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.

Conference Bowl Record (since 2004) Pct.
SEC 47-25 .653
MOUNTAIN WEST 25-16 .610
Big East 26-18 .591
Pac-12 26-23 .531
Big 12 37-33 .529
Conference USA 24-25 .490
Sun Belt 9-11 .450
ACC 31-39 .443
WAC 14-19 .424
Big Ten 26-41 .388
MAC 14-26 .350

BRONCOS, BULLDOGS AND AZTECS CLAIM SHARES OF MW CROWN
Boise State (7-1), Fresno State (7-1) and San Diego State (7-1) each claimed a share of the 2012 Mountain West championship. In its inaugural season as a MW member, Fresno State captured the title under first-year head coach Tim DeRuyter. It is the Bulldogs' first conference championship since 1999. Boise State and San Diego State each secured their program's first-ever MW football championship. It is the Aztecs' first league crown since 1998, while the Broncos earned their fourth conference title in five years.

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 earned 633 points in the final USA Today/Coaches' Top 25 of the 2012 season, as the Broncos garnered the No. 14 position. BSU has been ranked in 73 of the previous 77 Coaches' polls and is one of three FBS programs (Alabama, Oregon) to be ranked in the top 15 of the final Coaches' polls in each of the past five years.

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 completed the regular season ranked No. 19 in the final 2012 BCS Standings, marking the first time since 2007 that the Mountain West did not have multiple teams included in the final BCS standings. The MW has been represented by at least one team in the final BCS Standings in each of the last 10 years (2003-2012).

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
Boise State is one of four programs nationally to win bowl games in each of the last four seasons, joining Alabama, BYU and Florida State. BSU (61-3) is one of two teams in the FBS (Alabama 61-6) to achieve 61 wins since the beginning of the 2008 season. The Broncos are also just one of three teams nationally that has won eight or more games and has participated in the postseason for at least eight consecutive seasons, joining the likes of LSU and Oklahoma.

SEVEN 1,000-YARD RUSHERS FOR FIRST TIME IN MW HISTORY
For the first time in Conference history, eight Mountain West players eclipsed the 1,000-yard rushing mark, including Nevada RB Stefphon Jefferson (1,883), Fresno State RB Robbie Rouse (1,490), New Mexico RB Kasey Carrier (1,469), San Diego State RB Adam Muema (1,458), Air Force RB Cody Getz (1,248), UNLV RB Tim Cornett (1,232), Boise State RB D.J. Harper (1,137) and Nevada QB Cody Fajardo (1,121). The eight 1,000-yard rushers breaks the previous MW single-season record of five, which was set in 2001 (BYU's Luke Staley, San Diego State's Larry Ned, Utah's Dameon Hunter, Air Force's Keith Boyea and UNLV's Joe Haro).

TAKING IT TO THE HOUSE
The Mountain West registered a league-record 20 interception return touchdowns on the year. The previous high of 17 pick sixes was set during the 2006 campaign. Five MW teams, including Fresno State (6), Colorado State (3), San Diego State (3), Boise State (2) and New Mexico (2), are among the group of 43 FBS teams that have recorded multiple interception return touchdowns in 2012. The Mountain West is one of five FBS conferences (Big Ten, C-USA, SEC, Big 12), to have at least five teams with multiple INT return TDs.

BULLDOGS ARE PICK OF THE LITTER
Fresno State had 22 total interceptions in its inaugural campaign as a MW member, including a program-record six interception returns for touchdowns in 2012. The Bulldogs led the MW and ranked third nationally in total interceptions. Their six interception return TDs trailed only Hawai`i Bowl opponent SMU (8) for the most by any FBS team in 2012 and tie the Mountain West's single-season record, originally set by Utah in 2006.

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
With first-team All-America selections from the AFCA, Associated Press, Football Writers Association of America, Sporting News and the Walter Camp Football Foundation, Fresno State's Phillip Thomas became the first player in Bulldog history and third in league history to be a unanimous All-America selection. He now joins TCU defensive end Jerry Hughes (2009) and New Mexico linebacker Brian Urlacher (1999) as the only players in Mountain West history to garner unanimous All-America status.

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
The Mountain West is one of four leagues (Big 12, SEC, WAC) in the FBS to finish the 2012 season with at least three players on the NCAA's top 20 list for total offense. Nevada sophomore QB Cody Fajardo ranked 10th nationally, averaging 325.58 total yards per game, including 232.2 passing yards and 93.4 rushing yards. Fresno State junior QB Derek Carr averaged 319.77 total yards per game, including 315.7 passing yards and 0.1 rushing yards, to rank 12th. Wyoming sophomore Brett Smith ranked 16th with an average of 308.50 total yards per game, including 283.7 passing yards and 24.8 rushing yards.

FAJARDO, SMITH HIT 3,000-YARD MARK IN TOTAL YARDAGE
Nevada's Cody Fajardo and Wyoming's Brett Smith became two of six sophomore signal callers in MW history to register at least 3,000 yards of total offense in a single season. Below is a complete list:

MOST TOTAL YARDS OFFENSE BY A SOPHOMORE QUARTERBACK
Rk. Player, Team Total Yards Season
1. Cody Fajardo, Nevada 3,907 2012
2. Max Hall, BYU 3,862 2007
3. Brian Johnson, Utah 3,370 2005
4. Casey Bramlet, Wyoming 3,088 2001
5. Brett Smith, Wyoming 3,085 2012
6. Kevin O'Connell, QB, San Diego State 3,065 2005

FRESNO STATE'S CARR ETCHES NAME INTO MW RECORD BOOK
Fresno State junior quarterback Derek Carr completed the 2012 campaign with three 400-yard passing performances, surpassing the previous MW record of two, shared by BYU's John Beck (2006), San Diego State's Adam Hall (2002) and BYU's Kevin Feterik (1999). Carr is also tied with Beck for second place on the league's career chart. San Diego State's Ryan Lindley holds the record with four 400-yard passing games from 2008-11.

Carr, who was voted the MW Offensive Player of the Year, established single-season Conference records for MW-only games in the following categories:

  • Most Total Offense Yards: 2,716 (preview record: 2,538, BYU's John Beck in 2006)

  • Most Passing Attempts: 319 (previous record: 315, BYU's John Beck in 2005)

  • Most Pass Completions: 219 (previous record: 203, BYU's John Beck in 2005)

  • Most Passing Yards: 2,679 (previous record: 2,538, BYU's John Beck in 2005)

  • Most Passing Touchdowns: 27 (previous record: 24, shared by Boise State's Kellen Moore (2011) and BYU's John Beck (2006)

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
Fresno State junior QB Derek Carr and senior RB Robbie Rouse became the 11th MW tandem to combine for 3,000 passing and 1,000 rushing yards in a single season in league history. Carr threw for 4,104 yards, becoming the 19th quarterback in MW history to pass for 3,000 yards in a single season. Rouse, the Bulldogs' all-time leading rusher, amassed 1,490 yards on the ground. Below is a look at the teammates who have reached the 3,000 passing/1,000 rushing yards single-season milestone over the 14-year history of the Mountain West:

Year Players, Team Yards Total
2012 Derek Carr/Robbie Rouse, Fresno State 4,104/1,490 5,594
2011 Kellen Moore/Doug Martin, Boise State 3,194/1,039 4,233
2010 Ryan Lindley/Ronnie Hillman, San Diego State 3,554/1,304 4,858
2009 Max Hall/Harvey Unga, BYU 3,368/1,016 4,384
2008 Max Hall/Harvey Unga, BYU 3,629/1,061 4,690
2007 Max Hall/Harvey Unga, BYU 3,848/1,227 5,075
2007 Donovan Porterie/Rodney Ferguson, New Mexico 3,006/1,177 4,183
2006 John Beck/Curtis Brown, BYU 3,885/1,010 5,895
2005 John Beck/Curtis Brown, BYU 3,709/1,123 4,822
2005 Justin Holland/Kyle Bell, Colorado State 3,185/1,288 4,473
2001 Brandon Doman/Luke Staley, BYU 3,542/1,582 5,124

3,000 PASSING/1,000 RECEIVING/1,000 RUSHING YARDS
With this season's performances by Derek Carr, Davante Adams and Robbie Rouse, Fresno State became the fourth MW team to combine for a 3,000-passer, 1,000-yard receiver and 1,000-yard rusher in a single season. Below is a look at the teammates who have reached this particular milestone over the 14-year history of the Mountain West:

Year Team Players Yards Total
2012 Fresno State Derek Carr, QB
Davante Adams, WR
Robbie Rouse, RB
4,104
1,312
1,490
6,906
2010 San Diego State Ryan Lindley, QB
Vincent Brown, WR
DeMarco Sampson, WR
Ronnie Hillman, RB
3,554
1,187
1,175
1,304
7,220
2008 BYU Max Hall, QB
Austin Collie, WR
Dennis Pitta, TE
Harvey Unga, RB
3,957
1,538
1,083
1,131
7,710
2007 New Mexico Donovan Porterie, QB
Travis Brown, WR
Marcus Smith, WR
Rodney Ferguson, RB
3,006
1,031
1,125
1,177
6,339

MOUNTAIN WEST ON THE RUN
The Mountain West was one of two FBS leagues (Big Ten) to finish the 2012 campaign with multiple teams in the top 10 nationally in rushing offense, and as the only conference to tout two of the top five, and three of the top 10, rushing programs this season. Air Force ranked second with 316.23 rushing yards per game, followed by New Mexico with 301.31 (fifth) and Nevada with 278.46 (seventh) rushing yards, respectively.

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
San Diego State's Adam Muema became the ninth player in Aztec history to record two 200-yard rushing performances in the same season, after collecting 202 yards on the ground vs. San Jose State on Sept. 22 and a career-high 255 rushing yards at Wyoming on Nov. 24. Muema became the second MW player this season with multiple 200-yard games, joining Air Force's Cody Getz (3). Muema also became the seventh player in league history to record multiple 200-yard rushing games in a single season, joining Getz, San Diego State's Larry Ned (3 in 2001), Colorado State's Chris Nwoke (2 in 2011), San Diego State's Ronnie Hillman (2 in 2010), Air Force's Chad Hall (2 in 2007) and San Diego State's Lynell Hamilton (2 in 2003). This season marks the first time two MW players have rushed for over 200 yards in multiple outings.

FRESNO STATE'S ROUSE IN SELECT COMPANY
Fresno State senior RB Robbie Rouse moved into third place on the league's list for most all-purpose yards by a senior with 1,925 in 2012. Below is a look at the top five:

MOST ALL-PURPOSE YARDS BY A SENIOR
Rk. Player, Team Total Yards Season
1. Chad Hall, Air Force 2,683 2007
2. Devin Moore, Wyoming 2,008 2008
3. Robbie Rouse, Fresno State 1,925 2012
4. Doug Martin, Boise State 1,892 2011
5. Curtis Brown, BYU 1,864 2006

ADAMS GRABBING ATTENTION FOR THE BULLDOGS
Fresno State WR Davante Adams, who garnered MW Freshman of the Year honors, led the Mountain West and ranked first among all freshmen in the country in receiving yards (1,312), yards per game (100.9) and touchdown catches (14), while ranking second nationally among all first-year players with 102 total receptions and 7.8 receptions per game. Adams established a new MW record for most receiving yards by a freshman and is the first freshman in league history to eclipse the 1,000-yard receiving mark. Below is a look at the MW's all-time freshmen receiving leaders:

Rk. Player, Team Receiving Yards Season
1. Davante Adams, Fresno State 1,312 2012
2. Ryan Wolfe, UNLV 911 2006
3. Deon Long, New Mexico 809 2011
4. Austin Collie, BYU 771 2004
5. Ryan McGuffey, Wyoming 696 2000

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
With his performance in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl, Nevada's Stefphon Jefferson rose to the top of several MW single-season rushing lists:

MOST RUSHING ATTEMPTS IN A SINGLE-SEASON
Rk. Player, Cl., Team Rushing Attempts Season
1. Stefphon Jefferson, Jr., Nevada 375 2012
2. Cecil Sapp, Sr., Colorado State 347 2002
3. Ronnie Hillman, So., San Diego State 311 2011
  Larry Ned, Sr., San Diego State 311 2001
5. Gartrell Johnson, Sr., Colorado State 292 2007

MOST RUSHING YARDS IN A SINGLE-SEASON
Rk. Player, Cl., Team Rushing Yards Season
1. Stefphon Jefferson, Jr., Nevada 1,883 2012
2. Ronnie Hillman, So., San Diego State 1,711 2011
3. Cecil Sapp, Sr., Colorado State 1,601 2002
4. Luke Staley, Jr., BYU 1,582 2001
5. Larry Ned, Sr., San Diego State 1,549 2001

MOST RUSHING TOUCHDOWNS IN A SINGLE-SEASON
Rk. Player, Cl., Team Rushing TDs Season
1. Stefphon Jefferson, Jr., RB, Nevada 24 2012
  Luke Staley, Jr., RB, BYU 24 2001
  Chance Harridge, Jr., QB, Air Force 22 2002
4. Ronnie Hillman, So., RB, San Diego State 19 2011
  DonTrell Moore, So., RB, New Mexico 19 2003

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):

MOST ALL-PURPOSE YARDS BY A JUNIOR
Rk. Player, Team All-Purpose Yards Season
1. Austin Collie, BYU 2,112 2008
2. Stefphon Jefferson, Nevada 2,053 2012
3. Luke Staley, BYU 2,018 2001
4. Jovon Bouknight, Wyoming 1,680 2004
5. Dominique Dorsey, UNLV 1,638 2004

WYOMING'S SMITH MAKING THE CONNECTION
Wyoming's Brett Smith did not throw an interception in the last five games of the 2012 campaign. Overall, the sophomore QB has not been picked off in 175 consecutive pass attempts dating back to Oct. 20, 2012, a streak that ranks as the second-best in Mountain West and Cowboy history behind former QB Casey Bramlet. Below is a look at the top five streaks in MW history for consecutive pass attempts without an interception:

CONSECUTIVE PASS ATTEMPTS WITHOUT AN INTERCEPTION
Rk. Player, Team No. Dates
1. Casey Bramlet, Wyoming 178 8/30/03 to 9/27/03
2. Brett Smith, Wyoming 175 10/20/12 to Present
3. Omar Clayton, UNLV 173 10/27/07 to 9/27/08
4. Charlie Peterson, BYU 164 9/14/00 to 10/26/00
5. Jeff Ballard, TCU 154 10/28/06 to 12/19/06

RETURNS ON INVESTMENT
The Mountain West completed the 2012 season as one of five FBS conferences (C-USA, ACC, SEC, Sun Belt) with at least three of the nation's top 25 kickoff returners in 2012. New Mexico's Chase Clayton ranked fifth nationally with 30.40 yards per return, while Hawai`i's Mike Edwards ranked sixth with 30.38 yards per return. San Diego State's Colin Lockett was 21st with 25.90 yards per return.

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
Three Mountain West teams concluded 2012 ranked in the top 10 nationally for fewest sacks allowed, led by Air Force, which allowed just .62 sacks per game to rank third. Boise State finished sixth, as the Broncos allowed an average of 0.77 sacks per game. New Mexico rounded out the group with a 0.92 sacks-allowed average to tie for ninth (Army, Oklahoma State North Carolina). The MW is the only FBS league to finish the 2012 season with three teams allowing less than one quarterback sack per game.

FOUR MW TEAMS HAVE 14+ FUMBLE RECOVERIES IN 2012
Four Mountain West teams ranked in the top 20 nationally for fumble recoveries in 2012, led by Boise State, which had 18 fumble recoveries to rank first nationally. Colorado State, New Mexico and Wyoming were three of eight teams tied for 19th in the FBS with 14 fumble recoveries apiece on the year, making the Mountain West one of three FBS conferences (Pac-12, SEC) to have four teams with 14 or more fumble recoveries in 2012.

THIRD DOWN'S A CHARM
Three Mountain West teams ranked in the top 25 nationally for third-down conversions in 2012, led by Nevada, who ranked third in the FBS with a 52.85 success rate (102-of-193). Air Force was 13th in the country, converting on 48.68 percent (92-of-189), and San Diego State ranked 23rd with an average of 46.41 (84-of-181). The MW was one of four leagues in the FBS (Big 12, Sun Belt, SEC) with at least three of the country's top 25 teams in third-down conversions.

TAKING CARE OF THE BALL
Three Mountain West teams finished the 2012 season ranked in the top 20 nationally in turnover margin, led by Boise State, which ranked second with a 1.54 turnover margin. Fresno State tied with Florida and Ohio for seventh in the FBS with a margin of 1.15, while New Mexico tied with Louisville at 17th with a margin of 0.85. The MW and the SEC were the only two FBS conferences with at least three teams in the top 20.

DEFENDING THE PASS
Three Mountain West teams ranked in the top 15 nationally in pass defense in 2012. Fresno State led all MW teams, as the Bulldogs allowed just 167.15 yards per game to rank second among the FBS. Boise State completed the season tied with Michigan for fifth nationally, limiting its opponents to 169.46 passing yards per game. Hawai`i ranked 11th nationally at 182.75 yards allowed per game. The MW was one of two leagues (Big Ten) with two of the top five pass defenses in the country, as well as one of three conferences (Big Ten, SEC) with at least three of the top 15 in that category.

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.


MW FOOTBALL BY THE NUMBERS
2 Hawai`i had two punt return TDs on the year to tie for the third-most in a single season in MW history. Utah holds the all-time record of three punt returns TDs, accomplished twice (1999 and 2010).
3 San Diego State secured its third consecutive season with at least eight wins. The last time the Aztecs posted eight or more wins in three straight campaigns was a six-year stretch from 1972-77.
3 Fresno State's Derek Carr was one of only three quarterbacks in the nation (Louisiana Tech's Colby Cameron and West Virginia's Geno Smith) that threw for over 4,100 yards and seven or fewer interceptions in 2012.
4 Three MW players recorded at least four rushing touchdowns in a single game, including Nevada's Stefphon Jefferson (6 at Hawai`i, Sept. 22), New Mexico's Kasey Carrier (4 vs. Texas State, Oct. 6) and San Diego State's Adam Muema (4 at Wyoming, Nov. 24).
4 Colorado State recorded four defensive scores, the most by the Rams since 2007.
5 Boise State has had at least five non-offensive touchdowns in each of the last five seasons.
6 Fresno State was one of two teams in the nation (SMU) with at least six interception return TDs on the year, while Colorado State and San Diego State were two of eight programs with three pick sixes.
6 Fresno State was the only MW team to complete its home slate with an undefeated record. The Bulldogs finished the regular season with a 6-0 mark in home games.
7 The Mountain West was the only league in the FBS with seven of the nation's top 25 in first-year starters. Hawai`i led all teams with 31 first-time starters, followed by fellow MW member Air Force with 24. Colorado State tied for eighth with 18, while Wyoming tied for 17th with 16. Boise State, Nevada and San Diego State each had 15 first-time starters to tie for 21st.
9 San Diego State had nine victories on the season, marking the first time the Aztecs have won nine regular-season contests since the 1977 squad posted a 10-1 record.
10 Boise State is the only team in the FBS to have 10 or more wins in each of the last seven seasons (2006-12).
11 Fresno State has tallied at least one interception in 11 consecutive contests, which is the nation's longest active streak.
11 Boise State tied an MW single-season record with 11 fumble recoveries in Conference-only games. Wyoming set the original mark with 11 MW-only fumble recoveries in 2001, with Colorado State and Utah matching it in 2007.
13 MW players recorded 13 fumble recovery TDs this season, establishing a new league record. The previous high of 12 fumble returns for touchdowns was set during the 2003 campaign.
18 Boise State led all FBS teams with 18 fumble recoveries on the year.
18 Nevada's Stefphon Jefferson set a new MW single-season record for most touchdowns scored in Conference-only games with 18. The previous record of 17 was held by BYU's Luke Staley (2001).
18 Colorado State and Fresno State were two of four teams in the FBS (Marshall, Texas) to have at least 18 different players score touchdowns in 2012.
21 Boise State forced 21 fumbles in 2012, ranking as the second-most in a single season in MW history. UNLV holds the MW single-season record with 23 forced fumbles in 2003.
21 New Mexico collected 21 quarterback sacks in 2012, after recording a total of 10 in 2011.
24 Nevada's Stefphon Jefferson recorded 24 rushing touchdowns in 2012, tying BYU's Luke Staley (2001) for the most rushing TDs in a single season in MW history.
33 Mountain West teams combined for a single-season record 33 defensive touchdowns in 2012, including 20 interception returns and 13 fumble recoveries.
34 New Mexico recorded 34 rushing touchdowns on the season. The Lobos finished the 2011 campaign with 10 rushing TDs total. UNM's 34 rushing TDs ranks second all-time on the program's single-season list.
37 Fresno State's Derek Carr was one of four quarterbacks in the FBS (West Virginia's Geno Smith, Texas Tech's Seth Doege and Mashall's Rakeem Cato) to have at least 37 passing touchdowns on the year.
40 With seven catches for 57 yards in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl, Nevada's Brandon Wimberly extended his streak of consecutive games with at least one reception to 40 straight (all 40 of his career).
376 Nevada topped the MW single-season list for most overall first downs (376), eclipsing the 2001 BYU squad that registered 351 first downs. The Wolf Pack also tied the MW record for most first downs in Conference-only games with 212 (BYU, 2005).
1,469 With 59 rushing yards in the season finale at Colorado State, New Mexico's Kasey Carrier brought his season total to 1,469 yards on the ground for sole possession of the Lobos' single-season rushing record. DonTrell Moore held UNM's previous best mark after rushing for 1,450 yards in 2003.
2,716 Fresno State's Derek Carr set the MW single-season record for most yards of total offense in Conference-only games with 2,716 yards. The previous record of 2,538 yards was held by BYU's John Beck (2006).

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