Mountain West Football Weekly Release

 

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MOUNTAIN WEST FOOTBALL WEEK 12 SCHEDULE
Saturday, November 15 TV/Web Time Satellite Radio
Nevada at Air Force* ROOT SPORTS/ MWN Noon MT  
New Mexico at Utah State* ESPNews 2 p.m. MT  
Hawai‘i at San José State* Oceanic TWC/ MWN 1:30 p.m. PT  
UNLV at BYU ESPNU 5 p.m. MT  
San Diego State at Boise State* ESPNU 8:15 p.m. MT SIRIUS 119 / XM 205
*Mountain West game

 


WEEK 12 AT A GLANCE
Five contests are scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 15, including two cross-divisional match-ups as Air Force hosts Nevada (Noon MT, ROOT SPORTS/Mountain West Network) and Boise State entertains San Diego State (8:15 p.m. MT, ESPNU). New Mexico travels to Utah State for a Mountain Division showdown beginning at 2 p.m. MT on ESPNews. Meanwhile, Hawai‘i goes to San José State for a West Division tilt (1:30 p.m. PT, Oceanic TWC/Mountain West Network). In non-conference action, UNLV visits BYU at 5 p.m. MT. ESPNU will televise the contest. Colorado State, Fresno State and Wyoming are each idle in Week 12.

 

FIVE MW TEAMS BOWL ELIGIBLE ENTERING WEEK 12
Utah State (7-3) joined Colorado State (9-1), Boise State (7-2), Air Force (7-2) and Nevada (6-3) as the MW's fifth bowl eligible team this season. The Aggies, who accomplished the feat with their 20-3 victory at Wyoming last Friday, are now bowl eligible for the fourth-straight season for the first time in program history. USU has never played in four straight bowl games.

 

With a 9-1 overall record, Colorado State is bowl eligible for the second straight year and became so at the earliest point of the season (seven games) since 2000. The Rams became the first MW team to earn bowl eligibility this season and were joined in Week 9 by Boise State after the Broncos' 55-30 victory over BYU. Boise State has played in a bowl game in each of the last 12 seasons, which is tied for the seventh-longest active streak in the country. Air Force has qualified for the postseason in seven of the last eight years, while the Wolf Pack is bowl eligible for the ninth time in 10 seasons.

 

Air Force, Boise State, Colorado State, Nevada and Utah State are five of the 52 teams in the FBS to have qualified for postseason play through the first 11 weeks of the 2014 campaign. West Division members San Diego State, Fresno State and San José State are still in contention to become bowl eligible in 2014. The Aztecs (5-4) need to win one of their final three games of the regular season (at Boise State, vs. Air Force, vs. San José State). The Bulldogs will have to win both of their final two games (at Nevada and vs. Hawai‘i), while the Spartans need to win each of their three final contests (vs. Hawai‘i, at Utah State and at San Diego State). New Mexico and Wyoming also can gain bowl eligibility this season, but must win all of their remaining games.

 

The Mountain West sent a record six teams into postseason bowl games in 2013, marking the seventh straight year that the MW has sent at least five teams to bowls. The league posted a 3-3 record, marking the eighth time in the last 10 seasons the MW has gone at least .500 in the postseason. Overall, the Mountain West has earned 62 bowl bids since 1999 and holds a 35-27 all-time record in those contests. Over the last 10 seasons, the Mountain West has captured the Bowl Challenge Cup four times and owns the second-best win percentage in bowl games among the 10 FBS conferences with a 28-19 mark (.596) during that span. The MW is the only conference to win the trophy four times since the award's inception in 2002-03.

 

Overall, the Mountain West had seven bowl-eligible teams in 2013 - Fresno State (11-2), Utah State (9-5), Boise State (8-5), San Diego State (8-5), Colorado State (8-6), UNLV (7-6) and San José State (6-6) - breaking the old mark of five accomplished each of the previous eight seasons. The MW has boasted at least five bowl-eligible teams 10 times since the league's inception in 1999.

 

RAMS IN THE NATIONAL RANKINGS
Colorado State received 118 votes in this week's Amway Coaches' Poll to earn a No. 25 ranking, as well as 128 votes to rank 23rd in the Associated Press Poll. The Rams, who are off to the program's best start since 1997, are enjoying their first national ranking in either poll since Aug. 24, 2003. CSU becomes the first MW team to earn a national ranking since Fresno State came in at No. 20 in both polls on Dec. 8, 2013.

 

COLORADO STATE'S HIGGINS GRABBING THE NATIONAL SPOTLIGHT
Colorado State's Rashard Higgins ranks first nationally in three receiving categories, including yards (1,280), yards per game (142.2) and touchdowns (13). The sophomore became the first player in the FBS to eclipse the 1,200-yard mark this season.

 

Higgins has eclipsed the 100-yard mark nine times in his career, including seven times this season and a current streak of five straight games, which is a program record and ties San Diego State's Vincent Brown (Nov. 22, 2008 to Sept. 28, 2009) for the second-longest streak in MW history. BYU's Austin Collie holds the record for longest streak of consecutive 100-yard receiving games with 11. Higgins' seven 100-yard receiving games in 2014 tie for the fourth-most in a single season in MW history:

 

CONSECUTIVE 100-YARD RECEIVING GAMES: MOUNTAIN WEST
Pos. Player, Team No. Dates
1. Austin Collie, BYU 11 9/13/08 to 12/20/08
2. Rashard Higgins, Colorado State 5 10/4/14 to Present
  Vincent Brown, San Diego State 5 11/22/08 to 9/28/09
4. Davante Adams, Fresno State 4 11/10/12 to 8/29/13
  Austin Collie, BYU 4 11/3/07 to 11/24/07
  Jovon Bouknight, Wyoming 4 11/6/04 to 12/23/04
  Kassim Osgood, San Diego State 4 9/7/02 to 9/28/02

 

MOST 100-YARD RECEIVING GAMES BY A MW PLAYER: SEASON
Pos. Player, Team No. Year
1. Austin Collie, Jr., BYU 11 2008
2. Kassim Osgood, Sr., San Diego State 8 2002
  J.R. Tolver, Sr., San Diego State 8 2002
4. Rashard Higgins, So., Colorado State 7 2014
  Davante Adams, So., Fresno State 7 2013
  Chandler Jones, Sr., San José State 7 2013

 

As a sophomore, Higgins ranks among the FBS active career leaders in receiving yards per game (92.0, 2nd) and receptions per game (5.9, 6th):

 

FBS ACTIVE CAREER LEADERS: RECEIVING YARDS PER GAME
Pos. Player, Team G Yards Avg.
1. Mike Evans 26 2,499 96.1
2. Rashard Higgins, Colorado State 23 2,117 92.0
3. Justin Hardy, East Carolina 44 3,861 87.8

 

FBS ACTIVE CAREER LEADERS: RECEPTIONS PER GAME
Pos. Player, Team G Rec. Avg.
1. Justin Hardy, East Carolina 44 331 7.5
2. Tyler Boyd, Pittsburgh 22 137 6.2
3. Jaelan Strong, Arizona State 23 137 6.0
  Tommy Shuler, Marshall 45 269 6.0
  Kevin White, West Virginia 21 126 6.0
6. Rashard Higgins, Colorado State 23 135 5.9

 

COLORADO STATE'S ROBERTS EXTENDS MW PAT RECORD
With seven successful PAT attempts against Hawai‘i last Saturday, Colorado State senior PK Jared Roberts extended his Mountain West record streak of consecutive PATs made to 109 (Nov. 17, 2012 to present). The previous mark of 86 was held by former Ram Jason Smith (Sept. 2, 2006 to Dec. 20, 2008).

 

DEFENDING THE HOME TURF
Five MW teams are undefeated at home this season, including Air Force (4-0), Boise State (4-0), Colorado State (5-0) and Utah State (4-0) from the Mountain Division and San Diego State (4-0) from the West.

 

MOUNTAIN VS. WEST
After sweeping each of the six cross-divisional games from Weeks 10 and 11, the Mountain Division gained a 10-4 (.714) advantage over the West this season. Air Force (at UNLV on Nov. 8), Boise State (at Nevada on Oct. 4, vs. Fresno State on Oct. 17), Colorado State (at Nevada on Oct. 11, at San José State on Nov. 1, vs. Hawai‘i on Nov. 8), New Mexico (at UNLV on Nov. 1), Utah State (vs. UNLV on Oct. 25, at Hawai‘i on Nov. 1) and Wyoming (at Fresno State on Nov. 1) have posted the 10 wins for the Mountain Division, while the West's cross-divisional wins have come from Fresno State (at New Mexico on Sept. 26), Hawai‘i (vs. Wyoming on Oct. 11), San Diego State (at New Mexico on Oct. 10) and San José State (at Wyoming on Oct. 18).

 

The Mountain Division holds an all-time record of 17-16 (.515) against opponents from the West Division since divisional play was established in the Mountain West in 2013. Below is a comparison of the Mountain vs. West Divisions:

 

Mountain Division West Division
2014 Record vs. West: 10-4 (.714)
2013 Record vs. West: 7-12 (.368)
All-Time Record vs. West: 17-16 (.515)
Teams with eight or more wins in 2014: 1
Teams with eight or more wins in 2013: 3
MW Championship Game Record: 0-1
Bowl Appearances: 3
Bowl Record: 2-1
2014 Record vs. Mountain: 4-10 (.286)
2013 Record vs. Mountain: 12-7 (.632)
All-Time Record vs. Mountain: 16-17 (.485)
Teams with eight or more wins in 2014: 0
Teams with eight or more wins in 2013: 2
MW Championship Game Record: 1-0
Bowl Appearances: 3
Bowl Record: 1-2

 

COLORADO STATE IN ELITE COMPANY
Colorado State is one of 12 teams remaining in the FBS this season with one or fewer losses. The Rams, which have an 9-1 overall record, join Florida State (9-0), Marshall (9-0), Mississippi State (9-0) and Oregon (9-1) as the only five teams nationally that have amassed nine wins through the first 11 weeks of the 2014 campaign and have a win percentage of .900 or better on the year. This is only the ninth season in program history that CSU has won at least nine games. The Rams are off to their first 9-1 start since 1994.

 

Overall, Colorado State has won 15 of its last 18 contests, topped by only Florida State (18), Michigan State (16) and Marshall (16) over the same period. The Rams have posted eight straight victories, the longest win streak by CSU since a nine-game run in 1997. The win streak is tied for the fourth-longest active stretch among all FBS teams. This is also CSU's first 5-1 start in Mountain West play since the 2002 campaign, when the Rams finished the year with a 6-1 league mark.

 

FALCONS AND RAMS HOLD OFF NON-CONFERENCE FOES
Air Force and Colorado State each went undefeated in regular-season non-conference play in 2014 with respective marks of 4-0. The Falcons defeated Nicholls State, Georgia State, Navy and Army to close out their non-conference schedule at 4-0 for the first time since the 1999 season. With wins over Colorado, UC Davis, Boston College and Tulsa, the Rams went undefeated in regular-season non-conference play for the first time since the 1994 campaign.

 

HITTING THE HOLES
Two MW squads rank among the top eight nationally in rushing offense, led by New Mexico, which is collecting 326.3 yards on the ground per game to rank third. The Lobos are trailed by Air Force, which is tallying 282.4 rushing yards per contest to rank eighth. The MW is the only FBS leagues with two of the top eight rushing offenses in the country.

 

UTAH STATE'S NATSON WRITING HIS NAME IN MW RECORD BOOK
Utah State sophomore JoJo Natson reached the end zone on an 80-yard punt return in the first quarter at Wyoming last Friday, which ranked as the seventh-longest by an FBS player this season. Natson now has two punt return TDs on the season and four in his career (two in 2013), becoming the first MW player to have multiple punt return touchdowns in multiple seasons. His four punt return TDs tie the Mountain West career record, originally set by Utah's Steve Smith (1999-2000). Natson's two punt return touchdowns this year also tie for the second-most by an FBS player this season.

 

LEADER OF THE PACK
Nevada senior QB Cody Fajardo became only the second player in FBS history to record 9,000 career passing yards and 3,000 career rushing yards, joining current San Francisco 49er Colin Kaepernick, who passed for 10,098 yards and rushed for 4,112 yards for the Wolf Pack from 2007-10. Fajardo also became the third player in program history to reach 12,000 career yards of total offense. With 113 total yards against San Diego State on Nov. 1, including 109 passing and four rushing, Fajardo brought his current total to 12,113 (9,088 passing, 3,025 rushing) to rank second on the program's all-time chart, trailing Kaepernick (14,210).

 

Fajardo's 12,113 career total yards currently rank fourth among all active players in the FBS, while his 9,088 career passing yards are eight among all active QBs. He also is one of four quarterbacks in the country to have a 300-yard passing game in each of the last four seasons, joining Marshall's Rakeem Cato, Oregon State's Sean Mannion and Washington State's Connor Halliday. Fajardo is also one of 11 active players to have eclipsed the 3,000-yard mark in career rushing (joining Boise State junior RB Jay Ajayi), and his 3,035 rushing yards rank 11th among all active players in the FBS and second among all active quarterbacks:

 

MOST TOTAL YARDS BY AN ACTIVE FBS QUARTERBACK: CAREER
Pos. Player, Team Yards
1. Taylor Heinicke, Old Dominion 15,715
2. Rakeem Cato, Marshall 13,196
3. Sean Mannion, Oregon State 12,125
4. Cody Fajardo, Nevada 12,113
5. Marcus Mariota, Oregon 11,113

 

MOST PASSING YARDS BY AN ACTIVE FBS QUARTERBACK: CAREER
Pos. Player, Team Yards
1. Taylor Heinicke, Old Dominion 14,375
2. Sean Mannion, Oregon State 12,873
2. Rakeem Cato, Marshall 12,492
4. Connor Halliday, Washington State 11,304
5. Shane Carden, East Carolina 10,046
6. Brett Hundley, UCLA 9,358
7. Marcus Mariota, Oregon 9,122
8. Cody Fajardo, Nevada 9,088

 

MOST RUSHING YARDS BY AN ACTIVE FBS PLAYER: CAREER
Pos. Player, Pos., Team Yards
1. Ameer Abdullah, RB, Nebraska 4,227
2. Jahwan Edwards, RB, Ball State 4,226
3. Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin 3,829
4. Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia 3,147
5. Kevin Parks, RB, Virginia 3,143
6. Jay Ajayi, RB, Boise State 3,119
7. Jawon Chishom, RB, Akron 3,101
8. Duke Johnson, Miami 3,080
9. Braxton Miller, QB, Ohio State 3,054
10. T.J. Yeldon, RB, Alabama 3,029
11. Cody Fajardo, QB, Nevada 3,025

 

Fajardo ranks among the top five of the league's all-time leaders for rushing quarterbacks. The senior signal caller has rushed for 2,331 yards and 30 touchdowns since Nevada joined the Mountain West in 2012. That ranks second and fourth, respectively, on the league's all-time lists for career rushing yards and touchdowns by a quarterback. Fajardo's 449 career rushing attempts also rank fourth in Conference history. Below is a look at where Fajardo's numbers fall among the league's all-time top rushing QBs:

 

MOST RUSHING YARDS BY AN MW QUARTERBACK: CAREER
Pos. Player, Team No. Yards
1. Shaun Carney, Air Force 2,561 2004-07
2. Cody Fajardo, Nevada 2,331 2012-Present
3. Chance Harridge, Air Force 2,324 2001-03
4. Bradlee Van Pelt, Colorado State 2,274 2001-03
5. Tim Jefferson, Air Force 1,988 2008-11

 

MOST RUSHING TOUCHDOWNS BY AN MW QUARTERBACK: CAREER
Pos. Player, Team No. Yards
1. Chance Harridge, Air Force 35 2001-03
2. Tim Jefferson, Air Force 33 2008-11
3. Shaun Carney, Air Force 31 2004-07
4. Cody Fajardo, Nevada 30 2012-Present
  Bradlee Van Pelt, Colorado State 25 2001-03

 

MOST RUSHING ATTEMPTS BY AN MW QUARTERBACK: CAREER
Pos. Player, Team No. Yards
1. Shaun Carney, Air Force 652 2004-07
2. Tim Jefferson, Air Force 496 2008-11
3. Chance Harridge, Air Force 462 2001-03
4. Cody Fajardo, Nevada 449 2012-Present
5. Bradlee Van Pelt, Colorado State 420 2001-03

 

MW QUARTERBACKS QUICK ON THEIR FEET
Nevada senior QB Cody Fajardo and New Mexico junior signal caller Cole Gautsche are tied for second on the MW's all-time chart for most 100-yard rushing games by a quarterback with eight. Air Force's Chance Harridge set the Conference record of nine from 2000-03.

 

MOST 100-YARD RUSHING GAMES BY A MW QUARTERBACK: CAREER
Pos. Player, Team No. Years
1. Chance Harridge, Air Force 9 2000-03
2. Cody Fajardo, Nevada 8 2012-Present
  Cole Gautsche, New Mexico 8 2012-Present
  Bradlee Van Pelt, Colorado State 8 2000-03

 

Fajardo and Gautsche are two of eight active quarterbacks in the FBS this season with at least eight career 100-yard rushing games. Fajardo ranks third nationally with 10, including eight since the Wolf Pack joined the MW in 2012, while Gautsche is tied for fourth:

 

MOST 100-YARD RUSHING GAMES BY AN ACTIVE FBS QUARTERBACK: CAREER
Pos. Player, Team No.
1. Braxton Miller, Ohio State 14
2. Keenan Reynolds, Navy 11
3. Cody Fajardo, Nevada 10
4. Cole Gautsche, New Mexico 8
  Nick Marshall, Auburn 8
  Taysom Hill, BYU 8
  C.J. Brown, Maryland 8
  Dax Prescott, Mississippi State 8

 

RECEIVING NATIONAL ACCLAIM
Four Mountain West players rank among the top 15 nationally for career receiving yards, led by Boise State senior Matt Miller, who is seventh among all active players with 3,049 yards. Fresno State senior Josh Harper ranks 10th with 2,579 receiving yards, while UNLV senior Devante Davis is 11th with 2,568 and Wyoming senior Dominic Rufran is 16th with 2,386. The Mountain West is the only FBS league with three of the top 11 and four of the top 16 nationally in career receiving yards:

 

MOST RECEIVING YARDS BY AN ACTIVE FBS PLAYER: CAREER
Pos. Player, Team No.
1. Justin Hardy, East Carolina 3,861
2. Rashad Greene, Florida State 3,454
3. Titus Davis, Central Michigan 3,373
4. Jamison Crowder, Duke 3,291
5. Antonio Vaughan, Old Dominion 3,131
6. Tyler Lockett, Kansas State 3,037
7. Matt Miller, Boise State 3,049
8. Amari Cooper, Alabama 2,951
  Tommy Shuler, Marshall 2,951
10. Josh Harper, Fresno State 2,579
11. Devante Davis, UNLV 2,568
12. Mike Evans, Texas A&M 2,499
13. Kenny Bell, Nebraska 2,478
14. Jaxon Shipley, Texas 2,471
15. Devante Parker, Louisville 2,410
16. Dominic Rufran, Wyoming 2,386

 

Five MW players also rank in the top 17 of active players in the FBS for career receptions. Boise State senior Matt Miller leads the league and ranks fourth nationally with 244 receptions, followed by Fresno State senior Josh Harper and Wyoming senior Dominic Rufran, who are tied for 11th with 195 apiece, UNLV senior Devante Davis, who is 16th with 175, and Nevada senior Richy Turner, who is 16th with 171. The Mountain West is the only FBS conference with three of the top 11, four of the top 16 and five of the top 17 active players in career receptions.

 

MOST RECEPTIONS BY AN ACTIVE FBS PLAYER: CAREER
Pos. Player, Team No.
1. Justin Hardy, East Carolina 331
2. Tommy Shuler, Marshall 269
3. Jamison Crowder, Duke 256
4. Matt Miller, Boise State 244
5. Rashad Greene, Florida State 242
6. J.D. McKissic, Arkansas State 228
7. Antonio Vaughan, Old Dominion 215
7. Jaxon Shipley, Texas 213
9. Tyler Lockett, Kansas State 203
10. Nelson Spruce, Colorado 198
11. Josh Harper, Fresno State 195
  Dominic Rufran, Wyoming 195
13. Titus Davis, Central Michigan 185
14. Amari Cooper, Alabama 183
15. Deontay Greenberry, Houston 180
16. Devante Davis, UNLV 175
17. Richy Turner, Nevada 171

 

MW RECEIVERS LEAD NCAA IN CONSECUTIVE GAMES WITH A CATCH
The Mountain West is home to the nation's top two players in consecutive games with a reception. Wyoming senior Dominic Rufran leads the list with 47 consecutive outings with a catch, followed by Boise State senior Matt Miller with 44. Miller was injured in Week 5 and will miss the remainder of the season. The MW is the only FBS league with three players to have recorded a reception in 37 or more consecutive games, and four to have done so in 31 straight outings, as Fresno State senior Josh Harper is tied for seventh on the list with 37 straight and UNLV senior Devante Davis is 17th with 31.

 

CONSECUTIVE GAMES WITH A RECEPTION: FBS
Pos. Player, Team No.
1. Dominic Rufran, Wyoming 47
2. Matt Miller, Boise State 44
  Justin Hardy, East Carolina 44
4. Nick Harwell, Kansas 39
5. Rashad Greene, Florida State 38
  Tyler Lockett, Kansas State 38
7. Josh Harper, Fresno State 37
  Jordan Leslie, BYU 37
  Jamison Crowder, Duke 37
10. Tommy Shuler, Marshall 36
  D.J. Foster, Arizona State 36
12. J.D. McKissic, Arkansas State 34
  Alonzo Russell, Toledo 34
14. Geremy Davis, UConn 33
  Levi Norwood, Baylor 33
  Antonio Vaughn, Old Dominion 33
17. Devante Davis, UNLV 31

 

Rufran's streak of 47 straight games with a reception ties the Conference's all-time record, also shared by UNLV's Casey Flair and Wyoming's Jovon Bouknight. Below is a list of the top five in league history:

 

CONSECUTIVE GAMES WITH A RECEPTION: MOUNTAIN WEST
Pos. Player, Team No. Dates
1. Dominic Rufran, Wyoming 47 9/3/11 to Present
  Casey Flair, UNLV 47 9/5/05 to 11/22/08
  Jovon Bouknight, Wyoming 47 8/31/02 to 11/19/05
4. Matt Miller, Boise State 44 9/3/11 to Present
5. Dennis Pitta, BYU* 43 10/23/04 to 11/20/04;
9/1/07 to 12/22/09
*Left team to serve church mission during 2005 and 2006 seasons.

 

1,000-YARD RUSHERS
Boise State junior Jay Ajayi and Fresno State junior Marteze Waller joined San Diego State sophomore Donnel Pumphrey as the MW running backs that have rushed for at least 1,000 yards on the season. Pumphrey became the second sophomore in the FBS this season and the first player in the Mountain West to hit the 1,000-yard rushing mark on the year, accomplishing the feat in the first eight games of the 2014 campaign. He has 1,216 rushing yards, including 774 yards in SDSU's five Conference games, giving the Aztecs a 1,000-yard rusher for the fifth straight season. Ajayi accomplished the feat last Saturday, after rushing for 161 yards at New Mexico to bring his season total to 1,146. Boise State has touted a 1,000-yard rusher in six straight seasons. Waller also rushed past the 1,000-yard mark on Saturday with 145 yards in the first half against San José State. He became Fresno State's 21st 1,000-yard rusher, including 11 since 2000 and two since the Bulldogs joined the league in 2012.

 

Pumphrey, Ajayi and Waller are three of 17 players in the country to have eclipsed the 1,000-yard rushing mark this year, making the Mountain West one of four FBS leagues (Big Ten, ACC, Pac-12) with at least three players to accomplish the feat this year.

 

Ajayi becomes the 10th player in Conference history and the first Boise State player to post consecutive 1,000-yard rushing seasons since the Broncos joined the Mountain West in 2011. He is also the seventh Boise State player in program history with multiple 1,000-yard seasons.

 

CONSECUTIVE 1,000-YARD RUSHING SEASONS: MOUNTAIN WEST
Pos. Player, Team No. Years
1. DonTrell Moore, New Mexico 4 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005
2. Harvey Unga, BYU 3 2007, 2008, 2009
  Rodney Ferguson, New Mexico 3 2006, 2007, 2008
4. Jay Ajayi, Boise State 2 2013, 2014
  Kasey Carrier, New Mexico 2 2012, 2013
  Adam Muema, San Diego State 2 2012, 2013
  Tim Cornett, UNLV 2 2012, 2013
  Asher Clark, Air Force 2 2010, 2011
  Ronnie Hillman, San Diego State 2 2010, 2011
  Curtis Brown, BYU 2 2005, 2006

 

CSU'S GRAYSON JOINS 3,000-YARD CLUB FOR SECOND STRAIGHT YEAR
Colorado State's Garrett Grayson became the first MW quarterback and fifth in the FBS this season to surpass the 3,000-yard passing mark. His 278 passing yards against Hawai‘i last Saturday helped the senior tally the second straight 3,000-yard passing season of his career. Grayson, who had 3,696 yards in his junior season, has 3,024 through the first 10 games of 2014 to become the sixth MW quarterback with consecutive 3,000-yard passing seasons:

 

CONSECUTIVE 3,000-YARD PASSING SEASONS: MOUNTAIN WEST
Pos. Player, Team No. Years
1. Ryan Lindley, San Diego State 3 2009, 2010, 2011
  Max Hall, BYU 3 2007, 2008, 2009
  Casey Bramlet, Wyoming 3 2001, 2002, 2003
4. Garrett Grayson, Colorado State 2 2013, 2014
  Derek Carr, Fresno State 2 2012, 2013
  John Beck, BYU 2 2005, 2006

 

3,000 PASSING/1,000 RECEIVING YARDS
The Colorado State duo of QB Garrett Grayson and WR Rashard Higgins have registered 3,000 yards passing and 1,000 yards receiving, respectively, becoming the first Ram tandem to do so since 2005 and just the second since the league's inception in 1999. Overall, it is the 15th time in MW history that a team has boasted a 3,000-yard passer and 1,000-yard receiver in the same season.

 

3,000-YARD PASSER/1,000-YARD RECEIVER DUOS IN A SINGLE SEASON
Year Team Players Yards Total
2014 Colorado State Garrett Grayson, QB 3,024 4,304
    Rashard Higgins, WR 1,280  
2013 Fresno State Derek Carr, QB 3,948 5,161
    Davante Adams, WR 1,213  
2013 San José State David Fales, QB 3,642 4,852
    Chandler Jones, WR 1,210  
2012 Fresno State Derek Carr, QB 4,104 5,416
    Davante Adams, WR 1,312  
2010 San Diego State Ryan Lindley, QB 3,830 5,182
    Vincent Brown, WR 1,352  
2010 San Diego State Ryan Lindley, QB 3,830 5,050
    DeMarco Sampson, WR 1,220  
2008 BYU Max Hall, QB 3,957 5,495
    Austin Collie, WR 1,538  
2008 BYU Max Hall, QB 3,957 5,040
    Dennis Pitta, WR 1,083  
2007 New Mexico Donovan Porterie, QB 3,006 4,131
    Marcus Smith, WR 1,125  
2007 New Mexico Donovan Porterie, QB 3,006 4,037
    Travis Brown, WR 1,031  
2005 Colorado State Justin Holland, QB 3,185 4,406
    David Anderson, WR 1,221  
2002 San Diego State Adam Hall, QB 3,253 5,038
    J.R. Tolver, WR 1,785  
2002 San Diego State Adam Hall, QB 3,253 4,805
    Kassim Osgood, WR 1,552  
2001 BYU Brandon Doman, QB 3,542 4,753
    Reno Mahe, WR 1,211  
1999 BYU Kevin Feterik, QB 3,554 4,621
    Margin Hooks, WR 1,067  

 

MW TRIO ON SACK ATTACK
Colorado State junior Cory James, Nevada senior Brock Hekking and UNLV senior Josh Shirley are three of the top 11 active players in the FBS for career total sacks. James and Hekking lead the league and are tied for fifth nationally with 21.0 sacks apiece, while Shirley ranks 11th with 19.5 The Mountain West is one of two FBS leagues (ACC) with at least three of the top 11 nationally in career total sacks.

 

MOST TOTAL SACKS BY AN ACTIVE FBS PLAYER: CAREER
Pos. Player, Team No.
1. Vic Beasley, Clemson 29.0
2. Andre Monroe, Maryland 22.0
  Leighton Gasque, Middle Tennessee 22.0
4. Alvin Dupree, Kentucky 21.5
5. Cory James, Colorado State 21.0
  Brock Hekking, Nevada 21.0
  Martin Ifedi, Memphis 21.0
  Art Norman, North Carolina State 21.0
9. Lorenzo Mauldin, Louisville 20.5
  Hau'Oli Kikana, Washington 20.5
11. Josh Shirley, UNLV 19.5

 

James also ranks eighth among all active players and third among all juniors in the FBS with an average of 0.60 total sacks per game. With 21.0 total career sacks, both he and Hekking are tied for fourth on the MW career chart, trailing co-leaders Jan Jorgensen (BYU, 2006-09) and Jerry Hughes (TCU, 2006-09), who amassed 28.5 sacks apiece during their respective careers. Wyoming's John Fletcher (2005-09) ranks third with 24.0 career sacks.

 

TAKING IT WAY BACK
Colorado State senior Jared Roberts leads the MW with three 50-plus yard field goals this season, while Air Force senior Will Conant has two 50-plus field goal on the year. Roberts is tied with Purdue's Paul Griggs for the most 50-yard field goals this season by any FBS kicker, and is also tied with Conant (2013), Ryan Harrison (2007) and Wyoming's Aaron Elling (1999) for second-most in a season in MW history. BYU's Matt Payne holds the all-time record with four field goals of 50+ yards in 2004.

 

MOST 50+ YARD FIELD GOALS BY A MW PLAYER: SEASON
Pos. Player, Team No. Year
1. Matt Payne, BYU 4 2004
2. Jared Roberts, Colorado State 3 2014
  Will Conant, Air Force 3 2013
  Ryan Harrison, Air Force 3 2007
  Aaron Elling, Wyoming 3 1999

 

Conant's and Roberts' five career made field goals of 50+ yards tie Elling (1999-00) for second-most in MW history. Payne holds the all-time mark, converting eight field goals of 50 or more yards from 2001-04.

 

MOST 50+ YARD FIELD GOALS BY A MW PLAYER: CAREER
Pos. Player, Team No. Years
1. Matt Payne, BYU 8 2001-04
2. Jared Roberts, Colorado State 5 2012-Present
  Will Conant, Air Force 5 2011-Present
  Aaron Elling, Wyoming 5 1999-00

 

Overall, Mountain West kickers have combined for eight field goals of 50 or more yards in 2014, which ties for second-most (2007) in Conference history. Last season, MW kickers racked up a league-record nine field goals of 50 or more yards.

 

MW'S CONSISTENT KICKERS
Three MW kickers rank among the top 14 nationally for career field goal percentage. Air Force senior Will Conant leads the league and ranks third in the country, connecting on 26-of-29 field goal attempts for a percentage of 0.897. Nevada sophomore Brent Zuzo (26-of-32, 0.813) ranks 13th, followed by Colorado State senior Jared Roberts (34-of-24), who is 14th. The Mountain West is one of two FBS leagues (SEC) with at least three active kickers averaging 0.810 or better in career field goal percentage.

 

HIGHEST FIELD GOAL PERCENTAGE BY AN ACTIVE FBS PLAYER: CAREER
Pos. Player, Team FGA FGM FG%
1. Robert Aguayo, Florida State 39 37 0.949
2. Colby Delahoussaye, LSU 25 25 0.920
3. Will Conant, Air Force 29 26 0.897
4. Jeremiah Detmer, Toledo 73 63 0.863
5. Francisco Velez, Florida 20 17 0.850
6. Zane Gonzalez, Arizona State 49 41 0.837
  Mike Hunnicutt, Oklahoma 86 72 0.837
  Andy Phillips, Utah 43 36 0.837
9. Ross Martin, Duke 55 46 0.836
10. Kyle Bullard, Houston 24 20 0.833
11. Brad Craddock, Maryland 55 45 0.818
  Elliott Fry, South Carolina 33 27 0.818
13. Brent Zuzo, Nevada 32 26 0.813
14. Jared Roberts, Colorado State 42 34 0.810
  Josh Lambo, Texas A&M 21 17 0.810

 

QUICK HITS FROM AROUND THE MOUNTAIN WEST

  • Two MW squads rank among the top 10 in the FBS for completion percentage. As a team, Boise State has connected on 226 of 325 pass attempts (0.695) to rank second nationally, while Colorado State is 10th (216-of-330, 0.655). The Mountain West is one of two conferences (Pac-12) with multiple teams among the top 10 nationally in completion percentage.

 

  • Three MW players are ranked among the top four of all FBS players in interceptions per game. Boise State juniors Darian Thompson and Donte Deayon, as well as Utah State senior Frankie Sutera, are each tied for fourth among all FBS players with 0.6 interceptions per game. The Mountain West is the only league with three players in the top four for interceptions, and the Broncos are the only team in the country with multiple players in the top four for picks. Thompson has pulled down five interceptions in eight outings this year, while Deayon has picked off four passes in seven appearances. Meanwhile, Sutera's six total interceptions in 10 games this season are tied for the third-most nationally.

 

  • Three MW players rank among the top 15 nationally in rushing yards this season, led by San Diego State sophomore Donnel Pumphrey, who has 1,216 rushing yards to rank sixth in the FBS. Boise State junior Jay Ajayi has 1,146 rushing yards in nine appearances this year to rank 13th, while Fresno State junior Marteze Waller has 1,086 yards in 10 games to rank 15th. The Mountain West is one of two FBS leagues (Big Ten) with at least three of the top 15 for rushing yards. Pumphrey also ranks seventh nationally in rushing yards per game (135.1), while Ajayi is 11th at 127.3. The MW is one of three conferences (Big Ten, ACC) with multiple players in the top 11 for rushing yards per game.

 

  • Boise State junior Jay Ajayi, San Diego State sophomore Donnel Pumphrey, Colorado State junior Dee Hart and New Mexico junior Jhurell Pressley are four of 22 players in the FBS this season with more than 10 rushing touchdowns through the first 10 weeks of 2014. Ajayi has 14 on the year to tie for sixth nationally, followed by Pumphrey with 13 to tie for 10th. Hart and Pressley have 11 apiece to tie for 13th among all FBS players, making the Mountain West one of two FBS leagues (Big Ten) with multiple players to have at least 13 rushing touchdowns this season and at least four players that have at least 11 rushing TDs. Ajayi (11.3) is also one of eight players in the FBS to average more than 11 points per game.

 

  • Three Mountain West squads, including Air Force (34, 3rd), San José State (39, 10th) and New Mexico (40, 12th) rank among the top 12 nationally in fewest penalties. Four MW squads are in the top 15 in the country for fewest penalties per game, including Air Force (3.78, 4th), Fresno State (4.30, 11th), San José Stat (4.33, 12th) and New Mexico (4.44, 15th).

 

  • Utah State and Nevada State are two of 11 FBS programs that average a turnover margin of more than +1.00. The Aggies are tied for fifth with a +1.30 turnover margin, while the Wolf Pack ranks seventh nationally with a +1.22 turnover margin.

 

  • Nevada (1) and UNLV (2) are two of six teams in the FBS that have lost two or fewer fumbles this season. Nevada is tied for the national lead with Missouri, while UNLV is tied with three other squads for third. The Mountain West is one of two leagues (ACC) with two of the top six teams nationally in fewest fumbles lost.

 

  • Nevada (11), Wyoming (11) and Utah State (10) are three of 26 teams nationally to have recovered double-digit fumbles this season. The Wolf Pack and Cowboys are tied with eight other squads for eighth nationally, while the Aggies are tied with eight other teams for 18th.

 

  • Boise State entered the New Mexico game with neither a blocked kick nor a blocked punt on the year. Senior Beau Martin was credited with a blocked field goal in the second quarter, the first blocked FG by a Bronco since a Oct. 12, 2013 trip to Utah State. In the third quarter, sophomore Kamalei Correa stopped a Lobo punt, marking Boise State's first blocked punt since a Nov. 5, 2011 visit to UNLV.

 

  • Colorado State leads the Conference and is tied for fifth nationally with four blocked kicks this season. The Rams are joined by Air Force (3), New Mexico (3), San Diego State (3) are four of 24 squads nationally to stop at least three kick attempts this season, making the Mountain West one of two FBS leagues (Big Ten) with four teams to stop at least three kicks in 2014.

 

  • Three MW players, including two from Boise State, rank among the top seven nationally in career interceptions. Fresno State senior safety Derron Smith ranks second among all active FBS players with 14 career picks for the Bulldogs. Boise State's Darian Thompson is tied for sixth with 12, while fellow junior Donte Deayon is tied for eighth with 11. Boise State is one of two teams in the country (Ole Miss) with multiple players that have at least 11 career interceptions apiece.

 

  • Two MW signal callers are among the top 11 quarterbacks in career passing yardage. Nevada senior Cody Fajardo ranks eighth among active players with 9,088 career passing yards for the Wolf Pack, while Colorado State senior Garrett Grayson is 11th with 8,208 yards under center for the Rams.

 

  • New Mexico's Dakota Cox ranks first among all active players in the FBS for total tackles per game. The sophomore is averaging 10.24 stops per contest in his career as a Lobo. He is joined on the list of active leaders by San José State sophomore Christian Tago, who nets 8.84 total tackles per game to rank eighth, and Wyoming senior Jordan Stanton, who nets 8.25 stops per contest to rank 16th. The Mountain West is the only Conference in the country with three of the top 16 active leaders in tackles per game.

 

  • Colorado State senior Garrett Grayson completed four touchdown passes to four different receivers against Hawai‘i last Saturday, becoming the first Ram QB to register three career games with at least four passing TDs (all in 2014). Grayson also now holds the CSU single-season record with 26 passing touchdowns on the year, surpassing the previous mark of 23 set by Justin Holland in 2005.

 

  • Boise State and New Mexico combined for 1,285 yards from scrimmage and 109 total points, which rank as the fifth-most points between two teams in MW history.

 

  • New Mexico posted 49 points in its 60-49 loss to Boise State, tying for the most ever by the Loos in a defeat and the fifth-most ever by a losing MW team since the league's inception in 1999.

 

  • Mountain Division members Air Force (7-2), Boise State (7-2) and Colorado State (9-1) are three of 30 teams nationally that have two or fewer losses this season. The Mountain West is one of six leagues (SEC, Big Ten, ACC, Pac-12, Big 12) with at least three squads that have dropped two or less games on the year, and the only conference from the Group of 5.

 

MW FOOTBALL BY THE NUMBERS
0 Three Mountain West squads, including Air Force, Colorado State and San Diego State, have not allowed a blocked kick nor a blocked punt this season. The Falcons, Rams and Aztecs are three of 41 teams in the FBS that have not had a kick nor punt stopped this year.
1 New Mexico sophomore Ridge Jones returned a Boise State kickoff 100 yards for a score in the first quarter. It marked the first 100-yarder in the Mountain West this season and the 16th in the FBS. Jones becomes the 14th player overall and fifth sophomore in Conference history to register a 100-yard kick return TD, as well as the sixth Lobo ever to have a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.
2 Colorado State sophomore DB Preston Hodges forced two Hawai‘i fumbles last Saturday, tying for the fifth-most in a single-game by an FBS player this season. It marked the second time this season that a MW player forced multiple fumbles in the same game, after New Mexico sophomore DB Markel Byrd had two against San Diego State on Oct. 10. The two forced fumbles tie for the third-most in a single game in MW history.
4 Utah State sophomore LB Nick Vigil has forced four fumbles this season to tie for sixth in the FBS. He is one forced fumble shy of tying the national lead.
5 With less than a minute before halftime, Fresno State's Da'Mari Scott blocked a San José State punt that was returned by fellow sophomore T.J. Thomas for a touchdown. It was the fifth punt return TD in the Mountain West this season and the first by a Bulldog since Desia Dunn blocked a punt and returned it to score against Cal Poly on Oct. 2, 2010.
6 Boise State senior QB Grant Hedrick passed for four touchdowns and ran for two more in last Saturday's win at New Mexico, making him responsible for a total of six scores. That ties for fifth-most in a single game in MW history. Wyoming's Brett Smith holds the league's all-time record for TD responsibility with eight against Hawai‘i on Nov. 23, 2013.
6 New Mexico's six rushing TDs against Boise State tie for the 11th most by an FBS team in a single game this season. It also marks the second time this season that a MW team rushed for six touchdowns in a game this season, after Air Force accomplished the feat against Nicholls State in the Falcons' 2014 season opener.
7 Seven MW squads have recorded at least one blocked punt and one blocked kick in the 2014 season. Colorado State leads the league with four blocked kicks and one blocked punt in 2014, followed by Air Force and San Diego State with three blocked kicks and one blocked punt apiece. Meanwhile, Boise State, Fresno State, Hawai‘i and Wyoming have blocked one punt and one kick each.
13 Utah State and Boise State are two of 10 teams in the FBS with more than 13 interceptions in 2014. The Aggies lead the league and are tied for third nationally with 17 picks this year, while the Broncos are tied for eighth in the country with 14.
27 The Mountain West's 27 non-conference wins this season are the most since the league had 28 in 2008.
40 Four MW teams scored over 40 points in Week 11, including Boise State (60), Colorado State (49), New Mexico (49) and Air Force (48).
50 Three MW players, including New Mexico juniors Jhurell Pressley and Cole Gautsche, as well as San Diego State sophomore Donnel Pumphrey, are among the 16 players in the country with multiple 50-yard rushing touchdowns this season. Pressley is tied for second nationally with three, including a 75-yarder against Boise State last Saturday, while Gautsche and Pumphrey have two apiece to tie for 10th. UNM is one of two squads (Arkansas State) with two players to have multiple 50-yard rushing TDs this year.
109 Boise State (60) and New Mexico (49) combined for 109 points in their meeting last Saturday. That ranks as the fifth-highest single-game scoring effort by two teams in MW history. The Broncos (35) and Lobos (42) racked up 77 of those points in the first half, which ties for the second-most combined points in a half in MW history. San José State (42) and Fresno State (41) hold the all-time single-game record with a collective 83 first-half points in last year's Nov. 29 meeting. New Mexico's 49 points against Boise State rank fifth on the league's single-game list for most scored by a losing team.
505 New Mexico's 505 rushing yards against Boise State are the fourth-most by an FBS team in a single-game this season and the second-most by a MW squad, trailing the 539 rushing yards Air Force totaled against Nicholls State on Aug. 30. The Mountain West now owns two of the top four single-game rushing performances in the country this year.

 

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