MWC Wrap-up Week #3

The third week of Mountain West Conference action saw things come in twos: two in-state rivalry games, two quality in-conference match-ups, and two teams with bye weeks.

BYU did not play.

Next up: TCU.

TCU 23, Utah 20 OT.

In a Thursday night ESPN game the Utes had their first test of the season, facing a Horned Frog squad trying to rebound after embarrassing themselves last week at SMU. When Utah opened the second half with a 48-yard scoring drive they appeared in control, but TCU responded with 10 straight points to tie at 17. After a scoreless fourth quarter, Utah was forced to settle for a field goal in overtime, while TCU found the end zone. Ute quarterback Brian Johnson looked positively ordinary, completing barely half his 30 attempts for only 208 yards, no touchdowns, and one interception. He and running back Quinton Ganther each carried the ball 22 times, but gained only 42 and 27 yards respectively. Meanwhile Utah surrendered 228 rushing yards on defense.

Next up: For TCU, at BYU. For Utah, Air Force Sept 22.

Wyoming 29, Air Force 28.

In the game of the week the underdog Cowboys traveled to Air Force and upset their hosts by converting the point after with 1:25 remaining. The kicking game, or lack thereof, was the topic of the day, and missed PATs and a shanked kickoff played crucial roles.

The Falcons took the early lead 7-0, but the ‘Pokes ran off 16 straight to hold the lead until 5:17 remaining in the third. From there, things got crazy. The Falcons scored back to back touchdowns, and a two-point conversion, to go up 22-16 with 14:40 left in the game, and after a defensive stop had a chance to ice the game, but Wyoming's defense forced a turnover at the Air Force 30 and the offense punched it in. The PAT was blocked, however, and the score remained tied at 22. The Falcons found the end zone with 3:27 remaining, but elected to go for two and failed, leaving them leading but only by six, 28-22. Air Force kicker Ryan O'Dea hit the kickoff badly, allowing Wyoming to start at its own 35. A clutch, 65-yard drive took the Cowboys only 2:02, and Deric Yaussi hit the try for the final margin. A last-gasp drive ended when John Wendling intercepted Shaun Carney to seal the win.

Next up: For Wyoming, at Mississippi. For Air Force, at Utah Sept. 22.

New Mexico 38, New Mexico State 21.

It was 21-0 before the visiting Aggies could get on track, but getting on track was all they could muster. The Lobos took a 38-7 lead into the fourth quarter before the Aggies scored twice with less that ten minutes remaining to make it look closer than it really was. UNM had 22 first downs to 16 for the Aggies, and 470 yards of total offense to the visitors' 347. Time of possession favored New Mexico 34:30 to 25:30, despite nine penalties on the hosts to only three against State.

Next up: New Mexico at UTEP.

San Diego State 6, Ohio State 27.

After stunning the Buckeyes with an 80-yard pass-and-run on the first play from scrimmage, the Aztecs had nothing, picking up just three first downs and 99 yards of total offense in the rest of the game.

Next up: San Jose State.

UNLV 14, Nevada 22.

The conference embarrassment of the week came courtesy of Mike Sanford's Rebels. You'd think a team would at least show up to play its in-state rival, but the Wolfpack rolled up 24 first downs and 396 yards of offense, while holding the Rebels to 12 and 264, respectively. This one was worse than it looked; Nevada held a 15-point lead until UNLV scored with 1:09 remaining. UNLV quarterback Shane Steichen completed only seven of 25 passes for 58 yards, and the Rebels managed to have two touchdowns nullified by penalty on the same drive when they committed offsides infractions on three consecutive plays.

Next up: although the Rebels wish it was Idaho, they actually travel to Utah State.

Colorado State did not play.

Next up: Nevada.


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