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Mountain West Conference News and Notes

11:50 AM, Nov 12, 2012   |    comments
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Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -

AIR FORCE: The Falcons were held to a season-low nine points on Saturday as they bowed to San Diego State in Mountain West Conference action by 19 points on the road at Qualcomm Stadium. Air Force attacked on the ground as usual, generating 320 yards on 68 attempts, but the squad scored just a single touchdown on a five-yard run by Wes Cobb. Defensively, the Academy limited San Diego State to just 268 yards of offense, but clearly the Aztecs capitalized on their limited opportunities. Quarterback Connor Dietz fumbled the ball twice and threw an interception, with one of his miscues directly resulting in a score for the hosts as the Falcons lost their second straight outing. The Falcons have a bit of a short week this time around as they entertain the Hawaii Warriors in conference play on Friday night. Air Force lost the last meeting back in 2001 by a score of 52-30, but still the Academy owns an 11-6-1 edge in the all-time series.

BOISE STATE: Outside of the AP Poll again this season, the Broncos made a claim to be included the next time around as they delivered a 49-14 win at Hawaii on Saturday. BSU led by a score of 35-7 at the break before calling off the dogs, yet that still wasn't good enough as the squad moved to 8-2 overall and 5-1 in league play, the latter putting the Broncos third in the standings. Joe Southwick converted 17-of-29 passes for 209 yards and three touchdowns, one of those going to Aaron Burks who recorded five receptions for a game-high 107 yards. Defensively, the Broncos shut down a non-existent running attack as the Warriors were sent backwards a net of 14 yards on 33 attempts, thanks to six sacks by the visitors. The Broncos are set for their final home game of 2012 this coming weekend as they clash with the Colorado State Rams in MWC action. Last year marked the first time the teams every faced off against each other, with Boise State thumping CSU by a score of 63-13.

COLORADO STATE: Since working through a six-game slide following a season- opening win against Colorado, the Colorado State Rams have won two of their last three outings, thanks to a 33-11 home victory over UNLV on Saturday in Fort Collins. Colorado State had complete control of the meeting as it led 27-0 heading into the fourth quarter, thanks to a defense that scored two times in the first half. The contest began with a 49-yard interception return for a touchdown by Shaquil Barrett and continued with a 30-yard fumble return for a score by Shaq Bell less than five minutes later. Running back Donnell Alexander turned two of his 21 carries into touchdowns, finishing with a game- high 139 yards as the team came up with 231 yards overall. Quarterback Conner Smith, the third-starter for the Rams this season, hit 16-of-27 attempts for 109 yards and a pick. The Rams are hitting the road for one final time this season as they take on the Boise State Broncos in conference play on the blue turf. Colorado State was beaten up pretty bad in the only previous meeting, losing a 63-13 decision at home in Fort Collins last season when the Broncos were ranked in the AP's Top-10.

FRESNO STATE: The Bulldogs continued their assault on the rest of the Mountain West Conference as they dismissed the Nevada Wolf Pack in Reno by a score of 52-36 at Mackay Stadium. With the victory, the team's fourth in a row and the sixth in seven tries, the Bulldogs moved to 6-1 in league play which has them tied with San Diego State for first place in the standings. Running back Robbie Rouse ran for 261 yards and two touchdowns, while the Fresno State defense posted three touchdowns in the romp. Tyeler Davison and Travis Brown returned fumbles for touchdowns within a six-minute span in the third quarter, while Derron Smith picked off a pass and returned it 34 yards to the end zone earlier in the meeting. Phillip Thomas added his eighth INT of the campaign which means the Bulldogs now have 30 take-aways. Derek Carr converted 17-of-35 passes for 220 yards and two touchdowns, one of those going to Davante Adams for a 36-yard scoring play in the first quarter. The Bulldogs now get time off late in the season and don't return to the field until they welcome Air Force to the Golden State on Nov. 24.

HAWAII: Hosting the Boise State Broncos last weekend, the Warriors knew they'd have their hands full, but the hosts could not have imagined they would be trailing by four touchdowns at the break and eventually suffered a 49-14 setback at Aloha Stadium. Now ranked 113th in the country in rushing with 99.8 ypg, the Warriors could not move the ball on the ground at all, at least when taking into consideration the six sacks that Hawaii quarterbacks suffered. In all, the Warriors came away with minus-14 yards as they suffered their seventh straight loss and the eighth in nine games this season. Quarterbacks Sean Schroeder and Jeremy Higgins combined to hit 21-of-36 passes for 254 yards and a pair of interceptions. John Lister scored late on a one-yard run for Hawaii, the only offensive score for the group after Mike Edwards returned a kickoff 100 yards in the first frame. The Warriors head back to the mainland for a special Friday night bout with the Air Force Falcons in Colorado. Hawaii delivered a 52-20 win in the last matchup more than a decade ago, but the team still trails in the all-time series by a count of 11-6-1.

NEVADA: A favorite to compete for the conference title in the MWC this year, the Wolf Pack appeared to be well on their way with a record of 6-1 after seven games, but since then the team has bowed in three straight, the most recent coming on Saturday in a 52-36 loss versus Fresno State at home in Reno. Still one of the most productive offenses in the nation with 511.3 ypg and 39.2 ppg, Nevada hurt itself with four turnovers, three of those being returned for touchdowns by the FSU defense. Cody Fajardo hit 21-of-39 passes for 214 yards and a score, but he was sacked three times and tossed a pair of picks as the team dropped to an even 3-3 in conference play which means they are alone in fifth place in the standings. Stefphon Jefferson tried to keep hope alive as he ran for 95 yards and three touchdowns, but even the nation's top runner could not sway the outcome in favor of the Pack. Nevada now heads to Albuquerque for their final road date of the regular season this weekend, set to take on the New Mexico Lobos. The Pack won the most recent meeting by a score of 49-7 last season but still the team trails in the all-time series, 2-1-1.

NEW MEXICO: The Lobos ran for close to 400 yards on Saturday against Wyoming, but the team could not capitalize nearly enough as they came up short in a 28-23 final at home. New Mexico running back Kasey Carrier, who last month ran for a league-record 338 yards versus Air Force, finished with just 109 yards on 32 attempts and scored once. Quarterback Cole Gautsche, who is filling in for an injured B.R. Holbrook, hit on eight of his 15 pass attempts for 155 yards and two TDs in an effort to keep the team close. Ty Kirk reeled in four balls for 108 yards and a score for a group that ranks last in the nation in passing yards per game with a mere 62.7. The second of back-to-back home games comes up for the Lobos this weekend as they entertain the Nevada Wolf Pack in conference play on Saturday. In 2007 UNM blanked the Pack, 23-0, but Nevada exacted some revenge last season with a 49-7 triumph at home for its first win in four tries versus New Mexico.

SAN DIEGO STATE: The Aztecs ran their win streak to six in a row when the squad stifled the Falcons of Air Force and came up with a 28-9 win on Saturday at home. Now at 8-3 overall, San Diego State has posted eight wins for the third straight year and the squad's 6-1 mark in league play has them tied with Fresno State for first place in the standings. Adam Dingwell converted 11-of-18 passes for 90 yards and a score, surviving a pair of sacks and an interception, while Adam Muema cleared the goal line on a couple of runs for the offense. Defensively, the Aztecs did give up 320 yards on the ground, but the squad also landed on the scoreboard when Everett Reed took a fumble back 52 yards for a touchdown in the third frame. The Aztecs now take some time off before their final game of the regular season on Nov. 24 versus Wyoming in Laramie. Surprisingly, even though San Diego State now ranks 103rd in the country in passing with just 179.9 ypg, the team is still winning on a consistent basis.

UNLV: Coming off their second win of the season the first week of November, the Rebels fell right back into the loss column last weekend as they were shut down by Colorado State in a 33-11 final. UNLV was held off the scoreboard for the first three quarters and then scored a touchdown, a two-point conversion and a field goal which made no difference in the final outcome. Quarterbacks Nick Sherry and Caleb Herring had little influence as the former completed just 12-of-30 passes for 88 yards and a couple of INTs, while the latter completed two passes for 33 yards in the loss. Sherry did have a touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter to Max Johnson for just one yard, but it was also the lone catch for Johnson in the meeting. UNLV produced only 219 yards of total offense. The final home game of the season is on tap for the Rebels this coming weekend as they clash with the Wyoming Cowboys in Sin City. UNLV was crushed by the Pokes last season, 41-14, which means the all-time series is now knotted at 10 games apiece.

WYOMING: After winning just one of their first eight games of the season, the Cowboys have now put up back-to-back victories thanks to a 28-23 triumph over New Mexico on the road in Albuquerque. Wyoming scored three touchdowns in the second quarter, all of which were passes by Brett Smith who eventually finished up 20-of-32 for 374 yards and four scores, while shaking off three sacks which dropped is rushing total down to only 22 net yards. Jalen Claiborne turned both of his receptions into touchdowns and Dominic Rufran caught six balls for a game-high 116 yards and a TD as well. Defensively, the team did allow 396 yards rushing and 551 yards of total offense to the hosts, but that just goes to show that the most important stat is on the scoreboard. With the lead in the all-time series on the line this coming weekend, the Cowboys prepare for their matchup against the UNLV Rebels in Mountain West Conference action at Sam Boyd Stadium. The Pokes posted a 41-14 win at home in last year's meeting in order to tie the series at 10 games each.

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