MWC has a down week

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Sep 232003
 
Authors: Luke Cornish

The Mountain West Conference has seen better weeks. Only two teams won and one of those was because they were playing another conference team.

The Utah Utes (2-1, 0-0 MWC) had a bye week and will be rested up for their trip to Fort Collins to take on the Rams Saturday.

San Diego State (3-1, 0-0 MWC)

The Aztecs’ freshman running back, Lynell Hamilton, scored two touchdowns and ran for 220 yards to lead San Diego State to a 37-17 win over Division I-AA team Samford Saturday. The only other Aztec running back to run for over 200 yards in a game is a certain Marshall Faulk who plays for the Saint Louis Rams.

“My line is getting better every week and our team is getting more motivated for each game. We are just getting better and better, especially the offense,” Hamilton said after the game.

Behind Hamilton the Aztecs are 3-1 for the first time since 1996 and are emerging as a force to be reckoned with in the Mountain West Conference. The one loss came at the hands of defending National Champions Ohio State.

San Diego State heads to the Rose Bowl to take on UCLA Saturday night in the Aztecs’ last non-conference game of the season.

Wyoming (1-3, 0-1 MWC) vs. Air Force (4-0, 1-0 MWC)

In their first conference match of the season the Air Force Falcons continued their undefeated season against the struggling Cowboys at Falcon Stadium Saturday beating Wyoming 35-29. The Falcons were spearheaded by their senior quarterback and MWC offensive player of the week, Chance Harridge.

Harridge ran for 117 yards contributing to the Falcons season high 431 total rushing yards. He completed 8-of-13 passes for 79 yards and a touchdown. The Falcons offense totaled 510 yards as they managed revenge on a Wyoming team that knocked them out of the rankings a year ago.

Air Force travels to Provo, Utah, to take on Brigham Young Saturday.

The Cowboys managed to rack up 486 total yards in offense but still managed to lose their third game in a row after beating Division I-AA Montana State in their season opener. Senior quarterback Casey Bramlet threw for 379 yards and two touchdowns against the Falcons defense.

The Cowboys will try and get revenge of their own on Saturday when they travel to Boise State. The Broncos beat Wyoming 35-13 last season in Laramie, Wyo.

BYU (2-2, 1-0 MWC)

The students at Brigham Young University were not happy Saturday. The Cougars managed to lose at their home stadium despite leading for most of the game and holding Stanford to under 200 total yards.

The Cougars drew first blood in their 18-14 loss at the hands of the Cardinal. Freshman quarterback John Beck connected with senior wide receiver Toby Christensen on a 27-yard touchdown pass with 4:33 to play in the first.

The Cougars’ defense was their highlight recording four sacks and two interceptions in an effort that held Stanford to 257 yards below the output that it managed in the first game against San Jose State.

Stanford only managed 56 yards through the air but quarterback Trent Edwards scored the game-winning touchdown on a 14-yard run with 3:51 left to play.

“We are who we are. If we go out making excuses like we’re young and this and that, we’re not helping our team get any better,” BYU head coach Gary Crowton said in a teleconference.

New Mexico (1-3, 0-1 MWC)

The Lobos were hyped to be a contender in the Mountain West at the beginning of the season. Unless they are able to turn their game around there is no way it will happen.

New Mexico dropped their third game in a row to No. 24 ranked Washington State 23-13 despite managing to stop the Cougars from scoring a touchdown until late in the third quarter.

The Lobos went up 13-12 just before halftime when senior quarterback Casey Kelly hit senior wide receiver Dwight Counter with a 50-yard touchdown pass.

Kelly was 16-for-32 with 214 yards and a touchdown for the day. He also caught a touchdown thrown by senior wide receiver Terrence Thomas who took the handoff then threw the ball across the field to his wide open quarterback.

Even with trick plays the Lobos were unable to contain the Cougars whose kicker Drew Dunning kicked a school-record five field goals.

UNLV Rebels (3-1, 0-0)

The Rebels took the ball away from Hawaii six times in a rare Friday night game. They took advantage of these turnovers to put together a 33-22 win in front of their home crowd.

Junior running back Dominique Dorsey ran for 111 yards on the day including a 36-yard touchdown run with 1:46 left in the first half. That run gave UNLV a 21-14 lead, which they held the rest of the game.

Another high point for the Rebels was the performance of senior kicker Dillon Pieffer who tied the school record by making four field goals from 45, 43, 39 and 20 yards.

“I think our team played hard. We have a goal this year of playing hard every play and I feel that was the case tonight,” UNLV head coach John Robinson said after the game.

UNLV will now take their first of two bye weeks before taking on the University of Nevada Reno in two weeks.

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