The folks in Fort Collins and Honolulu had a bye this past weekend, while they licked their wounds and prepared to play a battle royale as the Mountain West Conference's two worst teams. But this week the other eight conference schools played each other. There was a wild game in Reno, a record-setting day for one running back and one team in particular has once again risen to the top as the league favorite. Oh, and another team might have become a bona fide challenger. Here's a brief look back at week eight.
#22 Boise State Broncos 32 - UNLV Rebels 7
Defense has led the way this year for head coach Chris Petersen's Broncos and this game in Boise was no different. Boise State's Top 10 scoring defense was more than the lowly Rebels could handle and now has the league favorite Broncos alone in first place in Mountain West. UNLV barely had 200 total yards in the game and Boise State limited the Rebel offense to 71 yards passing.
Air Force Academy Falcons 28 - New Mexico Lobos 23
The Lobos' Kasey Carrier set the Mountain West record for rushing yardage in a game with 338 yards and it was more than the entire Falcons running attack combined - Air Force is second in the nation in rushing. And even though the Falcons lost the nation's number two rusher, Cody Getz, to an ankle injury early on, the Air Force was able to hold off New Mexico in Colorado Springs.
Fresno State Bulldogs 42 - Wyoming Cowboys 14
It was all over after the first half in Fresno when a couple of early turnovers coupled with a solid Bulldog offense had Fresno State out front 35-0. Quarterback Derek Carr threw regularly and tossed three touchdown passes while running back Robbie Rouse ground out 91 yards on 20 carries for the home team who is undefeated at Bulldog Stadium this year (4-0), having outscored their opposition 200 to 78. Bulldog safety Phillip Thomas, who was the nation's leader in interceptions, grabbed his seventh of the year and returned it for a touchdown - it was his third pick six of the season and tied or broke several records in the process (source - ABC30).
San Diego State Aztecs 39 - Nevada Wolf Pack 38 OT
Along the way to their season-ending showdown for the Mountain West title, the Wolf Pack ran into trouble in the name of Adam Dingwell. Adam who? The Aztec's backup quarterback came in for the injured Ryan Katz in the first quarter and led San Diego State to an overtime win in Reno. Nevada's excellent offense moved the ball well and they led the Aztec's for most of the game, with quarterback Cody Fajardo throwing for 304 yards and three scores plus rushing for another. Wolf Pack running back Stefphon Jefferson, who leads the nation in rushing, ran for 108 yards and a touchdown but Dingwell's three touchdown passes and two point conversion in overtime gave San Diego State the wild upset win.
They were 2-3, so making a third bowl appearance in-a-row didn't look promising for the Aztecs of San Diego State. But now they're 5-3 and a November 3rd date in Boise just might decide the Mountain West champion.
This coming week should shine more light on the league as everyone is playing each other with an important game in Colorado Springs between Nevada and Air Force. Oh, and the battle for the bottom between Hawaii and Colorado State in Fort Collins is important to, um, well, it's important to someone.
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!
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