FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) -- Sparked by quarterback Bradlee Van
Pelt, Colorado State took the nation's No. 3 rushing team to
Van Pelt ran for two touchdowns and passed for another -- all in
the second quarter -- as Colorado State beat Air Force 30-20
"Their offensive line dominated the ball game," Air Force
coach Fisher DeBerry said. "They took control of the football and
beat us at our own game."
Air Force, which entered the game averaging 297.4 yards on the
ground, was outrushed 306-276.
Van Pelt's versatility helped the Rams (5-3, 2-1 Mountain West)
generate 564 total yards and moved the defending champions back
into contention in the conference.
Air Force (6-2, 3-1) was led by quarterback Chance Harridge, who
ran for 136 yards and two scores. He was intercepted twice, both
times by safety Benny Mastropaolo.
Van Pelt ran for 125 yards on 17 carries and completed 14 of 22
passes for 258 yards. David Anderson caught nine passes for 199
yards -- both career highs -- including a 5-yard scoring pass.
"If he can run for 70 to 100 yards a game and throw for 250,
we're going to be tough to beat," Colorado State coach Sonny
Lubick said. "That's what you dream about."
Asked if he came close to perfection, Van Pelt said, "I
wouldn't say it was a perfect game for me. I still missed a couple
of reads. I'll never stop looking for perfection, but I'm satisfied
with the results."
Van Pelt said Anderson is "just an excellent receiver, great
hands, runs great routes. He and (Chris) Pittman both have great
hands. I expect nine out of 10 times they will come down with the
Colorado State's relentless offense left DeBerry shaking his
"Van Pelt was outstanding," DeBerry said. "He is a fine
football player. He did a great job of getting Anderson the ball."
After a scoreless first quarter that included Air Force's block
of a Colorado State field goal attempt, the teams combined for 37
points in a wild second quarter, with CSU leading 23-14.
Van Pelt got it started, capping an 89-yard drive with a 13-yard
scramble barely three minutes into the period.
Pass plays -- a rarity in Air Force's wishbone offense -- played
key roles in the Falcons' two scores in the quarter. Matt Ward
turned a screen pass into a 32-yard gain, and Harridge hit Joe
Schieffer on a 41-yard pass on the next play, setting up Harridge's
1-yard scoring run.
After Colorado State's Jeff Babcock kicked a 48-yard field goal,
equaling his career longest, Air Force got a quick score when
halfback Schieffer took a pitchout and heaved a 69-yard scoring
pass to a wide open Alec Messerall for a 14-10 lead. It was
Schieffer's first pass attempt of his career.
Van Pelt put the Rams back in front, culminating a 65-yard drive
with a 3-yard scoring run.
Van Pelt's 38-yard pass to Anderson set up another Colorado
State score with 1:01 left in the half. Van Pelt faked to his
tailback going right, then found Anderson wide open on the left
side of the end zone for a 5-yard score.
Anderson had six catches for 148 yards in the half, including
receptions of 31, 36 and 38 yards.
Marcus Houston's 12-yard run put Colorado State ahead 30-14 late
in the third period.
Air Force responded with a 15-play, 80-yard drive that ended on
Harridge's 2-yard TD run, but a pass on the 2-point conversion
attempt fell incomplete.