Despite all the errors, the visitors from Provo couldn't quite climb back into the fight, as a BYU scoring bid ended on a fourth down attempt as an interception by Notre Dame. Overall, the Cougars managed just 13 first downs in the game, and barely 100 yards of offense in the second half. At one point in the second half the Cougars went three and out seven straight times.
Utah 47, Wyoming 17.
It was close for half a game. After being knotted with Wyoming at 17, Utah shut out the Cowboys, while scoring 30 unanswered points, in what Utah coach Urban Meyer called Utah's best half of football this year. Wyoming looked to be rolling, running up 262 yards of offense in the first half. Thereafter, the 'Pokes could manage only 70. Utah, in turn had 30 first downs to the Cowboys 16 for 548 yards of total offense, and held the ball for over 37 minutes to Wyoming's 23.
With the win, Utah clinches no worse than a tie for the conference title. New Mexico can match the Utes if BYU defeats its archrival in Provo next week while Wyoming wins in Laramie. If that happens, New Mexico would own the tie-breaker over the Utes, having beaten them earlier.
Should Utah win next week, even if New Mexico wins its last games, Utah will own its first outright conference championship in 46 years. Look for Utah to try and humiliate their archrivals at their Provo home field.
Although the conference's main postseason prize, the Liberty Bowl, may choose a Mountain West representative from among any of the teams which may be tied for the crown, Utah, with a record of at least 9-3, would shine brighter than an 8-4 Lobo squad.
Wyoming hosts New Mexico Saturday in a game that will mean a lot more to the Lobos than to the Cowboys.
Colorado State 21, San Diego State 6.
In a game that was much closer than the final score indicated, the Rams extinguished the Aztecs' thin hopes of sharing the conference title, but a win by Utah over Wyoming later in the day eliminated the Rams equally desperate dreams.
Colorado State, playing at home, had the narrowest of leads in the fourth quarter, 7-6, when Bradlee Van Pelt hit Eric Hill with a 67-yard touchdown pass with just over nine minutes left. The Rams did not put the game away for good until Jimmy Green broke a 42-yard scoring run with 4:16 left.
The Aztec were handicapped by the loss of quarterback Adam Hall early in the second half, and were unable to score after he left the game.
The Rams finish the regular season Saturday at UNLV.
New Mexico 24, Air Force 12.
In a must-win for both teams, New Mexico not only handled the Falcons but did so with room to spare. The Lobos took the early lead with a Dontrell Moore touchdown run, but Air Force fought back with three field goals. New Mexico then ran off 17 straight points and held the visiting Falcons scoreless until it didn't matter, with the visitors' last score coming on a Darnell Stephens one-yard run with just 74 seconds left.
The New Mexico defense held Air Force to a season low 158 rushing yards, and only 61 in the first half.
With the loss, Air Force falls to 3-3 in the conference and out of any chance at the outright MWC title. They are 7-4 overall.
Meanwhile, the Lobos improved to 7-4 and 4-2 in league play. After opening 1-3, New Mexico has now won six of their last seven with a win at Laramie next week. A loss by Utah next week in Provo, and a win by the Lobos in their last game against Wyoming, would give New Mexico a share the conference title.
UNLV did not play. The Rebels host Colorado State Saturday, then travel to Wyoming to close their schedule.
In addition to Utah and New Mexico, Air Force is already bowl-eligible. Colorado State is the only other conference team with any shot at post-season play.
© copyright by TotalBlueSports.com