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Utah State: WAC Conference Clipboard

Utah State: WAC Conference Clipboard

By Matt Harris, Contributor | Posted - Sep. 21, 2011 at 12:25 p.m.

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LOGAN -- The WAC conference posted a 2-5 record in their matchups with Utah State on their bye week. Two teams will face off against opponents from BCS conferences, with Louisiana Tech heading to Mississippi State and Nevada traveling to play Texas Tech. The WAC conference schedule continues with two matchups, including New Mexico State at San Jose State and Fresno State visiting Idaho.

Fresno State: The Bulldogs picked up their first win of the season against FCS North Dakota with a 27-22 victory. Quarterback Derek Carr racked up 235 yards and two touchdowns with Robbie Rouse complementing the passing game with 110 yards rushing and two touchdowns.

Fresno State begins their 2011 WAC conference schedule on the road against the Idaho Vandals on Saturday.

Defensive tackle Logan Harrell received WAC Defensive Player of the Week honors after collecting a career-high 11 tackles with 4.5 tackles for a loss. However, Fresno State defensive lineman Tristan Okpalaugo will not be available for the first half of the game after being suspended by WAC Commissioner Karl Benson for kicking a North Dakota player last weekend.

Okpalaugo was ejected from the game but because the foul happened in the second half, he must miss an additional half this week.

Hawaii: The Rainbow Warriors fell to the UNLV Runnin' Rebels 40-20 in a shocking loss. Quarterback Bryant Moniz led Hawaii with 233 yards on 20 of 36 passing and two touchdowns. However, four lost fumbles doomed the Warriors and UNLV capitalized on the turnovers en route to the victory in Las Vegas.

Hawaii will welcome UC-Davis to Honolulu this weekend looking to even their record at 2-2.

Idaho: The Vandals could never really get going against the Texas A&M Aggies as they fell 37-7 at College Station. Idaho quarterback Brian Reader completed 17 of 29 passes for only 131 yards as the Vandals didn't put points on the score board until late in the fourth quarter.

Idaho gained just 56 yards on the ground on 29 rushing attempts.

The Vandals will welcome Fresno State to the Kibbie Dome on Saturday as they open their WAC conference schedule.

Louisiana Tech: The Bulldogs led by 27 points entering the fourth quarter but let the lead slip away in a 35-34 loss against Houston. Cougars star quarterback Case Keenum led the Houston charge with 351 yards through the air on 25 of 40 passing, including three touchdowns and two interceptions. Louisiana Tech freshman quarterback Nick Isham completed 20 of 31 passes for 199 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. The Bulldogs rushing attack was led by Lennon Creer (25 rush, 99 yards, one TD) and Ray Holley (22 rush, 62 yards, two TD).

Louisiana Tech will face another Bulldogs team this week as they travel to play Mississippi State.

Nevada: The Wolf Pack evened their record at 1-1 with a 17-14 victory over San Jose State in the first WAC conference game of the season. Running back Mike Ball ran 29 times for 124 yards and two touchdowns as Nevada gained 261 yards on the ground in the victory. Ball also received WAC Offensive Player of the Week honors for his efforts. He wasn't the only member of the Wolf Pack to pick up recognition from the WAC as punter Jake Hurst collected Special Teams Player of the Week for his work in pinning the San Jose State offense inside the 20-yard line, including one inside the 3-yard line.

Nevada will now travel to face Big 12 opponent Texas Tech in Lubbock. The Wolf Pack will be facing the 3rd ranked passing game and the 2nd ranked scoring offense nationally in the Red Raiders on Saturday.

New Mexico State: The Aggies' fell to the UTEP Miners 16-10 this past weekend. New Mexico State could only muster a field goal after three trips to the red zone failed to produce a touchdown. Aggies quarterback Andrew Manley connected on 20 of his 37 passes for 242 yards and a touchdown, but he was sacked six times.

New Mexico State will open their WAC conference schedule with a trip to San Jose State on Saturday while looking to return to .500 on the season.

San Jose State: The Spartans collected their 25th loss in 28 games as they fell 17-14 against Nevada. San Jose State inserted backup quarterback Matt Faulker late in the third quarter to boost the offense after Dasmen Stewart struggled under center, completing only 3 of his 14 passes for 21 yards. Faulker brought life to the Spartans offense, throwing for 131 yards on 10 of 19 passing. However, Faulkner's lone mistake sealed the game for Nevada after he threw an interception in the end zone with 1:10 remaining. Stewart did gain 43 yards rushing on seven attempts with a touchdown alongside Brandon Rutley, who compiled 86 yards rushing on 17 carries with a touchdown as well.

Following the game, WAC Commissioner Karl Benson reprimanded head coach Mike MacIntyre for violating the WAC's sportsmanship code near the end of the game. The coach went onto the field to argue the spot of the ball in the final minutes of the game, resulting in a personal foul being assessed to the coach and a first down for Nevada. MacIntyre issued a public apology after the game, stating that his actions were "unsportsmanlike" and "vowed that nothing like this would ever happen again".

San Jose State welcomes New Mexico State to Spartan Stadium to open their WAC conference schedule on Saturday.

Utah State: The Aggies had the weekend off after humiliating the Weber State Wildcats 54-17 on Sept. 10th in Logan. Utah State watched their opponents go 4-8 this past weekend in their respective games. The Aggies will face Colorado State at home on Saturday in the Homecoming game. This will be the 13th time that Utah State has played the Rams in the Homecoming game and the first time since 1966. The Aggies lead the all-time series against the Rams with a 7-4-1 record.


Matt Harris


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