ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Air Force converts a 3rd-and-3 with 1:02 left, forcing New Mexico to call its final timeout of the game. The Falcons (4-3 overall, 3-1 Mountain West Conference) will win this game 28-23, despite a record-setting 338 yards rushing from the Lobos Kasey Carrier. New Mexico falls to 4-4, 1-2.
…. After a fumble force and recovery by cornerback Tim Foley, the Lobos go for it on 4th-and-4 from the Air Force 12. Lamaar Thomas is thrown for a 4-yard loss, and Air Force takes over at its own 16 with 3:37 remaining. New Mexico has all three of its second-half timeouts left, trailing 28-23.
… Kasey Carrier is unbelievable. He bounces off tacklers, turning a short gain into a 37-yard touchdown run, finishing a five-play, 75-yard drive. The Lobos benefited from a 15-yard personal-foul penalty on Air Force. Carrier has 312 yards running, a Mountain West Conference record. A 2-point conversion attempt fails, leaving Air Force ahead, 28-23, with 12:08 left in the game. But can the Lobos get a defensive stop?
…Air Force’s Wes Cobb scores from 1 yard out on the first play of the fourth quarter, giving Air Force a 28-17 lead with 14:57 left in the game. With starting quarterback B.R. Holbrook out of the game, how do the Lobos handle the time factor?
… The Air Force offense is in gear now. As the third quarter ends, the Falcons have the ball first-and-goal on the New Mexico 1-yard line. Air Force has driven from their own 29 in nine plays. As the fourth quarter begins, it’s Air Force 21, New Mexico 17.
… Kasey Carrier now has 275 rushing, breaking the school record set in 2002 by Quincy Wright against Weber State in 2002. But the Lobos are forced to punt after their first 3-and-out of the game. Air Force has a first down at its own 29 with 4:12 left in the third quarter.
… Air Force drives 75 yards on 10 plays, regains the lead at 21-17 with 6:50 left in the third quarter. Key plays: a 15-yard run by Falcons QB Connor Dietz and a 22-yard pass from Dietz to Ty McArthur to the UNM 1-yard line. This is one heck of a football game, right?
… Kasey Carrier scores from 1 yard out, giving New Mexico a 17-14 lead with 10:25 left in the third quarter. Lobos drive 60-yards on eight plays after the Dallas Bollema fumble recovery. Big plays: rushes of 18 yards by Carrier and 19 by Lamaar Thomas, both out of the wildcat formation. Carrier has 260 yards on 28 carries.
… With 11:20 left in the third quarter, New Mexico has the ball second-and-goal at the Air Force 1-yard line. Television and radio reports indicate Lobos starting quarterback B.R. Holbrook is out with concussion symptoms.
… After UNM linebacker Dallas Bollema recovers an Air Force fumble, New Mexico has driven to the Air Forc 19. Wildcat runs by Kasey Carrier and Lamaar Thomas do the damage. There’s 13 minutes left in the third quarter with action stopped due to an Air Force injury. Sophomore quarterback Quinton McCown makes his first appearance.
…Second half underway. Air Force ball at its own30-yard line.
…At the end of a remarkable first half, Air Force leads New Mexico 14-10. A late UNM drive comes to naught as Justus Adams misses a 53-yard field goal attempt. The Lobos have 253 yards rushing and have held the ball for more than 21 of the half’s 30 minutes, yet they trail. Falcons linebacker Alex Means’ touchdown interception of a B.R. Holbrook pass was the big play. Lobo running back Kasey Carrier has 227 yards on 22 carries. With two quarters of football left to play, his performance is No. 5 on UNM’s all-time list for rushing yards in a game.Now, can Air Force capitalize on its good fortune and find a way to stop the New Mexico ground game? Can the Lobos get out of their own way and finish drives? They’ve had two drives end with quarterback sacks, one with Means’ interception and one with a missed field goal beyond Adams’ known range.
… Air Force’s Alex Means picks off a B.R. Holbrook screen pass intended for Chase Clayton, returns it 65 yards for a touchdown. The Falcons shouldn’t even be in this game, based on the statistics, yet here they are leading, 14-10, with 2:41 left in the first half.
… New Mexico’s Kasey Carrier has an even 200 yards rushing on 17 carries with 4:20 left in the first half.
… Air Force pass on a fake field goal is intercepted byUNM’s Destry Berry at the New Mexico 22 with 8:07 left in the first half.
… New Mexico quarterback B.R. Holbrook sacked on a 4th-and-4 at the Air Force 38. It’s Air Force ball at that spot with 10:37 left in the first half. 10-7 New Mexico.
… New Mexico’s Kasey Carrier had 144 yards rushing in the first quarter. I’m guessing that’s a school record.
… New Mexico forced to punt after quarterback B.R. Holbrook is sacked on third down. As the first quarter ends, it’s New Mexico 10, Air Force 7. Falcons face a 4th-and-3 at their own 36 as the second quarter begins.
… Lobos run on 3rd-and-10 and make it; a 12-yard gain by Kasey Carrier.
.. You didn’t think it was going to be that easy, did you? Air Force drives 78 yards on seven plays, cutting New Mexico’s lead to 10-7 with 6:oo left in the first quarter. Big play: a 25-yard pass to the New Mexico 1-yard line from Connor Dietz to Ty McArthur (with a name like that, you’d think he’d be in the infantry).
… Double shazam. Out of the wildcat formation, UNM’s Kasey Carrier bolts 59 yards to the Air Force 1. Carrier scores in the next play, completing a six-play, 82 yard drive. New Mexico’s looking great, but I can’t figure out what the Air Force secondary is doing (or not doing). It’s 10-0 New Mexico with 8:35 left in the first quarter. Carrier has 126 yards rushing on five carries. Crazy.
…Lobos force an Air Force punt, take over at their own 18 with 10:48 left in the first quarter. Air Force star tailback Cody Getz, who injured an ankle last week at Wyoming, not in the Falcons’ backfield on their first series.
… Shazam. New Mexico’s Kasey Carrier breaks a 68-yard run on the game’s first play from scrimmage to the Air Force 7, but the Lobos settle for a 20-yard Justus Adams field goal. It’s 3-0 New Mexico with 12:30 left in the first quarter.
… Here we go….
… Lobos win the coin toss, will take the ball.
… Cornerback Tim Foley from Rio Rancho leads the Lobos onto the field, bearing the New Mexico flag. He’ll do the same next week against Fresno State in Albuquerque as the New Mexico Man.
… Good afternoon from Falcon Stadium at the Air Force Academy, where the New Mexico Lobos and the Air Force Falcons will tee it up in approximately 15 minutes. It’s a beautiful, warm, somewhat breezy day, near-perfect for option football.
I’ll be blogging at the quarter and halftime breaks and with score updates, trends, and whatever else proves interesting.