Western Athletic Conference News and Notes
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
IDAHO: For one brief moment the Vandals didn't appear to be completely overwhelmed during their visit to LSU on Saturday night, but it wasn't long before the third-ranked team in the nation kicked it into gear and subsequently crushed the visitors in a 63-14 final. Dominique Blackman tried to keep the Vandals in the mix as he converted 23-of-36 passes for 174 yards and a couple of touchdowns, but in his haste he also tossed four interceptions that the Tigers were more than happy to capitalize upon. Michael LaGrone and Jahrie Level both scored on receptions in the second quarter, but in the second half the Vandals were never heard from as LSU generated 222 yards through the air and another 250 on the ground, averaging close to 6.5 yards per rushing attempt and scoring five times. Idaho heads back to Moscow now to prepare for the arrival of Wyoming in yet another non-conference bout on Saturday afternoon.
LOUISIANA TECH: For the second straight game the Bulldogs erupted for 56 points, this time downing the Rice Owls in the home opener on Saturday by 19 points. The accomplishment, scoring at least 50 points in back-to-back games in the same season, is something that hasn't happened for the Bulldogs since 1910, and the squad made it look rather easy. Quarterback Colby Cameron threw three touchdown passes in the first quarter, four overall, as he completed 19- of-24 for 276 yards. Quinton Patton collected seven receptions for 119 yards and two scores. When it wasn't the passing attack whipping up on the Owls, it was running backs Tevin King and Kenneth Dixon who combined to post 317 yards and three more scores on the ground during the onslaught for the reigning WAC Champions. LaTech logged 609 yards of total offense, but the squad also gave up 477 yards, an effort that could catch up to the Bulldogs if the trend continues. The squad now hits the road for two straight games, the first coming against Illinois on Saturday night.
NEW MEXICO STATE: The Aggies were beaten down by UTEP in the first 20 minutes of their meeting on Saturday night, trailing by 27 points before they even knew what hit them. Eventually the NMSU offense got on track and the defense tightened up, but still the Aggies ended with a 41-28 road loss nonetheless. The Aggies were paced by Andrew Manley who converted 20-of-47 passes for 290 yards and three TDs, but he was also picked off once and sacked three times. Austin Franklin, ranked second in the nation in receiving yards per game (154.0) heading into the week, finished with seven catches for 107 yards and two TDs in the setback. Kemonte Bateman contributed with seven catches as well, leading to a team-best 115 yards. The annual in-state battle against New Mexico is next on the docket for the Aggies, this Saturday night in Las Cruces.
SAN JOSE STATE: David Fales threw for 370 yards and three touchdowns as he guided the San Jose State Spartans to a 40-20 victory over the Colorado State Rams in non-conference play at Spartan Stadium on Saturday night. Fales, in just his third game with the program, completed 27-of-34 passes for the Spartans (2-1) as they won their second straight after opening the season with a 20-17 setback versus Stanford. Jabari Carr reeled in eight balls for 108 yards and two touchdowns, one of three players to have at least 100 receiving yards for SJSU on the night. One of those other players was Noel Grigsby who, with seven receptions for 124 yards, set the San Jose State career receiving record. Chandler Jones had a game-high 133 yards and two touchdowns on six catches, as the Spartans generated 568 yards of total offense. Next up for SJSU is a meeting with San Diego State this Saturday at Qualcomm Stadium.
TEXAS STATE: The Bobcats enjoyed one of the two open dates on their schedule over the weekend, giving them that much more time to reflect on their dismal outing against Texas Tech back on September 8. The squad gets back to action this coming weekend as it entertain FCS foe Stephen F. Austin, before ramping up to tackle the Nevada Wolf Pack at home near the end of the month.
TEXAS-SAN ANTONIO: The first team in the WAC to reach 3-0 on the season, the Roadrunners made it happen by crushing Georgia State on the road Saturday in a 38-14 final. Evans Okotcha carried the ball 20 times and although he gained just 49 yards, he managed to find the end zone on three occasions. As a whole, UTSA generated 225 yards on the ground, compared to just 86 for the Panthers. Eric Soza converted 17-of-24 passes for 206 yards and a couple of TDs as well. The defense for the Roadrunners allowed GSU to control the action for less than 19 minutes, thanks in part to picking off three passes and recovering a fumble. The soft portion of the schedule continues for the Roadrunners this coming weekend as they tangle with a winless Northwestern Oklahoma State squad at the Alamodome.
UTAH STATE: The win was there for the taking on Saturday night in Madison, but the Aggies hurt themselves with a late penalty which further distanced a field goal attempt that ended up missing the mark in a 16-14 setback versus the Wisconsin Badgers. Utah State led 14-3 at the break but then the offense went cold and the defense surrendered 13 points in the third quarter. Granted, the Aggies managed to keep the game close by blocking the PAT on the second TD by Wisconsin, but the visitors simply could not complete the upset bid. Chuckie Keeton completed 18-of-34 passes for 181 yards and two touchdowns, adding a team-high 75 yards rushing on 15 attempts as well in the setback. The USU defense held Wisconsin running back Montee Ball to a somewhat-modest 139 yards and a single score on 37 carries. This week the Aggies make preparations to visit the Colorado State Rams in non-conference action.
09/17 10:08:41 ET