Scores

Final

Wyoming 56

(3-1, 1-0 MW)

Air Force 23

(1-3, 0-3 MW)

Coverage: ESPNU

10:15 PM ET, September 21, 2013

Falcon Stadium, UNITED STATES AF ACA, CO

1 2 3 4 T
WYO 14 28 7 756
AFA 10 7 0 623

Top Performers

Passing: B. Smith (WYO) - 373 YDS, 4 TD

Rushing: B. Smith (WYO) - 16 CAR, 138 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: D. Rufran (WYO) - 8 REC, 117 YDS, 2 TD

Smith leads Wyoming to 56-23 rout of Air Force

Associated Press

AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- This time, it was Brett Smith who dressed down the Falcons.

The junior quarterback set Wyoming school records for career touchdown passes and total yards in a game in the Cowboys' 56-23 pummeling of Air Force on Saturday night.

Afterward, Cowboys coach Dave Christensen got a Gatorade bath from his quarterback and a handshake from his counterpart, Troy Calhoun.

That was in stark contrast to last year's postgame problems in Laramie, when Christensen confronted Calhoun after the Falcons squeaked out a 28-27 win and accused the Falcons of faking an injury to their starting QB so they could set up the next play without a timeout.

He drew a week's suspension and a $50,000 fine for his actions.

Both coaches said earlier this week that they had moved on from that confrontation and didn't feel it would have any effect on the rematch.

"I talked to him before the game, we had a nice conversation and I talked to him after the game, wished him the best of luck the rest of the way," Christensen said of Calhoun.

The coaches' newfound cordiality aside, the Cowboys certainly saw this whooping as payback.

"It meant a whole lot just for this team in general, just going out the way we did last year with the episode at the end of the game, that's not what we want our team to be," Cowboys defensive back Marqueston Huff said. "So, it was something we wanted to go out there and fix."

Smith threw for 373 yards and four TDs and added 138 yards on the ground in leading the Cowboys (3-1, 1-0 Mountain West) to their highest scoring output ever against Air Force (1-3, 0-3) in a heated series that dates to 1957.

"With the heartbreaking loss last year, I know he wanted to come out and win this game," Smith said of his coach. "And I think it not only meant a lot to him but it meant a lot to everybody."

Smith's 511 total yards broke the school record of 482 set by Josh Wallwork against Idaho in 1996. Smith completed 35 of 41 passes and his first TD throw was the junior's 57th, breaking Casey Bramlet's record of 56 set a decade ago.

The Falcons had no answer for Smith or the Cowboys' spread offense that piled up 454 yards by halftime. By then, Smith had his third four-TD performance of the young season plus a 6-yard touchdown run.

Smith took the Cowboys' first snap and swept around the left sideline for a career-long 74-yard scamper before defensive back Jamal Byrd spun him down him at the 1.

"I was excited. I wish I would have gotten in," Smith said. "I ran out of gas at the end."

No matter.

All that did was set up Smith for the record breaker, and he found Dominic Rufran all alone in the end zone for his 57th career TD pass.

Rufran was wide open again later in the quarter, and he turned a pass over the middle into a 61-yard touchdown that gave Wyoming the lead for good at 14-10.

Linebacker Nehemie Kankolongo put a wicked hit on Falcons returner Anthony LaCoste after Shaun Wick's 6-yard TD run, Devyn Harris recovered the fumble and Smith threw a 4-yard scoring strike to an uncovered Jalen Claiborne to make it 28-10.

LaCoste atoned for his turnover with a 6-yard TD run, but Smith replied with a 6-yard TD of his own on fourth-and-3 when the Cowboys once again spread out the defense with five receivers and Smith sliced through a gaping hole in the line.

He wasn't finished, quickly moving the Cowboys downfield in the final minute and finding Robert Herron for a 10-yard TD that put Wyoming ahead 42-17 at the half.

Smith completed 23 of 26 passes in the first half and was 9 for 10 on Wyoming's opening drive after halftime, one that Wick capped with a 3-yard run to make it 49-17.

That surpassed the Cowboys' previous high against Air Force in 1988, when they won 48-45.

"He played beyond well," Calhoun said. "I think it would be an understatement to say we need to do more to deter it. We were overwhelmed."

The Falcons lost for the seventh time in nine games, the worst stretch in Calhoun's six-plus seasons at the service academy.

Coming off consecutive blowout losses to Utah State and Boise State by a combined 54 points, the Falcons struck first when quarterback Jaleel Awini capped the opening drive with a 33-yard TD keeper.

After the touchback, Smith nearly scored from 75 yards out. Although he got dragged down at the 1, the tone was set.

"I was just excited we were able to answer and I was excited we were able to get points out of it," Smith said. "We never stopped. We executed pretty much in all aspects of our game."

---

Follow AP Pro Football Writer Arnie Melendrez Stapleton on Twitter: http://twitter.com/arniestapleton

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Team Stat Comparison

 
WYO
AFA
1st Downs3424
Total Yards622473
Passing373127
Rushing249346
Penalties10-917-61
3rd Down Conversions10-146-14
4th Down Conversions1-11-3
Turnovers11
Possession28:3131:29

Passing Leaders

WyomingC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Smith35/413739.140
Air ForceC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Awini11/18894.900

Rushing Leaders

WyomingCARYDSAVGTDLG
Smith161388.6174
Wick15553.7212
Air ForceCARYDSAVGTDLG
Lee88210.3026
Awini9687.6133

Receiving Leaders

WyomingRECYDSAVGTDLG
Rufran811714.6261
Herron99410.4115
Air ForceRECYDSAVGTDLG
Robinette24723.5138
Brown34515.0035

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERWYOAFA
TD12:51Jaleel Awini 33 Yd Run (Will Conant Kick)
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07
TD11:51Dominic Rufran 7 Yd Pass From Brett Smith (Stuart Williams Kick)
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77
FG08:50Will Conant 33 Yd
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710
TD04:05Dominic Rufran 61 Yd Pass From Brett Smith (Stuart Williams Kick)
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1410
SECOND QUARTERWYOAFA
TD13:51Shaun Wick 6 Yd Run (Stuart Williams Kick)
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2110
TD10:48Jalen Claiborne 4 Yd Pass From Brett Smith (Stuart Williams Kick)
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2810
TD08:18Anthony LaCoste 6 Yd Run (Will Conant Kick)
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2817
TD03:54Brett Smith 6 Yd Run (Stuart Williams Kick)
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3517
TD00:06Robert Herron 10 Yd Pass From Brett Smith (Stuart Williams Kick)
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4217
THIRD QUARTERWYOAFA
TD10:10Shaun Wick 3 Yd Run (Stuart Williams Kick)
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4917
FOURTH QUARTERWYOAFA
TD11:23Jalen Robinette 38 Yd Pass From Karson Roberts (Two-Point Run Conversion Failed)
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4923
TD08:13Tedder Easton 2 Yd Run (Stuart Williams Kick)
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5623