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Utah State Football: WAC Conference Clipboard

Utah State Football: WAC Conference Clipboard

By Matt Harris, KSL.com Contributor | Posted - Nov. 16, 2011 at 12:06 p.m.



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LOGAN -- The schools of the WAC conference compiled a 4-4 record during the past week in college football.

This week, there are three conference games Fresno State travels to Hawaii, Idaho hosts Utah State, and Nevada welcomes Louisiana Tech in a WAC showdown.

Two non-conference games are on the docket as San Jose State hosts Navy and New Mexico State travels to BYU.

Here is a look at this week's WAC Conference news:

Fresno State: The Bulldogs lost a close one at home 48-45 against New Mexico State.

Derek Carr had 391 yards on 22 of 34 passing with three touchdowns for the Bulldogs while Robbie Rouse rushed 23 times for 86 yards and two scores.

Jalen Saunders had a huge day for Fresno State, catching seven passes for 174 yards and two touchdowns.

The Bulldogs gave up 500 yards of total offense to New Mexico State and have lost three games in a row.

Saunders was given an honorable mention for WAC Offensive Player of the Week for his efforts.

As of this week, Fresno State ranks 31st nationally in the passing game with a 266.1 yards per game average while ranking 78th in the run game at 137.2 yards per game. The Bulldogs average 29.5 points per game, good enough for 47th nationally. However, the scoring defense ranks among the bottom of all FBS college football at 37.4 points against per game which is 114th nationally.

The Bulldogs' record drops to 3-7 on the season, including a 2-3 record in WAC conference play. With the loss, Fresno State falls two spots in the WAC standings to sixth overall. Fresno State has wins against Idaho, Utah State and FCS North Dakota and losses against Nebraska, California, Ole Miss, Boise State, Nevada, Louisiana Tech, and New Mexico State.

Fresno State will be on the road again this week as they travel to the islands to play Hawaii on Saturday.

Hawaii: The Warriors stumbled into Reno and lost 42-28 against Nevada on the road.

But Hawaii lost more than just the game. The Warriors' Bryant Moniz left the game early on after suffering a right leg injury and did not return. Moniz was 3 of 7 passing for 23 yards at the time of the injury.

Backup Shane Austin replace Moniz and completed 17 of 38 passes for 246 yards and a touchdown. But Austin also had three costly interceptions that doomed the Warriors.

Joey Iosefa had a mediocre outing, gaining 40 yards on nine rushing attempts. Hawaii gave up 528 yards of offense.

Jeremiah Ostrowski had eight receptions for 133 yards and a touchdown while Billy Ray Stutzmann had five catches for 73 yards.

Sophomore cornerback John Hardy-Tuliau was given an honorable mention for WAC Special Teams Player of the Week.

The Warriors passing attack ranks 10th in the nation at 313.0 yards per game. The scoring offense continues to be a strength as the Warriors average 33.3 points per game, a ranking of 32nd overall. Hawaii's rushing attack struggles overall as they average 103.7 yards per game on the ground, which is 110th nationally. Hawaii's defense continues to sit in the middle of the pack, giving up 29.0 points per game for a ranking of 77th overall.

Hawaii drops to a 5-5 overall record with the loss, including a 3-3 mark in conference play while ranking third overall in the WAC. The Warriors have wins over UC- Davis, Colorado, Louisiana Tech, New Mexico State, and Idaho with losses coming against San Jose State, Washington, UNLV, Utah State, and Nevada.

The Warriors return home this week for a game against Fresno State this Saturday.

Idaho: The Vandals were out-muscled in every aspect of the game and fell 42-7 against BYU.

Princeton McCarty led the way for the Vandals with 14 carries for 127 yards and one touchdown.

Brian Reader completed 6 of 9 passes for 56 yards and one interception in relief for starter Taylor Davis. Davis finished 5 of 12 passing for -6 yards and one interception.

Idaho managed only 10 first downs and 50 yards passing while collecting 11 penalties for 105 yards total. The Vandals gave up 505 yards of offense to BYU.

The Vandals passing game continues to struggle as it now ranks 96th overall with a 180.6 yards per game average. The rushing attack continues to be a major problem as Idaho ranks 107th nationally at 105.6 yards per game, 13th worst in FBS college football. The offense ranks near the bottom in scoring at 19.8 points per game overall, which is 107th overall as well. The defense gives up 29.4 points per game, a ranking of 78th overall.

Idaho's record drops to 2-8 on the season, including 1-4 in WAC conference play and a ranking of dead last in the conference. The Vandals have losses to New Mexico State, Bowling Green, Fresno State, Texas A&M, Virginia, Louisiana Tech, Hawaii, and BYU with victories coming against FCS North Dakota and San Jose State.

The Vandals will welcome their second Beehive state opponent in as many weeks as they will play Utah State at home this Saturday.

Louisiana Tech: The Bulldogs have won five straight games after dismantling SEC opponent Ole Miss 27-7 this past Saturday.

Colby Cameron completed 13 of 27 passes for 180 yards and a touchdown with one interception, while Hunter Lee had 127 yards on 24 carries.

Chad Boyd and Javontay Crowe also scored defensive touchdowns for the Bulldogs.

Ole Miss could only muster 307 yards of total offense against their WAC opponent as they lost their fifth straight game.

The Bulldogs have held every opponent they have faced this season under their rushing average coming into the game.

Lee and junior kicker Matt Nelson were given honorable mentions for WAC Offensive and Special Teams Players of the Week, respectively.

IK Enemkpali was named the WAC Defensive Player of the Week for this efforts against the Rebels. He had six tackles, including 3.5 tackles for a loss of 18 yards in the win. Enemkpali also had a sack for a loss of seven yards and forced a fumble.

Louisiana Tech continues to be fairly consistent in the major statistical categories. The Bulldogs rank 54th overall in passing yards at 239.3 yards per game while collecting 154.6 yards per game on the ground, which ranks 67th. Louisiana Tech averages 29.9 points per game on offense, a mark of 47th overall while the defense allows 25.0 points per game, a ranking of 57th overall.

Louisiana Tech's record moves to 6-4, including a 4-1 mark in conference play, good enough for second place overall in the WAC. The Bulldogs have losses to Southern Miss, Mississippi State, Houston, and Hawaii with wins against Idaho, Utah State, Central Arkansas, San Jose State, Fresno State, and Ole Miss.

With the victory, Louisiana Tech becomes bowl eligible for the first time since 2008, when they won the Independence Bowl against Northern Illinois.

The Bulldogs hit the road this week for a big matchup against WAC-leader Nevada in Reno on Saturday.

Nevada: The Wolf Pack had their way with Hawaii as they beat the Warriors 42-28 at home.

Cody Fajardo completed 27 of 36 passes for 290 yards and three touchdowns and rushed 19 times for 81 yards and a score on his way to winning the WAC Offensive Player of the Week honors.

Lampford Mark had 105 yards on 24 carries with one touchdown and Rishard Matthews caught eight passes for 118 yards and two scores.

The Wolf Pack limited the Hawaii offense to 307 total yards.

Senior linebacker Brandon Marshall was given an honorable mention for WAC Defensive Player of the Week.

Nevada has climbed up the national rankings with their stellar performances week in and week out. Nevada ranks 33rd overall in passing yards at 262.7 yards per game while the rushing attack remains at 7th overall, averaging 262.0 yards per game. The Wolf Pack also ranks 30th overall in scoring offense at 33.6 points per game. The lone lower ranking comes as a result of their scoring defense, which stands at 71st overall with a 28.3 points against average.

Nevada sits to 6-3 on the season, including 4-0 in conference play, which ranks first overall within the WAC. The Wolf Pack has losses against Oregon, Texas Tech, and Boise State and wins against New Mexico, San Jose State, UNLV, Fresno State, New Mexico State, and Hawaii.

The Wolf Pack is now bowl eligible for the seventh consecutive year, dating back to 2005. Nevada sports a 2-4 record in their bowl games, with their wins coming against Central Florida in the Hawaii Bowl and Boston College in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl.

With the unfortunate events of this past week at Penn State that led to the departure of long-time head coach Joe Paterno, Nevada head coach Chris Ault now becomes the longest tenured football coach in FBS college football, sporting a 225-100-1 overall record.

Nevada welcomes the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs to Reno for a WAC showdown this Saturday.

New Mexico State: The Aggies won a thriller at home this past Saturday, knocking off the pesky Fresno State Bulldogs 48-45.

Matt Christian completed 25 of 43 attempts for 360 yards and two touchdowns with one interception, while also running seven times for 37 yards.

Kenny Turner had 112 yards rushing on 27 carries with three touchdowns while Taveon Rogers caught 10 passes for 166 yards and a score.

The Aggies recorded 30 first downs and went 11-for-17 on third-down conversions.

This was the first ever win for New Mexico State over the Bulldogs in 18 tries.

Turner and sophomore safety Justin Smith were given honorable mentions for WAC Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week, respectively.

Rogers was named the WAC Special Teams Player of the Week for his efforts. In addition to his 166 yards receiving and one touchdown, Rogers returned eight kickoffs for a career-best 246 yards including a 99-yard return for a touchdown. It was his third return for a touchdown on the season, breaking the NMSU school record. He gained 412 all-purpose yards in the game, also a school record.

New Mexico State's still sits in the Top 20 nationally in passing yards as they now rank 13th overall at 302.1 yards per game. The rushing game, however, continues to struggle as it ranks 92nd overall at 122.9 yards per game. The Aggies average 29.1 points per game, a ranking of 52nd in the nation while the defense struggles to stop teams from scoring points as they rank 112th overall at 36.8 points against per game, eight spots from the bottom.

The Aggies record moves to 4-6 on the season, including a 2-3 mark in WAC conference play. New Mexico State has losses to San Jose State, Ohio, UTEP, Hawaii, Nevada, and Georgia with victories coming against Idaho, Minnesota, New Mexico, and Fresno State. NMSU jumps from seventh to fifth in the WAC standings with the win.

New Mexico State has a tough matchup this week as they will travel to Provo to face the BYU Cougars at LaVell Edwards Stadium on Saturday.

San Jose State: The Spartans couldn't hang onto another big lead and lost their third game in a row 34-33 against Utah State.

Matt Faulkner led the way with 340 yards passing on 27 of 49 attempts and a touchdown.

Brandon Rutley had 63 yards on 24 rushing attempts with one touchdown, while Tyler Ervin had a 95-yard kickoff return touchdown as well.

Jens Alvernik kicked four field goals from 21, 24, 27, and 38 yards, a school record.

The Spartans gave up 541 yards of offense to the Aggies.

Alvernik was given an honorable mention for WAC Special Teams Player of the Week for his performance.

The Spartans continue to do well in the passing game as they rank 35th overall at 261.4 yards per game through the air. However, SJSU ranks 108th nationally in rushing yards at 104.1 yards per game. San Jose State averages only 24.0 points per game overall, an 85th overall ranking while giving up 31.6 points per game, a ranking of 93rd overall.

San Jose State record falls to 3-7 on the season, including a 2-4 mark in conference play. SJSU has wins against Hawaii, New Mexico State, and Colorado State and losses to UCLA, Nevada, Stanford, BYU, Louisiana Tech, Idaho, and Utah State. The loss also drops the Spartans from fifth to seventh in the WAC standings.

SJSU will return home this week to face Navy on Saturday.

Utah State: The Aggies completed another wild comeback, this time in front of the home crowd, as they defeated San Jose State 34-33.

Adam Kennedy completed 21 of 27 passes for 255 yards and two touchdowns with one interception on the day for the Aggies.

Robert Turbin rushed 22 times for 128 yards and two touchdowns while Michael Smith had eight carries for 91 yards and a score.

Matt Austin scored the go-ahead touchdown with less than a minute remaining on a 21-yard reception. He finished with four catches for 68 yards.

Stanley Morrison extended his WAC-leading receptions streak to 32 games by catching two passes for 51 yards. He also played under center as the quarterback for an interesting stretch during the third and fourth quarters. During that span, he rushed five times for 30 yards, but also fumbled the ball three times.

The Aggies' Tarren Lloyd blocked San Jose State's last second field goal attempt to seal the win.

Turbin, defensive end Levi Koskan, and placekicker Josh Thompson were all given honorable mentions for WAC Offensive, Defensive, and Special Teams Players of the Week, respectively.

Morrison was named the WAC Special Teams Player of the Week for his work with the Utah

The Aggies rank 6th overall nationally in rushing yards at 269.9 yards per game. The passing game still ranks near the bottom at 188.3 yards per game, a ranking of 93rd overall. Utah State knows how to score as they average 35.6 points per game, a ranking of 21st overall. The defense sports a 73rd overall ranking, allowing 28.8 points per game.

Utah State's record stands at 4-5, including a 2-2 mark in conference play which places them in sixth place in the WAC standings. The Aggies have beaten FCS Weber State, Wyoming, Hawaii, and San Jose State and have losses against Fresno State, Auburn, Colorado State, BYU, and Louisiana Tech.

The Aggies will look to hit the .500 mark since early on in the season as they face the Idaho Vandals this weekend at the Kibbie Dome in Moscow.

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Matt Harris

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