Mountain West Conference News and Notes
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
AIR FORCE: Wes Cobb posted a pair of two-yard rushing touchdowns and Cody Getz added one of his own from five yards out as the Falcons took down Hawaii on Friday in a 21-7 decision. As usual, Air Force attacked exclusively on the ground as the team ran 68 plays to amass 338 yards, with Getz leading the charge with a game-high 125 yards. Even though the Academy didn't attempt a single pass the entire night, they still played well enough to come up with the double-digit win and subsequently earn and accept an invitation to take part in the Armed Forces Bowl. With the victory the Falcons are now 5-2 in league pay which places them in fourth place in the MWC standings as they prepare to close out the campaign against Fresno State on the road this Saturday.
BOISE STATE: Even though the Broncos are pretty much out of the BCS picture at this point, that didn't stop them from stomping all over the Colorado State Rams at home on Saturday in a 42-14 final. Boise State was up 35-0 at the half before calling off the dogs, as quarterback Joe Southwick tossed a pair of second-quarter touchdowns and D.J. Harper landed in the end zone twice in the first frame as they won their second game in a row and the ninth in the last 10 tries. Harper finished with a team-best 107 yards rushing on 10 attempts and Southwick produced 216 yards through the air as the team moved into a three-way tie for first place in the MWC standings at 6-1. Boise State, which ranks sixth in the country in scoring defense (14.4 ppg), is set to close out the regular season against Nevada on the road in two weeks.
COLORADO STATE: The quarterback carousel continued for the Rams over the weekend as both M.J. McPeek and Conner Smith tried to share the load against Boise State, but the team was crushed in a 42-14 decision on the blue turf. McPeek completed just four passes for 19 yards and was picked off twice, while Smith tossed a TD pass late in the meeting to Marquise Law as the team generated a mere 229 yards of total offense and turned the ball over three times to one of the toughest defenses in all of college football. The loss was the second in the last three outings for a CSU program that is just 2-5 in league play and tied for seventh in the league standings. The squad is set to close out the regular season this coming weekend with a meeting against New Mexico in Fort Collins.
FRESNO STATE: The Bulldogs were not in action this past week, which allowed Boise State to join them and San Diego State at the top of the Mountain West Conference standings where all three programs have a record of 6-1. Fresno State has won four straight outings and six of the last seven overall thanks to a toughened defense and the outstanding play of both Derek Carr at quarterback and Robbie Rouse as the primary running back. This weekend the Bulldogs prepare for the arrival of Air Force to close out the regular season.
HAWAII: The troubles for the Warriors continued last week as the squad lost an eighth straight outing with a 21-7 setback to Air Force on the mainland. Jeremy Higgins got the starting nod at quarterback for the group but was largely ineffective as he completed 14-of-23 passes for 125 yards and a score to Clark Evans in the first quarter. He was sacked three times, which brought the team's rushing total down to just 37 total yards on 31 attempts as they dropped to 1-9 overall under head coach Norm Chow and remained the only winless team in MWC action at 0-7. Hawaii has two more games remaining on the schedule, the next being a hosting gig versus UNLV in the final league bout of 2012.
NEVADA: Cody Fajardo threw for three touchdowns as he guided the Nevada Wolf Pack to a 31-24 win over the New Mexico Lobos in Mountain West Conference play at University Stadium. Fajardo completed 18-of-27 passes for just 133 yards, but he also used his feet to move the ball as he ran for a game-high 186 yards on 20 carries for Nevada as it snapped a three-game slide. Stefphon Jefferson, who entered the week as the nation's leading rusher with 143.6 ypg, accounted for 128 yards and a TD. Brandon Wimberly contributed with six catches for 34 yards and two scores. Jefferson, now listed as the second-best runner in the nation with his 142.2 ypg, and Fajardo who is 10th in the country in total offense with 322.7 ypg, are now set to close out the regular season against former Western Athletic Conference foe Boise State at home in Reno in two weeks.
NEW MEXICO: For the first half of the season head coach Bob Davie had the Lobos believing that they could be, if nothing else, a team that could finish near .500 after suffering through several dismal campaigns, but those hopes have now been dashed with the team dealing with a five-game slide. Winners of just one of their seven MWC tests in 2012, the Lobos were sent to the loss column yet again on Saturday when Nevada picked up a 31-24 win in Albuquerque. The Lobos were paced by Kasey Carrier who ran for 145 yards on 18 carries, but it was quarterback Cole Gautsche who made it into the end zone twice on 16 attempts. The signal-caller attempted just two passes and missed on both, the first time the program has failed to complete even a single pass in a game since coming up empty on two tries against Montana almost 50 years ago. UNM is now set to close out the regular season again Colorado State on the road this weekend.
SAN DIEGO STATE: One of the hottest teams in the Mountain West Conference cooled off for a spell last week, not because they lost, but because they didn't have a game scheduled. The Aztecs, now tied with both Boise State and Fresno State for the top spot in the Mountain West Conference standings at 6-1, have won six straight games since losing back-to-back decisions against San Jose State and Fresno State in September. This weekend the team closes out the regular season with a matchup against Wyoming on the road.
UNLV: The Rebels fought hard in the first half against visiting Wyoming on Saturday, putting up 17 points over the first 30 minutes of action, but in the end the hosts simply could not keep up as they bowed in the 28-23 final in league action. Caleb Herring, who had TD passes to Taylor Barnhill and Trey Mays in the second and fourth quarters, respectively, finished the day 22- of-36 for 268 yards and was sacked three times as the team lost for the second straight game and the seventh time in eight tries. Now just 2-10 on the campaign and 2-5 in league play, the latter tying them with Colorado State for seventh place in the standings, the Rebels are set to close out the disappointing 2012 campaign with a trip to Hawaii this weekend.
WYOMING: Brett Smith threw for 412 yards and three touchdowns as he led the Wyoming Cowboys to a 28-23 win over the UNLV Rebels in Mountain West Conference action at Sam Boyd Stadium on Saturday. Smith converted 25-of-33 passes and was sacked three times, which is why he was left with minus-14 yards rushing for the Cowboys as the team posted a third straight victory. Chris McNeill caught seven passes for 93 yards and two TDs for the visitors. Ranked second in the conference in total offense with 310.0 ypg, Smith has bounced back from a rough stretch and is now trying to lead the Cowboys to a fourth straight win to close out the season as they clash with the San Diego State Aztecs at home this weekend.
11/19 13:22:49 ET