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Western Athletic Conference News and Notes
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
IDAHO: Trey Farquhar knocked through three field goals for the Vandals during their meeting with nationally-ranked Utah State on Saturday. Unfortunately that was the extent of Idaho's scoring in a 36-point road loss in Logan. In a season that has seen head coach Robb Akey let go midway through, the Vandals closed out with just 210 yards of total offense in their sixth straight setback and the 11th in 12 tries overall. The squad posted just one win in six tries versus the rest of the WAC and was winless on the road overall in seven attempts. Quarterback Taylor Davis completed 10-of-23 passes for a mere 49 yards and three interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown. Running back Ryan Bass has one of his better games of the season as he gained 95 yards on 21 attempts, but it didn't make any difference in the lopsided final.
LOUISIANA TECH: Just a few weeks ago the Bulldogs were the talk of the WAC, nationally ranked and putting up incredible offensive numbers, but the team not only failed to defend their conference crown from last season, but they dropped two straight to close out the campaign as they bowed to San Jose State on the road in a 52-43 final on Saturday night. The top-scoring offense in the nation (51.5 ppg) with the top overall production (577.9 ypg), the team generated 541 yards against San Jose State, but quarterback Colby Cameron went from having two interceptions a week earlier against Utah State to issuing three picks. Cameron did finish the outing 38-of-59 for 468 yards and three touchdowns, with Quinton Patton recording two scores on 10 catches for 125 yards. Aside from the turnovers, the team failed to make much of its running game as it logged just 58 yards on 22 attempts, although Cameron and Kenneth Dixon did make it into the end zone. The close of the regular season for the Bulldogs has them with a 9-3 record overall and a 4-2 mark in conference play.
NEW MEXICO STATE: With just six possessions in the first half on Saturday, the Aggies didn't have enough scoring chances to keep up with BYU and eventually bowed to the Cougars in non-conference action, 50-14, in Las Cruces. The loss was the 10th straight for NMSU, the fifth in as many tries in WAC play as well. Quarterback Andrew Manley finished the outing 13-of-24 for 158 yards and two touchdowns, but he was also sacked five times, which left the Aggies with a mere 29 net rushing yards on 27 attempts. Kemonte Bateman caught four balls for 93 yards and a score, but it was the defense for the Aggies that simply could not keep up with BYU as the visitors rolled up more than 500 yards of total offense. Most disappointing was NMSU's inability to slow down BYU receiver Cody Hoffman who caught 12 balls for 182 yards and five touchdowns. The Aggies still have one last game left on their schedule for this season, a date against Texas State this coming weekend in San Marcos, Texas.
SAN JOSE STATE: Overall, the Spartans defense was a bit porous against Louisiana Tech on Saturday, but cornerback Bene Benwikere certainly made a name for himself as he tied a San Jose State single-game record with three second-half interceptions to help push the team to a 52-43 win over the Bulldogs at home. The victory was the sixth in a row for the program as it finished 10-2 overall and 5-1 in league play for its first 10-win campaign since 1987. Also having a big game for the Spartans was De'Leon Eskridge who ran for a career-high 217 yards and three touchdowns on 28 attempts, while quarterback David Fales hit on 25-of-37 passes for 367 yards and three TDs of his own. Noel Grigsby caught seven passes for 127 yards which means he's averaging just over six receptions per game to rank third in the league as the Spartans await news of a postseason invitation. Eskridge, who has run for more than 100 yards just three times this season for a team that is ranked 101st in the nation with only 124.2 ypg on the ground, came up eight yards shy of 1,000 for the regular season.
TEXAS STATE: On the road against the other new member of the Western Athletic Conference, the Bobcats knew they'd be in for a fight versus Texas-San Antonio, and in a game that sported nearly 900 yards of offense, Texas State ended up on the short end of a 38-31 final at the Alamodome. Shaun Rutherford tried to keep his team close as he tossed touchdowns in the first and fourth quarters, but being under constant pressure and being brought down for five sacks is more than most signal-callers can take. Rutherford finished the outing 31-of-42 for 324 yards, with seven receptions being recorded by Isaiah Battle who turned them into a game-high 119 yards and one score. Rutherford also ran for 42 yards and another score as he carried the ball 18 times for a TSU squad that has now dropped five straight and is just 1-4 against league foes. The season is not quite over for the Bobcats though, as they host New Mexico State in league play this coming weekend in San Marcos,
TEXAS-SAN ANTONIO: The Roadrunners erupted for 17 points in the first quarter on Saturday, but down the stretch the team had to hold on in order to claim the 38-31 victory over Texas State in WAC action at the Alamodome. Quarterback Eric Soza converted half of his 30 pass attempts for 200 yards and three touchdowns, but he also tossed a pair of interceptions which prevented UTSA from cruising to a comfortable win. Soza, who spread the ball around to seven different receivers, also led the team in rushing with his 97 yards, leading to another score on nine attempts. The defense for the Roadrunners recorded five sacks and nine tackles for loss overall, yet still allowed close to 400 yards of offense in the final game of the season. The victory, the third straight for the Roadrunners, made the team an even 3-3 in conference play and 8-4 overall after opening 2012 with five straight triumphs.
UTAH STATE: For the first time in program history, the Aggies finished a season with at least 10 victories as the squad dominated Idaho at Romney Stadium over the weekend, 45-9. Not only did Utah State close out the regular season with six straight wins and eight in the last nine outings, the team also finished WAC play a perfect 6-0 and captured its first outright conference title since doing so as a member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference back in 1936. USU generated only 250 yards of total offense, but the defense had a standout effort as it limited the Vandals to a mere 158 yards, only 52 through the air which was the fewest since the squad permitted 45 yards passing to North Texas back in 1998. Kerwynn Williams ran for a team- best 110 yards and a score versus the Vandals, adding another 39 yards and a TD on four receptions, while Chuckie Keeton connected on 17-of-25 passes for 133 yards and two TDs, but was sacked twice and had a pair of passes picked off. Now ranked 20th in the latest AP poll, for the second straight year Utah State will appear in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl against a member of the Mid- American Conference to be determined.
11/26 10:42:01 ET
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