The Air Force Falcons turned their grinding, eat-up-the-clock offense into a quick-strike machine in a 38-17 romp over Colorado State on Saturday night.
Freshman Asher Clark raced for touchdowns of 41 and 45 yards and Tim Jefferson hit Kyle Halderman with a 74-yard touchdown strike as the Falcons improved to 5-0 under their freshman quarterback.
Jefferson was 6-for-8 for 171 yards, thanks to Halderman's two receptions for 99 yards.
They will face stiffer tests in the next two weeks as Air Force (8-2, 5-1 Mountain West) hosts No. 17 BYU and finishes up at No. 11 TCU.
The Falcons broke open a close game with two touchdowns in a span of 2:08 in the third quarter.
Clark's career-long 45-yard scamper gave the Falcons a 28-17 lead and came on the heels of linebacker Ken Lamendola's interception of Billy Farris at the Air Force 20-yard line that squelched the Rams' promising opening drive.
Clark had 136 yards on 16 carries.
Cornerback Reggie Rembert picked off Farris' underthrown pass at the Rams 27 and returned it to the 9. Three plays later, Jefferson hit tight end Travis Dekker from 4 yards out to make it 35-17.
Ryan Harrison made it 38-17 with a 27-yard field goal, his school record 20th of the season, and the Falcons returned to their clock-eating ways when they gained possession again with 9:21 remaining and ate up the rest of the clock, declining to punch it into the end zone again in the waning seconds.
The Rams (4-6, 2-4) began to fall apart when Farris' delay of game infraction late in the first half negated Gartrell Johnson's 1-yard touchdown run on fourth-and-goal. The 5-yard penalty forced the Rams to settle for Jason Smith's chip-shot field goal that pulled Colorado State to 21-17 at halftime.
The Falcons needed just 10 seconds to break a 14-14 tie when Jefferson recognized broken coverage in the Rams' defensive backfield and hit Halderman in stride for a 74-yard touchdown between defenders Jake Galusha and Elijah-Blu Smith.
The Rams had just scored on Farris' TD toss to Dion Morton on fourth-and-goal from the 4.
The Falcons also scored a touchdown on fourth down in the first half, only this one was a 41-yard run by Clark, who took Jefferson's perfectly timed pitch on fourth-and-3 and raced down the Rams' sideline to put Air Force on top 14-7.
Rams receiver Rashaun Greer caught seven passes for 145 yards.
Colorado State defensive back Klint Kubiak, who had missed three games with an ankle injury, went out with a knee injury early in the game and didn't return.
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