MW rankings: Bulldogs find a way to win; Pack plummets to 12th

Nevada Appeal

The Fresno State Bulldogs are simply looking for victories this season, not style points.

“In the end it’s always nice to find a way to win,” Bulldogs head coach Jeff Tedford said after a 34-31 double-overtime win over Eastern Washington.

Fresno State, now 2-0 and atop the Nevada Appeal Mountain West football rankings, needed an interception by linebacker Levelle Bailey to hold off Eastern Washington, an FCS school from the Big Sky Conference.

“A win is a win,” Bailey said.

“Any win is a good win,” Tedford said.

Fresno State and Eastern Washington were clearly evenly matched. Eastern Washington had a slight edge in total yards (366-364), first downs (22-21) and time of possession in regulation (30:57-29:03).

“I think this is a good wake-up call for us,” Tedford said. “I need to do a better job of making sure we are ready to play.”

“Tonight exposed us on both sides of the ball,” Bailey said. “Every team we play from here on out is going to watch this film to find the details on how to beat us.”

Mountain West teams were 4-1 last weekend against teams from the Big Sky Conference. The only loss was by Nevada, 33-6 at home to Idaho. Nevada (0-2), which has now lost a program-record 12 games in a row, is now at the bottom of the 12-team Mountain West rankings.

No. 2 Wyoming (2-0) got past Portland State, 31-17. Quarterback Andrew Peasley was an efficient 11-of-16 for 201 yards and three touchdowns.

No. 3 Air Force (2-0) held off Sam Houston, 13-3. The Falcons rushed for 244 yards on 59 carries and held Sam Houston (of Conference USA) to just 36 yards rushing on 30 carries.

Air Force also held Sam Houston to just six first downs and had a 258-80 edge in total yards while controlling the ball for 36:38.

No. 4 San Diego State (2-1) fell to UCLA at home, 35-10. UCLA intercepted three passes by San Diego State quarterback Jalen Mayden and outgained the Aztecs, 550-259.

“We have to learn from this one,” San Diego State coach Brady Hoke said.

Hoke, though, is remaining positive about his Aztecs.

“I think we’re a pretty good football team, and that’s sincere,” Hoke said.

No. 5 Boise State fell to 0-2 with an 18-16 loss at home to Central Florida on a 40-yard field goal on the final play of the game by Colton Boomer.

Boise State played the game without starting running back George Holani (lower body injury) and lost quarterback Taylen Green to an ankle injury in the fourth quarter.

Boise backup quarterback Maddux Madsen, though, gave the Broncos a 16-15 lead with 1:49 to play on a 27-yard touchdown pass to Stefan Cobbs.

Boise State kicker Jonah Dalmas tied a school record with a 56-yard field goal (tying Roberto Moran’s 56-yarder against UC Davis in 1985) to give the Broncos a 10-6 lead in the second quarter.

“I’m extremely proud of the jump and the growth the team made in a lot of areas,” said Boise coach Andy Avalos, whose Broncos lost 56-19 at Washington in their season opener. “I’ll take this team every day of the week.”

Boise State is 0-2 for the first time since 2005.

No. 6 Utah State (1-1) blitzed Idaho State, 78-28, as quarterbacks Cooper Legas, Levi Williams and McCae Hillstead combined to complete 22-of-28 passes for 211 yards and four touchdowns.

The Aggies also rushed for 380 yards and five scores and put up 44 points in the second quarter on five offensive touchdowns, one defensive touchdown and a field goal.

The score was 7-7 going into the second quarter. Utah State needed just 18 plays on offense to score its five touchdowns in the second quarter.

Utah State coach Blake Anderson said a 35-7 loss in Week 3 last season to Weber State served as motivation against Idaho State. Idaho State and Weber State are both members of the Big Sky.

“We had a lot of conversations (last week) about how poorly we played against Weber State,” Anderson said. “Our guys didn’t listen to us (the coaches) last year, no matter how much we were hollering and screaming.

“This year, our guys were very mature and had a great week of work. What you saw was the result of that.”

No. 7 San Jose State (59-3 over Cal Poly), No. 10 New Mexico (56-10 over Tennessee Tech) and No. 11 Hawaii (31-20 over Albany) also won easily over FCS schools.

Hawaii quarterback Brayden Schager and New Mexico quarterback Dylan Hopkins each passed for four touchdowns. San Jose State quarterback Chevan Cordeiro passed for two while Spartans running backs Kairee Robinson and Quali Conley combined for 184 yards and four touchdowns on just 28 carries.

New Mexico’s victory snapped a 10-game losing streak.

No. 12 Nevada’s 12-game losing streak is the longest current losing streak in FBS. South Florida broke its 11-game losing streak with a 38-24 win over Florida A&M, while Northwestern broke its 12-game losing streak with a 38-7 win over UTEP.

The Nevada Appeal’s Mountain West football rankings for the week of Sept. 11-17:

1. FRESNO STATE (2-0, 0-0). Last week: Fresno State 34, Eastern Washington 31 (2 OT). This week: Fresno State at Arizona State (1-1), Saturday.

2. WYOMING (2-0, 0-0). Last week: Wyoming 31, Portland State 17. This week: Wyoming at Texas (2-0), Saturday.

3. AIR FORCE (2-0, 0-0). Last week: Air Force 13, Sam Houston 3. This week: Utah State (1-1) at Air Force, Friday.

4. SAN DIEGO STATE (2-1, 0-0). Last week: UCLA 35, San Diego State 10. This week: San Diego State at Oregon State (2-0), Saturday.

5. BOISE STATE (0-2, 0-0). Last week: UCF 18, Boise State 16. This week: North Dakota (2-0) at Boise State, Saturday.

6. UTAH STATE (1-1, 0-0). Last week: Utah State 78, Idaho State 28. This week: Utah State at Air Force (2-0), Friday.

7. SAN JOSE STATE (1-2, 0-0). Last week: San Jose State 59, Cal Poly 3. This week: San Jose State at Toledo (1-1), Saturday.

8. UNLV (1-1, 0-0). Last week: Michigan 35, UNLV 7. This week: Vanderbilt at (2-1) at UNLV, Saturday.

9. COLORADO STATE (0-1, 0-0). Last week: Idle. This week: Colorado State at Colorado (2-0), Saturday.

10. NEW MEXICO (1-1, 0-0). Last week: New Mexico 56, Tennessee Tech 10. This week: New Mexico State (1-2) at New Mexico, Saturday.

11. HAWAII (1-2, 0-0). Last week: Hawaii 31, Albany 20. This week: Hawaii at Oregon, Saturday.

12. NEVADA (0-2, 0-0). Last week: Idaho 33, Nevada 6. This week: Kansas (2-0) at Nevada, Saturday.


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