AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. — Wes Cobb scored twice on short runs and Cody Getz rushed for 125 yards as Air Force beat Hawaii 21-7 on Friday night to become bowl eligible.
The Falcons (6-5, 5-2 Mountain West) are headed to a postseason game for the sixth straight season under coach Troy Calhoun. The team accepted a bid to the Armed Forces Bowl after the game.
Air Force didn’t even attempt a pass all night, relying on a ground game that’s ranked second in the country. The Falcons finished with 338 yards rushing.
Jeremy Higgins made his first start for Hawaii and directed a scoring drive to open the game. But the Warriors (1-9, 0-7) struggled after that as they lost for an eighth straight time, the second-longest skid in school history. Hawaii’s record is 19 straight losses from 1997-99.
Getz had another big night, eclipsing the 100-yard mark for the sixth time this season. The diminutive back had a 5-yard TD run early in the third quarter to break a 7-7 tie.
Cobb added a pair of 2-yard TD bursts to help the Falcons win back the Kuter Trophy, a memento the team really didn’t even know existed since the two schools hadn’t played since 2001.
Granted, it’s not as prestigious as the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy that goes to the academy with the best record in the annual round-robin competition. But since the Falcons are out of that race after losses to Army and Navy, this one will have to suffice.
Getz gave Air Force the lead for good early in the third quarter when he bounced off a Hawaii defender and dove into the end zone. He also had the big play on the drive, when he scampered 54 yards to set up the score.
Hawaii was in prime position to tie the game after Charles Clay recovered a muffed punt deep in Air Force territory. Three plays later, though, Hawaii running back Joey Iosefa turned it right back over to the Falcons.
Cobb plowed in from 2 yards out to tie the game at 7 early in the second quarter. The score would remain tied at halftime as Tyler Hadden’s 60-yard field goal attempt wound up well short as time expired.
The Warriors scored on their opening drive for the first time this season. Higgins avoided a blitz by rolling out to his left, then lofted a perfect strike to tight end Clark Evans for a 26-yard touchdown.
Higgins stepped in for Sean Schroeder, who’s struggled to ignite an offense that ranks among the worst in the nation. Higgins finished 14 of 23 for 125 yards before being relieved by Schroeder.
Air Force had 23 seniors playing their final game at Falcon Stadium. The class has a 30-19 overall record — with one regular-season contest remaining — and will play in its fourth bowl game.
Air Force 21, Hawaii 7
Hawaii 7 0 0 0 — 7
Air Force 0 7 14 0 — 21
Haw—Evans 26 pass from Higgins (Hadden kick), 6:39.
AFA—Cobb 2 run (Herrington kick), 12:13.
AFA—Getz 5 run (Herrington kick), 10:43.
AFA—Cobb 2 run (Herrington kick), :34.
First downs 10 14
Rushes-yards 31-37 68-338
Passing 125 0
Comp-Att-Int 14-29-0 0-0-0
Return Yards 28 38
Punts-Avg. 8-46.4 6-39.3
Fumbles-Lost 3-1 3-2
Penalties-Yards 4-20 2-20
Time of Possession 28:11 31:49
RUSHING—Hawaii, Iosefa 22-43, Schroeder 4-17, S.Jackson 2-3, Higgins 3-(minus 26). Air Force, Getz 21-125, Lee 8-72, Cobb 12-54, Dietz 14-47, DeWitt 4-18, Strickland 3-16, MacArthur 4-9, Team 2-(minus 3).
PASSING—Hawaii, Higgins 14-23-0-125, Schroeder 0-5-0-0, Team 0-1-0-0. Air Force.
RECEIVING—Hawaii, Gant 4-25, Evans 3-55, Iosefa 3-21, Paclebar 1-10, Stutzmann 1-6, Hall 1-5, Vele 1-3. Air Force.