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Utes commit 13 penelties!!
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socalbyu Offline
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Wes Crawley figured that talk on the football field is cheap. But he also knew it can be costly.
"We knew coming into the game that they're a rowdy bunch of individuals," Crawley, an Air Force senior cornerback, said of the Utah Utes. "We knew they like to talk and showboat. We're not going to accept that, but we weren't going let that hurt us. We took advantage of it instead." <img border="0" title="" alt="[Cool]" src="cool.gif" />

During their 30-26 loss Saturday to the Falcons, in which they blew a 26-6 halftime lead, the Utes were penalized 13 times for 148 yards. Several penalties were for personal fouls and unsportsmanlike conduct.

"It's tough when somebody gets in your face and talks," Crawley said. "We're not a bunch of guys who back down from anything. But we put our personal pride aside. We're not going to hurt our team for personal gain. We'll let them talk, hurt themselves and let it give us good field position."

Do the math

AFA kicker Joey Ashcroft missed an extra point in the first quarter and a 40-yard field goal early in the fourth, missed opportunities that could have added up to defeat.

On the Falcons' final possession, he would have been called on again for an attempt to tie the score with a field goal had they not scored the winning touchdown.

"I was thinking all sorts of things," said Ashcroft, a junior from Springfield, Mo. "I was trying to force bad thoughts out of my mind. I said to myself, 'I'm going to make it.' I had to focus on what I had to do. I was ready, but I was very happy we got the touchdown. It made our job easier."

By the time Ashcroft was called on early in the fourth quarter, with the Utes ahead 26-16, the wind was swirling inside Rice-Eccles Stadium.

"I hit it left," Ashcroft said of the 40-yarder that missed. "I don't remember much about the wind. The extra point, I just missed it. I was thinking the whole first half that it might be a one-point game. But I thought we'd pull it out in the second half."

Injury report

The MRI examination last week on AFA linebacker Matt McCraney revealed a torn ligament in his right knee.

McCraney, a senior from Coppell, Texas, will attempt to rehabilitate the injury in hopes of returning this season. Junior fullback Dan Shaffer, who suffered as season-ending knee injury in the opener against Northwestern, awaits a medical decision that could allow him to have an extra semester at the academy.

Also, junior nose guard Nicholas Taylor didn't play. Taylor suffered a high ankle sprain the previous weekend at California.

The Falcons lost junior defensive end Monty Coleman and sophomore halfback Anthony Butler to injuries during Saturday's game. Coleman strained his lower right leg. Butler sprained his left ankle.

Extra points

When the Falcons outscored Utah 10-0 in the third quarter, they increased their margin over opponents to 38-6 in third quarters this season. . . .

At 4-0, the Falcons remain the only undefeated team in the Mountain West Conference. . . .

The Falcons are 47-18 overall since the start of the 1997 season. Their 47 victories rank 13th among NCAA Division I-A teams during that span. . . .

Nate Allen blocked his second punt of the season and third of his Air Force career early in the fourth quarter. It gave the Falcons a possession at Utah's 25-yard line, but they didn't score. Ashcroft's missed 40-yarder completed that series.
09-29-2002 02:35 PM
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