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Mountain West: Week 3 Recap

After beating Air Force last weekend, Joe Southwick and the Boise State Broncos now prepare for a big showdown with Fresno State.

After beating Air Force last weekend, Joe Southwick and the Boise State Broncos now prepare for a big showdown with Fresno State.

This past weekend’s Mountain West action got off to a start Friday night with Boise State (2-1, 1-0 MWC) picking up its first conference win of the season, handing Air Force (1-2, 0-2 MWC) a 42-20 drubbing.

Quarterback Joe Southwick completed 27 of 27 passes for 287 yards with a touchdown and interception. The senior also ran for 53 yards and a touchdown. Meanwhile, Jay Ajayi ran for 125 yards and four touchdowns as the Broncos dominated a Falcons team that has now lost two intra-conference games.

The Broncos, favored to win the Mountain West ahead of the season, limited Air Force to one solitary field goal in the second half, turning a 21-17 halftime lead into an embarrassing final score. Now the side will prepare for what could be the conference’s biggest game of the season.

Boise State will travel to Fresno State (2-0, 0-0 MWC) this coming Friday in a battle of conference favorites. The Bulldogs, who are the only unbeaten team in the Mountain West, will not only have home field advantage, they’ll also benefit from the extra rest afforded by the postponement of Saturday’s game against Colorado due to flooding in the region.

The opening line has Fresno State as a narrow favorite, with the spread at 3. However, the Broncos have won seven straight against the Bulldogs, and 11 of 13 all-time. Fresno State has not beaten Boise State since November 2005. The over/under opened at 66, testament to how Vegas expects this one to be a shootout.

The winner of the Boise State-Fresno State game will have a huge advantage in the race for the Mountain West title, but a win on Friday night is certainly no guarantee of success.

One team looking to thwart both the Broncos and Bulldogs is conference newcomer Utah State (2-1, 1-0 MWC). After picking up a conference win over Air Force in Week 2, the Aggies handed Weber State (1-2, 0-0 Big Sky) a beat down on Saturday, emerging from the game with a 70-6 win. While some other more high-profile schools struggled against FCS competition this weekend, Matt Wells’ side showed exactly how it’s done.

Things will be a little tougher this weekend when the Aggies travels to Los Angeles to face Southern California (2-1, 0-1 Pac-12). That being said, the spread opened at 7 in favor of the Trojans, which is hardly writing the Mountain West team off.

Both UNLV (1-2, 0-0 MWC) and Colorado State (1-2, 0-0 MWC) managed to pick up their first wins of the season this past weekend.

The Rebels found themselves trailing Central Michigan (1-2, 0-0 MAC) 21-0 midway through the second quarter before rallying to score 31 unanswered points. Quarterback Caleb Herring dialed up 266 yards on 24 of 28 passing, completing three touchdowns in the process. The Rebels can make it two in a row Saturday with the arrival of Western Illinois (2-1, 0-0 MVC) at Sam Boyd Stadium.

The Rams got the better of FCS side Cal Poly (1-2, 0-0 Big Sky), who lost to a Mountain West school for the second consecutive week. Shaq Barrett was the star of the show, blocking a pair of Mustang field goal attempts, including one in the fourth quarter that allowed the side from Fort Collins, Col., to put the game out of reach.

There will be little time for Colorado State to celebrate though. The Rams will make the trip to Tuscaloosa, Ala., this week to take on top-ranked Alabama (3-0, 1-0 SEC). The Crimson tide opened as a 36.5-point favorite.

With the Rebels and Rams picking up wins, only Hawaii (0-2, 0-0 MWC) and San Diego State (0-2, 0-0 MWC) now remain without a win. Both were idle this weekend alongside San Jose State (1-1, 0-0 MWC).With AQ opposition on the slate, the Aztecs and Spartans may wish they were idle again this weekend.

San Diego State will host Oregon State (2-1, 1-0 Pac-12) on Saturday in the first matchup between the schools in 13 years. The Beavers have had an inauspicious start to the year, losing to Eastern Washington in Week 1, picking up a win over Hawaii in Week 2, and narrowly defeating Utah in overtime this past weekend. The Aztecs, who open as the underdog, may have a shot of upsetting their Pac-12 opponents.

San Jose State meanwhile will travel to Minnesota (3-0, 0-0 Big Ten) to take on the unbeaten Golden Gophers. The latter opens as the favorite, although the spread is a mere 5.5. The two schools split a pair of games played back in 1991-92.

Hawaii will look to earn its first win of the season with a trip to Nevada (1-2, 0-0 MWC). The Wolf Pack was dismantled by No. 10 Florida State (2-0, 1-0 ACC) last Saturday, giving up eight touchdowns and a field goal without reply after taking an early 7-3 lead.

Nevada wasn’t the only Mountain West team to suffer the wrath of the Atlantic Coast Conference this past weekend. New Mexico (1-2, 0-0 MWC) ended up on the wrong end of a 49-27 final score courtesy of Pittsburgh (1-1, 0-1 ACC). The Panthers held a 35-6 lead at the half, before the Lobos mounted some offense after halftime. New Mexico now gets a week off before playing its first conference game (vs. UNLV) on September 28.

Wyoming (2-1, 0-0 MWC) picked up a second straight win on Saturday, making short work of Northern Colorado (1-2, 0-0 Big Sky). The Cowboys were beneficiaries of a pair of interception touchdown returns while quarterback Brett Smith threw for 264 yards. Up next, a trip to Air Force on Saturday night with a chance to pick up a first conference win whilst piling some more misery on the Falcons.

For a full list of Week 3’s Mountain West results and Week 4’s Mountain West fixtures, see below.



Air Force 20, Boise State 42


New Mexico 27, Pittsburgh 49

Fresno State at Colorado (postponed)

Cal Poly 17, Colorado State 34

Nevada 7, No. 10 Florida State 62

Northern Colorado 7, Wyoming 35

Weber State 6, Utah State 70

Central Michigan 21, UNLV 31

Bye: Hawaii, San Diego State, San Jose State

* * * * *


(All times ET)

Friday, Sept. 20

9:00 Boise State (2-1, 1-0 MWC) at Fresno State (2-0, 0-0 MWC) (matchup)

Saturday, Sept. 21

12:00 San Jose State (1-1, 0-0 MWC) at Minnesota (3-0, 0-0 Big Ten) (matchup)

3:30 Utah State (2-1, 1-0 MWC) at USC (2-1, 0-1 Pac-12) (matchup)

7:00 Colorado State (1-2, 0-0 MWC) at No. 1 Alabama (2-0, 1-0 SEC) (matchup)

7:30 Oregon State (2-1, 1-0 Pac-12) at San Diego State (0-2, 0-0 MWC) (matchup)

8:05 Hawaii (0-2, 0-0 MWC) at Nevada (1-2, 0-0 MWC) (matchup)

9:00 Western Illinois (2-1, 0-0 MVC) at UNLV (1-2, 0-0 MWC) (matchup)

10:15 Wyoming (2-1, 0-0 MWC) at Air Force (1-2, 0-2 MWC) (matchup)

Bye: New Mexico

For a comprehensive list of College Football odds, click here.

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