Mountain West Football Weekly Release

 

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MOUNTAIN WEST FOOTBALL WEEK 1 SCHEDULE
Thursday, August 28 TV/Web Time Satellite Radio
Boise State vs. 19/18 Mississippi# ESPN 8 p.m. ET SIRIUS 108 / XM 190
North Dakota at San José State ESPN3 7 p.m. PT  
Friday, August 29 TV/Web Time Satellite Radio
Colorado State vs. Colorado% FOX Sports 1 7 p.m. MT SIRIUS 126 / XM 201
UNLV at Arizona ESPN 7:30 p.m. PT SIRIUS 91 / XM 91
Saturday, August 30 TV/Web Time Satellite Radio
Nicholls State at Air Force ESPN3 Noon MT  
Southern Utah at Nevada Mountain West Network Noon PT  
Montana at Wyoming ROOT SPORTS/MWN 2 p.m. MT  
Northern Arizona at San Diego State CBS Sports Network 4 p.m. PT  
Fresno State at 15/15 USC FOX 4:30 p.m. PT SIRIUS 139 / XM 197
UTEP at New Mexico Mountain West Network/Campus Insiders 6 p.m. MT  
25/25 Washington at Hawai‘i CBS Sports Network 4:30 p.m. HT  
Sunday, August 31 TV/Web Time Satellite Radio
Utah State at Tennessee SEC Network 7 p.m. ET SIRIUS 91 / XM 91
# Georgia Dome (Atlanta, Ga.)
% Sports Authority Field (Denver, Colo.)

KICKOFF 2014
The Mountain West kicks off its 16th football season with three games against top 25 opponents and nine nationally-televised contests in Week 1. The 2014 slate opens on Thursday night with two games, including Boise State's trip to Atlanta to face #19/18 Ole Miss in the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Classic at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN. San José State opens at home vs. North Dakota beginning at 7 p.m. PT on ESPN3.

Action continues Friday with two games against Pac-12 opponents, starting with the Rocky Mountain Showdown that pits Colorado State against instate foe Colorado. Kickoff at Sports Authority File at Mile High in Denver is set for 7 p.m. MT on FOX Sports 1. UNLV will open the season at Arizona beginning at 7:30 p.m. PT on ESPN.

On Saturday, six additional MW teams will open the home portion of the schedule. Air Force welcomes Nicholls State (Noon MT, ESPN3) and Nevada takes on Southern Utah (12:05 p.m. PT, Mountain West Network). Wyoming entertains Montana (2 p.m. MT, ROOT SPORTS/MWN), San Diego State hosts Northern Arizona (4 p.m. PT, CBS Sports Network) and New Mexico plays UTEP (6 p.m. MT, Mountain West Network/Campus Insiders). Fresno State and Hawai‘i round out the day, as the Bulldogs travel to #155 USC (4:30 p.m. PT) and the Rainbow Warriors begin the home portion of their schedule vs. #25 Washington (4:30 p.m. HT, CBS Sports Network).

The first week concludes Sunday as Utah State travels to Tennessee for the first-ever meeting between the squads. Action begins at 7 p.m. ET on the SEC Network.

A LOOK AT THE 2014 MOUNTAIN WEST SCHEDULE
The 2014 Mountain West football schedule is comprised of 100 games, including 48 Conference matchups. The scheduling format for the 12-member football lineup consists of five intra-divisional games and three cross-divisional contests. Each institution will play four home and four road Conference games. This is the second year of the initial four-year cycle in which each member institution will play every other Mountain West opponent home and away.

The 2014 schedule will play out over 15 weeks, concluding on Sat., Dec. 6, with the Mountain West Football Championship Game to be played at the home stadium of the highest-ranked of the two divisional champions.

The non-conference slate features 26 games against teams that earned bowl berths in 2013, including Arizona (2 games), Arizona State, Arkansas State, Auburn, BYU (4 games), Houston, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Navy (2 games), Oregon, Oregon State (2 games), Michigan State, Nebraska, North Carolina, Northern Illinois, Rice, USC, Washington and Washington State. Six non-conference opponents finished ranked in last year's final USA Today/Coaches' and Associated Press Top 25 polls, including #2 Auburn, #3 Michigan State, #9 Oregon, #20/21 Arizona State, #25 Nebraska (Coaches') and #25 Washington (AP). Below is a full breakdown of the Mountain West's 2014 non-conference opponents:

ACC: Boston College, North Carolina, Wake Forest
American: Connecticut, Houston
Big Ten: Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska
C-USA: Florida Atlantic, Rice, Tulsa, UTEP, UTSA
MAC: Northern Illinois
Pac-12: Arizona (2), Arizona State, Colorado, Oregon, Oregon State (2), USC, Utah, Washington, Washington State
SEC: Auburn, Mississippi, Tennessee
Sun Belt: Arkansas State, Idaho, Louisiana, New Mexico State, Georgia State
Independent: Army, BYU (4), Navy (2)
FCS: Idaho State, Montana, Nicholls State, North Dakota, Northern Arizona, Northern Colorado, Northern Iowa, Southern Utah (2), UC Davis

RETURNING STARTERS
Heading into the 2014 season, four of the 12 MW squads, including Hawai‘i, Nevada, San José State and Wyoming, lead the league with 17 returning starters apiece. Below is a breakdown of key returnees.

Team Total Off. Def. Spec.
Air Force 16 7 8 1
Boise State 15 5 8 2
Colorado State 13 5 6 2
Fresno State 16 5 8 3
Hawai‘i 17 7 6 4
Nevada 17 7 9 1
New Mexico 13 7 6 0
San Diego State 12 6 4 2
San José State 17 5 11 1
UNLV 14 7 6 1
Utah State 14 6 5 3
Wyoming 17 6 9 2

MW TEAMS IN SEASON OPENERS
Mountain West teams are 71-61 in season openers since the inception of the league in 1999. MW teams are 52-19 at home and 13-33 on the road. Below is an all-time breakdown of the Mountain West in season openers.

Team Overall Home Road Neutral
Air Force 11-4 11-2 0-1 0-1
Boise State^ 1-2 0-0 0-2 1-0
Colorado State 7-8 1-0 3-2 3-6
Fresno State~ 2-0 2-0 0-0 0-0
Hawai‘i~ 0-2 0-1 0-1 0-0
Nevada~ 1-1 0-0 1-1 0-0
New Mexico 4-11 4-5 0-6 0-0
San Diego State 5-10 5-6 0-4 0-0
San José State+ 1-0 1-0 0-0 0-0
UNLV 6-9 4-3 2-6 0-0
Utah State+ 0-1 0-0 0-1 0-0
Wyoming 9-6 9-0 0-5 0-1
BYU# 9-3 8-1 0-1 1-1
TCU* 6-1 1-0 4-1 1-0
Utah# 9-3 6-1 3-2 0-0
Totals 71-61 52-19 13-33 6-9
^Boise State became a member of the MW in July 2011.
~Fresno State, Hawai‘i and Nevada became members of the MW in July 2012.
+San José State and Utah State became members of the MW in July 2013.
*TCU: MW member from 2005-2011.
#BYU and Utah: MW members from 1999-2010.

BOISE STATE, FRESNO STATE PICKED TO WIN MW DIVISIONAL TITLES
Boise State was predicted to win the 2014 Mountain West Football Mountain Division title, while 2013 MW Champion Fresno State was chosen to finish atop the West Division. This marks the second season of divisional play for the Conference, which moved to the two, six-team divisional format in 2013 following the additions of San José State and Utah State. The Mountain Division is comprised of Air Force, Boise State, Colorado State, New Mexico, Utah State and Wyoming, while Fresno State, Hawai‘i, Nevada, San Diego State, San José State and UNLV make up the West Division. The two divisional winners will meet in the MW Championship Game on Dec. 6, 2014 at the home stadium of the divisional champion with the highest College Football Playoff Committee ranking. The game will be broadcast nationally by CBS at 7 p.m. PT / 8 p.m. MT.

The Broncos posted a 6-2 league record in 2013, finishing one game behind Mountain division winner, Utah State. Boise State received 20 first-place votes, and earned a total of 183 points in a poll of media members. They posted an 8-5 overall mark in 2013 and finished the year with a 38-23 loss to Oregon State in the Sheraton Hawai‘i Bowl. Under the direction of first-year head coach and former Boise State player and assistant coach, Bryan Harsin, the Broncos return 15 starters from 2013, including eight on the defensive side of the ball.

Fresno State earned 15 first-place votes and 174 points to claim the top spot in the West Division poll. The Bulldogs were in contention for a BCS Bowl bid for most of the 2013 season, reaching as high as No. 14 in the BCS standings. They ultimately finished the year with an 11-2 record, including a 7-1 mark in MW play that clinched the West Division title. Fresno State defeated Utah State 21-14 in the inaugural MW Championship Game. This was the first outright MW football championship for the Bulldogs, who shared the 2012 regular-season title with Boise State and San Diego State. Fresno State returns 16 starters, including eight on offense and eight on defense.

MOUNTAIN DIVISION
Rk. Team (first-place votes) Pts.
1. Boise State (20) 183
2. Utah State (12) 176
3. Colorado State (1) 135
4. Wyoming 90
5. New Mexico 56
6. Air Force 53
WEST DIVISION
Rk. Team (first-place votes) Pts.
1. Fresno State (15) 174
2. San Diego State (15) 172
3. Nevada (3) 130
4. UNLV 95
5. San José State 87
6. Hawai‘i 35
2014 PRESEASON ALL-MOUNTAIN WEST FOOTBALL TEAM - OFFENSE
Pos. Name Cl. School
QB Chuckie Keeton Sr. Utah State
WR Matt Miller Sr. Boise State
WR Devante Davis** Sr. UNLV
RB Jay Ajayi* Jr. Boise State
RB Donnel Pumphrey So. San Diego State
OL Ty Sambrailo** Sr. Colorado State
OL Cody Wichmann Sr. Fresno State
OL LaMar Bratton Sr. New Mexico
OL Brett Boyko** Sr. UNLV
OL Robert Waterman Sr. UNLV
TE Kivon Cartwright Sr. Colorado State
2014 PRESEASON ALL-MOUNTAIN WEST FOOTBALL TEAM - DEFENSE
Pos. Name Cl. School
DL Tyeler Davison** Sr. Fresno State
DL Brock Hekking* Sr. Nevada
DL B.J. Larsen** Sr. Utah State
DL Eddie Yarbrough* Jr. Wyoming
LB Ejiro Ederaine** Jr. Fresno State
LB Kyler Fackrell** Jr. Utah State
LB Zach Vigil** Sr. Utah State
DB Donte Deayon** Jr. Boise State
DB Jeremy Ioane** Sr. Boise State
DB Derron Smith* Sr. Fresno State
DB J.J. Whittaker Sr. San Diego State
2013 PRESEASON ALL-MOUNTAIN WEST FOOTBALL TEAM - SPECIALISTS
Pos. Name Cl. School
P Garrett Swanson Jr. Fresno State
PK Jared Roberts* Sr. Colorado State
Ret. Carlos Wiggins* Jr. New Mexico
Preseason Offensive Player of the Year: Chuckie Keeton, Sr., QB, Utah State
Preseason Defensive Player of the Year: Derron Smith, Sr., DB, Fresno State
Preseason Special Teams Player of the Year: Carlos Wiggins, Jr., KR, New Mexico
* - member of the 2013 All-Mountain West first team.
** - member of the 2013 All-Mountain West second team.

A LOOK AT THE PRESEASON PREDICTIONS
Below is a look at how the preseason poll favorite has fared in regular-season play:

Year Predicted Champion Predicted Champion Finish Actual Champion Bowl Game
2013* BSU (M) / FS (W) BSU (2nd M)/FS (1st W) FS Las Vegas
2012 BSU T-1st BSU/FS/SDSU Las Vegas
2011 BSU 2nd TCU Las Vegas
2010 TCU 1st TCU Rose
2009 TCU 1st TCU Fiesta
2008 BYU 3rd Utah Las Vegas
2007 TCU 5th BYU Las Vegas
2006 TCU 2nd BYU Las Vegas
2005 Utah T-5th TCU Houston
2004 Utah 1st Utah Fiesta
2003 CSU 3rd Utah San Francisco
2002 CSU 1st CSU Liberty
2001 CSU 2nd BYU New Orleans
2000 Utah T-5th CSU None
1999 BYU T-1st BYU/CSU/Utah Motor City
*First season of MW divisional play and Championship Game

LOOKING BACK AT THE INAUGURAL MW CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
Quarterback Derek Carr threw for 403 yards and three touchdowns, and the Bulldogs' defense helped Fresno State defeat Utah State 24-17 in the inaugural Mountain West Football Championship Game on Dec. 7, 2013. Carr earned Offensive MVP honors for his performance, while safety Derron Smith was recognized as Defensive MVP. With the victory, Fresno State earned its second-straight MW title and its first outright conference crown since 1989.

FRESNO STATE: WEST DIVISION CHAMPIONS
Fresno State wrapped up the 2013 season with an 11-2 record and won the West Division with a 7-1 mark. After claiming a share of the Mountain West title in 2012, the Bulldogs have now won back-to-back conference championships for the first time since 1992 and 1993. Fresno State has won 13 in a row at home, its longest win streak at Bulldog Stadium since capturing 17-straight from 1998-2001. Fresno State's 24-17 victory in the MW Championship Game marked the 11th win of the season for the Bulldogs, matching the school record for victories in a season that has been done only four times before, the last coming in 2001.

UTAH STATE: MOUNTAIN DIVISION CHAMPIONS
Utah State, which completed its first campaign in the Mountain West with a 9-5 record, won the Mountain Division with a 7-1 mark in 2013. With nine victories on the year, Utah State has posted three straight winning seasons for the first time since 1978-80. The Aggies' seven Conference victories in 2013 are a program record, surpassing the six league wins posted in 1936 and 2012.

MOUNTAIN VS. WEST
Below is a comparison of the Mountain vs. West Divisions after the Conference concluded its first season with divisional play:

Mountain Division West Division
Record vs. West Division: 7-12 (.368)
MW Championship Game Record: 0-1
Bowl Appearances: 3
Bowl Record: 2-1
Teams with eight or more victories: 3
Record vs. Mountain Division: 12-7 (.632)
MW Championship Game Record: 1-0
Bowl Appearances: 3
Bowl Record: 1-2
Teams with eight or more victories: 2

2014 MOUNTAIN WEST BOWL ARRANGEMENTS
The Mountain West has agreements to send six teams to bowl games in 2014. The league sent a record six teams into bowl games in 2013 and posted a 3-3 postseason 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 (.565) 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.

Bowl vs. Date
Royal Purple Las Vegas Pac-12 Dec. 20
San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Navy/MAC Dec. 23
Gildan New Mexico C-USA Dec. 20
Hawai‘i C-USA Dec. 24
Famous Idaho Potato MAC Dec. 20
R+L Carriers New Orleans Sun Belt Dec. 20

TWO NEW HEAD COACHES JOIN MW RANKS IN 2014
The Mountain West welcomes two new head football coaches in 2014, both of which will compete in the Mountain Division. Boise State will be under the direction of Bryan Harsin, while Craig Bohl will take over as Wyoming's head coach.

Harsin, a 2000 graduate of Boise State, becomes the first-ever alum to be appointed the Broncos' head coach. A member of the Boise State coaching staff from 2001-10, Harsin has since served as co-offensive coordinator at Texas (2011-12) and head coach at Arkansas State (2013). The former Bronco letterwinner (1995-99) began his coaching career in Boise as a graduate assistant in 2001, before taking over the tight ends as a full-time assistant coach from 2002-05. He assumed the role of offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in 2006. The Broncos went 61-5 during his tenure as offensive coordinator from 2006-10, including undefeated seasons in 2006 (13-0) and 2009 (14-0), and an undefeated regular season in 2008.

Bohl comes to Wyoming from North Dakota State, where he led the Bison to a 104-32 record since 2003, including three consecutive FCS National Championships from 2011-13. He received the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) FCS National Coach of the Year Award in 2012 and 2013, the Liberty Mutual FCS National Coach of the Year Award in 2013 and The Sports Network Eddie Robinson FCS National Coach of the Year Award in 2012. Prior to his 11-year stint as head coach at North Dakota State, Bohl compiled 19 years of experience as an assistant with stops at Nebraska (1981-83, 1995-2002), Duke (1994), Rice (1989-93), Wisconsin (1987-88), Tulsa (1985-86) and NDSU (1984).

FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH
The Mountain West is home to three of the 11 youngest head coaches at the FBS level. Boise State's Bryan Harsin (37), Nevada's Brian Polian (39) and Utah State's Matt Wells (40) are among the group of 12 coaches who were born in 1973 or later.

THREE MW COACHES AT HELM OF THEIR ALMA MATERS
Air Force's Troy Calhoun, Boise State's Bryan Harsin and Utah State's Matt Wells are three of 13 who played college football for the same FBS program they each are currently coaching.

FIRST-YEAR HEAD COACHES IN THE MOUNTAIN WEST
The Mountain West has welcomed 22 new head coaches over the last 15 seasons. Former BYU head coach Gary Crowton posted the most wins and highest win percentage among the group with 12 victories and an .860 win percentage in his inaugural year in 2001. Utah State's Matt Wells became the first to conclude his inaugural season by leading his team to the Mountain West Championship Game and a bowl appearance. With a victory against Northern Illinois, Wells set the single-season school record for wins by a first-year head coach, bettering the previous record set by Tony Knap, whose Aggies went 8-2 in 1963.

Year Name, Team Record Pct. Bowl Game
2001 Gary Crowton, BYU 12-2 .860 Liberty
2003 Urban Meyer, Utah 10-2 .830 Liberty
2012 Tim DeRuyter, Fresno State 9-3 .750 Hawai‘i
2007 Troy Calhoun, Air Force 9-4 .692 Armed Forces
2013 Matt Wells, Utah State 9-5 .643 Poinsettia
2005 Kyle Whittingham, Utah 7-5 .583 Emerald
2009 Dave Christensen, Wyoming 7-6 .539 New Mexico
2008 Steve Fairchild, Colorado State 7-6 .539 New Mexico
2005 Bronco Mendenhall, BYU 6-6 .500 Las Vegas
2013 Ron Caragher, San José State 6-6 .500 -
2013 Brian Polian, Nevada 4-8 .333 -
2012 Jim McElwain, Colorado State 4-8 .333 -
2009 Brady Hoke, San Diego State 4-8 .333 -
2003 Joe Glenn, Wyoming 4-8 .333 -
2002 Tom Craft, San Diego State 4-9 .310 -
1999 John Robinson, UNLV 3-8 .270 -
2012 Norm Chow, Hawai‘i 3-9 .250 -
2006 Chuck Long, San Diego State 3-9 .250 -
2005 Mike Sanford, UNLV 2-9 .182 -
2010 Bobby Hauck, UNLV 2-11 .154 -
2000 Vic Koenning, Wyoming 1-10 .090 -
2009 Michael Locksley, New Mexico 1-11 .083 -

WELCOME BACK
The Mountain West returns 18 All-Conference players from last season, including six first-team honorees and 12 second-team selections. The first-team returnees include two on offense, three on defense and one specialist, while the second-team returnees include three on offense, eight on defense and one specialist. In addition, 28 All-Mountain West honorable mention picks from 2013 also return to the gridiron.

2014 PLAYERS TO WATCH
Here's a breakdown of the returning All-Mountain West Conference performers:

FIRST-TEAM ALL-MOUNTAIN WEST OFFENSE
RB Jay Ajayi, Jr., Boise State
PK Jared Roberts, Sr., Colorado State
PR/KR Carlos Wiggins, Jr., New Mexico
FIRST-TEAM ALL-MOUNTAIN WEST DEFENSE
DL Brock Hekking, Sr., Nevada
DL Eddie Yarbrough, Jr., Wyoming
DB Derron Smith, Sr., Fresno State*
SECOND-TEAM ALL-MOUNTAIN WEST OFFENSE
WR Josh Harper, Sr., Fresno State
OL Ty Sambrailo, Sr., Colorado State
OL Brett Boyko, Sr., UNLV
PK Austin Lopez, Jr., San José State
SECOND-TEAM ALL-MOUNTAIN WEST DEFENSE
DL Tyeler Davison, Sr., Fresno State
DL Beau Yap, Sr., Hawai‘i
DL B.J. Larsen, Sr., Utah State
LB Ejiro Ederaine, Jr., Fresno State
LB Kyler Fackrell, Jr., Utah State
LB Zach Vigil, Sr., Utah State
DB Donte Deayon, Jr., Boise State
DB Jeremy Ioane, Sr., Boise State
HONORABLE MENTION ALL-MOUNTAIN WEST
Air Force: Will Conant, Sr., PK; Michael Husar, Sr., OL.
Boise State: Dan Goodale, Sr., PK; Matt Miller, Sr., WR; Shane Williams-Rhodes, Jr., WR/PR/KR.
Colorado State: Kivon Cartwright, Sr., TE; Max Morgan, Sr., LB.
Fresno State: Karl Mickelsen, Sr., LB; Garrett Swanson, Jr., P; Cody Wichmann, Sr., OL.
Hawai‘i: Ben Clarke, Jr., OL; Scott Harding, Sr., P; Ne'Quan Phillips, Jr., DB.
Nevada: Charles Garrett, Sr., DB.
New Mexico: Brett Bowers, Sr., DL; LaMar Bratton, Sr., OL.
San Diego State: Terry Poole, Sr., OL; Ezell Ruffin, Sr., WR; J.J. Whittaker, Sr., DB.
San José State: Billy Freeman, So., TE.
UNLV: Cameron Jefferson, Sr., OL; Marcus Sullivan, Sr., PR/KR; Peni Vea, Jr., DB; Robert Waterman, Sr., OL.
Utah State: Nick Diaz, Sr., PK; JoJo Natson, Jr., PR/KR; Brian Suite, Sr., DB.
Wyoming: Jordan Stanton, Sr., LB.
*--Two-Time First-Team Selection

MOUNTAIN WEST IN THE POSTSEASON
The Mountain West sent a record six teams into postseason bowl games in 2013. 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.

The 2013 postseason marked the seventh straight year the MW has sent at least five teams to bowls. 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.

Conference Bowl Record (since 2004) Pct.
SEC 54-28 .659
MOUNTAIN WEST 28-19 .596
Big East/American 28-21 .571
Pac-12 32-26 .552
Big 12 40-36 .526
Sun Belt 11-11 .500
Conference USA 27-28 .491
ACC 36-45 .444
Big Ten 28-46 .378
MAC 14-31 .311

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.

QUICK HITS FROM AROUND THE MOUNTAIN WEST

  • Boise State ranked second in the FBS last season averaging 15.0 yards per punt return. Shane Williams-Rhodes is back for the Broncos after finishing the 2013 campaign with 16 returns for 233 yards (14.6 avg.).

 

  • Boise State is coming off its 12th consecutive season with a bowl appearance, an active streak that ties for seventh nationally. The Broncos have appeared in a bowl game in 14 of the last 15 seasons.

 

 

  • Boise State is the only program in the country to average over 40 points since 2000. The Broncos have averaged 40.24 points per game during that stretch.

 

 

  • Boise State's Jay Ajayi ranks second in the FBS among active players with at least 250 career rushing attempts and at least 5.2 yards per attempt. The Bronco running back enters his junior season with 1,973 yards on 331 attempts for an average of 5.96 yards per carry.

 

 

  • Boise State's Matt Miller leads all active FBS players with a current streak of 39 consecutive contests with a reception. UNLV's Devante Davis enters the 2013 season riding a streak of 26 straight games with at least one catch.

 

 

  • Colorado State senior Garrett Grayson is the top returning passer in the MW. After compiling a CSU-record 3,696 yards in 2013, Grayson needs 1,959 passing yards in 2014 to become the school's all-time leading passer. He also needs 20 passing touchdowns to top the Rams' all-time chart.

 

 

  • Colorado State's Garrett Grayson (2) is one of 17 quarterbacks nationally who has led his team to multiple game-winning drives in his career. Fresno State transfer Brandon Connette joins the Bulldogs with three to his credit from his time at Duke.

 

 

  • Fresno State senior safety Derron Smith is the nation's active career leader in interceptions with 14.

 

 

  • Fresno State is just one of two programs in the FBS (Stanford) that have ranked in the top 10 nationally in sacks each of the past two seasons.

 

 

  • Fresno State is one of only three FBS teams (Florida State, Stanford) that has posted at least 20 victories and two conference championships over the last two seasons.

 

 

  • Nevada QB Cody Fajardo has collected 9,504 total yards in three seasons under center, including 7,166 career passing yards and 2,338 rushing yards, to become the fourth Wolf Pack player to go over the 9,000-yard mark. Fajardo currently ranks third all-time for the Wolf Pack, trailing Colin Kaepernick (14,210 from 2007-10) and David Neill (11,145 from 1998-2001).

 

 

  • Nevada and UNLV will battle for the Fremont Cannon in Las Vegas on Nov. 29, marking the regular-season finale for both teams. It will be the first time since 1977 that the intrastate rivals close the regular season against one another.

 

 

  • New Mexico's Carlos Wiggins completed the 2013 campaign as the only player in the FBS to return three kickoffs for touchdowns. He is the second MW player ever to return three kicks to the end zone in a single season, joining Hawai‘i's Mike Edwards (2012). Wiggins also is the fourth player in MW history to have three kick return TDs in a career, alongside Edwards (2012), San Diego State's Colin Lockett (2010-2013) and TCU's Greg McCoy (2008-11).

 

 

  • UNLV senior Robert Waterman is one of eight offensive linemen in the country riding an active streak of at least 38 consecutive starts. Waterman (2,679) is also one of 10 offensive linemen nationally with at least 2,500 career snaps played, alongside Fresno State's Cody Wichmann (2,824) and Colorado State's Ty Sambrailo (2,514).

 

 

  • UNLV receiver Devante Davis pulled in a Rebel-record 14 touchdown passes in 2013. The senior is nine TD receptions shy of the program's career mark, currently held by Phillip Payne, who caught 26 TD passes from 2008-11.

 

 

  • Utah State's defense enters the 2014 season riding a 23-game streak of consecutive games with at least one forced turnover. The Aggies are tied for fourth nationally in that category.

 

 

  • Utah State wide receiver JoJo Natson scored two receiving touchdowns, three rushing touchdowns and two punt return TDs during the 2013 season, becoming the only FBS player to accomplish the feat.

 

 

  • Utah State's Zach Vigil is one of six active FBS linebackers with at least 200 career tackles and 20.0 career tackles for loss. Vigil enters his senior season with 223 total stops and 23.0 career TFL.

 

 

  • Utah State was the only FBS team not to allow a touchdown run of 10 or more yards in 2013.

 

 

  • Wyoming middle linebacker Jordan Stanton returns for his senior season in 2014 after ranking third nationally with 11.2 tackles per game (134 total) as a junior.

 

 

  • San Diego State (20) and San José State are two of 17 FBS teams with at least 20 underclassmen on their Week 1 depth charts.

 

HATS OFF TO THE GRADS
San José State, UNLV and Utah State are among 12 teams in the FBS with at least nine graduates on their 2014 rosters. The Aggies tied for third nationally with 13 graduates to start the season, followed by the Rebels, who are tied for seventh with 10, and the Spartans, who are tied for ninth with nine.

WEEKLY COACHES PRESS CONFERENCES