Mountain West Football Press Release - Final Edition
Feb. 13, 2013
MOUNTAIN WEST IN THE POSTSEASON
For the sixth consecutive year, the Mountain West sent five teams into postseason bowl games. The Mountain West has earned 56 bowl bids since 1999 and holds a 32-24 (.571) all-time record in those contests. The MW finished with a 1-4 (.200) mark in postseason play in 2012, marking the second time in league history (2002-03) the league did not post a winning bowl record in back-to-back seasons (2-3 in 2011).
Boise State (11-2), Fresno State (9-4), San Diego State (9-4), Nevada (7-6) and Air Force (6-7) each reached bowl eligibility, marking the eighth year in a row, and ninth overall, the MW has boasted five bowl-eligible teams.
Over the last nine seasons, the Mountain West has captured the Bowl Challenge Cup four times and owns the second-best win percentage in bowl games among the 11 FBS conferences with a 25-16 mark (.610). The Mountain West is the only conference to win the trophy four times since the award's inception in 2002-03.
BRONCOS, BULLDOGS AND AZTECS CLAIM SHARES OF MW CROWN
There has only been one previous season in which multiple champions were crowned in the Mountain West. In the league's inaugural season of 1999, BYU, Colorado State and Utah shared the Conference crown with identical 5-2 records in MW play.
The 2012 season marked the first time in nine years that the Mountain West champion had at least one Conference loss. The last time an MW champion did not go undefeated through the league slate came in 2003, when Utah captured the title with a 6-1 mark.
BRONCOS FINISH SEASON IN TOP 15 foR FIFTH STRAIGHT SEASON
Boise State also received 419 votes in the final Associated Press poll of the season to place No. 18. This marks the first time since 2007 that the Mountain West did not place multiple teams in the final top 25 polls. The Broncos wrapped up 2012 with top-20 rankings in the polls for the fifth straight year and ninth time in the last 10 seasons. BSU also has placed in the top 10 in both polls in three of the last four years and four of the past seven.
A LOOK INSIDE THE FINAL BCS STANDINGS
Boise State has been ranked in 43 of the last 45 BCS Standings. A team from the Mountain West has been included in 41 of the last 43 BCS standings, dating back to Nov. 18, 2007.
BSU was ranked higher than automatic-qualifier Louisville (Big East). The Broncos are the only team in the FBS to be included in the final BCS Standings in each of the past seven seasons, all under head coach Chris Petersen.
LEADERS OF THE PACK
SEVEN 1,000-YARD RUSHERS FOR FIRST TIME IN MW HISTORY
TAKING IT TO THE HOUSE
BULLDOGS ARE PICK OF THE LITTER
Phillip Thomas, the Mountain West's Defensive Player of the Year, led the MW and nation with eight total interceptions on the year, establishing a new MW record for the most in a single season. The previous record of seven picks was shared by UNLV's Kevin Thomas (2001), Utah's Eric Weddle (2006), Air Force's Anthony Wright (2009) and San Diego State's Larry Parker (2011). Thomas also had three pick sixes to lead all FBS players and tie the MW single-season record of three (UNLV's Kevin Thomas in 2001 and Utah's Andre Dyson in 2000).
Fresno State's 22 interceptions were the second-most in a single season in MW history. The 2005 TCU squad holds the all-time record with 24. The Bulldogs' 374 interception return yards in 2012 topped the league's single-season chart. UNLV held the previous record with 352 INT return yards in 2001.
THOMAS BECOMES MW'S THIRD UNANIMOUS ALL-AMERICAN
Thomas also became the second consensus All-American in Fresno State history, joining quarterback Jackie Fellows (1942). This is the 12th time a Mountain West player has become a consensus All-American, including each of the last seven seasons (2006-12).
Thomas has also received first-team All-American status from CBSSports.com, ESPN.com and SI.com.
TRIO OF MW QUARTERBACKS RANK IN TOP 20 FOR TOTAL OFFENSE
FAJARDO, SMITH HIT 3,000-YARD MARK IN TOTAL YARDAGE
FRESNO STATE'S CARR ETCHES NAME INTO MW RECORD BOOK
Carr, who was voted the MW Offensive Player of the Year, established single-season Conference records for MW-only games in the following categories:
Overall, Carr had a career-high 4,104 passing yards and 37 passing touchdowns and just seven interceptions this season. He broke the league's single-season records for passing yards (3,957) and total yards (4,105), which were previously held by BYU's Max Hall (2008).
Carr led the Mountain West and ranks eighth nationally in passing yards per game (315.70), while holding a 155.94 pass efficiency rating to rank 15th among all FBS quarterbacks. His 37 passing TDs trail only Boise State's Kellen Moore for the most by a MW player in a single season. Moore connected on a league-record 43 touchdown passes in 2011.
After finishing his sophomore season in 2011 with 3,544 passing yards, Carr joins Trent Dilfer (1992, 1993) as the second Bulldog QB to throw for over 3,000 yards twice in a career. Carr has 7,760 career passing yards, becoming the sixth quarterback at Fresno State to eclipse the 7,000-yard mark.
3,000 PASSING YARDS/1,000 RUSHING YARDS
3,000 PASSING/1,000 RECEIVING/1,000 RUSHING YARDS
MOUNTAIN WEST ON THE RUN
Five Mountain West players ranked among the top 30 of the nation's leading rushers, including four in the top 20. The group was led by Nevada's Stefphon Jefferson, who ranked second on the NCAA's rushing chart in 2012 with 144.85 yards per game. New Mexico's Kasey Carrier had a 122.42 average to rank 12th, while Fresno State's Robbie Rouse averaged 114.62 rushing yards per game to rank 16th. San Diego State's Adam Muema ranked 18th with 112.15 yards per game, while Air Force's Cody Getz tied for 27th at 104.00 rushing yards per game.
Seven MW players recorded at least six 100-yard rushing games in 2012, including Nevada's Jefferson (10), Fresno State's Rouse (9), UNLV's Tim Cornett (8), New Mexico's Carrier (7), San Diego State's Muema (7), Air Force's Getz (6) and Boise State's D.J. Harper (6). It marked the first time in league history that seven players topped the century mark in rushing yardage in at least six games in a single season. Jefferson's 10 100-yard rushing games broke the previous league record, shared by Rouse (2012), BYU's Luke Staley (2001), Colorado State's Cecil Sapp (2002), New Mexico's DonTrell Moore (2003) and San Diego State's Ronnie Hillman (2011). The 2012 campaign marked the first time in MW history that two players have recorded at least nine 100-yard rushing games in the same season.
SDSU'S MUEMA JOINS AFA'S GETZ WITH MULTIPLE 200-YARD GAMES
FRESNO STATE'S ROUSE IN SELECT COMPANY
ADAMS GRABBING ATTENTION FOR THE BULLDOGS
Adams, who earned Freshman All-American status from CBSSports.com, CollegeFootballNews.com, the Football Writers Association of America and Sporting News, collected 14 touchdown receptions in his first collegiate campaign, which ranks as the second-most in school history and the third-most in MW history. Boise State's Tyler Shoemaker holds the MW record with 16 receiving TDs in 2011, followed by BYU's Austin Collie with 15 in 2008. Adams is the seventh Bulldog to catch at least 10 touchdowns in a season and is the first since Jalen Saunders had 12 in the 2011 campaign. The redshirt freshman has a TD catch in a league-record eight straight games. The previous MW record for longest streak of TD receptions was six, set by Utah's Steve Savoy in 2004.
Ten of Adams' 14 touchdowns came in Conference contests, which ties the MW record shared by BYU's Austin Collie (2008) and Johnny Harline (2006). He recorded six games with over 100 yards receiving, including a season-high 198-yard performance on nine catches with two touchdowns at New Mexico on Oct. 27.
NEVADA'S JEFFERSON RUSHING UP THE CHARTS
Jefferson's 1,883 rushing yards in 2012 set a new MW junior class record, surpassing BYU's Luke Staley, who rushed for 1,582 yards in 2001. He was one of four players in the FBS and is the only MW player in league history to rush for more than 1,800 yards, eclipsing San Diego State's Ronnie Hillman who totaled 1,711 rushing yards in 2011. Jefferson was the first to reach the 1,000-yard mark nationally, accomplishing the feat in Week 7 and becoming the Wolf Pack's fastest back to reach the 1,000-yard mark since Vai Taua did so in eight games in 2010.
Jefferson also ranks second on the league's all-time list for most all-purpose yardage by a junior. He completed the season 59 yards shy of the MW junior class record held by BYU's Austin Collie (2,112 yards in 2008):
WYOMING'S SMITH MAKING THE CONNECTION
RETURNS ON INVESTMENT
The Mountain West logged seven kickoff return touchdowns in 2012, which is the second-most in a single season since the Conference's inception in 1999. MW teams have combined for at least seven kickoff return touchdowns in back-to-back seasons. Last year, Mountain West players combined for a league-record nine kick return TDs.
Edwards, Lockett and New Mexico's Chase Clayton were three of 11 players in the FBS with multiple kick return TDs on the year, making the Mountain West one of two leagues (ACC) with three players to have multiple kickoff return TDs. Edwards' three kickoff return touchdowns also established a MW single-season record, eclipsing the previous mark held by Clayton (2012), Lockett (2012), TCU's Greg McCoy (2011) and Cory Rodgers (2005). The 2012 season marked the first since the league's inception that three MW players have recorded multiple kickoff return touchdowns in the same season.
Edwards is also tied with McCoy and San Diego State's Lockett for most kick return TDs in a career (three). Edwards is one of two MW players (Air Force's Jonathan Warzeka in 2009 and 2010) to register two 100-yard kick return TDs, and the only player to do so in a single season. Overall, he had 1,215 kick return yards in 2012, which set a new MW single-season record. The previous mark of 1,165 kick return yards was held by UNLV's Deante' Purvis (2009).
Hawai`i finished the season with three kick return touchdowns, tying the 2005 TCU squad for most kick return touchdowns by a MW team in a single season. Two of those kick return TDs came in Conference play, which established a new MW single-season record. The previous record of one was accomplished by several teams, most recently by San Diego State, TCU and UNLV in 2011.
The Warriors had 1,488 kick return yards in 2012, which ranks as the fourth-highest kick return yardage in a single season in MW history. UNLV holds the top two spots with a league-record 1,719 kick return yards in 2010, followed by 1,685 in 2011. New Mexico ranks third with 1,648 kick return yards in 2010.
ATTACKING THE SACK
FOUR MW TEAMS HAVE 14+ FUMBLE RECOVERIES IN 2012
THIRD DOWN'S A CHARM
TAKING CARE OF THE BALL
DEFENDING THE PASS
The Mountain West was also the only FBS league with multiple teams in the top five for pass efficiency defense. Fresno State was fourth with a rating of 100.75, while Boise State was fifth at 101.35.