperbeck (99) 2015
19.  Del Graven & Mike Wilson (96) 1993
       Don Hutt & Dick Donohoe (96) 1973
21.  T.J. Acree & Drisan James (95) 2004
       Winky White & Ricky Hill (95) 1989
23.  Jay Swillie & Jeb Putzier (92) 2001
       Terry Hutt & Lonnie Hughes (92) 1977
25.  Ryan Ikebe & Andre Horace (90) 1996
        Sheldon Forehand & Mike Wilson (90) 1991
27.  Rodney Smith & Corey Nelson (87) 1998
28.  Kipp Bedard & Ron Harvey (86) 1981
       Rodney Smith & Tony Mammaril (86) 1997
       John Smith & Mike Holton (86) 1975
31.  Ryan Ikebe & K.C. Adams (83) 1994
32.  Kim Metcalf and Jon Francis (81) 1984
33.  Mike Richmond & Ryan Ikebe (80) 1995
34.  Lou Fanucchi & Jeb Putzier (75) 2000
35.  Terry Hutt & Mike Holton/Fred Goode (73) 1976



Most Catches by a Trio:
(the top three receivers)

1.    Matt Miller, Shane Williams-Rhodes & Geraldo Boldewijn (204) 2013
2.    Thomas Sperbeck, Shane Williams-Rhodes & Jeremy McNichols (202) 2015
3.    Titus Young, Austin Pettis & Tyler Shoemaker (174) 2010
4.    Matt Miller, Tyler Shoemaker & Mitch Burroughs (173) 2011
4.    Titus Young, Austin Pettis & Kyle Efaw (173) 2009
6.    Jeremy Childs, Austin Pettis & Titus Young (172) 2007 
7.    Shane Williams-Rhodes, Jay Ajayi and Thomas Sperbeck (169) 2014
8.    Jeremy Childs, Austin Pettis & Vinny Perretta (157) 2008
9.    Thomas Sperbeck, Cedrick Wilson & Jeremy McNichols (154) 2016
10.  Mike Wilson, Sheldon Forehand and Dave Deitz (151) 1992
11.  Tim Gilligan, T.J. Acree & Jerry Smith (150) 2003
12.  Matt Miller, Kirby Moore & Chris Potter (138) 2012
13.  Billy Wingfield, Lou Fanucchi & Brock Forsey (136) 2002
14.  Ryan Ikebe, K.C. Adams & Jarret Hausske (133) 1994
15.   Mike Holton, John Crabtree & John Smith (129) 1974
15.   Winky White, Ricky Hill & Terry Heffner (129) 1989
17. Jay Swillie, Jeb Putzier & Brock Forsey (127) 2001
17.  Sheldon Forehand, Mike Wilson & Larry Stayner (127) 1991
19.  T.J. Acree, Drisan James & Lawrence Bady (125) 2004
19.   Eric Andrade, Chris Jackson & Jeff Lindsley (125) 1987
19.   Don Hutt, Al Marshall & Billy Stephens (125) 1972
22.  Del Graven, Mike Wilson & Ryan Ikebe (121) 1993
        Don Hutt, Al Marshall & Pat Riley (121) 1971
24.  Don Hutt, Dick Donohoe & Terry Hutt (120) 1973
25.  Rodney Smith, Corey Nelson & Antwain Wilson (117) 1998
26.  Ryan Ikebe, Andre Horace & Reggie Etheridge (115) 1996
27.  John Smith, Mike Holton & John Crabtree (113) 1975
28.  Kipp Bedard, Ron Harvey & Duane Dlouhy (112) 1981
29.  Lou Fanucchi, Jeb Putzier & Jay Swillie (108) 2000

       Jerard Rabb, Drisan James & Legedu Naanee (108) 2006


Receiving Touchdowns, Season:
1.    Tyler Shoemaker (16) 2011
2.    Austin Pettis (14) 2009
3.    Mike Holton (13) 1974
4.    Matt Miller (12) 2013
4.    Jeb Putzier (12) 2001
6.    Rodney Smith (11) 1997
6.    Ryan Ikebe (11) 1994
6.    John Smith (11) 1975
9.   Austin Pettis (10) 2010
9.    Titus Young (10) 2009
9.   John Smith (10) 1974

9.    Cedrick Wilson (10) 2016


Rushing Attempts, Season:
1.    Jay Ajayi (347) 2014
2.    Brock Forsey (295) 2002
2.    Jeremy McNichols (295) 2016
4.    Ian Johnson (277) 2006
5.    Doug Martin (263) 2011
6.    Cedric Minter (258) 1978
7.    Rodney Webster (250) 1981
8.    Jay Ajayi (249) 2013
9.    Brock Forsey (246) 2001
10.  David Mikell (242) 2003
11.  Jeremy McNichols (240) 2015 
12.  K.C. Adams (238) 1994
13.  Chris Thomas (231) 1990
14.  D.J. Harper (228) 2012
15.  Rodney Webster (227) 1993


Career Rushing Attempts:
1.    Brock Forsey (813) 1999-2002
2.    Chris Thomas (810) 1987-1991
3.    Ian Johnson (753) 2005-2008
4.    Cedric Minter (752) 1977-1980
5.    Jay Ajayi (678) 2012-current
6.    Rodney Webster (672) 1980-1983
7.    Doug Martin (617) 2008-2011
8.    Jeremy McNichols (552) 2014-current)
9.    D. J. Harper (547) 2007-2012
10.  Jeremy Avery (518) 2007-2010
11.  David Mikell (500) 2000-2003
12.  Tony Hilde (461) 1993-1996
13.  Jon Francis (437) 1984-1985
14.  Terry Zahner (426) 1977-1980
15.  David Hughes (352) 1977-1980
16.  Jared Zabransky (351) 2003-2006
17.  Bart Hendricks (348) 1997-2000


All-Purpose Yards, Season:
1.    Jay Ajayi (2,199) 2014
2.    Jeremy McNichols (2,185) 2016
3.    Brock Forsey (2,127) 2002
4.    Titus Young (2,012) 2009
5.    K.C. Adams (1,981) 1994
6.    Brock Forsey (1,939) 2001
7.    Titus Young (1,916) 2010
8.    Doug Martin (1,892) 2011
9.    Jeremy McNichols (1,886) 2015
10.  Brock Forsey (1,830) 2000
11.  Chris Jackson (1,761) 1987
12.  Ian Johnson (1,738) 2006
13.  Jay Ajayi (1,723) 2013
14.  Tim Gilligan (1,679) 2003
15.  Ryan Ikebe (1,647) 1996
16.  Cedric Minter (1,637) 1978
16.  Doug Martin (1,598) 2010
18.  D.J. Harper (1,488) 2012
19.  Thomas Sperbeck (1,454) 2015
20.  David Mikell (1,441) 2001


Career Points:
1.    Kyle Brotzman (439) 2007-2010 (NCAA Record for kickers)
2.    Brock Forsey (408) 1999-2002
3.    Ian Johnson (356) 2005-2008
4.    Nick Calaycay (348) 1999-2002
5.    Jay Ajayi (330) 2012-2014
5.    Jeremy McNichols (330) 2014-current
7.    Tyler Jones (294) 2001-2004
8.    Doug Martin (288) 2008-2011
9.    Dan Goodale (282) 2011-2014
10.  Mike Black (275) 1988-1991
11.  Cedric Minter (258) 1977-1980
12.  John Smith (252) 1972-1975
13.  D.J. Harper (250) 2007-2012
14.  David Mikell (234) 2000-2003
15.  Eric Guthrie (221) 1968-1971
16.  Tyler Rausa (214) 2014-current
17.  Greg Erickson (211) 1993-1995
18.  Chris Thomas (210) 1988-1991
        Titus Young (210) 2007-2010

20.  Jeremy Avery (200) 2007-2010



Passing Yards, Season:
1.    Ryan Dinwiddie (4,356) 2003
2.    Kellen Moore (3,845) 2010
3.    Kellen Moore (3,734) 2011
4.    Grant Hedrick (3,696) 2014
5.    Kellen Moore (3,536) 2009
6.    Kellen Moore (3,486) 2008
7.    Bart Hendricks (3,364) 2000
8.    Brett Rypien (3,353) 2015
9.    Brett Rypien (3,341) 2016
10.  Taylor Tharp (3,340) 2007
10.  Ryan Dinwiddie (3,043) 2001
12.  Jared Zabransky (2,927) 2004
13.  Jim McMillan (2,900) 1974
14.  Jared Zabransky (2,887) 2006
15.  Tony Hilde (2,787) 1994
16.  Bart Hendricks (2,746) 1999
17.  Joe Southwick (2,730) 2012
18.  Jared Zabransky (2,562) 2005
19.  Vince Alcalde (2,523) 1987

20.  Tony Hilde (2,473) 1996


Passing Yards By Sophomore Season:
1.    Kellen Moore(7,022)2008-09
2.    Brett Rypien (6,794) 2015-16
3.    Tony Hilde (4,248) 1993-94
4.    Ryan Dinwiddie (3,180) 2000-01
5.    Jared Zabransky (3,107) 2003-04
6.    Bart Hendricks (2,920) 1998-99
7.    Hazsen Choates (2,912) 1983-84
8.    Gerald DesPres (2,594) 1981-82
9.    Eric Guthrie (1,287) 1968-69
10.  Jim McMillan (1,133) 1971-72


300-Yard+ Passing Games, Career
1.    Kellen Moore (16) 2008-2011
2.    Ryan Dinwiddie (14) 2000-2003
3.    Bart Hendricks (10) 1997-2000
3.    Brett Rypien (10) 2015-current
5.    Jim McMillan (7) 1971-1974
5.    Grant Hedrick (7) 2011-2014
7.    Tony Hilde (6) 1993-1996
8.    Joe Southwick (4) 2010-2013
8.    Jared Zabransky (4) 2003-2006
10.  Taylor Tharp (3) 2004-2007
10.  Vince Alcalde (3) 1986-1987
10.  Greg Stern (3) 1973-1976
13.  Joe Aliotti (2) 1979-1980
13.  Travis Stuart (2) 1990-1992


Total Offense, Season:
1.    Grant Hedrick (4,468) 2014
2.    Ryan Dinwiddie (4,399) 2003
3.    Kellen Moore (3,813) 2010
4.    Kellen Moore (3,734) 2011
5.    Bart Hendricks (3,633) 2000
6.    Kellen Moore (3,531) 2009
7.    Kellen Moore (3,456) 2008
8.    Taylor Tharp (3,408) 2007
9  .  Brett Rypien (3,326) 2016
10.  Brett Rypien (3,281) 2015
11.  Jared Zabransky (3,253) 2004
12.   Ryan Dinwiddie (3,140) 2001
13.   Bart Hendricks (3,103) 1999
14.  Jim McMillan (3,101) 1974
15.  Tony Hilde (3,031) 1994
16.  Tony Hilde (2,854) 1996
17.  Joe Southwick (2,851) 2012
18.  Jared Zabransky (2,824) 2005
19.  Jared Zabransky (2,784) 2006
20.  Tony Hilde (2,761) 1995

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