RENO - Big plays on both sides of the ball have Air Force holding a 21-17 halftime lead at Nevada.
New quarterback Karson Roberts broke a 60-yard run – Air Force’s longest of the season – to set up a touchdown and Sam Gagliano bested that with a 70-yard run that set up another score.
The defense also put the Falcons in position to score, as safety Christian Spears intercepted a pass and returned it 21 yards to set up a four-play scoring drive.
Jon Lee, Anthony LaCoste and Broam Hart scored the short touchdowns for the Falcons.
Air Force’s previous longest play of the season was a 53-yard pass from Jaleel Awini to Gagliano and the previous long run was a 33-yarder from Awini. Awini is no longer eligible, having lost his good standing as a cadet.
Roberts stepped in for Awini, making his first start, and went into halftime with a team-high 74 yards on seen carries. He was 0-for-1 passing and took a sack.
Like Air Force’s past three opponents, Nevada has found success in the air. Wolf Pack quarterback Cody Fajardo completed his first 12 passes and went into the half 23-of-31 for 234 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
The interception occurred on the one play that Fajardo went to the sidelines, apparently having aggravated a knee injury.
Nevada largely struggled on the ground, gaining 101 yards on 25 carries – and that was with a 24-yarder from Kendall Brock.
Air Force forced a turnover on downs when the Wolf Pack threw incomplete on a fake punt. Nevada launched its first punt in the final minute of the half, the second first-half punt forced by Air Force in the past four weeks.
Nevada controlled time of possession – 20:51 to 9:09 – and ran 58 plays compared to 22 for air Force in the first half. The Wolf Pack had a 335 to 198 advantage in total yards despite the four-point hole.
Air Force will get the ball first in the second half.