MWC Wrap: Week #7

A third of the teams in the Mountain West Conference had a bye week, but the six teams in action put on quite a show. The week featured a 21-point comeback, an overtime decision, and sound thumping of one of the pre-season favorites. Only two teams remain undefeated in conference play, and those teams will face off in just two weeks.

BYU had a week off to rest and refresh for the stretch drive to the title. The Cougars must not overlook the Rebels for homecoming, however. Quarterback Shane Steichen threw for nearly 300 yards in three quarters against New Mexico. Back-to-back trips to the Front Range will follow as the first conference test for the Cougars.

Next up: UNLV.

Wyoming 31, Utah 15.

Not only was this one not as close as the final score might suggest, it was never close. Wyoming dominated Utah throughout. That's right, dominated, as in building a 31-0 lead before Utah even scored, sacking Ute quarterback Brett Ratliff six times, allowing only 33 rushing yards and 111 passing yards, holding Utah to two third down conversions on 15 chances, and creating four takeaways. The Cowboys put together a complete game for the first time this season, offense, defense and special teams. The result was a win so complete that Utah did not have an offensive score until only four minutes remained in the game. The loss casts doubt on the Utes' ability to have a say in the outcome of the conference season. With the win, the 'Pokes moved into a tie for third with Utah in the conference race. Look for them to improve to 3-1 next week by beating the visiting Rams, and for Utah to continue its split personality season by bouncing back at New Mexico.

Next up: For Utah, at New Mexico. For Wyoming, Colorado State.

Air Force 24, Colorado State 21.

Playing Thursday night, just five days after a disappointing loss at Navy, Air Force came out flat. After giving up an 83-yard pass play to set up a Caleb Hanie 3-yard run just before the half, the Falcons trailed at home 21-3, and it looked like the Rams were poised for the upset. Thereafter, however, it was all Air Force. Ram quarterback Hanie, who passed for 282 yards on the day, managed just 30 of those yards after halftime, and Colorado State rushed for only 42 second-half yards as well.

Next up: For Air Force, at SDSU. For Colorado State, the Border War, in Laramie.

New Mexico 39, UNLV 36 (OT).

The Lobos looked like they were going to run away with the game, finding the end zone on each of its first two possessions to lead 14-0 at the end of the first quarter. The home standing Rebels then pulled starter Rocky Hinds in favor of Shane Steichen, and proceeded to score 28 second quarter points to lead at the break 28-14. The Lobos woke up in the second half, holding the Rebels scoreless until a touchdown and two-point conversion with barely a minute left in regulation tied the game. The overtime appeared to be breaking in UNLV's favor, when they won the toss and held New Mexico to a field goal on their possession, but the Rebels fumbled the ball away on the first snap of their overtime possession to end the game. Only 16,000 attended to see the Rebels fall to 1-5.

Next up: For New Mexico, at Utah. For UNLV, at BYU.

TCU did not play. Next up, at Army.

San Diego State did not play. Next up, Air Force.

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