Nov 182003
 
Authors: Steve Latuda

Brigham Young and San Diego State have been eliminated from bowl

consideration, but that is about the only certainty as we head into

the second to last week of action in the Mountain West

Conference.

Utah has a chance to claim its first outright MWC championship

with a win against in-state rival BYU. New Mexico has a chance to

tie for the MWC title if they defeat Wyoming and Utah falls to

BYU.

Colorado State and Air Force are now bowl eligible, but must win

this week to be heavily considered, and Nevada-Las Vegas and

Wyoming could still become bowl eligible. UNLV has to win one of

its last two games, and Wyoming needs to win its two final

games.

Three teams from the MWC are automatically invited to a bowl

game. But with the way things are shaping up, a fourth and possibly

even a fifth bowl could be available for a MWC school.

The conference champion automatically receives an invitation to

the AXA Liberty Bowl, which pits the conference champions from the

Mountain West Conference and Conference USA against each other. The

Las Vegas Bowl will take the second choice of MWC teams for a

pairing with the fifth choice from the Pac-10. The MWC will send a

third school to the Diamond Walnut San Francisco Bowl, where that

school will play a team from the Big East.

As for the infamous fourth and fifth bowls, The Southeastern

Conference is having trouble fulfilling its obligation to the

Houston Bowl, as is the Big 12 filling its obligation to the Fort

Worth Bowl.

New Mexico (7-4, 4-2 Mountain West) at Wyoming (4-6, 2-3)

Saturday, November 22 at War Memorial Stadium

Laramie, Wyo.

12:00 p.m.

Wyoming will be saddled with the tough task of stopping New

Mexico’s DonTrell Moore, the MWC leading rusher with 1,285 yards.

The Cowboys’ defense is the worst in the conference allowing 219

yards per game on the ground, and hopes to improve on last year’s

outing that saw Moore run for 176 yards and total five touchdowns,

(three on the ground and two through the air) in New Mexico’s 49-20

victory.

“(Moore) is so important to us,” Lobo head coach Rocky Long

said. “If we run the football well, then the play action pass is

able to produce big plays for us.”

Utah (8-2, 5-1) at BYU (4-7, 3-3)

Saturday at LaVell Edwards Stadium

Provo, Utah

1:00 p.m.

Utah will look to clinch its first outright MWC title, and first

outright conference championship since 1957 when the Utes won the

Skyline Conference championship.

BYU, which is officially out of the bowl picture, plays for

pride, and wants nothing more then to knock off its in-state rival

in the Cougars’ final game of the year.

“When we beat Utah my first year here, it was a tremendous

feeling,” Cougar head coach Gary Crowton said. “Whomever wins this

game is going to have a much nicer off season.”

Colorado State (6-5, 3-3) at UNLV (4-6, 0-4)

Saturday at Sam Boyd Stadium

Las Vegas, Nev.

5:00 p.m.

Even though their record might not say so, the Rebels are still

in the hunt to make a bowl game. UNLV has two games remaining, and

must win both for realistic bowl consideration.

The Rams look to avenge last year’s loss to the Rebels, which

cost them an undefeated season in the Mountain West, with a victory

this year that could almost assure them a bowl berth.

Air Force (7-4, 3-3) at San Diego State (5-6, 2-4)

Saturday at Qualcomm Stadium

San Diego, Calif.

7:00 p.m.

San Diego State leads the MWC in total defense, while Air Force

leads the conference in rushing offense. Air Force’s loss last week

put the Falcons on the outside looking in.

Now tied with CSU for third place in the conference, the Falcons

would lose out in the tiebreaker because CSU beat Air Force earlier

this year 30-20.

“We were very disappointed that we lost last week,” Air Force

head coach Fisher DeBerry said. “We lost our position in the

conference.”

The Aztecs will play for pride, since their loss last week to

CSU knocked them out of the bowl picture, but do not tell that to

their seniors, the game is their last at Qualcomm Stadium.

“The SDSU kids will be ready to play,” DeBerry said. “It is the

seniors last home game. It is one they are going to remember.”

 

 

 

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