Mountain West Football Weekly Release
|MOUNTAIN WEST FOOTBALL WEEK 2 SCHEDULE|
|Friday, September 5||TV/Web||Time||Satellite Radio|
|Washington State at Nevada||ESPN||7:30 p.m. PT||SIRIUS 91 / XM 91|
|Saturday, September 6||TV/Web||Time||Satellite Radio|
|Fresno State at Utah||Pac-12 Networks||1 p.m. MT||SIRIUS 117 / XM 202|
|Arizona State at New Mexico||CBS Sports Network||5 p.m. MT||SIRIUS 139 / XM 197|
|San José State at Auburn||ESPN2||6 p.m. CT||SIRIUS 138 / XM 191|
|Idaho State at Utah State||Mountain West Network/Campus Insiders||6 p.m. MT|
|San Diego State at North Carolina||ESPNews||8 p.m. ET||SIRIUS 134 / XM 201|
|Northern Colorado at UNLV||Mountain West Network||7 p.m. PT|
|Colorado State at Boise State*||ESPN2||8:15 p.m. MT|
|Air Force at Wyoming*||ESPNU||8:15 p.m. MT|
|Oregon State at Hawai‘i||CBS Sports Network||4:30 p.m. HT||SIRIUS 139 / XM 197|
|*Mountain West game|
WEEK 2 AT A GLANCE
All 12 Mountain West squads will take the field in Week 2 with three games against top 25 opponents and eight nationally-televised contests. The slate opens on Friday night as Nevada hosts Pac-12 foe Washington State beginning at 7:30 p.m. PT on ESPN.
Conference play gets underway on Saturday with two Mountain Division matchups. Colorado State makes the trip to Boise State (8:15 p.m. MT, ESPN2), while Air Force travels to Wyoming (8:15 p.m. MT, ESPNU). In non-conference action, Fresno State visits Utah at 1 p.m. MT (Pac-12 Networks) and New Mexico welcomes 16/17 Arizona State (5 p.m. MT, CBS Sports Network). Utah State and UNLV make their 2014 home debuts on the Mountain West Network, as the Aggies entertain Idaho State (6 p.m. MT) and the Rebels host Northern Colorado (7 p.m. PT). San José State travels to 5/5 Auburn for a 6 p.m. CT contest on ESPN2, while San Diego State visits 23/21 North Carolina at 8 p.m. ET on ESPNews. Hawai‘i rounds out the day, as the Rainbow Warriors entertain Oregon State (4:30 p.m. HT, CBS Sports Network).
RACKING UP YARDAGE
- Eight MW players ran for at least 100 yards in Week 1 action, including two Colorado State running backs who went over the century mark against Colorado. In his first contest for CSU, junior RB Dee Hart rushed for a career-high 139 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries. Fellow transfer Treyous Jarrells also eclipsed the 100-yard mark with 122 rushing yards and one TD on 17 attempts. The last time the Rams had multiple 100-yard rushers in the same game was on Sept. 28, 2002, when QB Bradlee Van Pelt (128) and RB Cecil Sapp (125) each accomplished the feat at Nevada. The last time Colorado State had two running backs rush for 100-yards in the same contest was on Aug. 31, 1996 against Tennessee-Chattanooga (Jaime Blake, 138; Calvin Branch, 127).
- Sophomore running back Jacobi Owens set a new Air Force rushing record in a first career start. His 233 yards against Nicholls State surpassed the previous mark of 218, set by Cody Getz on Sept. 1, 2012. Owens became just the eighth Falcon to surpass the 200-yard mark.
- New Mexico junior QB Cole Gautsche posted his eighth career 100-yard rushing outing after racking up a career-high 184 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries against UTEP before departing with an injury. His eight career 100-yard performances ties Colorado State's Bradlee Van Pelt (2000-03) for second place on the league's all-time list for most 100-yard rushing games by a quarterback. Air Force's Chance Harridge holds the record with nine such games from 2000-03.
- Senior RB Joey Iosefa racked up 143 rushing yards and one touchdown on 30 carries for Hawai‘i to mark his fifth career 100-yard game and the fourth in his last five outings. Iosefa's 30 carries vs. Washington tied for the most by an FBS player in Week 1.
- Wyoming junior Shaun Wick had 134 yards on the ground against Montana for the fifth 100-yard rushing game of his career and first since his career-best 234 yard outing at San José State on Oct. 26, 2013.
- San Diego State sophomore Donnel Pumphrey rushed for 111 yards and two touchdowns on 19 attempts vs. Northern Arizona, marking the fourth 100-yard rushing game of his career, including a stretch of three straight from Sept. 28 – Oct. 10, 2013.
- In his first outing for Nevada, junior RB Don Jackson rounded out the MW's group of 100-yard rushers, taking 22 carries for 110 yards and one touchdown against Southern Utah.
LIGHTING UP THE SCOREBOARD
Of the Mountain West's 36 touchdowns in Week 1, 25 were scored on the ground while another nine were passing TDs. San Diego State sophomore Lloyd Mills returned a Northern Arizona punt 67 yards for a touchdown, marking the third by the Aztecs in the last four games (since Nov. 23, 2013). Mills' 67-yarder was the second-longest punt return in the FBS in Week 1 action. SJSU junior Tyler Ervin picked up his fourth career return for a touchdown when he took a punt 40 yards to the end zone in the third quarter vs. North Dakota. It was the first punt return TD by a Spartan since Dwight Lowery accomplished the feat against Hawai‘i on Oct. 12, 2007. Ervin's 40-yard punt return touchdown was his first career punt return TD, after compiling three career kickoff return touchdowns.
Three MW players recorded 100-yard receiving efforts in Week 1, including two from UNLV. In his first game as a Rebel, freshman Devonte Boyd caught six passes for 102 yards against Arizona and was joined in the century club by senior Devante Davis, who tallied eight receptions for 100 yards. UNLV boasted multiple 100-yard receivers in the same game for the first time since Oct. 12, 2013. Nevada sophomore Jerico Richardson collected a career-high 177 receiving yards on 13 receptions in his first career start against Southern Utah. His 177 yards are the most by a Nevada player since Rishard Matthews had 220 receiving yards against UNLV on Oct. 8, 2011.
REACHING THE END ZONE
The Mountain West is home to the top two teams in the FBS who have reached the end zone in consecutive quarters. San José State currently has the nation's longest scoring streak with at least one touchdown in 11 straight quarters. San Diego State has the second-longest streak at 10 (does not include overtime periods).
FAJARDO CLIMBING THE WOLF PACK CHARTS
Senior QB Cody Fajardo has accumulated 7,464 passing yards and 2,504 rushing yards for 9,968 career yards at Nevada. He is 32 yards away from joining Colin Kaepernick (2007-10) and David Neill (11,145) in the Wolf Pack 10,000-yard club.
Four of the 12 MW squads, including Hawai‘i, Nevada, San José State and Wyoming, lead the league with 17 returning starters apiece in 2014. Below is a breakdown of key returnees.
|San Diego State||12||6||4||2|
|San José State||17||5||11||1|
MW TEAMS IN SEASON OPENERS
Mountain West teams are 77-67 in season openers since the inception of the league in 1999. MW teams are 57-21 at home and 13-36 on the road. Below is an all-time breakdown of the Mountain West in season openers.
|San Diego State||6-10||6-6||0-4||0-0|
|San José State+||2-0||2-0||0-0||0-0|
|^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.
MOUNTAIN VS. WEST
Below is a comparison of the Mountain vs. West Divisions after the Conference concluded its first season with divisional play in 2013:
|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
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 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.
|2014 PRESEASON ALL-MOUNTAIN WEST FOOTBALL TEAM - OFFENSE|
|QB||Chuckie Keeton||Sr.||Utah State|
|WR||Matt Miller||Sr.||Boise State|
|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|
|TE||Kivon Cartwright||Sr.||Colorado State|
|2014 PRESEASON ALL-MOUNTAIN WEST FOOTBALL TEAM - DEFENSE|
|DL||Tyeler Davison**||Sr.||Fresno State|
|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|
|DB||Derron Smith*||Sr.||Fresno State|
|DB||J.J. Whittaker||Sr.||San Diego State|
|2013 PRESEASON ALL-MOUNTAIN WEST FOOTBALL TEAM - SPECIALISTS|
|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|
|*First season of MW divisional play and Championship Game|
TWO NEW HEAD COACHES JOIN MW RANKS IN 2014
The Mountain West welcomes two new head football coaches in 2014, both of whom are competing in the Mountain Division. Boise State is under the direction of Bryan Harsin, while Craig Bohl takes over as Wyoming's head coach.
Harsin, a 2000 graduate of Boise State, is 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 came 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 head coaches who played college football for the same FBS program they are each currently leading.
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.
Former Fresno State signal caller Derek Carr, the 2012 and 2013 Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year, has been named the opening day starting quarterback for the Oakland Raiders. Carr will be the first rookie starting quarterback on opening day in team history. He will also be the only rookie QB in the 2014 NFL draft class to begin the season under center. The three quarterbacks drafted ahead of Carr, Blake Bortles in Jacksonville, Johnny Manziel in Cleveland, and Teddy Bridgewater in Minnesota, are currently backups, as is the only other second-round pick, Jimmy Garoppolo in New England.
Carr joins his older brother, David, as rookies to start in the season opener. According to STATS, they are the only brothers to accomplish that feat since at least 1950. David won his debut for the expansion Houston Texans against Dallas in 2002.
Derek Carr will become the fourth former Bulldog QB to start an NFL game in his rookie year, joining his brother David, as well as Trent Dilfer and Kevin Sweeney.
Overall, three former Mountain West Offensive Players of the Year will start at QB when the NFL season kicks off this week. Like Carr, Cincinnati Bengal QB Andy Dalton was a two-time MW Offensive Player of the Year in 2009 and 2010, while Kansas City Chief signal-caller Alex Smith earned the award in 2004.
Current San Francisco starting QB Colin Kaepernick never played in the Mountain West, but starred at Nevada from 2007-2010.
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.|
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.
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|
|Big Ten:||Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska|
|C-USA:||Florida Atlantic, Rice, Tulsa, UTEP, UTSA|
|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|
QUICK HITS FROM AROUND THE MOUNTAIN WEST
- Two Mountain West teams eclipsed the 500-yard mark in Week 1, led by Air Force with 558 total yards against Nicholls State. It was the highest output by the Falcons since racking up 500 yards against Nevada on Oct. 26, 2012. The Wolf Pack posted 547 yards in its 2014 opener vs. Southern Utah, the most by the squad since a 570-yard performance at San Diego State on Oct. 2, 2013.
- The Falcons compiled 539 rushing yards against Nicholls State, the most since racking up 595 vs. Tennessee State on Sept. 24, 2011. Air Force's 539 rushing yards led all FBS teams in Week 1 action.
- Two MW teams, including Wyoming and Boise State, kept their opponents under 100 yards on the ground in Week 1. Wyoming held Montana to 42 rushing yards on Saturday, marking the fewest by a Cowboy opponent since San Diego State had 17 on Nov. 1, 2008. Boise State limited Ole Miss to 71 rushing yards, the fewest by the Broncos since holding San Diego State to 61 rushing yards on Nov. 23, 2013.
- Boise State's Shane Williams-Rhodes had a career-high 14 receptions vs. Ole Miss, which tied for the third-most ever by a Bronco in a single game, as well as tied for the most by an FBS player in Week 1. The junior was one of eight players nationally with at least 12 catches in the opening weekend, including Nevada sophomore Jerico Richardson (13) and Boise junior Jay Ajayi (12). Ajayi was the only running back in the country with 12 or more receptions in Week 1.
- Colorado State senior PK Jared Roberts extended his streak of consecutive PATs made to 67, which is a program record and currently ranks fourth on the Mountain West's all-time list behind CSU's Jason Smith (86 from Sept. 2, 2006 to Dec. 20, 2008), New Mexico's Justus Adams (76 from Sept. 1, 2012 to Nov. 8, 2013) and UNLV's Kyle Watson (72 from Aug. 30, 2008 to Nov. 28, 2009).
- Nevada is one of four FBS teams to be perfect in the red zone on offense and defense after Week 1. The Wolf Pack made four trips to the red zone against Southern Utah, scoring a TD in each trip with a 1-yard run, 2-yard run, 1-yard pass and 11-yard run. The Thunderbirds made one trip into the red zone, reaching the 13-yard line before Duran Workman forced a fumble. Nevada, Boston College, Eastern Carolina and Louisiana are the only teams in the nation perfect in the red zone on both sides of the ball.
- Nevada was successful on 14-of-22 third-down conversion attempts (.636) to lead all FBS teams in Week 1.
- New Mexico sophomore LB Dakota Cox posted a career-high 17 tackles against UTEP last Saturday, which marked the fifth time in the last six games that he has recorded double digits in stops. Cox was one of five players in the FBS with at least 17 total tackles in Week 1 action.
- With its 49-24 victory over Buffalo in the 2013 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl and its 38-7 season-opening win over Northern Arizona on Saturday, San Diego State now has two straight wins by at least 25 points for the first time since 1999 when it defeated UNLV by 30 (37-7) on Nov. 20 and Wyoming by 32 (39-7) on Nov. 27.
- San José State's Ron Caragher became the first Spartan head coach since Darryl Rogers (1973-74) to post wins in the first two season openers of his career.
- Wyoming sophomore Eric Nzeocha blocked a punt in the second quarter against Montana, marking the first blocked punt by a Cowboy since Luke Ruff had one against San Diego State on Oct. 30, 2010.
- Three MW punters are among the six in the FBS to average 54.00 or more yards per punt in Week 1, led by New Mexico junior Zack Rogers, who topped the list with an average of 58.00. Nevada sophomore Brayden Sanchez ranked third after Week 1 with 55.00 yards per punt, followed by Colorado State sophomore Hayden Hunt in fifth with his average of 54.50.
- Wyoming led the nation in Week 1 with fewest penalties per game, collecting just one for four yards against Montana on Saturday.
- Boise State is the only program in the country to average over 40 points since 2000. The Broncos have averaged 40.09 points per game during that stretch.
- Boise State's Matt Miller leads all active FBS players with a current streak of 40 consecutive contests with a reception. UNLV's Devante Davis is riding a streak of 27 straight games with at least one catch.
- 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 (Stanford) in the FBS 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.
|MW FOOTBALL BY THE NUMBERS|
|1||Defensive back Weston Steelhammer put Air Force on the board with a safety against Nicholls State at the 8:24 mark in the first quarter. The sophomore's safety was the first by a Falcon since Brandon Reeves had one vs. Southern Utah on Aug. 30, 2008.|
|3||Air Force junior Alex Hansen blocked a Nicholls State PAT attempt in the first quarter, marking the third stopped PAT of his career (two in 2013).|
|3||San Diego State sophomore Alex Barrett blocked an NAU 45-yard field-goal attempt, marking the Aztecs' third blocked kick over its last two games (two blocked punts by Scott Graves in the 2013 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl).|
|4||Boise State senior QB Grant Hedrick threw four interceptions against Ole Miss, the most by a Bronco since Kellen Moore had three against Nevada on Nov. 21, 2008.|
|4||Colorado State senior PK Jared Roberts connected on a 52-yard field goal to seal the 31-17 victory over Colorado. The 52-yarder tied for the second-longest in his career and the longest by an FBS player in Week 1.|
|6||Wyoming surrendered six sacks to Montana, the most allowed by the Cowboys since giving up six to San Diego State on Nov. 24, 2012.|
|100||Air Force is seeking its 100th win as a member of the Mountain West. The Falcons currently hold a 99-85 record since the league's inception in 1999.|
WEEKLY COACHES PRESS CONFERENCES