AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. (AP) — The disappointment of a second consecutive losing season finally got to Troy Calhoun.
The seventh-year was upset after Air Force's 41-21 defeat to UNLV on Thursday night, giving the Falcons their first nine-loss season since 1980.
"We've had close to 70 practices since the beginning of August and you get close to 100 team reps each day at practice and this how they respond," Calhoun said. "There is no darn way they shouldn't perform at a decent level."
Air Force is not bowl-eligible for the first time in seven years and suffered back-to-back losses to UNLV for the first time since 2000 and 2001.
"We have to play like they (the players) are capable of playing," Calhoun said. "I think the old explanation that maybe he's that age or this class or whatever, no way!"
Tim Cornett rushed for a career-high 220 yards and four touchdowns and UNLV (6-5, 4-3 Mountain West) became bowl eligible for the first time since 2000.
Anthony LaCoste led Air Force (2-9, 0-7) with 75 yards on 15 carries and became the 41st Falcons player to surpass the 1,000-yard plateau.
"We made mistakes early and we didn't play well," LaCoste said. "It set us up for failure the rest of the games."
Temperatures in the single digits, a wind chill below zero and a snow-covered field didn't slow Cornett, UNLV's all-time leading rusher. He crossed the 1,000-yard mark for the second consecutive season while notching his 16th career 100-yard game.
The Rebels turned a blocked punt and fumble recovery into touchdowns to build a 27-0 lead.
Air Force cut the Rebels' lead to 33-21 with 5:18 remaining in the third, but Cornett's 46-yard touchdown run with 2:03 left in the fourth put the game out of reach.
UNLV quarterback Caleb Herring added first-quarter touchdown runs of 1 yard and 6 yards to help the Rebels build a 27-0 lead. Devante Davis had six catches for 75 yards to become just the seventh Rebels receiver to reach 1,000 yards in a single season.