Mountain West Conference News and Notes

10:30 AM, Oct 8, 2012   |    comments
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Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -

AIR FORCE: The Falcons had an early wake-up call this past weekend when they entertained the Navy Midshipmen as they began the hunt for another Commander- in-Chief's Trophy. Unfortunately the team was taken to overtime where they ended up suffering a 28-21 loss at home. Cody Getz had another outstanding game for the Falcons as he ran for 204 yards and a score on 29 carries as the team generated 363 yards on 64 attempts on the ground overall. Getz is the first player in Academy history to record three games with at least 200 yards rushing in a single season, and he is just the second player in MWC history (Larry Ned, San Diego State, 2011). Connor Dietz converted 8-of-12 passes for 90 yards and a score and Don Strickland completed his only pass of the game for 54 yards and a touchdown as well. On the receiving end of both the TD tosses was Drew Coleman, who caught four balls for 106 yards. The Falcons make their way back west for this weekend's Mountain West battle against Wyoming in Laramie. Air Force leads the all-time series with a 26-21-3 mark, but last year the Cowboys were the ones who came out on top with a 25-17 decision.

BOISE STATE: The Broncos traveled to Hattiesburg, MS over the weekend where they sent Southern Miss to a fifth straight loss to open the season, posting a 40-14 triumph against the Golden Eagles. Joe Southwick found his rhythm at quarterback as he threw three touchdown passes, while the BSU defense picked off a pair of passes and recovered three fumbles to keep USM off balance. Southwick converted 18-of-27 passes for 195 yards, while D.J. Harper answered the bell at running back by carrying the ball 13 times for 47 yards and two scores. Despite registering five turnovers, the defense for the Broncos was still a bit shaky at times as it allowed 243 yards passing and another 181 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. Darren Koontz stepped up with two sacks for BSU and Samuel Ukwuachu tacked on 1.5 sacks of his own in the triumph. The Broncos, who are back in the AP Poll at No. 24 this week, head home for back-to-back dates on the blue turf, dealing first with Fresno State this Saturday. BSU owns a 10-4 edge in the all-time series with FSU, thanks in part to a 57-7 thrashing of the Bulldogs last season.

COLORADO STATE: Held scoreless for more than 59 minutes on Saturday, a 12-yard TD pass from M.J. McPeek to Charles Lovett accounted for the only Colorado State points in the team's 28-7 setback against Fresno State at home. McPeek, a fifth-year senior who was making his first career start, was playing for Garrett Grayson who is out indefinitely after undergoing shoulder surgery early last week. The signal-caller converted 15-of-29 passes for 192 yards and a score, but he was also sacked four times, an area that continues to be a concern for the offensive line now that it is allowing 3.67 sacks per outing, which is one of the highest numbers in the FBS. Chris Nwoke registered a team- best 68 yards rushing on 15 carries, but overall the unit was credited with only 55 net rushing yards. Heading out on the road this coming weekend, the Rams are set to match up against San Diego State. Colorado State was beaten by the Aztecs a year ago, 18-15, which boosted SDSU's advantage in the all-time series to 18-13.

FRESNO STATE: Derek Carr threw four touchdown passes as the Fresno State Bulldogs defeated the Colorado State Rams, 28-7, in Mountain West Conference action at Hughes Stadium on Saturday evening. Carr finished the night 25-of-39 for 217 yards for the Bulldogs as they picked up their second straight win and the third in the last four outings. Running back Robbie Rouse carried the ball 26 times for 124 yards, and also caught a game-high nine passes for another 50 yards. Davante Adams reeled in four passes for 41 yards and two scores as the Bulldogs matched their win total from all of last season when they finished just 4-9, dropping five of their final six bouts of the campaign under former head coach Pat Hill. The FSU defense permitted a mere 249 yards to the Rams and logged four sacks which means the Bulldogs are first in the conference and ninth in the country with 3.3 sacks per game. The Bulldogs are out on the road for the second straight week on Saturday as they challenge the Boise State Broncos in Idaho. Last season, FSU was crushed by Boise State in a 57-7 final, which means the Bulldogs trail in the all-time series by a count of 10-4.

HAWAII: Before they knew it, the Warriors were behind by three touchdowns on Saturday night and trailed by a score of 35-7 at the break, so it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that the squad suffered a 52-14 loss to fellow Mountain West Conference member San Diego State on the road. Hawaii, which has yet to defeat a member of the FBS this season and has just one such win since the start of November of last year, was held to a woeful 173 yards of offense by SDSU, controlled the ball for under 23 minutes, and converted a mere 2- of-11 on third down. Sean Schroeder converted half of his 28 passes for 112 yards and a score, while Will Gregory accounted for 81 rushing yards and a TD on 22 attempts. Despite the effort by Gregory, the Warriors finished with just 61 net rushing yards and now the squad ranks 110th in the country in that department with 104.2 ypg. The Warriors are back on the island this coming weekend as they host New Mexico in a Mountain West Conference battle at Aloha Stadium. Hawaii owns a 14-7 advantage in the all-time series, but the two teams haven't met since 1998 when the Lobos prevailed in a 30-20 decision.

NEVADA: A 24-yard touchdown pass from Devin Combs to Aaron Bradley in overtime proved to be the difference as the Nevada Wolf Pack slipped by Wyoming, 35-28, in Mountain West Conference action at Mackay Stadium. Combs, who stepped in for Cody Fajardo after the latter went to the bench with back spasms, completed 11-of-19 passes for 217 yards and two touchdowns as the Wolf Pack won for the fourth time in as many games. Bradley finished with eight catches for 111 yards and Richy Turner accounted for seven receptions for a game-high 150 yards. Fajardo, who went to the sidelines with just over five minutes remaining in regulation, converted 19-of-26 passes for 221 yards and two scores of his own. Running back Stefphon Jefferson, tops in the country with 175.4 ypg on the ground entering play last week, saw his run of consecutive games with at least 100 yards snapped at five games as he was limited to a mere 78 yards on 23 attempts. The annual battle for the Fremont Cannon takes place this weekend in Las Vegas as the Wolf Pack clashes with UNLV at Sam Boyd Stadium. Now members of the same conference, Nevada owns a 22-15 edge in the all-time series, thanks to a 37-0 blanking of the Rebels a year ago.

NEW MEXICO: After nearly knocking off nationally-ranked Boise State a week earlier, the Lobos jumped at the chance to take down Texas State in non- conference play on Saturday and did so with a 35-14 final at home. The victory for UNM was not just the second in the last three games for the team, it evened the squad's overall record at 3-3 and matched the program's entire win total from the previous three seasons combined. Head coach Bob Davie, who now has the Lobos operating in the Pistol offense, saw Kasey Carrier live up to his name by delivering four touchdowns and a career-high 191 yards on 23 rushing attempts. As a team, the Lobos posted 361 yards and five scores on 59 carries in the outing as they nearly abandoned the pass completely. Quarterback B.R. Holbrook connected on just one of his three pass attempts for a mere nine yards for a team that now ranks last in the nation in passing with a meager 48.8 ypg through the air. Hitting the road for the first of back-to- back away dates, the Lobos make the trip to the south Pacific as they clash with the Hawaii Warriors in Mountain West Conference action. UNM claimed a 30-20 win in the most recent encounter with UH back in 1998, but still the Lobos trail in the all-time series by a 14-7 margin.

SAN DIEGO STATE: The Aztecs snapped a two-game slide on Saturday night and evened their overall record at 3-3 as they easily dismissed the visiting Hawaii Warriors, 52-14, in Mountain West Conference action. The 52 points for SDSU was the highest total for the team since it delivered the same number against Portland State back in 2007, much of it coming from quarterback Ryan Katz who not only converted 15-of-29 passes for 190 yards and two touchdowns, but he also ran for 57 yards and three more scores for the hosts. Adam Muema was held to 77 yards and one TD on 20 rushing attempts, while the defense for SDSU stepped up in a big way by holding the Warriors to just 173 yards of total offense. Playing one of their final home games of the season this coming weekend, the Aztecs welcome the Colorado State Rams to Qualcomm Stadium for a MWC battle. San Diego State, which won last year's meeting by a narrow 18-15 score, now holds an 18-13 advantage in the all-time series.

UNLV: Going up against one of the hottest teams in the nation not in a BCS conference, the Rebels more than had their hands full with Louisiana Tech on Saturday night as they suffered a 58-31 loss at Joe Aillet Stadium in Ruston. The Rebels, losers of two straight, were paced by Nick Sherry who hit 22-of-46 passes for 378 yards and four touchdowns and was picked off once in the losing cause. Devante Davis caught eight passes for a game-high 186 yards and a score. As a team, the Rebels produced a hefty 536 yards of total offense, but at the same time the team surrendered 622 yards as the UNLV defense was on the field for nearly 100 snaps. In terms of total defense through five games, UNLV ranks ninth in the conference and 108th in the country with 475.8 ypg allowed, and all of those yards have led to 35.0 ppg permitted as well. The Battle for the Fremont Cannon takes over Sin City this weekend as the Rebels entertain in-state rival Nevada at Sam Boyd Stadium. UNLV was blanked by the Wolf Pack last year in Reno, 37-0, and as a result now trails by a 22-15 margin in the all-time series.

WYOMING: Starting quarterback Brett Smith put up a fight in the meeting with Nevada on Saturday, unfortunately he wasn't around to see the outcome as he was flagged for a pair of unsportsmanlike conduct penalties and was ejected from the game with 8:16 remaining. Had he stuck around, perhaps he could have helped the Cowboys pull through, but as it turned out the team bowed to Nevada in overtime by a score of 35-28. Smith finished 21-of-34 for 197 yards and three touchdowns and also added a TD on the ground for the visitors to Reno. Smith, who gained a team-best 60 yards rushing on 15 attempts, tossed a couple of TD passes to Robert Herron who tallied four catches for 27 yards as Wyoming lost for the fourth time in five tries this season while taking part in their second straight overtime affair. Playing the first of three home games over the next four weeks, the Cowboys welcome the Air Force Falcons to town on Saturday for a Mountain West contest. The Academy holds a 26-21-3 advantage in the all-time series, but it was Wyoming that captured a 25-17 win in the most recent meeting last season.

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