Mountain West Conference News and Notes
Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) -
AIR FORCE: During a bitter cold Thursday night affair at home, the Falcons surrendered 20 first-quarter points and fell behind 27-0 to the UNLV Rebels, en route to a lopsided 41-21 setback in conference play. Nate Romine attempted 11 passes and connected on only three for 72 yards, with one of those going for a 31-yard touchdown to Alex Ludowig in the second quarter. Broam Hart and D.J. Johnson both registered one-yard rushing touchdowns in the second and third quarters, respectively, as the Falcons generated 228 yards on the ground, but at the same time gave up a hefty 330 yards and six touchdowns to the Rebels. The final game of the regular season for the Falcons takes place this weekend as the team tangles with the Colorado State Rams on the road. Air Force won last year's meeting, 42-21, boosting the squad's lead in the all- time series to 31-19-1.
BOISE STATE: The Broncos may be bowl eligible yet again, but their season has already fallen far short of their lofty expectations as they dropped their fourth game of 2013 on Saturday night, a 34-31 overtime loss to San Diego State on the road. The Aztecs became the first BSU opponent to defeat the Broncos in back-to-back seasons since Washington State turned the trick in 2000 and 2001. Against conference foes, the Broncos had not lost to the same foe in consecutive seasons since they went down to North Texas in 1998 and 1999. A humbling experience for sure, BSU's Grant Hedrick converted 21-of-35 passes for 202 yards and two touchdowns, but was picked off twice and sacks four times, with one of those INTs being returned for a touchdown. Jay Ajayi ran for 103 yards and a score on 22 carries, while Bryan Douglas returned a kickoff 100 yards for a TD in the first quarter, but still the Broncos find themselves with four defeats in a single season for the first time since 2005 when they were 9-4 overall, but still the Western Athletic Conference champions with a 7-1 mark. The Broncos try to regroup for their regular-season finale this weekend against the New Mexico Lobos. BSU has won all four previous meetings between the squads, including a 32-29 decision last season.
COLORADO STATE: Shut out for the first time this season, the Rams went from producing 66 points against New Mexico a week prior to being limited to just 185 yards of total offense in the 13-0 setback at Utah State on Saturday. Running back Kapri Bibbs, who had six touchdowns and 291 yards a week earlier versus the Lobos and had scored no less than three touchdowns in each of the team's previous five outings, carried the ball 18 times for a paltry 54 yards in the disappointing outcome. Garrett Grayson converted just 16-of-39 passes for 147 yards, was picked off twice and sacked four times, the latter leaving the Rams with a net of only 38 rushing yards once the smoke cleared in Logan. Defensively, Colorado State put together a very strong effort, limiting the hosts to just a single touchdown and 191 yards of offense, but it simply wasn't good enough. Next up for the Rams is the final regular-season game, a matchup with Air Force at home. Last year CSU suffered a 42-21 setback to the Falcons, dropping the Rams even further down in the all-time series (31-19-1).
FRESNO STATE: The Bulldogs kept their hopes of busting the BCS alive on Saturday, as quarterback Derek Carr demolished the New Mexico Lobos in a 69-28 final at home. Carr extended his streak of games with at least one touchdown pass to 30 in a row, doing so by tossing an incredible seven touchdowns during the onslaught. Carr now leads the FBS with 39 aerial TDs and has thrown just four interceptions on 502 attempts. Against the Lobos the signal caller connected on 27-of-37 for 527 yards before heading to the bench. Davante Adams turned his nine receptions into 246 yards and four touchdowns, while Josh Harper posted 161 yards and three scores on 10 catches as the team captured the West Division title in the MWC and is now 16th in both the AP Poll and the BCS rankings, keeping them just slightly ahead of Northern Illinois, the only other undefeated program outside of the BCS conferences. FSU amassed a staggering 820 yards of offense against New Mexico, and now ranks second in the nation with 573.9 ypg. Despite having a short week, the Bulldogs aim to finish the regular season strong on Friday as they tangle with the San Jose State Spartans. Fresno fell to SJSU in the most recent clash two years ago, 27-24, but overall the Bulldogs still lead the all-time series by a count of 39-34-3.
HAWAII: The Rainbow Warriors put up a strong fight on the road Saturday, but once again the team was sent to the loss column, this time after bowing in overtime, 59-56. Hawaii, which has come up empty in all 11 games this season after playing an overtime match for the second straight week, produced 624 yards of total offense and still could not get over the hump. Sean Schroeder led the attack as he converted 37-of-50 passes for 499 yards and six touchdowns, but he was also sacked six times and had one pass picked off. Chris Gant caught eight of those passes for a game-high 174 yards, but his four touchdowns were actually tied for the game high. Joey Iosefa posted 91 yards and two TDs on 24 carries, but the Hawaii defense surrendered close to 800 yards in the hard-luck loss. The final game of a dismal season for the Rainbow Warriors comes up this weekend as they host the Army Black Knights in non-conference action. Hawaii, which has not won a game since defeating South Alabama (23-7) in the 2012 finale, has a record of 2-0 versus Army thanks to a 31-28 win three seasons ago.
NEVADA: The Wolf Pack had the week off after registering a 38-16 win over the San Jose State Spartans, just the fourth victory in 11 opportunities for Nevada. The Pack closes out the season this coming weekend as they host the BYU Cougars at Mackay Stadium. Nevada won the most recent meeting between the teams in 2010 by a score of 27-13, but still the series lead goes to BYU at 4-2-2.
NEW MEXICO: The Lobos were throttled by the best team in the Mountain West Conference on Saturday, bowing to undefeated and nationally-ranked Fresno State on the road, 69-28. The team produced 168 yards and three touchdowns on the ground in the meeting, one each by Crusoe Gongbay, Jhurell Pressley and quarterback Clayton Mitchem, but it wasn't nearly enough of the squad surrendered a staggering 820 yards of offense, 527 of which was credited to quarterback Derek Carr who tossed seven touchdowns. New Mexico, now last in the country in pass efficiency defense with a rating of 170.06, has dropped two in a row and five of the last six outings. Oddly enough, even after the onslaught this past weekend, the Lobos are second-to-last in the country in run defense with 264.3 ypg allowed, slightly worse than the 259.8 ypg permitted through the air. The Lobos head back to the field this coming weekend to tangle with the Boise State Broncos, an opponent that defeated UNM last season, 32-29, and is perfect in four all-time meetings.
SAN DIEGO STATE: For the second year in a row the Aztecs managed to take down mighty Boise State, this time turning the trick at home, in overtime, 34-31, on Saturday. It was the fourth overtime game of the season for San Diego State, now 7-4 overall and enjoying a four-game win streak under head coach Rocky Long after the squad dropped three straight games to start the campaign. Quinn Kaehler, who threw a three-yard TD to Colin Lockett in overtime to capture the win, hit on 23-of-37 passes for 288 yards and two touchdowns, while Adam Muema not only scored once on the ground as he gained just 46 yards on 24 attempts, he also led SDSU with five receptions for 34 yards on the night. Giving the Aztecs a boost on the defensive side of the ball was J.J. Whittaker who picked off a pair of passes and returned one of them 18 yards for a score in the fourth quarter. The Aztecs are now set to close out the regular season this weekend against UNLV at Sam Boyd Stadium. San Diego State leads the all-time series by a 14-8 margin after posting a 24-13 victory in last year's meeting.
SAN JOSE STATE: As if having the college football spotlight all to themselves on Nov. 22 were not enough, the Spartans played into three overtimes against visiting Navy before bowing in a 58-52 final. The loss was the third straight for the Spartans who were hoping to make their postseason aspirations a reality, but now it doesn't appear to be a sure thing at all. Aiming to become bowl eligible for the second straight season, the Spartans were led by David Fales who converted 42-of-56 passes for 440 yards and five touchdowns in the first triple-overtime affair in program history. Chandler Jones caught seven passes for 101 yards and a score as he became the school's all-time leader in receptions, now with 240. While it was a tough loss to swallow, Fales became SJSU's career leader in both passing TDs (60) and passing yards (7,835). The Spartans have a shortened week this time around as they get ready for a Friday affair against 16th-ranked Fresno State. San Jose State actually won the most recent meeting between the programs, 27-24, two seasons ago but still it is FSU with the 39-34-3 advantage in the all-time series.
UNLV: For the first time since 2000, the Rebels are bowl eligible thanks to an impressive 41-21 win over the Air Force Falcons in MWC play last Thursday night. Tim Cornett carried the load for a Rebels team that is now 6-5 overall and 4-3 in conference, as he ran for a career-best 220 yards and four touchdowns. Cornett, the program's all-time leading rusher, went over the 1,000 yards mark for the second straight season and also notched the 16th 100- yard game of his career as the Rebels produced a whopping 330 yards and six touchdowns on 58 rushing attempts. Caleb Herring, who gained 56 yards and scored twice on 12 carries himself, converted all but three of his 18 passes for 141 yards on a frigid night. Winners of just two games in each of the previous three seasons, UNLV snapped a two-game slide with the victory over Air Force The Rebels will close out the regular season this coming weekend against San Diego State at home. The Aztecs lead the all-time series by a count of 14-8 after posting a 24-13 victory last year versus UNLV.
UTAH STATE: The Aggies were at the top of their game defensively on Saturday as they registered their first shutout of 2013 in a 13-0 final versus visiting Colorado State. The fourth straight win for Utah State, Joey DeMartino's one- yard run in the third quarter accounted for the only touchdown of the contest, while kicker Nick Diaz booted field goals of 24 and 44 yards in the second and fourth quarters, respectively. Darell Garretson converted just eight of his 18 pass attempts for 43 yards and was sacked four times in the outing, while DeMartino's game-high 127 yards rushing was more than three times what the entire CSU unit produced (38 net yards). The Aggies are now ready to close out the regular season this coming weekend against visiting Wyoming. Utah State crushed the Cowboys in their latest meeting, 63-19, two seasons ago in order to move to 35-24-4 in the all-time series.
WYOMING: The Cowboys finally put a four-game win streak to bed on Saturday night, but the team needed overtime in order to get over on Hawaii, 59-56, out in Laramie. While it was a defensive effort in overtime that finally earned the win for Wyoming, it was quarterback Brett Smith who stole the show as he set the school- and Mountain West Conference record with 640 yards of offense and eight total TDs, posting 498 yards through the air and 142 on the ground. In the process Smith, who converted 29-of-48 passes and carried the ball 19 times, became the program's all-time leader in total yards. Robert Herron also had a huge outing for the program as he turned his 11 receptions into 141 yards and four touchdowns, while Dominic Rufran was somehow held out of the end zone as he caught seven balls for 121 yards. As a team, the Pokes generated a whopping 793 yards of total offense, but at the same time gave up 624 yards to the visitors. Wyoming is now set to close out the regular season against Utah State in Logan this weekend. The Pokes were crushed by USU two years ago, 63-19, providing the Aggies with a 35-24-3 advantage in the all- time series.
11/25 11:32:07 ET