Air Force running back Cody Getz, a Buford grad, runs downfield during his big game on Saturday.
AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. — Cody Getz and Connor Dietz stepped in to keep the Air Force offense humming — at least for a game.
Getz ran for 218 yards and three touchdowns, Dietz rushed for 74 and a score and had 142 yards passing, and Air Force beat Idaho State 49-21 on Saturday in the season opener for both teams.
Jon Lee and Mike DeWitt also had touchdown runs for the Falcons, who ran for 490 yards and had 628 yards of total offense.
Last season it was running back Asher Clark and quarterback Tim Jefferson leading the Falcons to a berth in the Military Bowl. Their replacements showed they're ready to take over.
"It's no surprise," Air Force coach Troy Calhoun said. "(Dietz) has been in our program for a while. He's got a nice grasp of what we're doing offensively, and he had some guys around him that made some plays."
Namely Getz. He needed just 17 carries to become the first Air Force player to rush for more than 200 yards since Chad Hall had 275 against Army on Nov. 3, 2007.
Getz had just 102 yards and a touchdown in 2011. By halftime Saturday he had topped those totals with 151 yards and three touchdowns.
"It's kind of easy to be a good running back and get a lot of yards when you're hitting the hole and not even getting touched until you're 15 yards downfield," Getz said.
Air Force tuned up against the Bengals, a Football Championship Subdivision team, before next week's game against No. 8 Michigan in Ann Arbor. The Falcons ran for 490 yards, with 303 of those coming before halftime.
"Their perimeter blocking was shocking to our guys because we haven't seen that blocking at our level," Idaho State coach Mike Kramer said.
Kevin Yost was 41 of 52 for 355 yards passing and two touchdowns, and Josh Hill had 55 yards receiving and two scores for the Bengals.
Idaho State had a chance to go ahead after Parker Herrington missed a 43-yard field goal at the end of the Falcons' first drive. Yost drove the Bengals to the Air Force 14, but on third-and-10 he was sacked by Jared Jones.
Brendon Garcia then missed a 39-yard field goal attempt that would have given the Bengals the lead.
"You cannot miss a field goal. For our kicker, that's point blank and we've got to make sure we convert that," Kramer said.
The Falcons took over after that. Getz scored on fourth-and-2 from the 9 to put the Falcons ahead 7-0 late in the first quarter.
"He had some really, really good perimeter blocking, which helps, and made a couple good cuts," Calhoun said. "When he made a cut, he made sure he was going forward rather than thinking you have to make a cut and run lateral."
Getz added scoring runs of 63 and 41 yards in the second quarter, and Lee scored from 14 yards out late in the half to put Air Force ahead 28-0.
Getz went in untouched on both long runs.
"The way the line and my receivers were blocking, I really don't think (I was touched)," he said.
Idaho State's offense, held in check for most of the first half, responded with 75-yard touchdown drives on its first three possessions of the second half. Yost threw scoring strikes of 5 and 9 yards to Hill, and Xavier Finney scored from the 2 to keep the Bengals within reach.
"In the second half we finished and the first half we couldn't break through on third down," Yost said. "The second half we did a great job of finishing."
After Yost's first touchdown pass, DeWitt answered with a 7-yard run to put Air Force ahead 35-7. Dietz ran 49 yards to make it 42-14, and Colton Huntsman capped the scoring with a 12-yard run in the fourth quarter.