Air Force 21, Nevada 17, halftime

September 28, 2013 Updated: September 28, 2013 at 8:03 pm
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Air Force Academy football players and head coach Troy Calhoun run out onto the field as Air Force Academy football opens their 2013 season against Colgate Saturday, August 31, 2013 at Falcon Stadium in Colorado Springs, Colo. Air Force beat Colgate 38-13. Michael Ciaglo, The Gazette

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.

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