LARAMIE, Wyo. – Air Force thrives in fourth quarters and on fourth down.
Tim Jefferson ran 7 yards for the decisive score late in the fourth quarter and Jared Tew ran for 136 yards and a score to lead Air Force past Wyoming 20-14 on Saturday.
Wyoming (1-3, 0-1 Mountain West Conference) blocked the extra point after Jefferson put the Falcons up 20-14 with 3:41 remaining, but Air Force forced a turnover on the Cowboys' next possession when Jon Davis recovered a fumble by Wyoming's David Leonard.
Air Force (3-1, 2-0) then ran out the last 2:50.
Last weekend, a 14-0 run by Air Force in the fourth quarter made Oklahoma sweat in Norman. This time two fourth quarter touchdowns was enough to come away with a victory.
Coach Troy Calhoun praised his players' resilience.
"You've got to continuously be able to be the lions and tigers and be able to scent some food out there," Calhoun said.
Air Force made fourth downs count, too, converting 4 of 5 times to keep critical drives moving against Wyoming (1-3, 0-1).
"Whatever it takes, we have a mental mindset that we're going to make things happen. We had some big first downs," Tew said.
Jefferson finished with 94 yards rushing. The Falcons finished with 374 yards rushing, a bit less than their best-in-the-nation rushing average.
Alvester Alexander ran for 123 yards and two touchdowns for Wyoming, which had 174 yards rushing and ran the ball better than its last two games, blowout losses to Texas and Boise State.
"Our schemes were good on both sides of the ball. Our players worked hard from start to finish," Cowboys coach Dave Christensen said. "We just have to be a bit more physical."
Austyn Carta-Samuels threw 6 of 11 for 66 yards and had 60 yards rushing for Wyoming. Jefferson also threw for 66 yards and was 5 of 12.
Air Force dialed things up after Wyoming got ahead in the third quarter. Alexander snaked in from 9 yards out to put the Cowboys up 14-7.
"We definitely felt the urgency to put points back on the board at around that point in the game," Jefferson said.
Air Force tied the game 14-14 on a 9-yard run by Nathan Walker a few minutes into the fourth. A 42-yard punt return by Ghaali Muhammad was about all that Wyoming could muster on its next brief possession.
An 80-yard Air Force drive followed, including a 5-yard run by Tew on fourth down and, ultimately, the Falcons' winning touchdown.
The game was tied 7-7 at halftime.
Wyoming was first to score when Alexander ran in a 1-yard TD. Air Force scored on a 4-yard run by Tew with 2:24 left in the half.