2011 Prediction & Game Story
Week 12, Mountain West
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Nov. 19 Boise State 52 … at San Diego State 35
(AP) SAN DIEGO -- There wasn't any hangover effect for Boise State, save for some sloppiness long after they'd turned their first matchup against San Diego State into a laugher.
Kellen Moore completed 28 of 40 passes for 366 yards and four touchdowns, three to Tyler Shoemaker, and the No. 10 Broncos benefited from three San Diego State turnovers to race to a 52-35 victory Saturday night.
The Broncos (9-1, 4-1 Mountain West) bounced back from a deflating 36-35 loss to TCU a week earlier in Boise.
As if the powerful Broncos needed any help, the Aztecs gave it to them and the game quickly turned into a rout. San Diego State had three turnovers in the first 9:42 that helped Boise State take a 21-0 lead. It was 42-14 at halftime.
"It was good to start fast. I really thought we would start fast," coach Chris Petersen said. "I knew we would play hard early on. I think there were people who were concerned about the hangover effect from the last game, and I wasn't. We're going to give it all. Those turnovers really helped us.
"I was much more concerned about the second half," the coach added. "We talked about it all week long. Maybe it was because our lead was so big that sometimes you have a tendency to play too conservative and on our heels."
San Diego State (6-4, 3-3) remained winless in 19 games against Associated Press top 10 teams since 1969. Overall, the Aztecs are 6-59 against Top 25 teams.
Shoemaker had 10 catches for 130 yards. Doug Martin carried 36 times for 129 yards and two touchdowns.
It was Moore's 23rd straight game with multiple touchdown passes, the longest current streak in Division I. He was intercepted once, just his sixth of the season.
With 13,782 yards, Moore moved past Philip Rivers, formerly of North Carolina State and currently of the San Diego Chargers, for sixth place in Division I career passing yards. His four TD passes gave him 134 for his career, moving him into a second-place tie in Division I with Graham Harrell of Texas Tech (2005-08).
"Momentum, a short field, really benefited us and helped us get a good lead going at the start of the game," Moore said.
The Broncos said they had a good week of practice following their loss to TCU.
"It was good," Moore said. "Obviously those things can linger for a little while; you don't sleep very well. It was kind of nice to just get to practice, really. You feel good when you get back to work and you're on to the next opponent."
On the third play from scrimmage, Broncos defensive end Shea McClellin intercepted Ryan Lindley at the SDSU 24. Moore responded with a 5-yard scoring pass to Shoemaker.
The Aztecs forced a punt but Leon McFadden fumbled it and Josh Borgman recovered at the SDSU 10. Mitch Burroughs scored on an 11-yard run.
SDSU's Brandon Davis returned the ensuing kickoff 17 yards before he fumbled when hit by Blake Renaud, with Corey Bell recovering at the 23. Moore's 14-yard scoring pass to Shoemaker was BSU's second touchdown in a span of six plays.
"Obviously that cost us the game," SDSU coach Rocky Long said. "Boise State's a great football team and you don't know how it's going to come out. But when your first three drives are inside the 25-yard line, sure that cost you the game. You didn't even give yourself a chance to compete and make it a game."
Said Lindley: "It's a horrible way to start off. We lost control from there."
SDSU redshirt freshman Adam Muema scored on an 81-yard run on the next possession to keep it from getting too out of hand.
The Broncos, whose only other appearance in San Diego was a loss to TCU in the 2008 Poinsettia Bowl, continued to pile it on in the second quarter and led by 28 points at halftime.
Moore threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Kyle Efaw and a 24-yarder to Shoemaker, and Martin scored on a 10-yard run. San Diego State got a 30-yard TD pass from Lindley to Gavin Escobar.
Martin added a 22-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter.
Escobar had another 30-yard TD catch, in the fourth quarter. Muema scored on a 5-yard run in the fourth quarter to finish with 119 yards on 13 carries. He also caught a 1-yard scoring pass from Lindley with 5 seconds to play.
SDSU's Ronnie Hillman, who sprained an ankle a week earlier, had just three carries for eight yards.
Boise State (8-1) at San Diego State (6-3) Nov 19, 8:00 pm ET, CBS SN
Here’s The Deal… Suddenly, this is a game with major bowl position implications. TCU has taken the inside track toward a Mountain West title in its farewell tour and in the wake of that event SDSU gets a shot to place second in the conference. At stake could be choice positioning in one of the Mountain West’s better paying bowls. Boise needs to get over its rare home loss in a hurry and prepare for a tough road game, San Diego State needs to continue it’s path to find itself, while deciphering the clues TCU unveiled on how to defeat Boise. It’s a combined internal battle within each team as well as a battle against the other to find a way to win for its programs future and for a likely second place finish in the Mountain West.
In the process this will also be the top two Mountain West quarterbacks frantically attempting to exploit the opponents defense. Both quarterbacks will enter the draft at seasons end and Heisman-contender Kellen Moore versus pro prospect Ryan Lindley will be a preview for draft lovers looking toward the next generation of backup NFL quarterbacks. This late in the career of each senior, every game sticks out on the résumé. If nothing else, the two stars should put on a show.
Why San Diego State might win: Balance, SDSU has had trouble in the passing game, mainly because Lindley doesn’t have any top receivers to throw to and because of injuries. The top three targets for Ryan Lindley; Ezell Ruffin, Dominique Sandifer, and Jay Waddell were all lost in the preseason and this after SDSU’s top two receivers from the 2010 season were drafted. To top that off SDSU has had all the hiccups Murphy’s Law can provide in assimilating it’s new staff in the wake of the off-season’s coaching turnover.
However, this years OC at SDSU is none other than Andy Ludwig, architect of Utah’s Sugar Bowl defeat of Alabama, while Boise State is having injury issues of it’s own. BSU corner Jamar Taylor is listed as doubtful while another corner Jerrell Gavins has been out for most of the season after a very strong start. If TCU film teaches the world anything about how to beat BSU it’s to take shot’s downfield against the corners and that happens to be the kind of game plan we have witnessed Ludwig exploit to good effect before.
SDSU’s work in progress passing offense is only ranked 73rd nationally, while BSU’s pass defense is ranked 27th and falling after Taylor’s injury and TCU’s game. SDSU cannot hope to win with the pass alone as TCU more or less did, and they won’t need to. SDSU has the nations 29th ranked rushing offense powered by Ronnie Hillman to match against BSU’s 38th national run defense. Boise can lock down a run game as they did with TCU, but SDSU is a force in that area where as the exposure of Boise’s depleted secondary should be enough for Lindley to find his WR targets, who have had trouble getting open but should have a decisive jump-ball height advantage over BSU’s replacements.
Why Boise State might win: Boise is putting the 15th national total offense against SDSU’s 55th ranked defense and the nations 20th-ranked total defense against the nations 45th total offense. Kellen Moore has Tyler Shoemaker and Kyle Efaw and the 4th national pass efficiency offense working down to a style. They all support each other with total teamwork that leads to results far grander than it appears in the stat sheets. That pass offense gets a significant gift this week, SDSU is just as dinged up on defense as Boise is. Khalid Stevens plays the Hybrid AZTEC position and has been out the last two weeks with a concussion and is listed as questionable, while second leading tackler, linebacker Logan Ketchum is out for the season.
Those losses will help to balance out the BSU run game as much as the pass, both RB’s Doug Martin and DJ Harper are listed as probable, but will probably be used as sparingly as the BSU pass attack can afford. Since SDSU’s greatest defensive liability is the nations 102nd rush defense, resting the top BSU runners may not be particularly affordable. The end result is that BSU has all the options it needs and it knows how to use them.
What To Watch Out For: The injury bug. Doug Martin played in the TCU game but is behind Drew Wright in the current Boise RB rotation. That seems to be a result of lingering injury as well as good practices by Wright. The result is that the RB spot for Boise has depth, but it’s a fragile depth, while the defensive secondary is already depleted. San Diego State is equally situated across its defensive box, with its blitzing squad of linebackers and safeties generally dinged up and currently playing with pain. The loss of a key defender for SDSU or a RB for BSU could settle the game while BSU is on offense.
When SDSU is on offense the injury bug has already struck, and it’ll show how SDSU throws against the BSU secondary. Lindley can hit any pass, but there haven’t been a lot of reliable hands to target. SDSU may not be equipped to get behind the BSU secondary in the same way TCU could, so look for coach Ludwig to pull out his Sugar Bowl tricks and have Lindley shoot lobs to the sideline that will either get caught by SDSU’s tall receivers or fall harmlessly out of bounds to control risk.
What Will Happen: When a national elite team loses a tough game that team learns with out a doubt what it needs to work on in practice and every other team learns what that team is vulnerable against. San Diego State is not in an ideal position to exploit BSU’s secondary issues; its own WR issues make that area an internal race for each program. Can Boise limit its vulnerability even as they get over its first conference home loss since they were housed in the Big West? Or will SDSU be able to draw up a plan to exploit that newly exposed weakness? The safe bet is to expect Boise’s excellent staff to nail down the problem before San Diego States staff, still in the process of gelling within the program, can properly exploit it.
CFN Prediction: Boise State
38 ... San Diego State 23
Click For Latest Line From ATS: Boise State -18 O/U: 56
Nov. 19 at TCU 34 … Colorado State 10
(AP) FORT WORTH, Texas -- All week, TCU coach Gary Patterson could tell his team was lacking emotion following an upset win over Boise State.
They proved him right against Colorado State on Saturday, yet he couldn't get too angry about it because his No. 19 Horned Frogs cruised to a 34-10 victory to clinch at least a share of the Mountain West title.
Antoine Hicks, Ed Wesley and Matthew Tucker ran for touchdowns and Tank Carder returned an interception 69 yards for a touchdown, helping TCU (9-2, 6-0) keep alive its hopes of going to a second straight BCS bowl game.
"We just went through the motions in that ballgame, the whole game," Patterson said. "If you want to be champions and a top 15 program, you've got to do things the same every week. Not once in a while. Every week."
The Horned Frogs were so lackadaisical that defensive tackle D.J. Yendrey forgot in his locker the blitz card worn around his wrist (similar to what quarterbacks often use). Patterson gave a list of other examples that showed his club wasn't as sharp as he wanted them to be.
TCU was outgained in the first half, but still led 13-3 at the break. The Horned Frogs got rolling in the third quarter and were never really threatened while handing the Rams (3-7, 1-4) a sixth straight loss.
"For some reason today we came out flat," right guard Blaize Foltz said. "After all the emotion we had last week, it was pretty difficult to get back up. I'm glad we came out of the funk."
Patterson stressed that the best thing about the victory was that it was No. 45 for the senior class, setting a school record. They'll go for one more in the season finale Dec. 3 against UNLV, which also can give TCU the outright conference title.
The Horned Frogs extended their Mountain West records by winning a 23rd straight league game and 16th straight league game at home. However, this was their second-to-last game in the conference as they're headed to the Big 12 next season.
TCU's Casey Pachall was 13 of 20 for 117 yards, and Waymon James had 108 yards rushing. Tucker ran for 94 yards and Wesley for 63. Hicks' 2-yard TD came on his only carry.
CSU coach Steve Fairchild tried sparking his team with a new uniform combination. They wore gold jerseys, which he lets them do once a year, and white pants. A team historian said that ensemble had never been done before.
CSU's Garrett Grayson, a true freshman making his first start because of an injury to Pete Thomas, was 14 of 24 for 248 yards and a touchdown plus the interception by Carder. He also ran eight times for 53 yards.
Grayson's touchdown came a few snaps after the interception. This time, he rolled right to avoid an unblocked blitzer, saw Raymond Carter alone beyond the defense and let loose a pass that covered nearly 50 yards in the air. Carter caught it around the 20 and stepped into the end zone for a 66-yard touchdown. Alas, the Rams were down 27-3 at the time.
"To ask a true freshman to come down here and make his first start, I thought he looked calm," Fairchild said. "He can escape in the pocket, which adds a dimension in the passing game. There were some designed runs, as well."
Chris Nwoke followed his 232-yard rushing performance last week by rushing for 60 yards on 21 carries.
Fairchild said he was proud of his team's effort. They hung tough against a ranked team on the road, as opposed to their 50-point loss to Boise State at home last month.
"If they had even remotely not been playing hard this thing would have been a rout (early)," Fairchild said. "They believe they are a good football team. I think we played a good football team with a good record. We're a good football team; we just don't have a good record."
Colorado State (3-6) at TCU (8-2) Nov. 19, 3:30, Versus
Here’s The Deal … TCU showed Boise State who the king of the Mountain West really is with a stunning 36-35 win last week, and now the road has been paved for yet another ten-win season under head coach Gary Patterson. On a five game winning streak since the overtime loss to SMU, the Horned Frogs are making up for their inconsistent defense by bombing away with a terrific offense that’s getting most efficient and effective y the week. A win this week and a win over UNLV next week would make the season a success, even by TCU’s high standards.
Colorado State has been a stunning disappointment with five straight losses after a double overtime win over Utah State, and while the season hasn’t worked out as planned, if they can shock the worked and get by TCU this week and Air Force and Wyoming at home, the year will end with a bowl appearance. It’s not going to happen, but at least there’s something to shoot for. It’s not like the Rams are playing all that poorly, losing three of the last five games by a total of 11 points, but no matter what, if you’re losing to UNLV, you’re not doing something right.
Why Colorado State Might Win: The only chance the Rams have of pulling this off is if the run defense tightens up in a hurry. The secondary isn’t giving up a slew of yards, allowing just 181 per game, and if the front seven can do its job, then the defensive backs should have their chances to make big things happen against the TCU air attack. Keeping TCU pinned on its side of the field is a must, and it could happen with a great punting game that’s averaging 38.6 yards per boot. TCU is having problems kicking the ball, ranking 108th in the nation averaging 33.6 yards per kick. The problem, though, is …
Why TCU Might Win: Colorado State won’t stop the TCU running game. The Ram defensive front can get into the backfield, but it can’t hold up against anyone with any sort of quickness to the outside or power up the middle. TCU has both with Waymon James, Ed Wesley, and Matthew Tucker all able to break off big runs; don’t let the 33 yards against Boise State fool you. And then there’s Casey Pachall, who showed what he could do early on to start the season in the loss to TCU, and last week threw for 473 yards and five scores with a key passing conversion to take the lead late. Colorado State doesn’t have the firepower to keep up the pace because …
What To Watch Out For: Pete Thomas isn’t throwing as well as he needs to. Thomas has the tools to be terrific but he’s getting beaten up now and is trying to fight through a banged up knee. If he can’t go or if he’s struggling, freshman Garrett Grayson will get the call, and he’ll be running. Last week against San Diego State he only completed 3-of-7 passes for 26 yards and he ran for six yards and a score. If he’s in for Thomas, it’ll be tee-off time for the TCU defensive front.
What Will Happen: The Rams will move the ball a bit and they’ll keep up for a while, but Pachall will stay hot after the Boise State win with receivers Josh Boyce and Brandon Carter dominating in the second quarter to balance out the attack. CSU won’t be able to answer.
CFN Prediction: TCU 44 … Colorado State 14
Click For Latest Line From ATS: TCU -33 O/U: 58
Nov. 19 at Wyoming 31 … New Mexico 10
(AP) LARAMIE, Wyo. -- Brett Smith rushed for two touchdowns and threw for another in leading Wyoming past New Mexico 31-10 on Saturday.
The Cowboys (7-3, 4-1 Mountain West) became bowl eligible for the second time under third-year coach Dave Christensen.
Smith, who entered the game the front-runner among NCAA freshman quarterbacks in total offense, rushed 12 times for 140 yards, which was his first 100 yard game of his short career. He scored on runs of 69 and three yards.
He also completed 23 of 38 passes for 212 yards and a 26-yard TD pass on a blustery day when wind chills hovered around 10 degrees.
His 352 total yards marked the fifth time Smith has gained more than 300 yards of total offense this season.
The game occurred three days after New Mexico (1-10, 1-5) hired former Notre Dame coach Bob Davie as its new head coach.
New Mexico (1-9) at Wyoming (6-3) Nov. 19, 2:00, mtn.
Here’s The Deal … New Mexico has its new head man, but it’ll have to wait a little bit. Former Notre Dame head man Bob Davie signed on to pick up the pieces from a team that had some success under Rocky Long, but went into the tank after Mike Locksley took over. And the program can’t get there fast enough.
The Lobos finally broke through the ugliness of another dead season with a 21-14 win over UNLV, and while the Locksley era might have turned out to be a bust, some of the good young players are starting to shine showing a little bit of hope for Davie to turn things around right away. With Boise State to close out the season, though, last week might have been the lone high point unless they have something shocking to throw at the Cowboys.
Call Kansas State the biggest surprise of the year, but on a lower scale, Wyoming is even more shocking. There was nothing there to suggest that this could be one of the program’s best seasons in the last decade. This is a tight team for its age that doesn’t make a slew of mistakes and makes up for its defensive problems with a good running offense that did just enough to shock Air Force last week. In the home finale, now the Cowboys can solidify their bowl slot before going on the road to deal with Boise State and Colorado State.
Why New Mexico Might Win: How did the Lobos finally get their first win of the season? The passing game worked, with B.R. Holbrook throwing for 274 yards to keep the UNLV defense on its heels after getting up early. When the ground game needed to work, it did. Wyoming’s defense is opportunistic, but it doesn’t do much against the better running teams and isn’t getting enough production at the point of attack when pushed. New Mexico is hardly physical, but the line is coming off its best game of the year and should come up with a little bit of a push. However, it’ll be up to Holbrook to press the ball down the field against a Cowboy secondary that’s statistically not that bad, but hasn’t faced many teams that can throw. San Diego State’s Ryan Lindley and TCU’s Casey Pachall had few problems, and Holbrook should be able to hit the 200-yard mark again.
Why Wyoming Might Win: UNLV is awful and it took everything in New Mexico’s bag to come up with the home win on Senior Day. The running game might have generated a little bit of production, but there will be problems for Holbrook against the Wyoming pass rush. Last in the nation against the run, the New Mexico defensive front continues to be awful on a game-in-and-game-out basis, and it’s going to have a problem with the various weapons UW will use. If UNLV is running for 268 yards, there’s a problem. The Lobos have allowed a whopping 40 rushing touchdowns on the year and should give up another three, at least, to a Wyoming attack that might not be high-powered, but should be balanced enough and effective enough to do what it wants against a D that won’t generate any pressure into the backfield.
What To Watch Out For: New Mexico’s Carmen Messina has two games left in a tremendous career with 422 tackles and 27 tackles for loss. The sure-hitting veteran is closing out strong, making 14 tackles against the Rebels for his fifth double-digit tackle game in a row making 67 tackles over the span. He made 12 stops last year against the Cowboys, 11 as a sophomore, and three as a freshman. Assume at least 15 this year as he tries to keep QB Brett Smith and the UW backfield in check. Smith isn’t a true freshman anymore, growing up with a better-than-the-stats win over Air Force. He ran for a career-high 75 yards and two scores, while keeping the mistakes to a bare minimum. When the team has needed him the most, he has come through big with no interceptions in his last four games.
What Will Happen: Wyoming will stay in the hunt for the Mountain West’s No. 2 spot, and should all but cement itself in the No. 3 spot with a strong win. New Mexico will go back to being New Mexico with too many problems scoring to keep up the pace.
CFN Prediction: Wyoming 31 … New Mexico 14
Click For Latest Line From ATS: Wyoming -24 O/U: 56.5
Nov. 19 at Air Force 45 … UNLV 17
(AP) AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- Asher Clark rushed for a career-high 169 yards, Wesley Cobb scored twice and Air Force kept its bowl hopes alive with a 45-17 win over UNLV on Saturday night.
Quarterback Tim Jefferson looked sharp in his return from a concussion as the Falcons (6-5, 2-4 Mountain West) beat the Rebels (2-8, 1-4) for a fifth straight time.
Jefferson did most of his damage with his legs, rushing for 81 yards and a score. He also threw for 128 yards and another TD.
Tim Cornett finished with 104 yards rushing and Bradley Randle added a short touchdown late in the final quarter for the Rebels, who dropped their 15th straight road game.
Even though the Falcons won their sixth game of the season, they aren't quite bowl eligible since two of their wins came against FCS teams. They still have to beat rival Colorado State on the road in the season finale next weekend.
UNLV (2-7) at Air Force (5-5) Nov. 19, 6:00
Here’s The Deal … Okay, Air Force, it’s time to finally come up with the performance everyone’s been waiting for. That’s what UNLV is for. The Falcons have to win their final two games to go bowling after losing at home to Wyoming, and while getting by the Rebels this week and Colorado State next week shouldn’t be a problem, it’s required way too much sweat to get through a season that was supposed to be far smoother. The running game is the running game, but the run defense has been a disaster and it proved costly against the Cowboys. There shouldn’t be any such problems against UNLV.
The Rebels were able to stun Colorado State and Hawaii for their two wins, and they hung with Boise State for a half, but all the positives were undone by a road loss to a miserable New Mexico team waiting for Bob Davie to show up and save the day. Bobby Hauck’s club has been trying, but the talent is there and the inconsistencies have been maddening. With San Diego State and TCU left to play, there aren’t any real chances to close out with a win without a big brain cramp from the other side, so at the moment it’s all about figuring out who wants to play going into next year.
Why UNLV Might Win: The Rebel running game worked last week and has started to find a bit of a groove with 268 yards and two scores against New Mexico and 244 yards and two touchdowns against Colorado State. The offensive line is finally starting to jell a bit and is doing a decent job of getting the backs into space. How much have things improved? UNLV ran for 182 yards on a Boise State defense that held TCU to 33 yards on the ground. The Air Force defensive line hasn’t been close to coming up with stops over the last two weeks against Wyoming and Army, allowing 552 yards and four scores in the two games. Air Force’s linebackers can tackle, but they might be making the stops five yards down the field.
Why Air Force Might Win: Statistically, the UNLV run defense hasn’t been too bad, but in reality, it’s about to get lit up. Colorado State can’t run on anyone, but it was able to use the power game up the middle to establish itself early on. Boise State woke up in time to run well in the second half of its win, and Wyoming and Nevada had few problems running when they wanted. Air Force might not have the devastating ground game of past years, but it’s still effective against bad defenses with linebackers that don’t take the right angles and aren’t able to get to the outside in a hurry. It’s all relative for the Falcons. They might not be as good as they were in recent years, but they still ran for 312 yards against Wyoming and 335 yards and six scores against New Mexico.
What To Watch Out For: Dionza Bradford continues to be a revelation for the UNLV ground game. The true freshman has rushed for 100 yards or more in three of the last four games with a score in the last three games to finally give the Rebels something to rely on. A speedster, he’s used more on the outside than up the middle, but he’s not afraid to pack a punch. Considering the problems the Air Force defensive front are having, this should be a fourth 100-yard day with a chance to establish the Rebel attack early and keep the Falcon O off the field.
What Will Happen: The two teams will combine for close to 600 yards on the ground, but Air Force will have more of them. It’s Tim Jefferson’s final home game, and Air Force’s all-time winningest quarterback isn’t going to finish up with a clunker. He’ll run well and when needed, he’ll throw better.
CFN Prediction: Air Force 38 … UNLV 17
Click For Latest Line From ATS: Air Force -23 O/U: 54.5
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