Falcons Rally Past Frogs; Mountaineers Wax Terps
by Mike Mitchell
September 13, 2007
This is why they play the games, and preseason predictions really don't matter.
TCU blew a 17-3 lead in the fourth quarter, and lost 20-17 in overtime at Air Force on Thursday night. The Horned Frogs wasted several scoring opportunities that would have put the game out of reach. TCU came up empty with drives that ended in a blocked field goal, an interception at the one-yard line, and another interception in the end zone when they were driving for the winning touchdown in the final minute of regulation. Then, on the initial overtime possession, a field goal attempt clanked off of the left upright. The Falcons only ran two plays before converting their field goal attempt for the upset victory.
The Horned Frogs were picked to win the Mountain West Conference by every single major magazine and internet site, and the Mountain West media. The season is young, and TCU may wind up at the top of the conference when all is said and done. But for now, the teams are at opposite ends of those predictions.
Air Force is 3-0, 2-0 in the Mountain West, with back-to-back victories over Utah and TCU. The Horned Frogs have lost consecutive games - they led Texas 10-0 at halftime last week - and are now just 1-2 over-all, 0-1 in the Mountain West.
TCU's has been here before. Just last season, the Horned Frogs suffered back-to-back losses to Utah and BYU in their first two conference games, and then ran the table to finish 11-2.
Air Force has been before, also. The Falcons started last season's conference schedule with three consecutive wins over Wyoming, New Mexico and Colorado State. They closed the season with just one more victory in their last seven games. When it was over, Fisher DeBerry retired as head coach after 23 years at the helm.
Now, new head coach Troy Calhoun is trying to get Air Force in position to compete for its first-ever WAC title. He's off to a good start, but it doesn't get any easier as Air Force journeys away from home to play BYU and Navy in its next two games. BYU was picked to finish second in the conference, and Navy was the preseason favorite to retain the Commander-In-Chief's Trophy.
Air Force knows what everyone can do with those predictions.
Meanwhile, the only other game played Thursday night went just about as expected as West Virginia thumped Maryland 31-14.
Maryland fumbled the first snap of the ballgame and trailed 7-0 quickly. The Terrapins responded on their next series to tie the score at 7 a-piece, and only trailed 14-7 at halftime. But the Mountaineers took control in the second half and led by as much as 31-7.
West Virginia (3-0) plays its final non-conference tune-up game next week at home against East Carolina. Maryland (2-1) opens its ACC slate next week at defending conference champion Wake Forest.