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Utah 17, Air Force 14

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Final

Utah

7

0

0

10

17

Air Force

0

0

0

14

14

The outcome of this game actually surprised me, because I felt the Utes and Falcons would find themselves in a shootout like in years past. But that didn't happen, as the Utes defense stepped up and had one of their best games of the season. They stopped the Falcons wishbone offense and kept Air Force's running game in check, all things they needed to accomplish if they were going to pull out the victory.

Utah's offense did just enough to win, as quarterback Brett Ratliff threw for 236 yards on 24 of 38 passes with zero interceptions. But while Ratliff's play was solid for the Utes, it was Eric Weddle that proved he's the best player on this Utah team. Weddle, playing both defense and offense, racked up 73 yards rushing, the leading rusher of the game. Darryl Poston was a distant second for the Utes, getting 55 yards on 14 carries.

The Utes were playing clock control offense and it worked to near perfection. They won the time of possession 32:29 to 27:31, only the third team this season to do so against Air Force. That made it very difficult for the Falcons to get anything going on offense. And Utah's defense didn't help their offensive cause, either.

Utah held Air Force to 116 rushing yards the entire game and actually outgained Air Force on the ground for the first time in recent memory. That set up the final minutes of the game, where Utah drove down the field and kicked a game winning field goal as time expired. It was the Utes fourth straight victory over Air Force and their second in a row at Falcon Stadium. This after losing three straight to the Falcons from 2000-2002. Air Force now leads the all-time series 10-13-0 and 6-4 at home.

With this victory the Utes are now guaranteed a fourth straight bowl bid, most likely the Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth and a fourth straight winning season.

Utah now look to TDS, where a victory would give them their fifth straight in the series. That game will kickoff at 1:30 at Rice-Eccles Stadium and will be seen on CSTV.