AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. (AP) — Tim McVey returned a kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown and scored on an 18-yard run, helping Air Force beat Georgia State 48-14 on Saturday for the Falcons’ 14th straight home victory.
Receiver Tyler Williams added two rushing TDs and QB Nate Romine gained 124 yards on the ground for Air Force (2-0), which hasn’t lost at Falcon Stadium since Nov. 21, 2013, against UNLV. It’s the longest home winning streak in team history.
Georgia State (0-2) struggled on special teams, giving up McVey’s kick return, shanking several punts and allowing Air Force to recover an onside kick moments after the Falcons scored to start the second half. The Falcons cashed that bold move in with Williams’ 2-yard score to make it 41-14.
The uniforms were a little confusing for fans with the Panthers donning white and blue — traditional Air Force colors — and the Falcons going with gun-metal gray.
The Panthers couldn’t contain Air Force’s offense. The Falcons scored points on seven of its first nine drives at one point and finished with 531 total yards. They dominated time of possession (45:14 to 14:46).
On its first drive, Georgia State went to the air and caught Air Force by surprise. The drive culminated with a one-handed TD grab by tight end Ari Werts.
But the lead lasted all off 13 seconds as McVey caught the kickoff near the goal line and took it back without being touched. It was the first kickoff return for a score by Air Force since Oct. 9, 2010, against Colorado State.
GEORGIA STATE: The big plays were there, but the Panthers either let catchable passes drop through their hands or the ball was slightly overthrown. They start 0-2 for the third time in five seasons.
AIR FORCE: Favored by 20½ points, the Falcons got on track after a sluggish start. The real challenge is this: They can’t get caught looking past their next opponent to a looming showdown with Navy on Oct. 1.
The Falcons honored 2008 graduate and standout defensive back Carson Bird , who’s fighting a rare form of bone cancer that led to the amputation of his left leg a few months ago. Bird led the team out of the tunnel Saturday.
“It’s overwhelming the amount of support — the way the program has supported me, the way the school has supported me,” Bird said.
GEORGIA STATE: Travel to No. 10 Wisconsin for the second of three straight road games. The Panthers don’t play at home again until Oct. 8.
AIR FORCE: Open Mountain West play next Saturday by traveling to Utah State. The Falcons beat the Aggies 35-28 last season.