3:00 PM ET, October 30, 2004
LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) -- In his first year at the helm of Wyoming's offense, junior quarterback Corey Bramlet has learned how much he means to the team.
Bramlet passed for two touchdowns and gained 67 yards on the ground as Wyoming beat Air Force 43-26 Saturday. More importantly, after throwing six interceptions in the last two games -- both losses -- Bramlet had no turnovers.
"He played brilliantly," Cowboys coach Joe Glenn said. "...We asked him to be consistent, and he got it done."
Wyoming (5-3, 2-2 Mountain West Conference) ended a two-game losing streak and kept its chances for a bowl bid alive, while Air Force (3-5, 2-3) lost for the fourth time in five games.
"The coaches have been honest with me, that if I played well then the team would play well," Bramlet said.
The game featured two of the top three scoring offenses in the conference -- Air Force ranked second and Wyoming third -- and two defenses ranked in the bottom half of the league.
The teams did not disappoint offensively as Wyoming gained 559 total yards and the Falcons 420.
However, Wyoming ran off 88 plays that consumed 38 minutes, 57 seconds of the game clock, compared to 69 plays and 21:03 for the Falcons. The Cowboys gained 291 yards on the ground on 59 rushes, compared to 231 yards on 48 rushes by Air Force.
"Wyoming did a great job moving the ball," Air Force coach Fisher DeBerry said. "They ran the time down and held onto the ball well."
Bramlet completed 19 of 27 passes for 256 yards and rushed 13 times.
"Our offensive line played so well and helped me be efficient and see things well," Bramlet said.
Running back Joseph Harris, who ran for 128 yards on 18 carries and scored one touchdown, said Bramlet did a "great job today."
"We couldn't ask any better out of him -- making good reads, making good passes and everything was just on point," Harris said.
Running back Ivan Harrison contributed two 1-yard scoring runs and 75 rushing yards for Wyoming.
Adam Fitch, who replaced freshman starter Shaun Carney at quarterback in the fourth quarter, led Air Force with two short TD runs and a 45-yard TD pass -- all in the final 12:46 of the game. Fitch completed 7-of-11 for 132 yards. Carney was 3-of-10 for 57 yards and one interception.
"I put everything on me," Carney said. "It wasn't the things that Wyoming did, it was the things that we didn't do."
In a first half that saw just one punt between the two teams, Wyoming took the opening kickoff and drove 79 yards in 17 plays but ended up with no points after two quarterback sneaks failed inches short of the goal line on third and fourth downs.
Air Force took over on downs, and Wyoming linebacker Guy Tuell caught Anthony Butler in the end zone for a safety on the Falcons' second play from scrimmage.
The Cowboys followed with a 64-yards drive that led to a 20-yard field goal by Deric Yaussi.
The Falcons, who ran just four plays in the first quarter, answered with a nine-play, 65-yard scoring drive that featured just one pass attempt and ended with Darnell Stephens taking a pitch from Carney for a 2-yard TD run in the second quarter.
Bramlet led Wyoming to scores on its next two possessions, sandwiched around an Air Force turnover when Terrance Butler made a juggling interception. Bramlet found Josh Barge on a 12-yard TD pass and followed with a 2-yard scoring pass to Wade Betschart for a 19-6 lead at the half.
Wyoming went up 29-6 on a 27-yard field goal by Yaussi and the first of Harrison's 1-yard TD runs. The touchdown was set up by a 36-yard punt return by Hoost Marsh.
Air Force pulled within 29-19 on a 45-yard TD pass from Fitch to Jason Brown and then a 1-yard run by Fitch.
But Wyoming put the game away with back-to-back touchdowns -- one on a 10 play, 80-yard drive that consumed 5:25 and was capped by Harrison's 1-yard run, and a 28-yard score by Harris after an Air Force fumble.
Fitch scored the last points of the game on a 1-yard run with 15 seconds left.