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Hall’s position change pays off

Air Force coach Troy Calhoun wasn’t kidding two weeks ago when he said he needed to get the football in Chad Hall’s hands more often.

Having moved from halfback to wide receiver in the spring, Hall showed enough promise in his relatively few touches early in the season that coaches knew they had a potential game changer.

Hall has been just that.

He sparked the Falcons’ 31-14 victory over UNLV on Oct. 6, rushing for 169 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries. Hall also caught four passes for 44 yards.

Saturday at Colorado State, Hall set a school record with 256 yards on 31 carries in a 45-21 victory.

Though the Falcons almost always have a dominant running game, they usually spread out the carries, making Hall’s performance even more special. He became the first Air Force player in three years to post consecutive 100-yard games and the first non-quarterback to do it since 1991.

“The first four games we played, we were learning the team, but more than anything else learning what he can do,” said Calhoun, in his first season. “After the first four games, we realized we needed to get him involved more.”

• STORMY WEATHER — Football games usually go on in any weather conditions short of a Noah’s Ark-type flood, but lightning is a different matter.

One close lightning strike can send a stadium full of fans scrambling.

When lightning struck late in the first half Saturday at Laramie, Wyo., Wyoming and New Mexico were sent to their locker rooms with the score 3-3. Play did not resume for 1 hour, 43 minutes.

Cowboys coach Joe Glenn went to his office during the delay to check on the weather outlook but couldn’t wait to get back on the field.

“It was boring,” he said.

New Mexico apparently handled the unscheduled break better, scoring a touchdown in the final minute of the half and 10 more points in the third quarter in a 20-3 victory.

“You’re always concerned when you sit around that long that the guys won’t still be in the game, but we were,” Lobos coach Rocky Long said.

• BANGED UP — UNLV faces a Colorado State team this week that has suffered significant injuries to key players.

Safety Klint Kubiak (ulcer) is out for the season, and wide receiver Johnny Walker (knee, ankle) will miss at least the next three games. Also, defensive tackle Blake Smith (leg) and safety Mike Pagnotta (ankle) aren’t likely to play Saturday. That list doesn’t include the early season knee injury to tight end Kory Sperry.

The Rebels aren’t quite as gimpy. Safety Tony Cade (ankle) and cornerback Quinton Pointer (hip) did not practice Monday, but both are expected to play.

Nickel back Marquel Martin (knee) is out for the season and probably will have surgery in two weeks. Coach Mike Sanford said the team would use three cornerbacks in nickel defenses.

Rebels offensive coordinator Todd Berry missed Tuesday’s practice to be with his ill mother in Branson, Mo.

Contact reporter Mark Anderson at manderson@reviewjournal.com or (702) 387-2914.

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