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Air Force Defeats Hawaii 21-7 Without Ever Taking to Air to Earn Bowl Berth

Nov 16, 2012; Colorado Springs, CO, USA; Hawaii Warriors wide receiver Billy Ray Stutzmann (5) pass is broken up by Air Force Falcons defensive back Steffon Batts (23) in the fourth quarter of the game at Falcon Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE
Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE
Mark BatorAnalyst IINovember 20, 2012

Without throwing a single pass in the entire game, the Air Force Falcons beat the Hawaii Warriors on Saturday night to earn an invitation to the 2012 Armed Forces Bowl. It is the sixth straight year that Air Force has earned a postseason bowl berth under head coach Troy Calhoun.

Air Force ran the ball 68 times in the game, controlling the clock for just over 31 minutes. Seven different Falcons ran the ball on a night when the Falcons' receivers did not need to suit up.

"It was a gutty, gritty win," said Calhoun (as reported by the Associated Press on ESPN.com) following the game. "An absolute gut-check of a win."

For the first time this season, someone other than junior Sean Schroeder started at quarterback for Hawaii. Sophomore Jeremy Higgins led Hawaii to a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter with a 28-yard touchdown pass to junior TE Clark Evans. From there, however, Air Force scored once in the second quarter and twice in the third on its way to the 21-7 final score.

"We weren't able to move the ball very well," said Higgins (per the Associated Press). "We weren't good on third downs in the second half, and it was just a lot of mental errors on my part."

Higgins (14-of-23 for 123 yards) was pulled in favor of Schroeder in the fourth quarter. Hawaii quarterbacks spread the ball around to seven different receivers in the game, with WR Chris Gant (4 receptions), Clark Evans (3 receptions) and RB Joey Iosefa (3 receptions) the leaders for the Warriors.

The loss dropped the Warriors to 0-7 in the Mountain West Conference and 1-9 overall. Hawaii will try to halt its eight-game losing streak on Saturday, Nov. 24 when they host UNLV (2-10).

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