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Thursday Night Mountain West Conference Recap

Fall is in the air, and college football is finally back. The Mountain West conference kicked off the action last night with a slew of games, including a 52-51 OT classic.

UNLV (+17) at Minnesota

Minnesota defeated UNLV in a 51-23 blowout last night, though the huge result wasn’t due to Minnesota’s offense. The Gophers had two special teams touchdowns and a defensive touchdown, and the Rebels, though they clearly struggled, showed signs of improvement in the game. Still, they fell far short of even covering the +17-point spread.

Utah State (+4.5) at Utah

Utah has historically owned Utah State, though the Aggies have turned around the rivalry in recent years. However, their best efforts weren’t enough last night as Utah took town Utah State 30-26. Utah sophomore quarterback Travis Wilson was nearly flawless, completing 17 of 28 passes for 302 yards, two touchdowns, and no turnovers.

USC (-21) at Hawaii

The No. 24-ranked USC Trojans comfortably beat Hawaii 30-13 on Thursday night, though most of the credit for the victory should go to the Trojans’ defense. Meanwhile, the quarterback battle between Cody Kessler and Max Wittek still remains up in the air after the Trojans’ easy victory.

“I was hoping that a long time ago it would be settled, but that’s not my job to just do what makes me feel good,” head coach Lane Kiffin said. “I’ve got to make sure that I’m doing what’s in the best interest of the team and I think that showed today. There was not an obvious No. 1 out there today.”

“Neither of them separated themselves, and we didn’t help them very much,” Kiffin said. “We didn’t help them, and obviously that falls on me.”

As is the case with many big underdogs in college football, Hawaii actually covered their spread last night.

Rutgers (+8.5) at Fresno State

The Fresno State Bulldogs hung on to defeat Rutgers 52-51 in an insane overtime game that left both sides grasping for explanations afterward.

“It’s the craziest game I’ve ever been a part of,” Fresno State QB Derek Carr said. “I was overcome with emotion. I think my son made me soft. I balled my eyes out.”

The game ended when Rutgers coach Kyle Flood elected to go for a two point conversion to win the game. The attempt failed, and Fresno State claimed the victory.

“We had the ball in the hands of two of our better players,” Rutgers coach Kyle Flood said. “It was just a little bit off his finger tips and a little bit too wide, whatever you want to say. Ultimately, I’ll be judged by those decisions but I don’t regret it. With both those players, I’d do it again if I had the opportunity.”

“It was a 15-round fight,” Fresno State coach Tim DeRuyter said. “Both heavyweights were throwing haymakers and landing them. I’m just happy that we got up every single time.”

“We’ve got to learn how to finish drives early in the game and put good teams like Fresno away,” Rutgers pass catcher Brandon Coleman said. “They were one point better than us tonight.”

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