November 16, 2008 9:40 AM
Air Force comes up short
AIR FORCE ACADEMY - Falcons coach Troy Calhoun has repeated himself several times this season when saying his team 'is not there yet.'
That was the case Saturday when 16th-ranked BYU escaped with a 38-24 victory over the Falcons.
Air Force overcame a 10-point deficit in the first half and the scrappy Falcons came from 17 points behind in the third quarter but couldn't come up with the big plays when needed.
The Falcons led 14-10 at halftime but gave up three touchdowns in 5:43 early in the third quarterback because of a sluggish offense, two short punts and a fumbled kickoff. Still, Air Force had a chance tie the game when Chris Thomas came close to making a key third down sack on BYU quarterback Max Hall and cornerback Anthony Wright nearly intercepted a Hall pass on what turned out to be BYU's game-clinching drive.
"When you play these guys, you're never going to be flawless, but there are certain games you have to be pretty darn close to it," Calhoun said. "We didn't come up with very many stops, had the short punts and the fumble on the kickoff return.
"You're never going to be mistake free, but you;ve got to be inching right up against it. When we play teams like BYU and Utah, that's just the way we have to play. We had some chances to maybe come up with some interceptions, You've got to make every single one of those plays. Just from a program standpoint, we've got a ways to go. We have some work to do to say the least."
Aaron Kirchoff had one interception for the Falcons and had a chance for two others.
"I had a couple chances and didn't capitalize," Kirchoff said. "It was in the defense's hands in the fourth quarter and we couldn't stop them. It does light a little fire that we can get some of those (chances) back against TCU when we go to Fort Worth."
Air Force (8-3) ends the regular season next Saturday against 15th-ranked.TCU.