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Highlights, key plays and photos from Utah State’s 35-7 loss to Air Force

The Falcons score the game’s final 35 points in dominating the Aggies at Maverik Stadium.

Utah State quarterback Andrew Peasley (6) is tackled by Air Force linebacker Will Trawick (42) during the first half of an NCAA college football game Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020, in Logan, Utah.
Eli Lucero/The Herald Journal via AP, Pool

Utah State’s home slate of its 2020 season ended with a thud Thursday night, as the Aggies again found themselves on the wrong end of a lopsided game in a 35-7 loss to Air Force at Maverik Stadium.

The Falcons (3-2) scored the game’s final 35 points after the Aggies (1-5) put up a touchdown on the first possession of the contest. The loss drops USU to 1-3 in home games this season, with a road contest next week at Colorado State wrapping up the year.

Andrew Peasley struggled in his second career start, completing 17 of 32 passes for 123 yards, with one touchdown and two interceptions. Air Force’s Haaziq Daniels, meanwhile, completed 7 of 9 passes for 127 yards and a touchdown, while also rushing for 47 yards and another score.

3 takeaways

Air Force runs over Aggies

Through one quarter, the Falcons had only 39 yards rushing — well off the visitor’s running average. It was a bit misleading, though, considering both teams had long, time-consuming touchdown drives in the first quarter.

By the end of the night, though, Air Force ran right at its average, putting up 334 yards of rushing offense on the night. The Falcons ran for 196 yards in the second half in taking over control of the game, finishing with a 6.1-per carry average. Kadin Remsberg paced the Air Force rush game, with 107 yards and a touchdown.

Offensive struggles

Peasley didn’t much help from the Aggies’ rushing attack, as Devonta’e Henry-Cole was a late scratch. A trio of backup RBs combined for 56 rushing yards with a 3.1-per carry average.

Peasley actually led Utah State in rushing with 53 yards, though the passing game never really got on track, especially in the second half. The Aggies had a chance to make it a one-score game in the third quarter, but Peasley threw incomplete on a fourth-down pass in Air Force territory, and from there, the Falcons used their ground attack to limit the Aggies’ offensive chances.

On the night, USU had 232 yards of total offense and converted 9 of 14 third downs — though five of those conversions came on the Aggies’ lone scoring drive to start the game — and Utah State didn’t convert a pair of fourth-down tries.

Air Force passing accuracy

Daniels made some key passes early in the game to help the Falcons move ahead. One included a 14-yard pass on a fourth-and-9 in USU territory that led to Air Force’s first touchdown of the night.

In the second quarter, Daniels connected with a wide-open Ben Peterson on a 49-yard touchdown pass that put Air Force up 14-7. The Air Force quarterback later added a 37-yard touchdown run just before halftime to give the Falcons a two-score lead, but it was his passing accuracy — he completed his first six passes — that helped the Air Force offense get on track.


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End of fourth quarter

Air Force 35, Utah State 7

The Falcons chew up more clock in the final period, limiting USU chances and Andrew Peasley throws his second interception in the fourth as Air Force takes home the win.

12:12, fourth quarter

Air Force 35, Utah State 7

The Falcons march 83 yards and add another touchdown — this time a 15-yard run from Brad Roberts — and Air Force has scored 35 straight points in a lopsided game at Maverik Stadium.

End of third quarter

Air Force 28, Utah State 7

A few notes from the first three quarters of play:

  • Air Force has 349 yards of total offense, with 246 yards coming on the ground.
  • Andrew Peasley has completed 10 of 21 passes for 76 yards, the one touchdown on the first drive and an interception. He completed just 1 of 6 passes in the third quarter.
  • The Falcons ran for 108 yards in the third quarter and possessed the ball for over 10 minutes in the period.

4:43, third quarter

Air Force 28, Utah State 7

The Aggies couldn’t convert on a drive in Air Force territory to make it a one-score game, and the Falcons respond with a 71-yard touchdown drive to go ahead by 21. Air Force caps the 11-play drive with a 1-yard Matthew Murla TD on third down to make it 28-7.

End of second quarter

Air Force 21, Utah State 7

The Falcons take a two-score lead into the break, as Utah State has struggled since taking the early 7-0 lead. A few halftime notes:

  • Air Force has 241 yards of total offense, averaging 9.64 yards per play.
  • Utah State, meanwhile, has a respectable 157 yards and converted 8 of 10 third downs, though a good portion of that came from the first scoring drive.
  • Andrew Peasley, in his second career start, has completed 9 of 15 passes for 70 yards, a touchdown and an interception on the final play of the half. He’s also rushed for a team-high 40 yards.
  • Air Force quarterback Haaziq Daniels has been impressive, completing 6 of 7 passes for 103 yards and a touchdown while also rushing 41 yards and another score.

0:52, second quarter

Air Force 21, Utah State 7

Air Force is in control with an impressive eight-play, 99-yard touchdown drive, as Haaziq Daniels runs for a 37-yard score on third down, cutting back to the open field for the Falcons’ third straight touchdown. This touchdown is particularly painful for the Aggies, coming in the final minute before the half, and the Falcons will have the ball first to start the second half.

9:22, second quarter

Air Force 14, Utah State 7

The traditionally option-oriented Falcons have their passing attack going, as Haaziq Daniels completes his sixth straight pass and it goes for a 49-yard touchdown to a wide-open Ben Peterson. Daniels has already passed for 103 yards for Air Force.

End of first quarter

Utah State 7, Air Force 7

A few notes from a quick-moving first quarter:

  • It’s been an even quarter, with Air Force putting up 75 yards of total offense and Utah State 66.
  • The Aggies are without running back Devonta’e Henry-Cole tonight. In his absence, freshman Elelyon Noa has 16 yards on seven carries.
  • Air Force has average 6.82 yards per play, to 4.13 for Utah State

0:39, first quarter

Utah State 7, Air Force 7

The Falcons counter USU’s touchdown with one of their own, scoring on a 21-yard run from Kadin Remsberg one play after Air Force converted a fourth-and-9 when a long field goal wasn’t really an option from the Utah State 35. The fourth-down conversion came when Haaziq Daniels hit Daniel Morris for a 14-yard gain. Air Force ate up more than six minutes while driving 75 yards on 11 plays for the score.

6:56, first quarter

Utah State 7, Air Force 0

The Aggies’ offense has a nice tone-setting drive to start the game, driving 65 yards on 15 plays — converting 5 of 5 third downs — before capping it with a 4-yard touchdown catch by Jordan Nathan from Andrew Peasley. Peasley was 4 of 6 passing on the drive for 30 yards while picking up 14 yards on a carry.

Pre-game

Here are a few links to stories you may want to read prior to or during the game: