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  • Jordan Simal

#22 San Diego State @ Air Force Game Notes

Oct. 23, 2021

7:00 p.m.

Falcon Stadium, United States Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs, CO

Q1

Air Force started the game with the football, but didn’t have it for long before the Aztecs took it away. On just the third play of the game, Falcons junior quarterback Haaziq Daniels was picked off by junior cornerback Dallas Branch, who ran the football back to the Air Force nine-yard line.

While the Aztecs couldn’t find the end zone, they did score the game’s opening points on a 22-yard field goal by junior kicker Matt Araiza.

The drive went four yards on four plays, lasting 1:42.

San Diego State 3, Air Force 0.

Both offenses were forced to punt on their ensuing series before the Air Force offense’s following drive stalled. A beautiful pass that would’ve been a sure touchdown from Daniels to sophomore wide receiver Micah Davis was dropped in-stride and the Falcons had to punt again.

With the first quarter coming to a close, Branch became a nightmare for Daniels again and forced an aerial Falcons fumble that was snared back by Air Force senior wide receiver Jake Spiewak.

The quarter would end after two more short-gain running plays by Air Force.

San Diego State 3, Air Force 0.

Q2

The San Diego State offense was set up with great field position to begin their first drive of the quarter after a turnover on downs by Air Force. A 13-yard pass from senior quarterback Lucas Johnson to senior wide receiver Elijah Kothe, followed by a fourth-down conversion run by senior running back Chance Bell, eventually led to a one-yard touchdown run by senior running back Kaegun Williams.

The drive went 42 yards on 12 plays, lasting 5:45.

San Diego State 10, Air Force 0.

Air Force’s offensive struggles continued in the first half, as junior wide receiver DeAndre Hughes fumbled a Daniels pass that was recovered by San Diego State for their second turnover of the game. They began their ensuing drive at the Falcons 46-yard line with 6:21 left in the second quarter.

The drive ended with a 51-yard field goal from Araiza.

The drive went 12 yards on seven plays, lasting 4:27.

San Diego State 13, Air Force 0.

Q3

San Diego State wasted no time finding the end zone to kick off the second half, scoring on a three-yard rush by Bell.

Bell’s touchdown was set up by a 32-yard rush he had just the play prior.

The drive went 75 yards on seven plays, lasting 3:48.

San Diego State 20, Air Force 0.

Following punts from both teams, Air Force’s offense took to the field again, but Daniels would go down with an injury and leave the game with 4:58 left in the third quarter. He was replaced behind center by senior quarterback Warren Bryan.

The offense soon found its groove on the ground, finding the red zone for the first time all evening. On a critical fourth down conversion, Bryan threw a laser of a pass to senior tight end Dalton King in the endzone. The initial call was for a touchdown for the Falcons, but the call was reversed to a fumble, and then an incomplete pass. After final review, the call was reversed again to give Air Force their first score of the game.

The drive went 57 yards on 11 plays, lasting 4:57.

San Diego State 20, Air Force 7.

Q4

The fourth quarter began with an announcement from CBS Sports that Daniels would not be returning to the game with an apparent hip injury. Following a much-needed stop from the Falcons defense, the Falcons offense took the field again, but with their third quarterback of the game. This time, Air Force turned to speedy sophomore quarterback Zachary Larrier, who swapped plays behind center with Bryan.

Air Force’s offense truly looked alive for the first time all day and turned to the air, as Bryan found Spiewak for 31 yards to get to the Aztecs 30-yard line. Driving and grinding, the Falcons found the endzone on a three-yard touchdown run by sophomore running back Dane Kinamon.

The drive went 89 yards on 15 plays, lasting 6:33.

San Diego State 20, Air Force 14.

Air Force’s defense stood their ground once again against the Aztecs’ offense, holding San Diego State to a three-and-out on their ensuing drive.

With 2:26 left in the game, Air Force’s offense took to the field looking to take their first lead of the game. Following two overshot passes from a limping Bryan, a successful fourth-down conversion was overturned by a chop block penalty on Falcons junior fullback Omar Fattah. This lead to a punt, giving San Diego State the football with only 1:35 left in the game.

The Falcons wouldn’t get the football back, ending a great comeback attempt by Air Force, who fell to 6-2 on the season.

FINAL: San Diego State 20, Air Force 14.

Rushing:

Air Force:

Haaziq Daniels: 9 rushes, 50 yards, 0 TDs

Omar Fattah: 8 rushes, 30 yards, 0 TDs

Brad Roberts: 7 rushes, 27 yards, 0 TDs

Warren Bryan: 7 rushes, 24 yards, 0 TDs

Zachary Larrier: 1 rush, 16 yards, 0 TDs

Micah Davis: 5 rushes, 15 yards, 0 TDs

Dane Kinamon: 3 rushes, 13 yards, 1 TD

Brandon Lewis: 3 rushes, 12 yards, 0 TD

DeAndre Hughes: 1 rush, 4 yards, 0 TDs

Emmanuel Michel: 4 rushes, 1 yard, 0 TDs

San Diego State:

Chance Bell: 8 rushes, 50 yards, 1 TD

Greg Bell: 10 rushes, 42 yards, 0 TDs

Kaegun Williams: 10 rushes, 34 yards, 1 TDs

Jordan Byrd: 6 rushes, 32 yards, 0 TDs

Lucas Johnson: 3 rushes, 1 yard, 0 TDs

Passing:

Air Force:

Haaziq Daniels: 8 attempts, 2 completions, 9 yards, 0 TDs, 1 INT

Warren Bryan: 7 attempts, 3 completions, 58 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT

San Diego State:

Lucas Johnson: 13 attempts, 11 completions, 72 yards, 0 TDs, 0 INT

Defense:

Air Force:

Trey Taylor: 11 tackles

San Diego State:

Patrick McMorris: 7 tackles

Michael Shawcroft: 7 tackles