The picture was made clearer yet murkier on the same weekend for the Mountain West Conference. On Friday night, one team that looked more and more like they were ready to challenge for the league title, was beaten. But other than that, for the most part, the favorites won and set up some big games for this coming week. Here's a brief look back at week nine.
Air Force Academy Falcons 48 - Nevada Wolf Pack 31:
On a chilly Friday night in Colorado Springs, the Falcons (5-3 overall, 4-1 in conference) ran up and down the field while amassing 600 yards in total offense. The Wolf Pack's (6-3, 3-2) high powered offense never could get going or at least keep up with the powerful running attack of Air Force. Senior running back Wes Cobb led the Falcons with 152 yards on the ground - his first career 100 yard game. Air Force keeps its chances of a conference title and note: they don't play Boise State this year.
#21 Boise State Broncos 45 - Wyoming Cowboys 14:
On a cold day in Laramie, the Broncos (7-1, 4-0) defense came through again while their offense was well balanced and proficient. With wind chills in the teens, the Cowboys (1-7, 0-4) had to forge on without their head coach Dave Christensen who was suspended for a game after an incident at the end of the Air Force contest a couple weeks back. Boise State solidified their spot on top in the Mountain West while Wyoming solidified their spot on the bottom.
Fresno State Bulldogs 49 - New Mexico Lobos 32:
The Lobos (4-5, 1-3) jumped out to an early 21-0 lead in Albuquerque, led by the nation's fifth best rushing attack. However, once the Bulldogs (6-3, 4-1) offense got going, New Mexico couldn't keep up with Fresno State who scored 42 unanswered points from the second to fourth quarter. In all, the Bulldogs had 600 yards in offense with quarterback Derek Carr throwing for 416 yards and four touchdowns in victory.
Colorado State Rams 42 - Hawaii Warriors 27:
Both schools were still looking for their first Mountain West victory in Fort Collins and the game was close at 28-27 early in the fourth quarter but Warriors (1-6, 0-4) quarterback Sean Schroeder threw two pick-sixes and the Rams (2-6, 1-3) pulled away for the win (see related articles). Both teams' running backs finally got on track with 100 yard games for the first time in 2012. Colorado State's Chris Nwoke had a 115 yards and a touchdown while Hawaii's Joey Iosefa ground out 106 yards. But Nwoke had two fumbles and Iosefa also had a fumble.
San Diego State Aztecs 24 - UNLV Rebels 13:
The hapless Rebels (1-8, 1-3) were once again able to play with a good team but even though the Aztecs (6-3, 4-1) turned the ball over three times, a powerful one-two punch at running back helped San Diego State to victory. Adam Muema ran for 143 yards and Walter Kazee added another 105 yards on the ground for the Aztecs. The win gave San Diego State a four-game win streak and made them bowl eligible. The Aztecs meet up in Boise State next week with a shot at the league's top spot.
Boise State sits on top of the Mountain West but three teams are second with just one loss. Fresno State and San Diego State joined Boise State and Nevada as bowl eligible. Next week, nine teams play while Nevada has a bye.
Sources - Mountain West Conference
Through thick and thin, Daryle has been a huge fan of college football as well as Hawaii, visiting there as a second home for over 40 years. Go 'Bows!