Flashback: BYU continues to haunt Air Force

Exactly 25 Halloweens ago, the Brigham Young Cougars treated themselves to a win over the Air Force Academy, but not until after playing a trick on the Falcons first.

When BYU and Air Force met in 1987, Air Force had not beaten BYU for five years. It appeared that the Falcons would snap that streak as the first quarter ended with Air Force leading 10-0. It turned out that BYU was just playing a cruel trick on the Cadets by spotting them a double digit lead.

The BYU offense came alive in the second and third quarters. Starting and ending with short touchdown runs by Mike O’Brien (3 and 2 yards, respectively), BYU scored 24 straight points. That 10-0 deficit was wiped out by halftime, and BYU led 14-10.

In his first career start, quarterback Sean Covey played a good game. He completed over 60 percent of his passes (18 of 29) for 294 yards and 1 touchdown with zero interceptions. Covey’s longest completion of the day was 50-yards to Richard Zayas, which set of the Cougars’ first score. Zayas finished the day with 118 yards receiving on just 3 receptions for an astonishing 39.3 yards per reception average. Running back Fred Whittingham also had a good day receiving. He caught just two passes for 33 yards, but one was for 28 yards and the other was a touchdown.

The Cougar defense also raised its play the final three quarters. Free safety Scott Peterson led the charge. Peterson made 13 tackles, intercepted two passes, and recovered a fumble. In all, the defense intercepted three passes, which was one more pass than Air Force quarterback Dee Dowis completed to his own teammates. Dowis’ pass efficiency rating was -27.14.

Air Force rushed for 284 yards and averaged 5.2 yards per carry. The BYU defense clamped down, however, when it mattered most. The Falcons converted just one of 10 third down plays.

After BYU’s 24 point run, Air Force ended the scoring the same way they started it with a 32-yard field goal. Both teams were scoreless in the fourth quarter.

The 24-13 win over Air Force was BYU's fifth win of the season. The Cougars finished the year 9-4. 

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