United States AF ACA, CO, United States (4E Sports) – Senior running back Wes Cobb rushed for two touchdowns as Air Force Academy relied on its vaunted ground game to beat Hawaii, 21-7, to clinch the Kuter Trophy and a bowl eligibility Saturday at Falcon Stadium.
The Falcons were so confident in their ground game, that quarterback Connor Dietz did not even bother to throw a pass en route to their sixth win in 11 games.
Cobb finished with 54 yards on 12 carries while Cody Getz led the team with 125 yards on 21 carries and a score as the Falcons, the second-leading rushing team in the nation, tallied 338 ground yards. Even Dietz joined the fray, gaining 47 yards on 14 carries.
Quarterback Jeremy Higgins made his first career starts for the Warriors (1-9, 0-7 MWC), finished 14-for-23 for 125 yards and a score.
The Warriors’ rushing game was no match for the Falcons as they tallied only 37 yards on 31 carries while their receiving corp garnered just 125 yards on 14 receptions.
Higgins found Clark Evans for a 26-yard touchdown pass as Hawaii scored in its first possession for the first time all season.
Also, the Warriors led after the first quarter and shut out an opponent in the opening frame for just the second time all season.
However, it was all short-lived as the Falcons got on the board in the second period with a short two-yard run by Cobb to tie the game after a 12-play, 60-yard drive.
The Falcons then stormed ahead, 14-7, in the third period with a short scoring run by Getz after a seven-play, 81-yard attack.
Dietz sparked an eight-play, 80-yard drive that ended with Cobb’s second touchdown run to give the Falcons a 21-7 advantage.
In the fourth, the Warriors saw a glimmer of hope when Marcus Malepeai forced a fumble in Air Force territory.
Sean Schroeder then relieved Higgins but the Warriors lost the ball on downs, quashing their hopes of a comeback.