AIR FORCE: Tim Jefferson scored on runs of one and 50 yards in the first and fourth quarters, respectively, as the Falcons fought off Navy in a defensive struggle, 14-6, on Saturday afternoon to get a leg up in the chase for the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy. Jefferson finished the contest with 62 yards rushing on 10 attempts, while Jared Tew led all players with 111 yards on 17 carries. Jefferson also converted 5-of-7 passes for 83 yards, enough of an aerial attack to get the Falcons their second straight win and a place in the AP's Top-25 as well. Air Force entered the meeting with the Midshipmen ranked first in the nation in rushing with close to 400 ypg and finished with a modest 292 yards. On deck for the Falcons is their third Mountain West Conference foe of the season in Colorado State. Last year, the academy dismissed the Rams in a 34-16 final and that means Air Force now owns a 28-19-1 advantage in the all-time series.
BYU: Any other year the meeting with Utah State would be far from a challenge for the Cougars, but on Friday night BYU got some payback from the Aggies when the home team delivered a 31-16 victory in Logan. Quarterback Jake Heaps tried to keep the Cougars moving in the right direction, hitting 27-of-55 passes for 270 yards in just his second start, but the freshman was sacked twice and tossed a pair of interceptions, not to mention several aerial attempts that could have also been picked off. Bryan Kariya and J.J. Di Luigi both registered scoring runs in the second half, but by then it was too little, too late for the visitors as they dropped to 1-4. BYU entered the meeting with USU with 10 straight wins in the series, but the setback was so serious that head coach Bronco Mendenhall went so far as to relieve defensive coordinator and secondary coach Jaime Hill of his duties on Saturday. The Cougars hope to get back in gear this Saturday when they host the San Diego State Aztecs in MWC play in Provo. Last season BYU posted a 38-28 win on the road versus SDSU, lifting the Cougars to a 26-7-1 edge in the series.
COLORADO STATE: The Rams managed a grand total of just eight first downs on Saturday afternoon, a mere 161 yards of total offense, as they fell prey to the fourth-ranked TCU Horned Frogs at Hughes Stadium, 27-0. Colorado State actually played well in the first half, holding the Frogs to just a pair of field goals, but without an offense to speak of the Rams were lost. Pete Thomas converted 17-of-29 passes for 116 yards, with the run game accounted for only 45 yards against one of the toughest run defenses in the nation. The Rams hit the road this week, but remain in state as they confront the Air Force Falcons in a Mountain West Conference battle. Last season, CSU bowed in a 34-16 decision versus the Falcons and that means the academy now owns a 28-19-1 edge in the series.
NEW MEXICO: The Lobos scored the first points of the game against UTEP on Saturday, but in the end that made little difference as the Miners ran away with the 38-20 victory in Albuquerque. Quarterback Tarean Austin hit the end zone from four yards out to put UNM on the scoreboard early in the meeting, but he and fellow signal-caller Brad Gruner managed to convert 18-of-32 passes for only 139 yards and an interception apiece. New Mexico, which now has a losing streak of six in a row, recorded a mere 15 first downs in the meeting and 237 yards of total offense, compared to 435 yards for the Miners. Bragging rights for the Land of Enchantment are on the line this weekend when the Lobos head to Las Cruces to challenge the New Mexico State Aggies in a non- conference showdown. NMSU picked up a narrow 20-17 win last season over the Lobos, yet the latter still maintains a 66-29-5 advantage in the all-time series.
SAN DIEGO STATE: The Aztecs caught a break in the schedule this past week after topping Utah State on September 25th at home by a score of 41-7. Through five weeks of action, San Diego State's offense is ranked first in the Mountain West and seventh in the nation with 509.5 ypg. Perhaps more importantly, the scoring defense has permitted a mere 13.8 ppg, ninth-best in the country entering play this week. Next up for the Aztecs is a meeting with BYU, a team that defeated SDSU last season by a score of 38-28. As a result, the Cougars now own a 26-7-1 edge in the all-time series between the programs.
TCU: Ed Wesley scored a pair of rushing touchdowns in the third quarter on Saturday to give the Horned Frogs a much-needed boost, on their way to a 27-0 shutout of Colorado State on the road in MWC action. Wesley finished the contest with 78 yards on 15 carries for TCU, yet even with handing CSU its first shutout loss in a couple of years, the Frogs remained fifth in the latest AP poll. Andy Dalton, who continues to pile up the wins as a starting quarterback for TCU, had a 39-yard TD pass to Jimmy Young in the fourth frame, yet he made good on just 11-of-24 passes for 109 yards overall in the event. The Horned Frogs are set to play the first of three straight home dates against MWC competition as they welcome the Wyoming Cowboys to Fort Worth this Saturday. TCU dominated the Pokes last season, 45-10, and now holds a 4-2 advantage in the all-time series as a result.
UNLV: Omar Clayton ran for one touchdown and threw for another on Saturday night, but against a team like nationally-ranked Nevada it wasn't nearly good enough to keep the Rebels from slipping in the 44-26 decision at home. Clayton, who was unable to bring UNLV the Fremont Cannon, converted 14-of-23 passes for 214 yards, was intercepted once and sacked three times in the contest. Clayton also paced the program with his 48 rushing yards, the team generating just 80 yards on the ground overall. The run defense for UNLV was nowhere to be found as the Wolf Pack pounded away for 374 yards and five touchdowns on 50 attempts. The Rebels are set to hit the road for the first of two outside of Nevada as they challenge in the West Virginia Mountaineers for the first time ever, this weekend in Morgantown.
UTAH: Even without taking the field this past week, the Utes got some good news as they moved from 13th in the AP rankings to 10th after a number of high-profile programs hit minor skids. Coming up this week, the Utes turn their attention to non-conference foe Iowa State on the road. The teams haven't met since 1976 when the Cyclones came up with a 44-14 victory and, as a result, now hold a 4-0 advantage in the all-time series.
WYOMING: Stepping out of MWC play, the Cowboys managed to snap a three-game slide on Saturday as they captured a 20-15 win on the road versus the Toledo Rockets. Thanks in part to Alvester Alexander, who scored the first points of the game on a 13-yard run in the first quarter, the Pokes led by a score of 20-0 before giving the home team a chance to battle back in the second half. Austin Carta-Samuels converted 11-of-21 passes for 102 yards and one interception and also led the team on the ground with 56 yards on 15 attempts as the Cowboys secured the narrow win despite posting just 266 yards of total offense. The Cowboys are out on the road again this weekend, but this time the competition is much more fierce as they contend against nationally-ranked TCU in a Mountain West Conference showdown in Fort Worth. TCU crushed the Pokes last year, 45-10, and now owns a 4-2 series edge as a result.