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Air Force 23, Utah 14
Associated Press


SALT LAKE CITY -- Mike Thiessen threw for two touchdowns as Air Force defeated Utah 23-14 Saturday night.

Thiessen is the first quarterback since the Falcons (3-0, 2-0 Mountain West) adopted the option offense in 1980 to have two or more touchdown passes in back-to-back games. The senior had a school-record four passing TDs in Air Force's conference-opening win over BYU (31-23).

Capping a drive kept alive by a 33-yard reception by Ryan Flemming, Thiessen hit Chris Jessop on a 19-yard pass to give Air Force a 23-14 edge with 12:30 left. Dave Adams missed the extra point.

In the second half, the Falcons forced four Utah punts. Justin Pendry and Corey Nelson combined to block a field goal attempt and Utah's Golden Whetman missed a 45-yard attempt. Utah (0-4, 0-1 MWC) is now 1-of-11 on field goal attempts this season.

Air Force, which had lost four of its last five games to the Utes, rushed for 242 yards. Thiessen hit just five passes but averaged almost 30 yards per completion.

Utah hasn't lost four straight games since 1990, coach Ron McBride's first year, and has not opened with four straight losses since 1986.

Thiessen threw a 50-yard pass to Flemming on the Falcons' opening play from scrimmage and McKay ran 15 yards for a TD to give Air Force a 7-0 lead.

Utah answered with Adam Tate's 14-yard TD run before Adams hit a 37-yard field goal for Air Force in the second quarter.

After 13 straight rushing plays, Thiessen again found Flemming on a 45-yard scoring pass with 6:54 left in the half.

On the ensuing kickoff, Utah's Patrick Dyson ran up the center of the coverage, shed Adams at midfield and ran 98 yards for a touchdown.

Utah's Adam Tate rushed 21 times for 118 yards.

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