Air Force secures 1st Commander-in-Chief’s trophy since 2016

Commanders' Classic - Army v Air Force
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ARLINGTON, Texas – Brad Roberts carried it 33 times for 135 yards, Camby Goff intercepted a pass with 19 second left and Air Force edged Army 13-7 on Saturday at Globe Life Field for it first Commander-in-Chief’s trophy since 2016.

Air Force was stopped for a loss on a third-and-3 run near midfield with 1:46 left, giving Army a chance at a game-winning touchdown drive. The Black Knights converted one fourth down on the drive, but threw an interception on fourth-and-2 as Goff cut in front of Ay’Jaun Marshall along the Army sideline for his third pick of the season.

The Falcons clinched a record 21st trophy – awarded to the academy with the best record in the round-robin competition.

“It’s a good place for it to be,” Air Force coach Troy Calhoun said about the trophy coming back to Colorado Springs. “Now you have to earn it, it’s not easy to do.”

Haaziq Daniels was 6-of-13 passing for 98 yards with an interception and he carried it 14 times for 89 yards and a touchdown for Air Force (6-3), which also beat Navy 13-10 on Oct. 1.

Daniels’ 17-yard touchdown early in the third quarter gave Air Force a 10-7 lead and Matthew Dapore made his second short field goal to cap the scoring with 12:06 left in the fourth.

Jemel Jones passed for 67 yards and rushed for 37 and a touchdown for Army (3-5).

Hall tosses 3 TDs, rallies No. 19 BYU past Utah State 38-26

Utah State v Brigham Young
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PROVO, Utah – BYU survived another slow start to avoid a potentially damaging loss to an instate rival.

Jaren Hall threw for 273 yards and three touchdowns to help the No. 19 Cougars to a 38-26 victory over Utah State on Thursday night.

Hall, who favored his right shoulder after a late hit near the end of the third quarter, has thrown for at least 250 yards in nine consecutive games. Kody Epps finished with 86 yards and a touchdown on five catches. Christopher Brooks ran for 90 yards and a score on 11 carries.

BYU (4-1) beat Utah State (1-4) for the third straight time in the Battle for the Old Wagon Wheel. It wasn’t an easy task. The Cougars were blindsided early by energetic play by the Aggies on both sides of the ball.

“They were more physical than us. They had more energy than us,” BYU receiver Gunner Romney said. “It seems like they were more motivated to play. But luckily we went back and made some good adjustments at halftime and came out with a little more fire and we were able to get the job done.”

Cooper Legas threw for 188 yards and two touchdowns while adding 54 yards and another score on the ground to lead the Aggies. Legas, who filled in for injured starter Logan Bonner, also threw a pair of interceptions. Calvin Tyler, Jr. added 104 yards on 18 carries.

Bonner is sidelined with a season-ending foot injury, so Legas will be Utah State’s starting quarterback going forward after making his first career start against BYU.

“He’s waited for his opportunity and when it showed up, he did a phenomenal job,” Aggies coach Blake Anderson said. “I’m sure like any quarterback, there’s a couple of plays he’d love to have back. But, man, he gave us a chance to win.”

The Aggies lost their fourth straight game and fell to 6-65 against Top 25 teams.

Utah State took a 7-0 lead after Legas capped the Aggies’ opening drive with a 7-yard run. Things were on the verge of unraveling for Utah State after that early score.

BYU covered 65 yards in two plays – a 34 yard catch by Romney and 31-yard catch-and-run by Keanu Hill – to even the score. Then, Max Tooley reeled in a tipped pass from Legas and returned it 32 yards to give the Cougars their first lead at 14-7.

Utah State bounced back and shut down BYU’s offense after its initial drive. The Cougars went three-and-out on three consecutive possessions, opening the door for the Aggies to retake a 17-14 lead on a 14-yard catch by Brian Cobbs. BYU lost a total of nine yards on those three drives.

The Cougars found some life on offense again in the third quarter. Ethan Erickson snagged a high pass for a go-ahead 14-yard score to cap off BYU’s opening second-half drive. Then, on the Cougars’ next drive, Kody Epps caught three straight passes – culminating in an 8-yard score that extended BYU’s lead to 31-20.

BYU averaged 9.0 yards on 22 third quarter plays after totaling only 107 yards on 19 plays during the first half.

“We just came out with intent to keep the energy up and come out full speed, taking shots and trying to move the ball, get things rolling for our offense and help our defense,” Epps said. “When we make plays on offense, it helps our defense. Everything starts to mesh and fall together. That was the biggest thing.”

The Cougars finally got their running game going in the fourth quarter. Brooks scored on an 18-yard run to cap off six straight running plays and give BYU a 38-20 lead.

THE TAKEAWAY

Utah State: Turnovers continued to be a problem for the Aggies. An interception return gave BYU its first lead early in the first quarter while a red zone fumble only a few seconds into the second quarter killed a potential scoring drive.

BYU: The Cougars’ running game woes resurfaced in the first half. BYU did not gain positive yardage on a running play until late in the second quarter and tallied minus-21 rushing yards before halftime. It was the fewest rushing yards in a half for BYU since tallying minus-28 rushing yards against Marshall in the second half of the 1999 Motor City Bowl.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

BYU could move up in the AP Top 25 after winning its second straight game.

UP NEXT

Utah State: Hosts Air Force on Oct. 8.

BYU: Plays Notre Dame in Las Vegas on Oct. 8.

Nix puts up 5 TDs, No. 25 Oregon takes down No. 12 BYU 41-20

BYU v Oregon
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EUGENE, Ore. – Bo Nix likened himself to a point guard for Oregon.

He certainly scored like one. Nix threw for two touchdowns and ran for three more to lead No. 25 Oregon to a 41-20 victory over No. 12 BYU on Saturday.

The victory extended Oregon’s winning streak at Autzen Stadium to 21 games, the third-longest in the nation.

Nix, a transfer from Auburn, completed 13 of 18 passes for 222 yards and ran for 35 yards on nine carries. Terrance Ferguson caught both of Nix’s touchdown passes and finished with 24 yards receiving.

“I felt like I didn’t do anything different, just went out there and played the game, let it come to me,” Nix said. “At the end of the day I’m a point guard, with some great positions around me, great skill players. So my job is kind of easy: Knowing what to do with the ball, knowing who to give the ball to, and then letting those guys do their thing.”

Jaren Hall threw for 305 yards and two scores for BYU (2-1), which was coming off a big win at home over then-No. 9 Baylor that moved the Cougars up nine spots in the AP Top 25. They struggled on the ground against the Ducks, mustering just 61 rushing yards.

“We just didn’t play as good as we should have starting off. Had a good first play, had some momentum, just didn’t finish the drive, and just kind of let things get out of hand offensively the next couple of drives,” Hall said.

The Ducks (2-1) rebounded from a season-opening loss to Georgia with a 70-14 win at home over Eastern Washington last weekend.

Nix ran two yards for a touchdown to give the Ducks an early lead. Camden Lewis added a 28-yard field goal to give Oregon a 10-0 lead after the opening quarter.

Isaac Rex hauled down a pass from quarterback Jaren Hall for a 28-yard BYU touchdown early in the second. Oregon answered on the next drive when Nix found Troy Franklin with a 50-yard pass to get close, then ran on another 2-yard keeper to make it 17-7.

Nix fired a 15-yard TD pass to Ferguson in the end zone to give Oregon a 24-7 lead heading into halftime. Nix added a 6-yard keeper early in the second half and found Ferguson for a 9-yard scoring pass to make it 38-7.

Ty Thompson replaced Nix late in the third quarter.

BYU closed to within 38-14 on Hall’s 18-yard scoring pass to Kody Epps – Epps’ first touchdown as a Cougar.

BYU intercepted Thompson on the Oregon 30 and were helped by a pass interference call, leading to Hall’s 2-yard scoring pass to Chris Brooks. A 2-point conversion attempt failed.

Nix returned on Oregon’s next series and the drive was capped by Lewis’ 25-yard field goal to cap scoring.

“One of my past coaches told me that pressure is a privilege, and so I’ve really taken that to heart, and there’s nothing more true in my opinion,” Nix said. “When you have a lot of pressure it means that people believe in you, people believe you can do it, or you wouldn’t have pressure at all.”

THE TAKEAWAY

BYU: The Cougars were shorthanded because of key injuries. Starting receivers Puka Nacua and Gunner Romney remained out. Nacua was a game-time decision because of a sore right ankle. The Cougars were also without starting defensive linemen Tyler Batty and Earl Tuioti-Mariner. … Jake Oldroyd missed a 38-yard field goal in the opening half, his third straight miss. … BYU was 5-0 against the Pac-12 last season.

Oregon: BYU honored Oregon tight end Spencer Webb, who died in an offseason accident, by running out of the tunnel with an Oregon flag with Webb’s No. 18…. Oregon now leads the series with BYU 4-3. The previous meeting between the two was in 2006 at the Las Vegas Bowl, a 38-8 victory for the Cougars.

THE LAST TIME

Saturday’s game was the first between two ranked teams at Autzen Stadium since 2018. And the last time BYU and Oregon played here was in 1990, when the unranked Ducks upset No. 4 BYU 32-16 in a meeting that featured two big-name quarterbacks. Oregon’s Bill Musgrave threw three touchdowns and ran for another. BYU’s Ty Detmer was sacked five times. It was one of just three losses for the Cougars that season.

UP NEXT

BYU: The Cougars host Wyoming next Saturday.

Oregon: The Ducks visit Washington State next Saturday.