Jefferson throws 2 TD passes, Air Force wins 34-16
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FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) — Tim Jefferson did less thinking and better playing.
Jefferson, starting for the injured Connor Dietz, threw two touchdowns passes and Air Force rolled to a 34-16 victory over Colorado State on Saturday.
“Before I would think a lot when I was out on the field,” Jefferson said. “When I got to sit back and watch Connor, relax and see how the team moved progressively down the field. “I noticed I was able to do the same thing.
Jefferson completed 7-of-12 passes for 111 yards and ran for 35 yards of Air Force’s 271 yards on the ground.
“Tim was better and was even more assertive and showed more maturity,” Air Force coach Troy Calhoun said of Jefferson. “He seemed like he was older in the way he played.”
Kyle Halderman scored two touchdowns and Erik Soderberg kicked two field goals, including a career-long 50-yarder for Air Force (5-4, 4-2 Mountain West).
Reggie Rembert had his third interception of the season and Air Force punted only once.
Grant Stucker ran for a touchdown and Ben LeLine had a 22-yard field goal for Colorado State (3-6, 0-5).
The Rams have lost six in a row, their longest streak since losing 13 in a row over 2006 and 07.
“We just couldn’t put points on the board, couldn’t stay in a drive,” Stucker said. “We couldn’t make the big play and we just couldn’t execute.”
The Air Force scored on its first two possessions and its final one of the first half to lead 17-10.
Jefferson threw a 7-yard scoring pass to Halderman in the middle of the end zone on Air Force’s first possession to lead 7-0. Following a Rams’ punt, Jared Tew capped an 11-play, 68-yard drive with a 6-yard run with 1:05 remaining in the first quarter.
Colorado State got within 14-10 in the second quarter. DeLine kicked a 22-yard field and Stucker scored on a 13-yard scramble around right end with 1:43 in the first half.
Air Force had enough time to drive to the Rams 33 and set up Soderberg’s 50-yard field goal as time expired in the half.
The Falcons scored 17 unanswered points in the second half.
Jefferson threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to Jonathan Warzeka early in the third quarter to extend Air Force’s lead to 23-10. The Falcons kept the drive alive when Jefferson completed a 31-yard pass to Kevin Fogler on third-and-18 from their own 14.
“That was a big-time play,” Calhoun said. “Tim had pressure, got out of the pressure and just spontaneously made a play.”
Halderman swept left end for a 14-yard touchdown run with 1:34 remaining in the third quarter. The Falcons added the 2-point conversion to make it 31-10.
Soderberg kicked a 30-yard field goal in the fourth quarter. Lee Greenwood scored on a 2-yard run with 3:38 left for Colorado State.