Boise, ID (SportsNetwork.com) - Shayne Davern ran for 101 yards with a pair of touchdowns, as Air Force used its patented ground attack to claim a 38-24 win over Western Michigan in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl on the blue turf at Albertsons Stadium on the campus of Boise State.
D.J. Johnson added 83 rushing yards and a score for the Falcons (10-3), who ranked seventh in the nation in rushing during the regular season at 272.2 yards per game and finished with 284 yards on the ground to snap a two-game bowl losing streak. Kale Pearson threw for 77 yards and chipped in 41 on 14 carries in the victory.
Zach Terrell threw for 297 yards with three touchdowns to Corey Davis, who hauled in eight passes for 176 yards in defeat. Western Michigan (8-5) has never won a bowl game in six tries.
Western Michigan managed only one first down on its first three possessions of the second half, then marched 92 yards on nine plays to pull within 23-17 with 13:26 remaining in the fourth when Terrell hit Davis down the left sideline with a 35-yard touchdown pass.
The Broncos got the ball right back after a punt and a 10-yard pass from Terrell to Davis put Western Michigan at the Air Force 43. Two plays later, though, Terrell fumbled and Dexter Walker raced 60 yards the other way for a score. The two-point conversion gave Air Force a 31-17 lead.
Western Michigan's next series ended in a fourth-down incomplete pass and the Falcons converted 4th-and-6 with a 26-yard Colton Huntsman run to set up the clinching score, a 9-yard burst by Johnson on the next play.
Terrell and Davis hooked up again for a 51-yard score with 3:16 remaining to account for the final margin, as Air Force recovered the ensuing onside kick and ran off the remaining time.
Air Force's Devin Rushing fumbled on the first play from scrimmage and Western Michigan took advantage with a 25-yard field goal from Andrew Haldeman, but the Falcons went in front later in the first quarter when Davern scored on a 1-yard run to cap a 61-yard drive. A fumbled snap on the point-after attempt left it 6-3.
Davis hauled in a 47-yard touchdown pass from Terrell early in the second quarter to put the Broncos back on top, but it didn't take long for the Falcons to answer as Davern took a simple handoff up the middle on the third play after the kickoff and broke free for a 55-yard touchdown run.
Air Force appeared to be stopped on its next offensive series, but Davern took the snap on a fake punt and ran eight yards to convert 4-and-2. The Falcons continued the march and Rushing finished the 15-play, 80-yard set with a leaping touchdown run from the one on fourth down to make it 20-10 with 2:32 remaining in the first half.
Will Conant drilled a 31-yard field goal on Air Force's second possession of the third quarter to extend the margin to 23-10.
Air Force improved to 11-12-1 all-time in bowl games and won for the first time since the 2010 Independence Bowl ... Terrell, who completed 19-of-38 passes, was also Western Michigan's leading rusher with 61 yards on 11 carries ... Western Michigan's Jarvion Franklin, the MAC's top freshman, managed only 26 yards on 12 carries ... The Broncos outgained the Falcons, 376-361 ... This was the first meeting between the two programs.