Mountain West Football Weekly Release
|MOUNTAIN WEST FOOTBALL WEEK 14 SCHEDULE|
|Friday, November 28||TV/Web||Time||Satellite Radio|
|Colorado State at Air Force*||CBS Sports Network||1:30 p.m. MT|
|Saturday, November 29||TV/Web||Time||Satellite Radio|
|Wyoming at New Mexico*||ROOT SPORTS/ MWN||1 p.m. MT|
|San José State at San Diego State*||CBS Sports Network||12:30 p.m. PT|
|Hawai‘i at Fresno State*||Oceanic TWC/ MWN||4 p.m. PT||SIRIUS 136|
|Utah State at Boise State*||ESPN2||8:15 p.m. MT||SIRIUS 93 / XM 208|
|Nevada at UNLV*||ESPNU||7:30 p.m. PT|
|*Mountain West game|
WEEK 14 AT A GLANCE
The final week of the regular season includes six MW contests, beginning on Friday as Air Force entertains 21/21 Colorado State in a Mountain Division and Front Range rivalry. CBS Sports Network will televise the contest beginning at 1:30 p.m. MT. Action continues with five games on Saturday starting at 1 p.m. MT as Wyoming visits New Mexico (ROOT SPORTS/Mountain West Network). San José State travels to San Diego State (12:30 p.m. PT, CBS Sports Network) and Hawai‘i makes the trip to Fresno State (4 p.m. PT, Oceanic TWC/Mountain West Network). Mountain Division rivals Utah State and 25/25 Boise State meet in Boise at 8:15 p.m. MT (ESPN2), while Nevada and UNLV round out the week as they battle for the Fremont Cannon in Las Vegas beginning at 7:30 p.m. PT (ESPNU).
COUNTDOWN TO THE SPORTS AUTHORITY MW CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
The 2014 Sports Authority Mountain West Football Championship game will kick off at 8 p.m. MT / 7 p.m. PT on Saturday, December 6. The contest will be hosted at the home stadium of the regular-season divisional champion with the highest College Football Playoff ranking. CBS will broadcast the title game for the second straight year.
MOUNTAIN DIVISION-CLINCHING SCENARIOS
- Boise State: wins the division with a win over Utah State.
- Colorado State: wins the division with a win at Air Force and a Boise State loss to Utah State.
- Utah State: wins the division with a win at Boise State and a Colorado State loss at Air Force.
WEST DIVISION-CLINCHING SCENARIOS
- Fresno State: wins the division with a win over Hawai‘i.
- San Diego State: wins the division with a win over San José State and a Fresno State loss to Hawai‘i.
- Hawai‘i: wins the division with a win at Fresno State and losses by Nevada (at UNLV) and San Diego State (vs. San José State).
- In the event Fresno State loses to Hawai‘i, Nevada defeats UNLV and San Diego State falls to San José State, it will create a four-team tie atop the West Division standings at 4-4. In that scenario, Fresno State clinches the division based on the MW divisional tiebreaking procedures.
SIX MW TEAMS BOWL ELIGIBLE ENTERING WEEK 14
Colorado State (10-1), Boise State (9-2), Utah State (9-3), Air Force (8-3), Nevada (6-5) and San Diego State (6-5) are all bowl eligible this season.
With a 10-1 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 Aggies are bowl eligible for the fourth-straight season for the first time in program history. The Wolf Pack is bowl eligible for the ninth time in 10 seasons, and the Aztecs qualified for their fifth straight postseason for the first time since 1989-93.
Air Force, Boise State, Colorado State, Nevada, San Diego State and Utah State are six of the 71 teams in the FBS to have qualified for postseason play through the first 13 weeks of the 2014 campaign. Fresno State is still in contention to become bowl eligible in 2014. The Bulldogs (5-6) must win their final game vs. Hawai‘i.
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 11 times since the league's inception in 1999.
MOUNTAIN WEST IN THE NATIONAL RANKINGS
For the first week since the final week of the 2011 season, two MW teams are ranked. Colorado State moved up to 21 in both the Amway Coaches' and Associated Press polls, receiving 304 votes by the Coaches' panel and 346 by the AP voters. Boise State cracked both sets of rankings for the first time since the first week of the 2013 season, earning 85 and 96 votes, respectively, to come in at No. 25 in both the Coaches' and AP polls.
COLORADO STATE'S HIGGINS GRABBING THE NATIONAL SPOTLIGHT
Colorado State's Rashard Higgins, a finalist for the 2014 Biletnikoff Award, ranks first nationally in three receiving categories, including yards (1,447), yards per game (144.7) and touchdowns (15). The sophomore became the first player in the FBS to eclipse the 1,400-yard mark this season.
Higgins' 15 receiving touchdowns tie for third on the MW's single-season chart, while his 1,447 yards rank fifth on the league list and first in the CSU record book.
Higgins also now has 21 career receiving touchdowns to tie for the most all-time by a Ram receiver with Jeff Champine (1980-83). He has eclipsed the 100-yard mark 10 times in his career, including eight times this season and a current streak of six straight games, which is a program record and surpasses 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 the longest streak of consecutive 100-yard receiving games with 11. Higgins' eight 100-yard receiving games in 2014 tie for the second-most in a single season in MW history behind Collie (11 in 2008). Former San Diego State Aztecs Kassim Osgood and J.R. Tolver each had eight 100-yard receiving games in 2002.
As a sophomore, Higgins ranks among the FBS active career leaders in receiving yards per game and receptions per game (joined by San José State sophomore Tyler Winston).
ROBERTS' MW-RECORD PAT STREAK COMES TO AN END
After missing his third PAT attempt against New Mexico last Saturday, Colorado State senior PK Jared Roberts brought his Mountain West record streak of consecutive PATs made to a close at 111 (Nov. 17, 2012 to Nov. 22, 2014). 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 (5-0), Boise State (5-0), Colorado State (6-0) and Utah State (6-0) from the Mountain Division and San Diego State (5-0) from the West.
MOUNTAIN VS. WEST
The Mountain Division holds a 13-5 (.722) advantage over the West this season. Air Force (at UNLV on Nov. 8, vs. Nevada on Nov. 15), Boise State (at Nevada on Oct. 4, vs. Fresno State on Oct. 17, vs. San Diego State on Nov. 15), 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, vs. San José State on Nov. 21) and Wyoming (at Fresno State on Nov. 1) have posted the 13 wins for the Mountain Division, while the West's five 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, vs. Air Force on Nov. 22) and San José State (at Wyoming on Oct. 18).
The Mountain Division holds an all-time record of 20-17 (.541) 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: 13-5 (.722)
At Home: 6-3 (.667)
On Road: 7-2 (.778)
2013 Record vs. West: 7-12 (.368)
At Home: 4-5 (.444)
On Road: 3-7 (.300)
All-Time vs. West: 20-17 (.541)
At Home: 10-8 (.556)
On Road: 10-9 (.526)
Teams with eight or more wins in 2014: 4
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: 5-13 (.278)
At Home: 2-7 (.222)
On Road: 3-6 (.333)
2013 Record vs. Mountain: 12-7 (.632)
At Home: 7-3 (.700)
On Road: 5-4 (.556)
All-Time vs. Mountain: 17-10 (.459)
At Home: 9-10 (.474)
On Road: 8-10 (.444)
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
STRINGING WINS TOGETHER
The MW's Mountain Division owns two of the five longest active win streaks in the country. Colorado State's nine-game stretch is tied with Ohio State for third, while Boise State's six-game win streak is tied with Alabama, Oregon and Wisconsin for fifth. The Mountain West is one of two leagues (Big Ten) with multiple squads that are riding at least a six-game win streak.
COLORADO STATE IN ELITE COMPANY
Colorado State is one of 10 teams remaining in the FBS this season with one or fewer losses. The Rams, which have an 10-1 overall record, join Florida State (11-0), Marshall (11-0), Alabama (10-1), Mississippi State (10-1), Ohio State (10-1) and Oregon (10-1) as the only seven teams nationally that have amassed at least 10 wins through the first 13 weeks of the 2014 campaign and have a win percentage of .909 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 second-ever 10-1 start and first since 1994.
Overall, Colorado State has posted nine straight victories, the longest win streak by CSU since a nine-game run in 1997. The win streak is tied for the third-longest active stretch among all FBS teams. This is also CSU's first 6-1 start in Mountain West play since the 2002 campaign, when the Rams finished the year with a 6-1 league mark.
LEADER OF THE PACK
Nevada senior QB Cody Fajardo is 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 is the third player in program history to reach 12,000 career yards of total offense. With 291 total yards against San Diego State last Saturday, including 126 passing and 165 rushing, Fajardo brought his current total to 12,779 (9,489 passing, 3,290 rushing) to rank second on the program's all-time chart, trailing Kaepernick (14,210).
Fajardo has amassed 10,369 yards of total offense since the Wolf Pack joined the Mountain West in 2012. He is the sixth MW quarterback ever to surpass the 10,000-yard mark for total offense and ranks fifth on that list. Fajardo sits just outside the Top-5 for career total plays, ranking sixth with 1,570.
Fajardo's 12,779 career total yards currently rank third among all active players in the FBS, while his 9,489 career passing yards are seventh among all active QBs. He 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 nine active players to have eclipsed the 3,200-yard mark in career rushing (joining Boise State junior RB Jay Ajayi), and his 3,290 rushing yards rank sixth among all active players in the FBS and first among all active quarterbacks.
Fajardo also ranks among the top five of the league's all-time leaders for rushing quarterbacks. Since Nevada joined the Mountain West in 2012, the senior signal caller has rushed for 2,596 yards to top the league's all-time list. His 32 career rushing touchdowns and 482 career carries also rank third in Conference history.
MW QUARTERBACKS QUICK ON THEIR FEET
Nevada senior Cody Fajardo tallied his fourth 100-yard rushing effort of 2014 with 165 yards on the ground against San Diego State last Saturday. His effort brought the Mountain West's total of QB performances with 100+ rushing yards in a single game to nine this season by five different quarterbacks (Air Force senior Kale Pearson (2), Boise State senior Grant Hedrick (1) and New Mexico freshman Lamar Jordan (1) and junior Cole Gautsche (1). This is the second time in Mountain West history that the league has had at least five different quarterbacks register 100-yard rushing games in a single season (2013) and the fourth time that the Conference has had at least nine 100-yard rushing games by a quarterback in a season (2001, 2002, 2013). The league record for the most 100-yard rushing games overall by MW quarterbacks in a season is 13 (2013).
Fajardo is one of five active FBS quarterbacks who leads his team in both passing and rushing. His four 100-yard rushing games in 2014 match his 2012 tally to tie for the fourth-most 100-yard rushing games by a quarterback in a single season in MW history, while his 10 career 100-yard rushing games since the Wolf Pack joined the league in 2012 is a new league record.
Fajardo and Gautsche are two of eight active quarterbacks in the FBS this season with at least eight career 100-yard rushing games. Fajardo is tied for second nationally with 12, including 10 since the Wolf Pack joined the MW in 2012, while Gautsche is tied for fourth.
RECEIVING NATIONAL ACCLAIM
Four Mountain West players rank among the top 16 nationally for career receiving yards, led by Boise State senior Matt Miller, who is ninth among all active players with 3,049 yards. UNLV senior Devante Davis ranks 10th with 2,783 receiving yards, while Fresno State senior Josh Harper is 11th with 2,644 and Wyoming senior Dominic Rufran is 16th with 2,405. 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.
Five MW players also rank in the top 18 of active players in the FBS for career receptions. Boise State senior Matt Miller leads the league and ranks fifth nationally with 244 receptions, followed by Fresno State senior Josh Harper, who is 10th in 201, Wyoming senior Dominic Rufran, who is tied for 12th with 198, UNLV senior Devante Davis, who is 15th with 185, and Nevada senior Richy Turner, who is 18th with 178. The Mountain West is the only FBS conference with three of the top 12, four of the top 15 and five of the top 18 active players in career receptions.
TWO MW QUARTERBACKS ECLIPSE 3,000-YARD PASSING MARK
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 on Nov. 8 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 3,413 in 2014 and is the sixth MW quarterback with consecutive 3,000-yard passing seasons.
Boise State's Grant Hedrick joined Grayson in the 3,000-yard club this season after throwing for 246 yards at Wyoming last Saturday. The senior currently now has 3,041 yards on the year to become just the fifth Bronco QB with a 3,000-yard season, joining Kellen Moore (2008-11), Ryan Dinwiddie (2001, 2003), Bart Hendricks (2000) and Taylor Tharp (2007).
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.
UTAH STATE'S NATSON WRITES NAME IN MW RECORD BOOK
Utah State sophomore JoJo Natson 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. Overall, Natson has three rushing touchdowns, two receiving touchdowns and two punt return touchdowns on the year.
AGGIES PUTTING A STOP TO IT
Utah State's defense racked up 4.0 sacks in last Friday's win over San José State, bringing the Aggies' 2014 total to 43. That ties the 2008 TCU squad for second-most sacks in a single season in MW history, three off the record of 46, set by New Mexico in 2000.
MW RECEIVERS LEAD NCAA IN CONSECUTIVE GAMES WITH A CATCH
The Mountain West is home to two of the nation's top three players in consecutive games with a reception. Wyoming senior Dominic Rufran leads the list with 48 consecutive outings with a catch, followed by Boise State senior Matt Miller in third 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 38 or more consecutive games, and four to have done so in 33 straight outings, as Fresno State senior Josh Harper is tied for eighth on the list with 38 straight and UNLV senior Devante Davis is 16th with 33.
Rufran's streak of 48 straight games with a reception breaks the Conference's all-time record, surpassing UNLV's Casey Flair and Wyoming's Jovon Bouknight.
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.
Five MW players are members of the 1,000-yard rushing club this season, including San Diego State sophomore Donnel Pumphrey, Boise State junior Jay Ajayi, Fresno State junior Marteze Waller, Air Force sophomore Jacobi Owens and Colorado State junior Dee Hart. 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 1,494 rushing yards, including 1,052 yards in SDSU's six Conference games, giving the Aztecs a 1,000-yard rusher for the fifth straight season. Pumphrey needs 34 yards to set the Mountain West record for rushing yards in a Conference season. Ajayi accomplished the feat on Nov. 8 at New Mexico and now has a season total of 1,390 yards. Boise State has touted a 1,000-yard rusher in six straight seasons. Waller also rushed past the 1,000-yard mark on Nov. 8 with 145 yards in the first half against San José State. With 1,132 yards this season, he became Fresno State's 21st 1,000-yard rusher, including 11 since 2000 and two since the Bulldogs joined the league in 2012. Owens, who is sidelined due to a foot injury, rushed for 66 yards against Nevada on Nov. 15 en route to becoming the seventh Falcon to reach the 1,000-yard mark in a single-season since joining the Mountain West in 1999. He also became just the third sophomore in Academy history to rush for 1,000 yards, joining Dee Dowis (1987) and Pat Evans (1984) and the first Falcon sophomore tailback. In his first season as a Ram, Hart has totaled 1,139 rushing yards to become the seventh CSU player to rush for 1,000 yards since the MW's inception in 1999.
Pumphrey, Ajayi, Waller, Owens and Hart are five of 36 players in the country to have eclipsed the 1,000-yard rushing mark this year, making the Mountain West one of three FBS leagues (Big Ten, Pac-12) with at least five 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.
1,000 RECEIVING/1,000 RUSHING YARDS
Colorado State sophomore Rashard Higgins and junior Dee Hart have combined to become the 15th MW pair to combine for 1,000 yards receiving and 1,000 yards rushing in the same season. It also marks the second time the Rams have accomplished the feat in league history and the first since 2005.
3,000 PASSING/1,000 RUSHING YARDS
Two MW duos, including Boise State's Grant Hedrick and Jay Ajayi and Colorado State's Garrett Grayson and Dee Hart, have registered 3,000 yards passing and 1,000 yards rushing, respectively. Overall, 16 tandems have combined to accomplish the feat since the league's inception in 1999, and this season marks the fifth time in MW history, and the third time in four years, that multiple squads have done so. This is also the second straight year and third time in Conference history that Colorado State has accomplished the feat, and the second time for Boise State since the Broncos joined the league in 2011.
ALL EYES ON BOISE STATE'S AJAYI
Boise State's Jay Ajayi has rushed for multiple touchdowns in six straight games, amassing a total of 14 during that span. He has a total of 19 rushing TDs in 2014, which ties for the fifth-most in a single season in MW history. Colorado State's Kapri Bibbs holds the league's all-time single-season record with 31 rushing TDs in 2013.
Ajayi has racked up a total of 46 touchdowns over his career, which ranks third on the league's all-time list for total touchdowns, while his 23 TDs in 2014 rank fifth on the league's single-season chart. Ajayi's 41 rushing TDs tie for second on the league's list for career rushing TDs. His 276 career points rank third on the league's all-time list for non-kickers, while his 138 points in 2014 ranks fifth on the league's single-season chart.
Ajayi has topped the 100-yard rushing mark eight times this season, including six straight games, which ties San Diego State's Ronnie Hillman and Utah's Eddie Wide for the second-longest streak in MW history. BYU's Luke Staley holds the league record with seven consecutive 100-yard rushing performances. It is also the longest streak by a Bronco since Brock Forsey had six straight 100-yard performances in 2002. Overall, Ajayi has 15 career 100-yard rushing performances, which ties for fourth-most in MW history.
PICKING OFF PASSES
Boise State junior Darian Thompson registered his sixth interception of the season and 13th of his career last week at Wyoming. Thompson's 13 career picks are tied for fourth on the league's all-time list, joining Fresno State senior Derron Smith.
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 for second nationally for the most 50-yard field goals this season 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.
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.
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.
3,000 PASSING/1,000 RECEIVING/1,000 RUSHING YARDS
Colorado State senior Garrett Grayson, sophomore Rashard Higgins and junior Dee Hart have combined to become the 11th MW trio to amass 3,000 yards passing, 1,000 yards receiving and 1,000 yards rushing in the same season. It also marks the second time the Rams have accomplished the feat in league history and the first since 2005.
Air Force senior Will Conant leads the league and ranks second in the country, connecting on 27-of-31 field goal attempts for a percentage of 0.871.
MW TRIO ON SACK ATTACK
Nevada senior Brock Hekking, Colorado State junior Cory James, and UNLV senior Josh Shirley are three of the top 12 active players in the FBS for career total sacks. Hekking leads the league and ranks ninth nationally with 21.5 total career sacks, followed by James in 10th (21.0) and Shirley tied for 12th (20.0). The Mountain West is one of three FBS leagues (ACC, Pac-12) with at least three active players to have 20 or more career sacks.
James also ranks eighth among all active players and third among all juniors in the FBS with an average of 0.58 total sacks per game. Hekking (21.5) and James (21.0) rank fourth and fifth, respectively, on the MW career chart for total sacks, 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.
WYOMING'S HILL ENJOYS BANNER OUTING
With 281 yards rushing and 106 yards receiving at Fresno State on Nov. 1, Wyoming RB Brian Hill set a new all-time single-game high and freshman class single-game high in the Mountain West with 387 all-purpose yards. The previous mark of 378 yards was set by New Mexico's Deon Long vs. Sam Houston State on Sept. 24, 2011. He also set a new record for most all-purpose yards against a Conference opponent, eclipsing the previous mark of 343 yards, set by New Mexico's Kasey Carrier at Air Force on Oct. 20, 2012. Hill's 387 all-purpose yard performance is the best mark in Cowboy history and the third-best in the FBS this season.
Hill's 281 rushing yards are the most by a Mountain West player this season, establishing a new single-game record for MW freshmen, usurping the 228 yards former San Diego State Aztec and current Denver Bronco Ronnie Hillman racked up on two separate occasions in 2010. His 281 rushing yards are also the second-most in program history.
Hill became the first player in MW history to have 200 yards rushing and 100 yards receiving on the same day, and the third to reach the 100-yard mark in both rushing and receiving in the same game, joining Boise State's Jay Ajayi (147 rush/105 rec. vs. New Mexico on Nov. 30, 2013) and Colorado State's Raymond Carter (104 rush/120 rec. vs. Idaho on Sept. 25, 2010). He is also the first in the FBS this season to rack up 200 yards rushing and 100 yards receiving in the same game and just the fifth in NCAA history.
UNLV'S BOYD CATCHING HOLD
UNLV's Devonte Boyd caught four passes for 91 yards last week at Hawai‘i, bringing his season total to 60 receptions for 912 yards. His 912 yards rank second on the league's all-time list for most by a freshman, while his 60 catches are sixth. Former Fresno State Bulldog and current Green Bay Packer Davante Adams holds the league's all-time records in both categories with 102 catches and 1,312 receiving yards as a freshman in 2012.
QUICK HITS FROM AROUND THE MOUNTAIN WEST
- Two MW squads rank among the top seven nationally in rushing offense, led by New Mexico, which is collecting 316.7 yards on the ground per game to rank fourth. The Lobos are trailed by Air Force, which is tallying 274.9 rushing yards per contest to rank seventh. The MW is the only FBS league with two of the top seven rushing offenses in the country.
- Three MW quarterbacks tallied at least one passing and one rushing touchdown in Week 13. With four passing TDs and one rushing TD at Nevada, Fresno State junior Brian Burrell accomplished the feat for the third time this season. Wolf Pack senior Cody Fajardo reached the end zone once through the air and twice on the ground in the contest. He has posted 15 career games with at least one passing and one rushing TD, including 12 since Nevada joined the Conference in 2012. Utah State freshman Kent Myers accomplished the feat for the first time in his career with one passing touchdown and three rushing TDs against San José State.
- The Mountain West has recorded seven 200-yard rushing performances this season, including two in Week 13. Colorado State junior Dee Hart notched 230 yards on the ground against New Mexico last Saturday, while Hawai‘i senior Joey Iosefa had 219 vs. UNLV. In all, seven different MW players have rushed for 200 yards in a single game this season, including Hart, Iosefa, Wyoming freshman Brian Hill (281 at Fresno State on Nov. 1), San Diego State sophomore Donnel Pumphrey (246 at New Mexico on Oct. 10), Air Force sophomore Jacobi Owens (233 vs. Nicholls State on Aug. 30) and Boise State junior Jay Ajayi (219 vs. Colorado State on Sept. 6) and New Mexico sophomore Teriyon Gipson (205 vs. Boise State on Nov. 8).
- With eight successful PATs in last week's 63-14 victory at Wyoming, Boise State senior Dan Goodale moved into third on the league's career chart for most made PATs. He has 159 in his career, which trails record-holder Ross Evans of TCU (239) and BYU's Mitch Payne (193). Colorado State senior Jared Roberts ranks fifth on that same list with 140 career PATs.
- Boise State junior RB Jay Ajayi has racked up 3,363 rushing yards in his career as a Bronco and needs 92 yards to rank among the top five career leaders in Mountain West history. New Mexico's DonTrell Moore holds the MW record with 4,973 rushing yards from 2002-05.
- As a team, Utah State has picked off 18 passes in 2014, which is one shy of the MW's top five for interceptions in a single season. TCU set the record in 2005 after pulling in 24 interceptions that year. In all, nine Aggies have recorded at least one interception this season, tying for the second-most by an FBS team this season and trailing only Georgia Tech (10).
- Utah State senior Frankie Sutera has seven of the Aggies' 18 interceptions this season to tie for the second-most ever by a MW player in a single season. The senior is one pick shy of the Conference single-season record, held by Fresno State's Phillip Thomas (2012). Five others have totaled seven interceptions in a single season since the inception of the MW in 1999. Sutera's seven interceptions are the third-most nationally this year and are the most by an Aggie in a single season since Ronald Edwards had seven in 1991.
- Four MW players rank in the top 16 nationally in all-purpose yardage, led by Boise State's Jay Ajayi who is third nationally in all-purpose yardage. The junior has racked up 1,925 all-purpose yards this season, including 1,390 rushing and 535 receiving, to average 175.00 all-purpose yards per game. San José State junior Tyler Ervin ranks ninth with 1,648 all-purpose yards on the year for an average of 149.82, while San Diego State sophomore Donnel Pumphrey is 14th (1,605 yds., 145.91 ypg) and Colorado State sophomore Rashard Higgins is 16th (1,447 yds., 144.70).
- Two MW players are ranked among the top three of all FBS players in interceptions per game. Utah State senior Frankie Sutera and Boise State junior Darian Thompson are each tied for third among all FBS players with 0.6 interceptions per game. The Mountain West is the only league with two players in the top three for interceptions per game. Sutera's seven total interceptions in 12 games this season rank as the third-most nationally, while Thompson has pulled in six interceptions in 10 outings this year to tie for fourth.
- Two MW players rank among the top 12 nationally in rushing yards this season, led by San Diego State sophomore Donnel Pumphrey, who has 1,494 rushing yards to rank fifth in the FBS. Boise State junior Jay Ajayi has 1,390 rushing yards in 11 appearances this year to rank 12th. Pumphrey also ranks fifth nationally in rushing yards per game (135.8), while Ajayi is 12th at 126.4. The Mountain West is one of three FBS leagues (Big Ten, ACC) with at least two of the top 12 for rushing yards and rushing yards per game.
- Boise State junior Jay Ajayi, San Diego State sophomore Donnel Pumphrey, Colorado State junior Dee Hart, New Mexico junior Jhurell Pressley and Nevada senior Cody Fajardo are five of 36 players in the FBS this season with at least 11 rushing touchdowns in 2014. Ajayi has 19 on the year to rank fourth nationally, followed by Hart and Pumphrey with 16 apiece to tie for ninth. Fajardo has 12 to tie for 17th among all FBS players and rank second among quarterbacks, followed by Pressley with 11 to tie for 27th. The Mountain West is one of two FBS leagues (Big Ten) with three players to have at least 16 rushing touchdowns this. Ajayi (12.5) is also one of five players in the FBS to average at least 12 points per game, ranking fourth nationally and third among running backs.
- Three squads from the Mountain Division rank in the top 12 nationally for pass efficiency. As a team, Colorado State is combining for a 171.89 pass efficiency rating to lead the Conference and rank second in the FBS, followed by Air Force, which is eight nationally at 159.50 and Boise State at 12th (156.44) The Mountain West is one of two leagues nationally (Pac-12) with two of the top eight and three of the top 12 teams in pass efficiency.
- Two MW players rank among the top six nationally in active career rushing yards. Boise State RB Jay Ajayi ranks fifth fourth among all active players and second among all juniors with 3,363 career rushing yards. He also ranks 11th on the FBS's active list with 96.1 rushing yards per game and ninth with 118.57 all-purpose yards per game. Nevada QB Cody Fajardo ranks sixth on that list, as well as third among seniors and first among all active quarterbacks, with 3,290 career rushing yards.
- Two MW players rank among the top five nationally in career interceptions. Fresno State senior safety Derron Smith is tied for third among all active FBS players with 14 career picks for the Bulldogs. Boise State junior Darian Thompson is tied for fifth with 13.
- Colorado State junior Dee Hart racked up a career-high 230 yards and a career-best five touchdowns on 20 attempts against New Mexico last Saturday for his sixth 100-yard performance of the season and career as a Ram. His five rushing touchdowns are a season high in the Mountain West and tie for the second most in a single game by any FBS player this season. He also became the fifth MW player ever to rush for at least five touchdowns in a single game, joining former Ram Kapri Bibbs (Nov. 16, 2013) and Nevada's Stefphon Jefferson (Sept. 22, 2012) with six apiece, as well as Wyoming's Alvester Alexander (Nov. 20, 2010) and BYU's Luke Staley (Nov. 1, 2001) who each had five in a single game. Hart also caught his first-ever touchdown reception against the Lobos, giving him six total touchdowns on the day to tie Bibbs for second on the league's all-time single-game chart. Bibbs notched six rushing TDs in the 2013 meeting between the Rams and Lobos. Hart's 36 points scored tie Navy QB Keenan Reynolds for the national single-game high this season and tie the national lead for most points in a single game. He also ties Bibbs for second on the Mountain West's list for overall points scored in a solo outing. It marked the MW's fourth performance this season with at least four rushing touchdowns, including two by Hart.
|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.|
|1||Only once in the league's 16-year history has the Conference champion posted more than one loss in MW play. In 1999, Utah, Colorado State and BYU each earned the Mountain West title with identical 5-2 marks in league games.|
|2||Mountain Division members Boise State (9-2) and Colorado State (10-1) are two of 20 teams nationally that have two or fewer losses this season. The Mountain West is one of six leagues (Pac-12, SEC, Big 12, Big Ten, ACC) with multiple squads that have dropped two or less games on the year, and the only conference from the Group of 5.|
|2||Boise State's Jay Ajayi is one of two running backs in the country to have at least 200 carries and 40 receptions this season. The junior has 1,449 rushing yards off 276 attempts this year, as well as 535 receiving yards from 44 catches.|
|2||Colorado State junior Jasen Oden forced two fumbles in last week's game against New Mexico, which ties for the third-most in a single game in MW history. Former Ram Nordly Capi holds the league's all-time record with four forced fumbles against the Lobos on Sept. 3, 2011, followed by TCU's Alex Iibiyole, who had three vs. Tennessee Tech on Sept. 11, 2010.|
|3||Boise State junior Darian Thompson grabbed his sixth interception of the season at Wyoming last Saturday, returning it 36 yards for a touchdown for the Bronco's third pick six of the year (Donte Deayon and Tyler Gray).|
|3||Colorado State has rattled off three consecutive victories over teams from the five High Resource conferences. The Rams are the only squad outside of the High Resource Five with a current win streak of three games against teams in those leagues. CSU is one of two teams outside the High Resource Five (ULM) that has notched at least one victory in each of the past three seasons against an opponent from those conferences.|
|4||Utah State sophomore LB Nick Vigil has forced four fumbles through the first 12 games of the season to tie for seventh in the FBS. He is one forced fumble shy of tying the national lead.|
|5||Three MW teams, including Air Force (4), Colorado State (5) and New Mexico (5) are among the 19 FBS squads this year that have thrown five or fewer interceptions. The Falcons are tied for fourth nationally, while the Rams and Lobos are tied for 11th. The Mountain West is one of three conferences (Pac-12, C-USA) with at least three teams to have thrown five or less interceptions this season.|
|9||Air Force (42, T4th) and Fresno State (45, T9th) rank among the top nine nationally in fewest penalties. Those same teams are in the top eight in the country for fewest penalties per game, including the Falcons (3.82, 4th) and Bulldogs (4.09, T8th).|
|14||Two MW squads rank among the top 14 nationally in points off turnovers. Nevada has totaled 117 points off turnovers for an average of 10.6 per game to rank fourth among all FBS teams, while Boise State has 100 points off turnovers (9.1) to rank 14th.|
|14||Utah State sophomore Devin Centers is one of 14 defensive players nationally with multiple touchdowns. The sophomore has returned two fumbles to the end zone in 2014.|
|27||The Mountain West's 27 non-conference wins this season are the most since the league had 28 in 2008.|
|28||Boise State put 28 points on the board in the third period of last week's victory at Wyoming, which ties the MW record for most points scored in a third quarter.|
|78||Nevada has outscored its opponents 135-57 (+78) in the fourth quarter this season to lead all FBS teams.|
|131||After successfully completing five extra point attempts against San José State last Friday, Utah State senior Nick Diaz extended his program record with 131 career PATs. The Aggies' previous record of 110 was held by Brad Bohn (1997-2000).|
|500||A win against Air Force would mark the 500th victory in Colorado State in program history.|
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