Mar 24, 2019

Mountain West Wednesday: Week 3 in review

Catastrophic flooding in Boulder, Colo., last weekend, prevented the Fresno State Bulldogs from the chance to go 3-0, but they still managed to squeeze into the top 25 of the Coaches’ Poll. Now, as they face a tough opponent in Boise State, here’s how Week 3 went in the rest of the Mountain West Conference (MWC).

Boise State Broncos 42, Air Force Falcons 20

This intraconference game, the second straight for the Falcons, could almost have been an upset for the Broncos.

Air Force and Boise State both scored on their first drives of the game, but the Falcons used their running game to maintain possession, and the first frame ended in a 7-7 tie.

The second quarter saw lead swaps. The Falcons and Broncos exchanged scoring drives, but the Falcons put up 10 points, while the
Broncos had two touchdowns.

The Broncos fumbled in their first possession after halftime. After the Falcons were unable to capitalize, Boise State was able to score an insurance touchdown to lead 28-17.

In the fourth quarter, the Broncos outscored the Falcons 14-3 en route to an easy victory.

On Friday, the Broncos will be tested by the undefeated Bulldogs to kick off Week 4 in the MWC.

University of Pittsburgh Panthers 49, New Mexico Lobos 27

The Panthers dominated the first half of the game, outscoring the Lobos 35-6. Lobo quarterback Clayton Mitchem threw for 64 yards but did not score during the game.

Cole Gautsche, the Lobos’ usual starting quarterback, entered the game in the third quarter. He scored two rushing touchdowns to bring the Lobos closer to the Panthers, but it was not enough.

The Lobos will have a bye week before hosting UNLV on Sept. 28.

Colorado State Rams 34, Cal Poly Mustangs 17

After their defeat by the Bulldogs, the Mustangs aimed to prevent a 2-game losing streak in Fort Collins, Colo.

Cal Poly was productive in the first half of this matchup, a contrast from its first half against Fresno State. The Mustangs put 10 points on the board and were nearly a touchdown away from tying the game, but Shaquil Barrett blocked a field-goal attempt by Mustang kicker Bobby Zalud. Afterward, Rams wide receiver Rashard Higgins caught a 36-yard pass from Garrett Grayson to increase the lead to 27-10.

The two teams exchanged scores in the third and fourth quarters. Brown connected on a 23-yard pass to his wide receiver Willie Tucker to make the score 27-17.

At the beginning of the fourth, the Mustangs tried, again, to shorten the lead to seven points. Zalud’s field-goal attempt would be blocked again by Barrett, and the Rams would put the nail in the coffin later with a touchdown to win the match 34-17.

No. 10 Florida State Seminoles 62, Nevada Wolf Pack 7

It was turmoil in Tallahassee for the Wolf Pack.

The ground game was the Seminoles’ friend during their rout of Nevada. They had two 100-yard rushers who had a touchdown each.

Karlos Williams carried the ball eight times for 110 yards. Devonta Freeman rushed nine times for 109 yards. Ryan Green, James Wilder, Jr., and Freddie Stevenson each had a touchdown to add.

Quarterback Jameis Winston, not wanting to be left out, had a rushing touchdown himself — a 10-yarder in the midst of a third-quarter scoring frenzy.

Winston also threw for 214 yards and two touchdowns.

The Wolf Pack was restricted to 214 yards. Its game highlight came when it led the Seminoles at the beginning of the second quarter.

Wideout Brandon Wimberly caught an 11-yard pass from quarterback Devin Combs to make it 7-3 Nevada.

After that, the Seminoles’ defense kicked in.

The Wolf Pack was forced to punt the ball eight times after its touchdown, while the Seminoles scored in all but one of their drives after that.

Nevada will return home to face Hawaii on Saturday.

Wyoming Cowboys 35, Northern Colorado Bears 7

In what was at first a defense-heavy game, the Cowboys began their point production in the second quarter and nearly shut out the Bears.

Wyoming quarterback Brett Smith threw for 264 yards and one touchdown, and running back Shaun Wick rushed for two touchdowns of his own.

The Cowboys’ defense, behind Jordan Stanton and Cortland Fort, returned two interceptions for touchdowns to punctuate the game.

Wyoming will travel to Colorado Springs to visit the Air Force Falcons on Saturday.

Utah State Aggies 70, Weber State Wildcats 6

Experience was a key in this matchup. Aggie junior quarterback Chuckie Keeton, making his 24th start, was facing Wildcat rookie Austin Chipoletti.

Keeton threw for 249 yards and five touchdowns, while the Aggie running back squad took care of the other five scores.

The Wildcats were finally able to get themselves on the board in the fourth quarter — after trailing 70-0 — when Spencer Unga made a 38-yard fumble return. However, the Aggies placed the exclamation point on their victory by blocking the point after attempt.

The Aggies look to have about the same production on Saturday, when they go to Los Angeles to visit USC.

UNLV Rebels 31, Central Michigan Chippewas 21

UNLV tied the biggest comeback in its history, 21 points, to get its first win of the year.

With one minute remaining in the second quarter, the Rebels were down 21-0. Quarterback Caleb Herring connected on a 12-yard pass to wideout Devante Davis to get on the board.

Afterward, the Rebels continued scoring. The second half reversed the first, as UNLV shut out Central Michigan. Davis caught two more touchdown passes as part of the 24-0 run to end the game.

UNLV will have one more non-MWC foe on Saturday when it hosts Western Illinois.

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