Photo courtesy of Louisiana Tech Athletics
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (Sports Network) -
IDAHO: The Vandals caught a break in the schedule last week after being blown away by Louisiana Tech on the road on Oct. 20 by a score of 70-28. Unfortunately, Idaho is riding a two-game slide and has won only once in eight opportunities this season as they deal with the second-weakest defense in the country, one that it allowing a massive 508.4 ypg. Only a handful of teams are giving up more than the 42.0 ppg permitted by the program as well. The Vandals are home this coming weekend as they entertain the San Jose State Spartans. Idaho has been on a row in recent years, taking three straight from SJSU, including a 32-29 decision in 2011 on the road but still the Vandals trail 12-10-1 in the series.
LOUISIANA TECH: The Bulldogs offense looked rather pedestrian on Saturday, at least by their own lofty standards, still they were able to come away with a 28-14 win against New Mexico State on the road. The victory was the first ever for a LaTech team which is nationally ranked and also ran the team's road win streak to nine in a row. Part of the problem for the Bulldogs was that kicker Matt Nelson missed all three of his field goal chances in the first half, deflating any progress the team may have made during those initial drives. Cameron Colby picked up the pace however, hitting on 29-of-44 passes for 292 yards and a touchdown and also scoring once on the ground as the team recorded 238 yards and three rushing TDs overall. Receiver Myles White caught seven balls for 125 yards and a score as the team moved to 2-0 in conference play and moved up a few spots up in the current AP Poll to No. 22. The Bulldogs will face one of the newest additions to the WAC, the Roadrunners of Texas-San Antonio, in Ruston, in what is the first meeting between the two.
NEW MEXICO STATE: The Aggies certainly frustrated Louisiana Tech for the first 30 minutes of their encounter on Saturday, but in the end NMSU couldn't slow down one of the highest-scoring teams in the country as it bowed in a 28-14 final at home. Tied for the second-longest losing streak in the nation at seven games, the Aggies were led by Andrew Manley who converted 18-of-34 passes for 283 yards and two touchdowns, along with an interception. One of the nation's top receivers, Austin Franklin caught seven balls for a game-high 139 yards and a score. Not only is New Mexico State 0-4 in conference play this season, but the team has not defeated another team from the Football Bowl Subdivision since last year when it topped Fresno State (48-45) during the second week of November. The Aggies take a break from conference play to go up against the once-mighty Auburn Tigers in Alabama on Saturday. Auburn won both of the previous meetings between the two schools, including a 55-20 final in the most recent clash back in 2007.
SAN JOSE STATE: For the third time this season, David Fales threw for at least 300 yards as the Spartans held off Texas State in a 31-20 final at home on Saturday. Fales hit on 26-of-38 passes for 376 yards and a couple of touchdowns, not to mention a pair of interceptions, but he did get help from the ground game as SJSU produced 195 yards and two scores running the ball as well en route to a second straight win and the sixth in the last seven outings for the program. The six victories are the most the team has managed since posting a 6-6 record during the 2008 schedule. If all continues to go well for San Jose State, the team could be invited to take part in the postseason for the first time since 2006. Fales, who now has 17 TDs and five INTs on the season, is first in the league and seventh in the country in pass efficiency with a rating of 165.34. The Spartans make their way to Moscow, Idaho this weekend where they will clash with the Vandals in the Kibbie Dome. In a series that dates back to 1946, SJSU owns a 12-10-1 advantage even though Idaho has captured three straight wins, including a 32-29 decision in California a season ago.
TEXAS STATE: An extra week of preparation allowed the Bobcats to stay close with San Jose State early on this past weekend, but in the end Texas State lost for the third time in four tries as it bowed in a 31-20 road test. The squad produced just 10 first downs in the meeting, compared to 28 for the hosts, converting a mere 4-of-13 on third-down attempts. Shaun Rutherford converted 14-of-26 passes for 130 yards, but he was sacked twice and had two interceptions, although neither of those turnovers resulted in points for the Spartans. Rutherford also led the squad in rushing with 70 yards and a score on 14 attempts, while Marcus Curry scored a touchdown on one of his seven carries. The Texas State defense was left on the field for close to 36 minutes as it gave up 571 total yards to San Jose State. The Bobcats are in WAC action again this weekend as they pay a visit to the Utah State Aggies for a first- ever meeting.
TEXAS-SAN ANTONIO: Since winning five straight games to open up the 2012 campaign, the Roadrunners have been dealt a hard dose of reality as they dropped their third consecutive outing on Saturday in a 48-17 decision against visiting Utah State. Now 1-2 in conference play, UTSA scored just three points in the first 36 minutes of action and didn't make it into the end zone until Evans Okotcha crossed the goal line from seven yards out in the third quarter. The Roadrunners were paced by Ryan Polite who converted 21-of-36 passes for 248 yards and a score, but he was sacked twice and had a pair of attempts picked off. The offense finished with 299 total yards, but just 51 on the ground versus one of the toughest scoring defenses in the country. UTSA hits the road this weekend to tangle with another member of the WAC, the 22nd- ranked Louisiana Tech Bulldogs, in yet one more first-ever meeting.
UTAH STATE: Chuckie Keeton threw for 340 yards and three touchdowns as the Aggies defeated the Roadrunners of Texas-San Antonio, 48-17, in Western Athletic Conference action at the Alamodome on Saturday afternoon. Keeton converted 27-of-36 passes, was sacked once and had a pass picked off as he guided the Aggies to a third straight victory and a 3-0 start in league play, which means the program has actually won eight consecutive WAC outings dating back to last season in order to set a new school record. Kerwynn Williams added 90 yards and two scores on 13 rushing attempts, as the team finished with at least 40 points for the third straight game for the first time since 1990. Williams now has 16 career rushing touchdowns which ranks him 10th in program history. Next up for the Aggies, who are off to their best start since 1978 when they also won seven of their first nine outings, is Texas State, one of the newest adds to the WAC and a first-ever opponent on the field.