Dec 13, 2018

Mountain West Wednesday: Week 7 in review

San Diego State Spartans 27, Air Force Falcons 20

Before the game, U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced that football games at the military service academies will continue through the end of the month. If Congress does not extend the borrowing limit, a reassessment will take place.

In this game, Aztec quarterback Quinn Kaehler connected with Eric Judge for a 44-yard touchdown pass at the end of the first quarter. Afterward, Air Force’s offense stepped up and scored 10 points in both the second and third quarters.

Adding to that was San Diego State’s special teams woes. Seamus McMorrow and Wes Feer combined for 1 of 3 in extra-point attempts and missed a field goal.

Air Force’s Will Conant, on the other hand, was 2 for 2 in extra points and the same in field goals.

But for the Falcons, everything collapsed in the fourth quarter. San Diego State running back Donnel Pumphrey caught a 20-yard scoring pass to bring the Aztecs within seven points. Nearly three minutes later, wide receiver Ezell Ruffin added a 62-yard touchdown reception.

One of the failed extra-point attempts prevented a 20-20 tie, and the Aztecs trailed by one.

After empty drives by both teams, Pumphrey scored another touchdown – a 10-yard rush. To compensate for the missed extra point, Kaehler completed a 2-point conversion pass to Tim Vizzi to make it 27-20.

It was the third-straight game Air Force was unable to close out a victory.

Both teams have bye weeks. On Oct. 26, Air Force will host Notre Dame, and San Diego State will host Fresno State.

San Jose State Spartans 34, Colorado State Rams 27

In the Rams’ first conference game of the year, they had a 24-17 halftime lead over the Spartans.

But San Jose State’s defense only allowed three points in the second half, while the offense continued to produce.

David Fales completed 28 of 35 for 431 yards, including 83- and 77-yard touchdown passes in the second quarter.

Colorado State quarterback Garrett Grayson reciprocated with two big touchdown passes of his own – 50 and 35 yards – to his main target, Kivon Cartwright.

To begin the fourth quarter, Spartans kicker Austin Lopez connected on an 18-yard field goal to regain the lead for his team. A minute-and-a-half later, Rams kicker Jared Roberts connected on a 47-yard field goal to re-tie the game at 27-27.

With 10:48 remaining in the contest, Grayson’s pass was intercepted by Spartans cornerback Bene Benwikere. In San Jose State’s next drive, Fales connected a 62-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Winston to make it 34-27.

Colorado State was unable to tie the game during its next possession, and San Jose State ran out the clock.

The Wyoming Cowboys are next for both teams. Colorado State will visit Wyoming on Saturday, while San Jose State will take a break and host the Cowboys on Oct. 26.

Wyoming Cowboys 38, New Mexico Lobos 31

Cowboys quarterback Brett Smith used his arm and legs in Wyoming’s victory over New Mexico.

After two first-quarter touchdowns scored by running back Shaun Wick, Smith threw a 26-yard scoring pass in the second frame. In the fourth quarter, he rushed for 3-yard and 48-yard scores.

Lobos quarterback Cole Gautsche was not far behind. He also had a 40-plus-yard touchdown run (49) and threw a touchdown in the loss.

New Mexico (2-4, 0-2 MWC) entered the contest first in the NCAA Division I with 367.8 rushing yards per game. Gautsche led the team with 113 yards, and the Lobos finished with 257 rushing yards total. Its next game will be against the Utah State Aggies on Saturday.

Wyoming (4-2, 2-0 MWC) is now first in the Mountain Division of the MWC and will host Colorado State on Saturday.

Boise State Broncos 34, Utah State Aggies 23

Boise State quarterback Joe Southwick set a career-high in passing yards (335) and threw two touchdowns to lead his team to victory last Saturday.

The Aggies had to utilize a new game plan after their starting quarterback, Chuckie Keeton, suffered a season-ending injury on Oct. 4. Junior Craig Harrison made his first career start and threw 7 of 17 for 105 yards in two-and-a-half quarters. Freshman Darrell Garretson finished the contest by completing 9 of 14 passes for 116 yards and one score.

The Broncos controlled the game and led by 14 points at the half, then scored 10 unanswered points in the third quarter.

Utah State tried to rally in the fourth quarter. Cornerback Nevin Lawson intercepted a Southwick pass and scored on a 65-yard return. The Aggies committed two turnovers (a pick and a fumble) on consecutive possessions to prevent their offense from producing.

However, toward the end of the game, Garretson connected with wide receiver Travis Van Leeuwen for a 4-yard score to bring the Aggies within 11 points. It was not enough, and Boise State ran out the clock to end the game.

On Saturday, Boise State (4-2, 2-1 MWC) will host Nevada, and Utah State (3-4, 2-1 MWC) will visit New Mexico.

UNLV Rebels 39, Hawaii Rainbow Warriors 37

It was another fourth-quarter explosion for the Warriors that fell short.

In a similar fashion to its performance against Fresno State, Hawaii scored 20 unanswered points in the fourth quarter and had a 1-point lead over UNLV with less than two minutes remaining.

UNLV started its final chance on its own 26-yard line. On third and 10, it only had a 3-yard gain, but Hawaii’s Trayvon Henderson committed a facemask penalty to give the Rebels 5 yards and new life.

Rebels quarterback Caleb Herring completed two passes for 11 yards to place the ball within field-goal range for kicker Nolan Kohorst. After an attempt by Hawaii coach Norm Chow to ice Kohorst with a last-second timeout, the senior kicker nailed a 44-yard field goal to end the game and give UNLV the win.

It was a game that saw slow offensive production. The first quarter went scoreless. Hawaii’s Tyler Hadden made a 31-yard field goal in the early minutes of the second quarter to give the Warriors the lead.

UNLV scored two field goals and a touchdown, while Hawaii added 14 more points to lead the game 17-13 at halftime.

The Rebels scored 23 unanswered points in the next 17 minutes to grab a 36-17 fourth-quarter lead. That’s when Hawaii’s rally began.

Hawaii (0-6, 0-4 MWC) will take a break before hosting Colorado State on Oct. 26. UNLV (4-2, 2-0 MWC) will visit Fresno State on Saturday.

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