Mountain West: Week 6 Recap

With quarterback Chuckie Keeton out for the rest of the year, Utah State's Mountain West challenge may be over.

With Chuckie Keeton out for the rest of the year, Utah State’s Mountain West challenge may be over.

Fresno State (5-0, 2-0 MWC) kept its BCS-busting hopes alive this past week, handing Idaho (1-5) a lopsided 61-14 defeat. The Bulldogs jumped two places in the AP rankings in the process, and now sit at No. 21.

For the fifth straight game, the Bulldogs topped the 40-point marker, making short work of a Vandals side that never stood a chance. Tim DeRuyter’s side built up an insurmountable 47-0 lead before halftime and it wasn’t until the fourth quarter – and trailing by 54 – that the Vandals finally got on the board.

The Fresno State offense, which is sixth in the nation averaging 47.4 points per game, was once again buoyed by quarterback Derek Carr, who completed 37 of 48 passes for 419 yards and five touchdowns. Carr is currently fourth in the country in passing, having thrown for 1,864 yards over the first five games.

The Bulldogs will take this weekend off before hosting UNLV on October 19. While the rest will be welcomed, an idle week at this time of the season could see the side fall a spot or two when the AP poll is released late Sunday.

Mountain Division-leading Utah State (3-3, 2-0 MWC) saw a nine-game home winning streak come to an end Friday night as BYU (3-2) manhandled the Aggies and left Romney Stadium with a 31-14 victory and the Old Wagon Wheel. The defeat was the least of worries for the team from Logan, Utah.

Quarterback Chuckie Keeton suffered a knee injury late in the first quarter. He spent the rest of the game on the sidelines, complete with crutches, and will miss the rest of the season. The junior quarterback has thrown for 1,388 yards with 18 touchdowns and just two interceptions this season, and has led many to think the Aggies are a Mountain West contender. Without Keeton, Utah State becomes an uncertainty in the conference.

Utah State will face a baptism of fire in its first full game without Keeton, as the Aggies host Boise State (3-2, 1-1 MWC) on Saturday. The Broncos, coming off a rest week, will be looking to pick up a second conference win of the season, which should be enough to wash away a disappointing start to the campaign. If the school is to make it to the Mountain West championship game, it needs to beat Utah State, something history suggests it will do; the Broncos have won 10 straight over the Aggies and are 10-2 all-time. They open as a 7.5-point favorite.

San Diego State (2-3, 1-0 MWC) made a successful start to its Mountain West campaign Friday night, handing Nevada (3-3, 2-1 MWC) its first conference loss of the season. The Wolf Pack certainly put up a fight though.

The Aztecs took a 44-23 lead into the fourth quarter thanks to a strong ground game that netted four rushing touchdowns and a solid performance from quarterback Quinn Kaehler. The Wolf Pack bit back though, scoring three unanswered touchdowns in the fourth to usher in overtime. Kaehler and the Aztecs got the better of the extra session, scoring a touchdown for the 51-44 victory.

San Diego State will travel to Colorado Springs this Thursday to face Air Force (1-5, 0-4 MWC). After a week of uncertainty, the Falcons’ game against Navy went ahead on Saturday, with the Midshipmen (3-1) getting the better of the Mountain West side. Still without a win in the conference, the Falcons will hope to upset the Aztecs, who opened as a 3.5-point favorite.

Elsewhere in the conference, New Mexico (2-3, 0-1 MWC) came out on top of the Rio Grande Rivalry, leaving New Mexico State (0-6) winless on the season. The Lobos ran all over the Aggies, compiling a total of 541 rushing yards. Five different players ran the ball into the end zone, including quarterback Cole Gautsche, who led the team with 127 yards on 12 carries. Running back Kasey Carrier had 126 yards and three touchdowns as the Lobos won 66-17 and retained the Maloof Trophy.

Things won’t come as easy for New Mexico this week. The Lobos will travel to Laramie, Wyo., to face Wyoming (3-2, 1-0 MWC). The Cowboys, who rested this past weekend, will enter the game having won two straight and three of the last four against New Mexico.

Wyoming opens as the favorite with the spread at 14.5. The Cowboys (4-1-0 ATS), alongside Colorado State, have the conference’s best record against the spread, something bettors may wish to consider.

The final Mountain West game of Week 6 saw San Jose State (2-3, 1-1 MWC) defeat Hawaii (0-5, 0-3 MWC) 37-27 in Honolulu.  The Spartans came from behind early, scoring 31 unanswered after trailing 14-3, before emerging with the victory and putting the halters on a three-game losing streak. The Rainbow Warriors meanwhile remain winless on the season.

San Jose State will travel to Fort Collins, Colo., this Saturday to take on Colorado State (2-3, 0-0 MWC). The Rams will be playing in their first conference game of the season, and will be hoping to snap a two-game losing streak against the Spartans. The home side is a narrow favorite ahead of kickoff, with the spread opening at 3.5.

Hawaii meanwhile will look to secure a first win of the season. The Warriors will face UNLV (3-2, 1-0 MWC) at Sam Boyd Stadium. Hawaii has won four of the last six meetings between the schools but both of the losses in that streak were on the road. The Rebels open as a one-touchdown favorite.

MWC_wk6 MOUNTAIN WEST RESULTS (Week 6)

Friday

Brigham Young 31, Utah State 14

Nevada 44, San Diego State 51

Saturday

Air Force 10, Navy 28

No. 23 Fresno State 61, Idaho 14

New Mexico State 17, New Mexico 66

San Jose State 37, Hawaii 27

* * * * *

MOUNTAIN WEST SCHEDULE (Week 7)

(All times ET)

Thursday, Oct. 10

9:00 San Diego State (2-3, 1-0 MWC) at Air Force (1-5, 0-4 MWC) (matchup)

Saturday, Oct. 12

3:30 San Jose State (2-3, 1-1 MWC) at Colorado State (2-3, 0-0 MWC) (matchup)

3:30 New Mexico (2-3, 0-1 MWC) at Wyoming (3-2, 1-0 MWC) (matchup)

8:00 Boise State (3-2, 1-1 MWC) at Utah State (3-3, 2-0 MWC) (matchup)

8:00 Hawaii (0-5, 0-3 MWC) at UNLV (3-2, 1-0 MWC) (matchup)

Bye: Fresno State, Nevada

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