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Mountain West: Week 5 Recap

Chuckie Keeton and the Utah State Aggies continue to pose a threat to undefeated Fresno State.

Chuckie Keeton and the Utah State Aggies continue to pose a threat to undefeated Fresno State.

Having cracked the AP Top 25 last week, No. 25 Fresno State (4-0, 2-0 MWC) continued its undefeated start to the 2013 campaign with a 42-37 defeat of Hawaii (0-4, 0-2 MWC) in Honolulu on Saturday.

The Bulldogs jumped out to a 42-3 lead midway through the third quarter, with Derek Carr throwing two touchdown strikes to Josh Harper and running the ball in himself. Marteze Waller had a pair of rushing touchdowns before L.J. Jones picked off an errant Sean Schroeder pass, returning it for a touchdown.

With a huge win looking a certainty, the Rainbow Warriors mounted a comeback, tallying five straight touchdowns. Schroeder threw touchdown passes to Keith Kirkwood, Vasquez Haynes and Billy Ray Stutzman while Steven Lakalaka crossed the goal line for two scores. The quintet of touchdowns came in a 14:03 spell during the third and fourth quarters but Fresno State managed to ride out the final 7:51 to finish with the narrow win. Hawaii’s comeback meant the Bulldogs (0-4-0 ATS) once again failed to cover the spread.

Having been bumped up to No. 23 in the AP poll, Fresno State will hope to make a stronger standing in Week 6 when the school travels to Idaho (1-4). The Vandals picked up a first win of the season on Saturday, defeating Temple (0-4, 0-1 American) 26-24.

Fresno State is 7-0 all-time against its old WAC rival including a 4-0 record at the Kibbie Dome. The last meeting between the schools (Sept. 2011) finished 48-24.

Utah State (3-2, 2-0 MWC) continues to look like a contender in the Mountain Division, having defeated San Jose State (1-3, 0-1 MWC) on Friday night. The Aggies jumped out to a 23-6 halftime lead at Spartan Stadium before emerging with a 40-12 rout. Chuckie Keeton threw three touchdown passes and ran for another while kicker Nick Diaz got plenty of practice, knocking in four field goals.

The Aggies moved to 2-0 in conference play, a game ahead of Boise State (3-2, 1-1 MWC), the team expected before the season kicked off to win the Mountain Division and advance to the conference championship game. The two schools meet on October 12 in what will be a huge game.

Before that, Utah State has another big game ahead of it. The Aggies host Brigham Young (2-2) this Friday in a battle for the Old Wagon Wheel. BYU, who lost the Holy War game to Utah earlier in the year, owns a 45-34-3 all-time advantage in this rivalry. The Cougars have won the last two meetings against the Aggies as well as 27 of the last 31 showdowns.

San Jose State meanwhile will travel to Hawaii for a late game Saturday night/Sunday morning. The Spartans, predicted to finish fifth in the conference, will need to score the win in Honolulu if they’re to get anything out of this season. The winless Rainbow Warriors would just like a win.

Boise State picked up a lopsided 60-7 win over Southern Mississippi (0-4, 0-0 C-USA) to leave the Golden Eagles winless on the season. The Broncos tallied eight touchdowns en route to the blowout victory, with five different players scoring a rushing touchdown. All of that was scant reward for a team that lost a crucial game last week to Fresno State. Chris Peterson will have an extra week to prepare for a vital game against Utah State as the Broncos take a bye week.

Nevada (3-2, 2-0 MWC) remains unbeaten in conference play following a narrow 45-42 win over Air Force (1-4, 0-4 MWC) on Saturday. It was the Falcons that controlled much of the game, building a 35-24 lead at the end of the third, but the Wolf Pack outscored their opponents in the fourth quarter by a tune of three touchdowns to one, enough to leave with the victory.

Nevada will face San Diego State (1-3, 0-0 MWC) this Friday night in San Diego. After beginning the season with three straight losses, the Aztecs picked up their first win of the year on Saturday, handing New Mexico State (0-5) a 26-16 defeat. The Aztecs will welcome conference play and a chance to turn their season around, which could be bad news for the Wolf Pack. Furthermore, the Aztecs are 3-0 all-time against Nevada including a 39-38 win when the schools met last season.

While the Aztecs will welcome a conference opponent, Air Force – still winless in conference play – will be glad to be away from the Mountain West, even if it’s only for a week. Unluckily for the Falcons, that week away not prove forthcoming.

The Falcons are scheduled to travel to Annapolis, Md., to take on Navy (2-1), but the government shutdown has put the game in peril. Alternative solutions are being sought out to fund the team’s travel east, but it’s unlikely we’ll know before Thursday whether this game will take place. Having won two of the last three Commander-in-Chief trophies, the Falcons will hope that some alternative is found.

UNLV (3-2, 1-0 MWC) picked up a win Saturday in its first conference game of the season, defeating New Mexico (1-3, 0-1 MWC) in a shootout. Offense was the name of the game as the two schools combined for 1,149 total yards, but it was the Rebels that came out on top of the Lobos.

The win snapped a 23-game road losing streak for UNLV and gave the Rebels an 11-10 edge in the all-time head-to-head with New Mexico. The Rebels will take a week off before continuing their Mountain West campaign against Hawaii.

New Mexico will battle New Mexico State for the Maloof Trophy in the latest installment of the Rio Grande Rivalry this Saturday. New Mexico leads the all-time head-to-head 57-20-2. The Lobos’ 27-14 win in last year’s game snapped the Aggies’ three-game winning streak.

Colorado State (2-3, 0-0 MWC) bounced back from last week’s loss to No. 1 Alabama with a 59-42 win over UTEP (1-3, 0-3 C-USA). The Rams held a 52-28 lead with 8:10 left in the game before fending off the Miners for the rest of the game. The side will now take a week off before beginning the conference part of its schedule with a visit from San Jose State on October 12.

Wyoming (3-2, 1-0 MWC) didn’t fair quite so well as the Rams outside of the conference. After being tied 14-14 at the break, the Cowboys were outscored 28-7 in the second half, losing 42-21 to Texas State (3-1, 0-0 Sun Belt). The game marked the first time this season Wyoming (4-1-0 ATS) failed to cover the spread. The Cowboys will take the week off before facing seven straight conference games to close the season.



Utah State 40, San Jose State 12


UTEP 42, Colorado State 59

Wyoming 21, Texas State 42

San Diego State 26, New Mexico State 16

UNLV 56, New Mexico 42

Air Force 42, Nevada 45

Southern Miss 7, Boise State 60


No. 25 Fresno State 42, Hawaii 37

* * * * *


(All times ET)

Friday, Oct. 4

8:00 Brigham Young (2-2) at Utah State (3-2, 2-0 MWC) (matchup)

9:00 Nevada (3-2, 2-0 MWC) at San Diego State (1-3, 0-0 MWC) (matchup)

Saturday, Oct. 5

11:30 Air Force (1-4, 0-4 MWC) at Navy (2-1) (matchup)

5:00 No. 23 Fresno State (4-0, 2-0 MWC) at Idaho (1-4) (matchup)

7:00 New Mexico State (0-5) at New Mexico (1-3, 0-1 MWC) (matchup)


12:00a.m. San Jose State (1-3, 0-1 MWC) at Hawaii (0-4, 0-2 MWC) (matchup)

Bye: Boise State, Colorado State, UNLV, Wyoming

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

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