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CFB Week 9 Previews: Mountain West Conference

Week 9 Mountain West Conference

Fri., Oct. 29 @ 7:00 pm PT
UNLV Rebels at Nevada Wolf Pack

SERIES BREAKDOWN

UNR LEADS 27-19
UNLV at UNR RECORD: 9-14
UNR at UNLV RECORD: 13-10
UNLV’s LARGEST WIN: 38 (45-7 in 1975)
UNR’s LARGEST WIN: 42 (50-8 in 1991)

DATE SITE RESULT
11-22-69 Reno UNR 30-28
11-26-70 Las Vegas UNLV 42-30
11-20-71 Reno UNLV 24-13
11-18-72 Las Vegas UNR 41-13
11-17-73 Reno UNR 19-3
11-16-74 Las Vegas UNLV 28-7
11-22-75 Reno UNLV 45-7
11-20-76 Las Vegas UNLV 49-33
11-19-77 Reno UNLV 27-12
9-16-78 Las Vegas UNR 23-14
9-15-79 Reno UNLV 26-21
9-3-83 Las Vegas UNLV 28-18
11-16-85 Reno UNR 48-7
10-3-87 Las Vegas UNLV 24-19
11-11-89 Reno UNR 45-7
10-20-90 Las Vegas UNR 26-14
9-7-91 Reno UNR 50-8
10-17-92 Las Vegas UNR 14-10
10-23-93 Reno UNR 49-14

UNLV Rebels

FRIDAY’S PREVIEW…
After two home games in six days, UNLV (0-7/0-3) hits the road for the annual Battle for the Fremont Cannon vs. in-state rival UNR (5-2/2-1) Friday night … The Rebels are 8-9-1 all-time in games played on Friday … This meeting of the state’s only two collegiate football programs will take place on the Nevada Day holiday (observed), which celebrates the Silver State’s admission to the Union on Oct. 31, 1864 … The winner of the game will also earn three points in the Silver State Series presented by IBEW Local 401 and Nevada Donor Network … Both teams are coming off close losses last week as UNLV fell 27-20 to SJSU and UNR fell 34-32 at Fresno State … The seven opponents who have played UNLV in 2021 boast an eye-popping combined record of 40-13 … Currently standing 20th in the nation with 102.7 YPG, Charles Williams comes in with the most career net rushing yards gained on the FBS level (3,659) among all current players. Liberty’s Joshua Mack has more career yards but a majority of them were gained on the FCS level before transferring to his current school. Williams needs 75 yards to pass Tim Cornett (2010-13) and become UNLV’s career rushing king … UNLV PK Daniel Gutierrez set the school record by making his 15th and then 16th consecutive field goal last Thursday, besting Jim Cook’s long-standing mark of 14 straight set in 1987, before his fourth-quarter attempt was blocked to end the historic streak

REBELS vs. WOLF PACK NOTES…
UNR holds a 27-19 lead in the series but UNLV has won three of its last four trips to Reno, including the most recent — a 33-30 overtime classic that was both the first OT game and coldest game in the long series’ history … The 46 meetings, which include 32 straight years in a rivalry that permanently became an annual event in 1989, are by far the most UNLV has had with any opponent … UNLV head coaches are 2-9 in their first games held in Reno (Tony Knap, 1977 and Tony Sanchez, 2015) … UNLV RBs coach/special teams coordinator Scott Baumgartner handled the Pack QBs in 2004 and the WRs from 2005-12.

REBELATIONS…
The Rebels have lost five games, including the last four, by one score … UNLV ranks 23rd nationally in Red Zone Offense at 90 percent (20-22). The team’s only misses inside the opponent 20-yard line this season came at UTSA when UNLV failed to convert on a fourth-and-one at the Roadrunner 20 and then when the clock ran out to end the SJSU game … On the other side, UNLV ranks 35th in Red Zone Defense, with opponents only converting to points at a 78% clip … Earlier this year the Rebels played three consecutive games vs. ranked teams for the first time in school history and four of the seven FBS teams who faced UNLV have spent time in the AP Top 25 … UNLV started a different quarterback in the first three games of the season (all of whom were making their first collegiate start) before Doug Brumfield took the opening snap at Fresno State for his second start. Former TCU transfer Justin Rogers started the season-opener before Brumfield relieved him in
the second half. Brumfield then started at ASU before being knocked out with an injury. That necessitated true freshman Cameron Friel making his collegiate debut vs. Iowa State in Game Three — the first true freshman to start at QB for UNLV since Omar Clayton in 2007. Against SJSU, Friel became the first Rebel QB to play an entire game snce Max Gilliam went the distance vs. Fresno State in Game Three last season … UNLV, in fact, has already had four QBs complete passes this fall as the ISU game also saw the Rebel debut of walk-on grad transfer Tate Martell, a summer addition who starred at Las Vegas’ Bishop Gorman High School before signing with Ohio State and then transferring to Miami … UNLV has not returned a punt for a touchdown in 20 years — the longest drought in the nation. The last Rebel to do it was Troy Mason, who went 52 yards vs. San Diego State on Oct. 13, 2001, at Sam Boyd Stadium … The Rebels have five interceptions (coming from three different players, including two each from Phillip Hill and Cameron Oliver) after only picking off two passes all of last season

Nevada Wolf Pack

NEVADA BATTLES UNLV FOR FREMONT CANNON AT MACKAY STADIUM
Nevada (5-2, 2-1), following a 34-32 loss at Fresno State, hosts rival UNLV (0-7, 0-3) for a 7 p.m. (PT) kickoff at Mackay Stadium. Friday’s contest will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network, with John Sadak (play-by-play), Randy Cross (analyst), and Desmond Purnell (Sideline) on the call. The Wolf Pack faces the Rebels for the 47th time in rivalry history with the Pack holding a 27-19 series lead. Nevada won last season’s matchup 37-19 in Las Vegas. The winner gets the largest rivalry trophy in college football, the Fremont Cannon. Nevada owns the longest win streak of the series, eight games, from Sep. 17, 2005, to Oct. 13, 2012. The Wolf Pack Radio Network will call the game as well on 94.5 FM with John Ramey (play-byplay) and Mike Edwards (analyst) in the booth, with the 60-minute pregame show to begin at 6 p.m. PT.

SILVER STATE SERIES
Nevada and UNLV meet for the 47th time in on Saturday with Nevada holding a 27- 19 series edge over the Rebels. The two programs met in Las Vegas in 2020. Nevada
downed UNLV, 37-19, in Allegiant Stadium. UNLV defeated the Pack back-to-back years in in 2018-19. The Pack has won six of the last 10 meetings. The first contest between both programs dates back Nov. 22, 1969, when Nevada defeated UNLV 30-28. The winner of the rivalry game earns the largest trophy in college athletics,
the Fremont Cannon.

NEVADA LOOKS TO BOUNCE BACK AGAINST UNLV
Nevada opened its 2021 season with a 22-17 victory over the California Golden Bears in Berkeley on Sept. 4. Prior to the win over Cal, Nevada’s last road win at a Power 5 team also came at Cal when Nevada defeated the Golden Bears 31-24 on Sept. 1, 2012. After Cal opened the game with a 14-0 lead, Nevada scored 22 unanswered points to lead the remainder of the game. Carson Strong threw for 312 yards and two touchdowns, posting his ninth 300- yard passing game of his career. Kicker Brandon Talton recorded his 12th multi-FG game of his career after going 3-for-4 for Nevada. Romeo Doubs finished with six catches for 83 yards and a touchdown, Cole Turner led all Pack receivers with seven catches (for 75 yards), and WR Tory Horton led the Pack with 94 receiving yards on three catches. Elijah Cooks recorded his first touchdown since the 2020 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl on Jan. 3, 2020. The Pack defense came up clutch to secure Nevada’s victory. Cornerback Isaiah Essissima, a transfer from Wake Forest, made his first interception in a Nevada jersey in his Wolf Pack debut, stopping a late fourth-quarter Cal drive with a pick. Sam Hammond and Daniel Grzesiak tallied sacks for the Pack, including Hammond’s 13-yard loss which resulted in a missed Cal field goal attempt. JoJuan Claiborne led the Pack defense with 10 tackles (eight solo), and shared a tackle-for-loss.

Nevada handled business on Sept. 11 in its first home game of the 2021 season. The Pack defeated Idaho State, 49-10. Carson Strong powered the Pack offense, throwing for 381 yards and four touchdowns. Strong completed 34 of 43 passes, including two touchdowns to Elijah Cooks, who finished with seven receptions for 89 yards. Devonte Lee recorded a 2-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter and caught a 15-yard touchdown pass early in the fourth. Cole Turner had a touchdown catch. Backup quarterback Nate Cox stepped in the game in the fourth quarter, delivering a 43-yard touchdown to Harry Ballard.

Nevada dropped its first game of the season to No. 25 Kansas State in Manhattan, Kan., on Sept. 18. Despite the 38-17 final score being in favor of the Wildcats, the Pack and Kansas State began the fourth quarter tied at 17. WR Romeo Doubs made 7 catches for 121 yards for a season high in yardage. His previous season-best was 83 yards on six receptions against Cal on Sept. 4. It marked his most receiving yards since he gained 133 yards on 5 receptions at Hawai’i on Nov. 21, 2020.
Nevada secured its first conference win of the season in Boise, Idaho, on Oct. 2. The Pack defeated the Broncos, 41-31, in a packed Albertson’s Stadium. Carson Strong threw for 263 yards and a touchdown while running back Toa Taua rushed for 124 yards and two touchdowns. Nevada snapped its six-game losing streak to the Broncos, dating back to 2010.

Nevada last won in Boise in 1997. Tristan Nichols forced a fumble on Boise State quarterback Hank Bachmeier. Then, five plays later, Taua punched it into the end zone from 12 yards out to give Nevada a permanent lead. Placekicker Brandon Talton had a strong game, going 4-for-4 in field goal attempts and 3-for-3 on PATs.
Nevada picked up its fourth win of the season after cruising to a 55-28 victory over New Mexico State on Saturday. Carson Strong threw a career-high six touchdown passes — four in the second quarter — and Nevada cruised to a 55-28 win over New Mexico State on Saturday night.

Strong, who did not play in the fourth quarter, finished 25-of-32 passing for 377 yards with one interception. His six touchdown passes were one shy of Nevada’s single-game record, and were the most by a Wolf Pack quarterback since Mike Maxwell twice tossed seven touchdowns in a game, against UNLV and Louisiana-Monroe, in 1995.

Nevada took the opening kick of the second half and Turner’s 3-yard scoring catch capped a seven-play, 75-yard drive that made it 38-3. Strong connected with Henry Ballard for a 33-yard touchdown about four minutes later and cornerback BerDale Robins ripped the ball from New Mexico State’s Jared Wyatt and raced 25 yards for a score to give Nevada a 52-3 lead going into the fourth quarter.

Carson Strong passed for 395 yards and two third-quarter touchdowns and Nevada pulled away after halftime to beat Hawaii 34-17 in Mountain West Conference play on Saturday.

The Wolf Pack (5-1, 2-0) scored first on a Brandon Talton 23-yard field goal midway through the first quarter, but the lead lasted just one play after Dae Dae Hunter took a first-down handoff and raced 75 yards to the end zone for Hawaii (3-4, 1-2). Nevada went up 10-7 on Toa Taua’s 6-yard TD run with 12:58 left in the second quarter, but again the lead lasted one play after Hunter took a first-down handoff 81 yards for a TD. The Wolf Pack answered with a 10-yard TD run by Taua for a 17-14 lead. Both teams added field goals before halftime.

Strong took over in the third quarter for Nevada, throwing scoring passes of 28 yards to Romeo Doubs a 3-yarder to Tory Horton as the Wolf Pack upped their advantage to 34-17 with 2:25 left in the period. Strong completed 34 of 54 passes. Cole Turner had a career-best 12 catches for 175 yards.

Fresno State defeated the Pack 34-32 on Saturday. Down 34-26, Nevada’s Carson Strong threw a 12-yard scoring pass to Cole Turner to cut the deficit to two points with two seconds left, but the 2-point conversion attempt was caught out of the back of the end zone. The Wolf Pack recovered the onside kick but time expired in the scramble for the ball.

Ronnie Rivers’ 64-yard touchdown run with 5:08 left in the first quarter gave the Bulldogs (6-2, 3-1 Mountain West Conference) a 7-3 lead and they led the rest of the way. The game featured the two-highest scoring teams in the conference. The teams combined for 984 yards of total offense. Strong completed 49 of 61 pass attempts for 476 yards and four touchdowns for the Wolf Pack (5-2, 2-1).

TURNER NAMED REESE’S SENIOR BOWL OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Senior tight end Cole Turner was named the Reese’s Senior Bowl Offensive Player of the Week after a career-best performance against Hawai’i. Turner hauled in 12 receptions for a career-high 175 yards against the Rainbow Warriors.

NEVADA RANKS IN TOP THREE IN TEAM SACKS
The Wolf Pack lead the nation in sacks after accumulating 28 for a total of 200 yards through seven games. Nichols leads Nevada with eight, while Dom Peterson (4.5), Sam Hammond (4.0), Daniel Grzesiak (2.0), Chris Love (2.0), Lawson Hall (1.0), Trevor Price (1.0), AJ King (1.0), Tyson Williams (1.0), and Jack Powers (2.5) have all chipped in.

 

Sat., Oct. 30 @ 1:00 pm MT
Hawaii Rainbow Warriors at Utah State Aggies

Hawaii Rainbow Warriors

GAME STORYLINES
• Saturday’s match-up is the 17th meeting between the teams with Utah State holding a 10-6 advantage. The Aggies have won the last five meetings in the series.

• USU has won five of the seven meetings in Logan including the last two. UH’s last win in Logan was also its last win in the series, a 45-7 victory in 2010.

• The Aggies have won all four Mountain West contests. While the teams were members of the Western Athletic Conference, UH won five of the seven contests.

• Fourteen of the 16 all-time meetings have been decided by double-digits, including Utah State’s 56-17 win in Honolulu in the last meeting between the teams in 2018.

• Three of USU’s last four wins over UH have been by 37 points or more.

• UH (4-4, 1-2 MW) enters the match-up having won three of its last four games including a 48-34 victory over New Mexico State on Saturday. The Warriors began the
year by losing three of their first four.

• The Aggies (5-2, 3-1 MW) are currently atop the Mountain West’s Mountain Division after a 26-24 victory over Colorado State last Friday in Logan.

• The combined point total of USU’s three conference wins is 10 points with four-point wins over Air Force and UNLV and a two-point win over CSU.

• UH has rushed for 200+ yards four times this season, all resulting in wins. Under head coach Todd Graham, the Warriors are 6-0 when eclipsing 200+ rushing yards
in a game.

• In its last three wins, UH has forced 11 turnovers, including five in a pair of victories over New Mexico State. On the year, the Warriors lead the Mountain West and rank fourth nationally with 18 takeaways.

• Saturday’s game marks UH’s fifth of seven road games this season. Hawai‘i is 1-3 on the road this year and 2-5 in true road games in two seasons under coach Todd
Graham.

• UH has out-scored its opponents 55-10 in the first quarter in its four home games, compared to being out-scored 51-20 in the first quarter on the road.

• UH quarterback Chevan Cordeiro, who has missed the last three games due to injury, is 64 rushing yards away from 1,000 in his career. When he reaches that mark, he will become just the third UH signal caller joining Michael Carter and Glenn Freitas to reach that mark.

• Placekicker Matthew Shipley has a streak of nine straight field goals made and is 10-of-11 on the season.

LAST MEETING VS. UTAH STATE
USU 56, UH 17 — Nov. 3, 2018
Aloha Stadium; Honolulu, O‘ahu
• 18th-ranked Utah State put up 28 first-quarter points en route to a 56-17 victory in Honolulu, handing Hawai‘i its fourth straight loss.

• A pair of USU rushers – Darwin Thompson (141) and Gerold Bright (121) – eclipsed 100 yards and added three touchdowns each as the Aggies rushed for 426 yards.

• USU totaled 601 yards of offense compared to 390 for Hawai‘i.

• Cole McDonald threw for 331 yards and two touchdowns while Khoury Bethley led the defense with nine tackles, a forced fumble, and pass breakup.

• The Aggies took an insurmountable 56-11 lead with four more touchdowns in the third quarter

TEAM NOTES
HAWAI‘I IN THE MOUNTAIN WEST
• Hawai‘i is in its 10th season in the Mountain West and owns a 24-51 (.320) all-time mark — 13-26 at home and 11-25 on the road.

• Since the conference moved to two divisions in 2013, UH is 14-24 against the West and 5-16 versus the Mountain.

• UH captured a share of the West Division title in 2019 and made its first-ever appearance in the MW Championship game, eventually falling at Boise State.

TROPHY GAMES
• UH will play three of its four rivalry trophy games this season, having already lost its opportunity to regain the Dick Tomey Legacy Trophy after a 17-13 setback to San José State on Sept. 18.

• UH will look to regain the Paniolo Trophy when it meets Wyoming, Nov. 27 in Laramie. UH currently holds possession of the Island Showdown Trophy, which it competes for against UNLV and will meet in Las Vegas, Nov. 13.

ROAD WARRIORS
• In the last decade (not including COVID-shortened 2020 season), UH has played no less than six road games a year, including a program-high seven this season.

• In those seven road games, UH will travel approximately 40,400 air miles, the highest total since 2016 when UH totaled 46,568 air miles, that included trips to Sydney, Australia and Ann Arbor, Mich., in back-to-back weeks

ON THE CONTINENT
• Under head coach Todd Graham, UH is 3-5 in road/neutral site games including a 1-3 mark in MW road games.

• Since 2016, UH is 13-20 in road/neutral site games and 10-10 in MW road games. In the eight seasons prior, UH went 11-37 in road/neutral site games and 9-23 in league contests.

OTHER TEAM NOTES
• UH has out-scored its opponents 55-10 in the first quarter at home this year.

• UH’s 27-21 win over No. 18 Fresno State snapped a 13-game losing streak against nationally ranked teams that stretched over a decade.

• UH dropped its first season opener since 2016. UH had previously won four straight season openers and five in the last six years.

• UH’s 34-point loss to UCLA was the largest margin of defeat in a season opener since 2012 at USC (49-10) and its 269 yards of offense was its least in a season opener since 2013 (231 yards vs USC).

• UH’s first win at its new home, the Clarence T.C. Ching Complex, was against Portland State which coincidentally was the same opponent for its first win at its old home, Aloha Stadium.

• UH’s win over Portland State was its 18th consecutive over a FCS opponent dating back to the 2001 season.

• UH has won seven consecutive home-openers dating back to 2015.

• A total of 16 members of the 2021 team currently hold bachelor degrees.

OFFENSE NOTES
RUNNING WITH THE ’BOWS
• UH’s run and gun offense has heavily relied on the run game this season with an average of 175.9 rushing yards per game.

• UH’s per game average is the highest by a Hawai‘i team since 1995 (224.0 ypg), when the team ran the run-oriented triple-option.

• UH has rushed for 200+ yards four times this season, all resulting in wins.

• In two seasons under head coach Todd Graham, UH is 6-0 when eclipsing the 200+ mark.

ALL-EVERYTHING
• Jacksonville transfer Calvin Turner, Jr. is the team’s most versatile athlete and this season has lined up at slot receiver, running back, wildcat quarterback, and returner on kickoffs and punts.

• Recognized twice by ESPN — a circuitous 34-yard run in the first quarter against Portland State — ranked No. 1 on ESPN’s Top 10 college football plays of the week and a 14-yard scoring run in a win at New Mexico State — in which we reversed field 20 yards on a jet sweep and eluded numerous would-be tacklers — ranked No. 3 in ESPN’s Top Plays of the day.

• Against Oregon State, Turner finished with seven catches for 106 yards for his second career 100-yard receiving game and scored three TDs (2 rushing, 1 receiving), marking the fourth multi-TD game of his UH career and the second time he scored three TDs in a game (also vs. Boise State).

• The senior has scored in six of eight games this season and has a team-leading nine touchdowns. In his UH career, he has at least one touchdown in 13 of 17 games played.

• Leads the team in receptions (44), touchdowns, and all-purpose yards (1,014); is second in receiving yards (514); and third in rushing yards (294).

ONE PARSON PARTY
• With starter Dae Dae Hunter nursing an injury, backup running back Dedrick Parson took advantage of the opportunity for his first start in UH’s 48-34 victory over New Mexico State.

• The Philadelphia, Pa., native rushed 25 times for 161 yards and three touchdowns while also leading the team with six receptions for 54 yards for a total of 215 all-purpose yards.

• Played two seasons for Howard University, where he accumulated 1,553 rushing yards, 409 receiving yards and 12 total touchdowns in 20 career games.

DEFENSE NOTES
BALL HOGS
• UH leads the Mountain West and ranks fourth nationally in takeaways with 18 turnovers forced. Middle Tennessee is the nation’s leader with 21.

• Hawai‘i also has a conference-high 10 interceptions and is second, behind Fresno State, with eight fumbles recovered.

• UH’s six turnovers forced against Fresno State were the most in a game since 2011.

• UH has forced multiple turnovers in five of eight games this year and has 11 turnovers in its last three wins.

LEADER OF THE PACK
• No one can question the productivity of Khoury Bethley who has been a mainstay in the defensive line-up throughout his career and is having his best season as a Rainbow Warrior in 2021.

• The Chino, Calif., native has three interceptions, including his first for a touchdown last week against New Mexico State with a 79-yard return.

• In UH’s upset win over Fresno State, he tallied nine tackles, two interceptions, and one forced fumble and earned two national player of the week awards (Nagurski and Jim Thorpe) and Mountain West Defensive Player of the Week honors.

• The senior posted a pair of strip sack fumbles in back-to-back weeks against New Mexico State and Fresno State, the latter led to UH’s game-winning field goal.

• Also leads the team with 59 tackles and three forced fumbles.

• Has accumulated 252 tackles, 17.0 tackles-forloss, six sacks, five interceptions, four forced fumbles, and 21 passes defended in 46 career games.

• Shined in UH’s last two bowl wins with singlegame highs in tackles (14), tackles-for-loss (3) and sacks (2) against Houston in last season’s New Mexico Bowl win over Houston and picked off two passes against BYU in the 2019 Hawai‘i Bowl that later earned him AP All-Bowl team honors.

A TACKLING MACHINE
• Darius Muasau, a preseason All-Mountain West first team selection, is once again among the team leaders in tackles.

• The Mililani, O‘ahu native ranks second with 56, along with 5.0 tackles-for-loss, 3.0 sacks, two pass break-ups, one interception, one forced fumble, and three quarterback hurries.

• Recorded his first interception of the season last week against New Mexico State and returned it 75 yards for his first career touchdown.

• Four games with 10+ tackles this season — @ New Mexico State (11), UCLA (11), Nevada (10), and New Mexico State (10).

• Named to the watch lists for both the Bronko Nagurski and Chuck Bednarik awards which are presented to the nation’s top defensive player.

• Last season Muasau led all of FBS with 68 solo tackles and ranked seventh with 104 total tackles. Ranked fifth nationally in tackles per game (11.8) while also leading the team in team in tackles-forloss (9.5) sacks (4.5), and quarterback hurries (7).

CORTEZ ISLAND
• Cornerback Cortez Davis enters his third season as the Warriors’ shutdown corner.

• The Decatur, Ga., native leads the Mountain West and ranks second nationally with an average of 1.8 passes defended per game. He has a nationbest 13 pass breakups.

• Has started 28 of 30 career games.

• After earning all-conference accolades in each of his first two years, is on the watch list for the Jim Thorpe Award, which annually recognizes college football’s outstanding defensive back.

• Intercepted his first pass of the season and the second of his career with a second-quarter pick of Fresno State’s Jake Haener.

OTHER DEFENSE NOTES
• UH’s six turnovers forced (4-INT, 2-FR) against Fresno State were the most in a game since a 2011 road loss at San Jose State.

• The Warriors recorded season-highs in sacks (4) and tackles-for-loss (8) in a road win at New Mexico State.

• Hugh Nelson II, who started for an injured Cameron Lockridge against Fresno State, sealed the game with an interception – his second of the season – on the Bulldogs’ final possession.

• UH scored a defensive touchdown for the first time under Todd Graham against New Mexico State when Quentin Frazier deflected a backward pass, which was recovered by Cameron Lockridge for a 5-yard return in the second quarter. It was UH’s first fumble recovery for a TD in four years (last by Solomon Matautia vs BYU in 2017).

SPECIAL TEAMS NOTES
ROCKET SHIP
• Matthew Shipley has excelled at handling both placekicking and punting duties this season.

• The Liberty Hill, Texas native has converted nine consecutive field goal attempts since his only miss (48-yarder vs. San Jose State) and is 10-of-11 on the year.

• Booted the game-winning 33-yard field goal against Fresno State and set a career-long 48-yarder in the season-opener at UCLA.

• In his first year as the primary punter, the sophomore is averaging 41.7 yards per punt with a long of 53. Also has four 50+-yard punts and pinned eight inside the 20.

BIG LEG
• Freshman Kyler Halvorsen has been the primary kickoff specialist this season and has 24 touchbacks in 44 kickoffs.

• Of his 44 kickoffs, 24 were touchbacks, five were fair-caught, two went out of bounds, and 13 were returned for a 19.5 average.

QUICK SNAP
• Senior long snapper Wyatt Tucker has been a mainstay on special teams or the Warriors, having started all 32 games played.

• The Chino Hills, Calif., did not record a “bad” snap through his first two UH seasons until a low snap against UCLA caused punter Matthew Shipley to inadvertently take a knee.

OTHER SPECIAL TEAMS NOTES
• After going a nation-leading 154 straight games without a blocked punt, UH has allowed three blocked punts this season against UCLA, San Jose State, and Nevada.

• UCLA returned its blocked punt for a touchdown, marking the first time since 2004, UH allowed an opponent to do so.

MISCELLANEOUS NOTES

BOUNCEBACK KIDS
• Eight transfers, including seven from Power 5 programs, joined UH in 2021 — Chima Azunna (Iowa State), Keola Dowling (Boise State), Zacchaeus McKinney (Oklahoma), Hugh Nelson (Georgia), Caleb Phillips (Stanford), Pita Tonga (Utah), Solo Turner (Baylor), and Kolby Wyatt (Georgia).

• Other FBS transfers already on the roster include Kamali‘i Akina (Arizona State), Aaron Cephus (Rice), Alema Kapoi (Navy), Adam Stack (Oregon), and Isaiah Tufaga (Oregon State).

• Six players competed at FCS programs prior to UH — Colby Burton (McNeese State), Cortez Davis (Chattanooga), Austin Hopp (Western Illinois), Dedrick Parson (Howard), Eliki Tanuvasa (Eastern Illinois), and Calvin Turner, Jr. (Jacksonville).

TEXAS PIPELINE
• A total of 15 players, including 10 newcomers, hail from The Lone Star state. Only Hawai‘i (41) and California (24) have more players on the 2021 roster.

ALL IN THE FAMILY
• Two of head coach Todd Graham’s three sons are on the roster — Bo (offensive coordinator) and Michael (freshman DB). UH is one of nine schools in FBS with a father coaching his son on the team.

• The 2021 squad features two second-generation Warriors — Landon Sims (Travis, 1989-92); and Harvey Welch (Gerald, 2000-04).

• UH also has two sets of brothers on its roster — Darius and Sergio Muasau and Blessman and Maurice Ta‘ala.

• Four others have older brothers who once suited up for UH — Kamali‘i Akina (Kainoa), Andrew Choi (Zeno), Kamuela Borden (brothers Kawika & Noah), and Justus Tavai (Jahlani). Borden’s sister Anika also competed for UH’s track and field team.

DIVERSITY U
• The Warriors own one the most diverse squads in the country. UH has players from 16 different states, encompassing five time zones (Hawaiian, Pacific, Mountain, Central and Eastern).

• More than half of the 111-man roster hails from Hawai‘i (41) and California (24). UH also has players from American Samoa (6) and Canada (1).

THE (SAINT LOUIS) BROTHERHOOD
• A dozen players on the roster including linebackers coach Jacob Yoro are products of Honolulu prep football powerhouse Saint Louis School.

• Quarterback Chevan Cordeiro continues the school’s tradition of quarterbacks which includes Marcus Mariota (Oregon), Jeremiah Masoli (Oregon/ Ole Miss), Timmy Chang (UH), Jason Gesser (Washington State), and Darnell Arceneaux (Utah). Current Washington State QB Jayden DeLaura is also a Saint Louis alum.

’BOWS IN THE PROS
• Former Warriors currently on NFL 53-man rosters include P Rigoberto Sanchez (Indianapolis), WR Marcus Kemp (Kansas City), and LB Jahlani Tavai (New England).

Utah State Aggies

// KICKOFF COVERAGE ///

• With a win against Hawai’i, Utah State will be bowl eligible for the ninth time in the last 11 years after playing in just six bowl games in its first 119 years. USU played in five-straight bowl games from 2011-15 and won three-straight from 2012-14, both of which are school records. All-time, USU has played in 14 bowl games.

• Utah State’s improvement from last year to this year is one of the best in the nation as the Aggies were 1-5 last season and are currently 5-2 this year. Only Northern Illinois (0-6 in ‘20 to 6-2 in ‘21), Baylor (2-7 in ‘20 to 6-1 in ‘21), Michigan State (2-5 in ‘20 to 7-0 in ‘21) and Michigan (2-4 in ‘20 to 7-0 in ‘21) have had better turnarounds this year than Utah State.

• Utah State is 4-0 on the season in one-score games and has won those four contests by a total of 13 points. The school record for one-score wins in a season is five set in 2011, as that team posted a 5-5 record in one-score games.

• Utah State has converted 13-of-21 (.619) fourth downs this year and has scored points in each of those 13 drives it converted a fourth down with 10 touchdowns and three field goals. Overall, USU is fifth in the nation in fourth-down attempts and tied for fifth nationally in fourth-down conversions.

• Senior WR Deven Thompkins ranks first in the Mountain West and third in the nation in receiving (131.9 ypg), first in the MW and fifth in the nation in all-purpose yards (156.4 ypg), first in the MW and sixth in the nation in receptions (8.0 pg), and second in the MW and 18th in the nation in receiving touchdowns with six (0.9 pg).

• Utah State ranks among the top 50 teams in the nation in 17 statistical categories, including ranking second in the Mountain West and 19th in the nation in total offense at 463.7 yards per game. USU also ranks 15th in the nation in passing offense (303.4 ypg), 28th in the nation in kickoff returns (25.0 ypr), 31st in the nation in tackles for loss (6.0 pg) and 39th in the nation in net punting (41.4 ypp).

UTAH STATE HOSTS HAWAI’I IN SATURDAY AFTERNOON GAME
• Utah State (5-2, 3-1 MW) hosts Mountain West-foe Hawai’i (4-4, 1-2 MW) on Saturday, Oct. 30, at 1 p.m. The game will be televised by Spectrum Sports with Kanoa Leahey (play-byplay), Rich Miano (analyst) and Scott Robbs (reporter) on the call.

• Fans outside of Hawaii can watch the game on their mobile devices (tablet/phone) by downloading the Team1 Sports app. Once you open the app, navigate to the “Channels” screen (located at the bottom right of the screen). Swipe down to “Hawaii Football,” and tap that icon. There are no streams on desktop computers or any connected TV device (Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, ROKU, etc.). You must use the Team1 Sports app on a tablet or mobile device.

ANDERSON ONE OF TWO FIRST-YEAR FBS HEAD COACHES WITH FIVE WINS
• Utah State first-year head coach Blake Anderson is one of 19 first-year head coaches at the FBS level in 2021. Anderson and Auburn head coach Bryan Harsin are the only first-year head coaches to have at least five wins this year as both are currently 5-2 at their respective schools.

• Anderson was just the third coach in school history, and first since E. Lowell Romney in 1919, to win his first three games at USU. The only other head coach to accomplish this feat was Fred M. Walker, who led USU to a 7-0 record in 1907. Furthermore, Anderson was one of only two first-year head coaches, along with South Alabama’s Kane Wommack, to start the season 3-0.

UTAH STATE FLIPS THE SCRIPT IN COLORADO STATE WIN
• After trailing by double digits in each of its first four wins this season, Utah State never trailed in its 26-24 win against Colorado State. In fact, USU led at the half (20-14) for the first time this season and led going into the fourth quarter (23-14) for just the second time this year.

UTAH STATE AT MAVERIK STADIUM
• Utah State is 42-16 (.724) in its last 58 home games, including a 10-5 (.667) record in its last 15 Mountain West home games. All-time, USU is 154-112 (.579) inside Maverik Stadium. AGGIES HAVE ALLOWED SIX SCORES FOLLOWING 11 TURNOVERS

• Utah State’s defense has allowed 30 points (3 TD, 3 FG) following 11 Aggie turnovers this season. In fact, two of the touchdowns allowed were on a short field as the opponent forced a fumble at the USU 21-yard line and returned an interception to the USU 14-yard line.

UTAH STATE IN THE MOUNTAIN WEST
• Utah State is 40-27 (.597) all-time in the Mountain West, which includes a 22-12 (.647) home record, and that 40-27 record is the third-best against MW opponents (including championship games) since it joined the league in 2013. Boise State (55-14) has the best record in the league during that time, while San Diego State (49-18) has the second-best record. Hawai’i is 10th overall (23-46).

• Utah State is 19-7 (.731) against teams from the West Division of the Mountain West, which is the second-best record by any school in the league behind Boise State (21-7). Overall, USU has won 10 of its last 13 games against MW West Division opponents.

AGGIES RALLY FROM FOUR DOUBLE-DIGIT DEFICITS FOR FOUR WINS
• Utah State rallied from double-digit deficits to win four of its five games this season, marking the first time in school history that has happened. In fact, USU overcame a double-digit fourth-quarter deficit in each of its first two road wins this season.

• In its 28-24 road win at UNLV, Utah State overcame a 10-point (17-7) first-quarter deficit and scored the winning touchdown with 35 seconds remaining in the game.

• In its 49-45 road win at Air Force, Utah State actually overcame four double-digit deficits to get the win. First, USU trailed 10-0 before taking a 13-10 lead. USU then trailed 24-13 and later 31-20 before taking a 34-31 lead. USU then trailed 45-34 before scoring 15 unanswered points in the final 9:51 for the win.

• In its 48-24 home win against North Dakota, Utah State outscored the Fighting Hawks 41-3 over the final three quarters after trailing 21-7 in the first 15 minutes of play.

• In its 26-23 season-opening road win at Washington State, Utah State overcame a 12-point (23-11) fourth-quarter deficit by scoring 15 unanswered points in the final 5:25 of the game.

DID YOU KNOW?
• Utah State has trailed after the first quarter in five of its seven games, trailed at the half in six of its seven games, and trailed after the third quarter in five of its seven games this year.

• Utah State has trailed by double digits in four of its five wins this season, including coming from behind in the fourth quarter in all three of its road wins, which included a pair of double-digit deficits. In fact, USU scored the winning touchdown at Washington State with 13 seconds to play and the winning touchdown at UNLV with 35 seconds remaining in the game.

• Utah State has been outscored 68-27 in the first quarter and 161-129 during the first three quarters this season, but has outscored its opponents 71-40 in the fourth quarter, which includes a 61-20 advantage in its five wins.

SCOUTING HAWAI’I
• Hawai’i is 4-4 on the season following its 48-34 non-conference home win against New Mexico State last weekend. The Rainbow Warriors, who are 1-2 in Mountain West play, are led by junior QB Chevan Cordeiro, who is 101-of-185 (.546) passing for 1,410 yards (235.0 ypg) with seven touchdowns and six interceptions. Sophomore RB Dae Dae Hunter leads the team in rushing with 558 yards on 78 carries (7.2 ypc/79.7 ypg) with three touchdowns. And, senior WR Calvin Turner Jr. has caught 44 passes for 514 yards (11.7 ypr/64.3 ypg) with two touchdowns. Defensively, senior S Khoury Bethley has a team-best 59 tackles, which includes 3.0 sacks and 6.0 tackles for loss, while junior LB Darius Muasau has 56 tackles, which includes 3.0 sacks and 5.0 tackles for loss. As a team, Hawai’i is averaging 29.0 points and 422.5 yards of total offense per game (246.6 passing, 175.9 rushing) and allowing 31.8 points and 448.3 yards of total offense (297.0 passing, 151.3 rushing). Hawai’i returns 18 starters (O-7, D-11) and 66 lettermen (O-28, D-35, S-3) from last year’s team that went 5-4 overall and 4-4 in Mountain West play to finish in fifth place. The Rainbow Warriors concluded their season with a 28-14 win against Houston in the New Mexico Bowl. Todd Graham is 104-69 in 14 seasons as a collegiate head coach, including a 9-8 record in his second season at Hawai’i.

AGGIES AND RAINBOW WARRIORS SERIES HISTORY
• Utah State and Hawai’i will be facing one another for the 17th time this weekend with USU holding a 10-6 advantage. Overall, USU has won five-straight games played in the series, including each of the last two at home. USU posted a 38-0 home win against UH in 2017 and a 56-17 road win in 2018, the last time the two teams played one another. The first meeting in the series was on Dec. 17, 1927, in Honolulu with UH winning, 21-20. Overall, USU is 5-2 all-time against the Rainbow Warriors at home. During their current five-game winning streak in the series, the Aggies have outscored the Rainbow Warriors 211-72 for an average margin of victory of 27.8 points (42.2-14.4).

UTAH STATE vs. HAWAI’I SERIES 19TH-MOST PLAYED IN SCHOOL HISTORY
• Utah State and Hawai’i will be meeting for the 17th time in series history this weekend, which is the 19th-most played series in USU history.

UTAH STATE AND HAWAI’I AS CONFERENCE FOES
• Utah State and Hawai’i have spent 15 years as league foes as both schools were members of the Western Athletic Conference from 2005-11, and have been members of the Mountain West since 2013 when USU joined the league. As members of the WAC, USU went 2-5 against the Rainbow Warriors with a 1-2 home record and a 1-3 road mark. Since joining the Mountain West, USU is 4-0 against the Rainbow Warriors, including a 2-0 home record.

AGGIES FROM HAWAI’I
• Utah State has two players on its roster from Hawaii in junior DT Hale Motu’apuaka (Honolulu/Punahou HS) and junior S Dusten Ramseyer-Burdett (Anahola/Kapaa HS).

DID YOU KNOW?
• Utah State has 38 players in its program from the state of Utah, while Hawai’i has 41 players on its roster from the Hawaiian Islands

/// SERIES NOTABLES BETWEEN UTAH STATE AND HAWAI’I ///
The following are series notables between Utah State and Hawai’i dating back to 1927 and encompassing the last 16 meetings.

• During their current five-game winning streak in the series, the Aggies have outscored the Rainbow Warriors 211-72 for an average margin of victory of 27.8 points (42.2-14.4).

• Utah State has held Hawai’i to less than 18 points in each of the last four meetings and in nine games in series history and USU is 9-0 in those games. USU has scored at least 35 points in five-straight games and has scored at least 30 points 11 times in series history and is 9-2 in those games.

• Only two games in series history have been decided by one score, while 14 games have been decided by double digits, including nine games by at least 20 points.

• Nine of Utah State’s 10 wins in the series have been by double digits, while five of the Rainbow Warriors’ six wins have been by double digits.

• Utah State has controlled the time of possession in seven of the last 11 meetings.

• The team with the most rushing yards has won eight-straight games in the series, while the team that controls the time of possession is just 5-6 in the last 11 meetings.

• The team that leads at the half has won 10 of the last 11 games, while the team that scores first has won nine of the last 11 games.

• Hawai’i has had 11 100-yard receivers, six 300-yard passers and four 100-yard rushers in the past 11 meetings, while Utah State has had five 100-yard rushers, two 100-yard receivers and two 300-yard passers. In fact, USU has had a 100-yard rusher in each of the last four games in the series, including two in its last meeting.

• There have been two shutouts in series history, a 48-0 USU win in 1966, which ranks as the 21st-largest winning margin in school history, and a 38-0 USU win in 2017.

/// CURRENT AGGIES vs. HAWAI’I ///
• Utah State has 11 players on its current roster that have played against Hawai’i, including
five that have appeared in multiple games in graduate senior OL Demytrick Ali’ifua, graduate senior WR Jordan Nathan, senior ILB Kevin Meitzenheimer, senior WR Savon Scarver and senior TE Carson Terrell. Nathan started against Hawai’i in 2017, while senior OL Alfred Edwards started against the Rainbow Warriors in 2018.

• Other Aggies that played against Hawai’i in 2018 include graduate senior CB Andre Grayson, senior S Jarrod Green, senior CB Zahodri Jackson, senior WR Deven Thompkins and junior DT Hale Motu’apuaka.

• Nathan has three receptions for 31 yards and three punt returns for four yards. Scarver has two receptions for 17 yards and one kickoff return for 66 yards. Thompkins has two receptions for 11 yards and Terrell has one reception for two yards. Meitzenheimer has five tackles, while Green and Jackson have one tackle each, and Grayson has two pass breakups.

• Graduate senior ILB Justin Rice has also played two games against Hawai’i during his time at Fresno State. In 2019, Rice started at linebacker and had seven tackles, which included 1.0 sacks. In 2016, Rice played at running back and had one carry for two yards.

/// UTAH STATE IN THE MOUNTAIN WEST ///
• Utah State is 167-188-8 (.471) all-time against current members of the Mountain West with a 40-26-4 record vs. Wyoming, a 36-39-2 record vs. Colorado State, an 18-7 record vs. UNLV, an 18-20-1 record vs. San José State, a 14-13 record vs. New Mexico, a 13-18-1 record vs. Fresno State, a 10-6 record vs. Hawai`i, a 7-19 record vs. Nevada, a 5-21 record vs. Boise State, a 4-6 record vs. Air Force and a 2-13 record vs. San Diego State

Sat., Oct. 30 @ 1:00 pm PT
Wyoming Cowboys at San José State Spartans

Wyoming Cowboys

Wyoming vs. San Jose State Preview
• Wyoming’s defense continues to be one of the best in the nation, ranking No. 3 in the nation in pass defense and No. 16 in total defense. Details are on Page 3 of these game notes.

• Cowboy linebacker Chad Muma continues to be one of the top defenders in the nation. Muma currently ranks No. 1 in interception returns for touchdowns, No. 4 in the nation in solo tackles and No. 10 in total tackles.

• Wyoming and San Jose State will be playing for the 12th time this Saturday. The Cowboys lead the overall series 7-4.

2021 Wyoming Offensive Balance — 48 Percent Rushing and 52 Percent Passing: Through the first seven games of this season, Wyoming’s offense has begun to develop
the balance it has been striving for in terms of rushing yards and passing yards. In game one vs. Montana State, the Pokes rushed for 151 yards and had 196 yards passing yards for a total of 347 yards of total offense. That equated to 43.5 percent from the running game and 56.5 percent from the passing game. Wyoming generated 191 rushing yards and 204 passing yards in the win at Northern Illinois for 395 yards of total offense. The rushing attack was responsible for 48.4 percent of the offensive output and the passing game generated 51.6 percent. Against Ball State, the Pokes accounted for 378 yards of total offense — 177 rushing yards and 201 passing. The running game provided 46.8 percent of the offense and the passing game generated 53.2 percent.

A Season of Streaks: The Wyoming
Cowboys have had a 2021 season that has been filled with streaks.

Wyoming began the season with four consecutive wins.

Over the last three weeks, UW has suffered three consecutive losses.

Cowboys Have Shown an Ability to Bounce Back in Recent Seasons:
The Cowboys have shown an ability to bounce back in recent seasons. Wyoming began the 2017 season 4-3 — the same start that the Cowboys are experiencing in 2021.

That 2017 Cowboy squad, quarterbackd by Josh Allen, went on to post an 8-5 season and won the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.

In 2018, UW was captained by among others Marcus Epps, Logan Wilson and Andrew Wingard.

The 2018 Cowboys began the season 2-6, before rallying to win their final four games of the season and earn bowl eligibility at 6-6

Levi Williams Named Starting Quarterback vs. San Jose State: Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl announced on Tuesday that sophomore quarterback Levi Williams will get the start in this Saturday’s game at San Jose State.

Williams will be making his first start of the 2021 season and the seventh start of his Wyoming career.

The native of Canyon Lake, Texas, made his first career start in the 2019 NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl. He led Wyoming to a 38-17 win over Georgia State in the Arizona Bowl. In that game, he completed 11 of 26 passes for 234 yards and threw three touchdown passes. Williams added 53 rushing yards and scored one rushing TD in the win and ended the day with 287 yards of total offense.

Williams also started the final five games of Wyoming’s COVID-shortened season of 2020.

His career record as a starter is 3-3 entering this Saturday’s game at San Jose State.

The sophomore’s career totals include, completing 82 of 172 pass attempts for 1,303 yards, four touchdowns and six interceptions. He has also rushed for 311 yards and has scored seven rushing touchdowns, including three TD runs at UNLV in 2020. Williams has accounted for 1,614 yards of total offense in the 12 career games he has played in as a Cowboy

Wyoming-San Jose State Meet for the 12th Time This Saturday in San Jose, Calif.: The Wyoming Cowboys and San Jose State Spartans will be meeting for the 12th time this Saturday.

Wyoming holds a 7-4 advantage in the series. The Spartans joined the Mountain West Conference for the 2013 season. SJSU leads the MW portion of the series 3-1 over the Cowboys.

The Pokes and Spartans also met each other twice when both schools were members of the Western Athletic Conference. Those two meetings in 1996 and ‘97 were both won by Wyoming.

The Cowboys won the last meeting in the series in 2018 (24-9) in Laramie. The Spartans won the last meeting in San Jose in 2017 (20-17). Below is a breakdown of the overall series history between the Cowboys and Spartans.

• Wyoming leads the overall series 7-4
• Wyoming trails in the Mountain West series 1-3
• Wyoming led the WAC series 2-0
• Wyoming led in non-conference meetings 4-1
• UW’s leads the series vs. San Jose State in Laramie 3-2
• UW’s leads the series vs. San Jose State in San Jose 4-2

Cowboy Offense Among Best in the Nation in Third-Down Conversions and Red-Zone Offense: Two key offensive statistics are how an offense is able to convert in third-down situations and how effective an offense is at scoring points once in the red zone. The Wyoming Cowboys are among the best in 2021 in both of those key stats.

Pokes One of Least Penalized Teams in the Country: Once again this year, the Wyoming Cowboys are one of the least penalized teams in the country. That has been a consistent part of the Wyoming Football program under head coach Craig Bohl. Entering this week’s game, this is where the Pokes rank in fewest penalties and fewest penalty yards out of 130 FBS programs

San José State Spartans

San José State record: 4-4, 2-2 Mountain West. Most recently, the Spartans came from behind to defeat UNLV, 27-20. The Spartans are at the .500 mark for the fourth time this season. Wyoming record: 4-3, 0-3 Mountain West. Most recently, the Cowboys lost their third in a row in a 14-3 loss to New Mexico at home on October 23. Wyoming’s last win was a 24-22 victory over UConn on September 25.

Seeking a winning streak in 2021: With four regular season games remaining, San \Jose State has its fourth opportunity of the year for its first winning streak. In the three previous chances, the Spartans were the road team and lost at USC on September 4, at Western Michigan on September 25, and at Colorado State on October 9.
Second comeback win this season: San Jose State overcame a 17-3 halftime deficit in Las Vegas to post a 27-20 Mountain West v victory over UNLV. The last time the Spartans trailed by 10 or more points and won was a 17-16 victory over Fresno State after falling behind 16-3 in the first half. The UNLV victory was San Jose State’s second come-from-behind win of the season. San Jose State trailed Hawai’i, 7-0, until the 5:26 mark of the second quarter en route to a 17-13 triumph.

A season-high five quarterback sacks at UNLV: San Jose State was credited with a season-high five quarterback sacks in its UNLV win on October 21. Defensive lineman
Viliami Fehoko with 2.0 sacks and lineman E.J. Ane and linebackers Jordan Cobbs and Kyle Harmon, on the final play of the game, each had their first of the season.
The last time the Spartans had at least 5.0 quarterback sacks in a game was the 2020 UNLV win when San Jose State had 7.0 sacks. Blocked kick #4: San Jose State is tied with Army West Point, Bowling Green, Coastal Carolina, and South Carolina for second in the Football Bowl Subdivision with four blocked kicks.

The Spartans’ fourth blocked kick of the season came in the UNLV win when safety Jay Lenard got his hand on a 40-yard field goal attempt by kicker Daniel Gutierrez, who made a career-long 53-yard try in the second quarter. San Jose State also has blocks in the Southern Utah (field goal) and Hawai’i (punt) wins and on a point after touchdown (PAT) in the loss at Western Michigan. Old Dominion enters the week ending October 30 as the national leader with five blocked kicks.

Run Stoppers: In three of San Jose State’s last four games, the Spartans’ opponent did not rush for 100 yards. Colorado State is the only October opponent to rush for at least 100 yards against the Spartans with 217 yards and a touchdown on 53 carries. San Jose State enters the Wyoming game tied for 11th in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) for fewest rushing touchdowns allowed at five in eight games.

Sat., Oct. 30 @ 5:00 pm MT
Boise State Broncos at Colorado State Rams

SERIES HISTORY
OVERALL RECORD: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10-0
HOME RECORD: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5-0
ROAD RECORD: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5-0
STREAK: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . W10
LONGEST STREAK: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . W10
MOST POINTS SCORED:
……………… 63; 63-13 (Oct. 15, 2011)
WIDEST MARGIN OF VICTORY:
……………… 50; 63-13 (Oct. 15, 2011)

Boise State Broncos

THE GAME
The Boise State football team, coming off its lone open week of the 2021 season, will hit the road to square off against Colorado State, Saturday (Oct. 30). The Broncos and Rams are slated to kick at 5 p.m. at Canvas Stadium in Fort Collins, Colo., and the game will be nationally televised by CBS Sports Network.

OFF AN OPEN WEEK
The Broncos are 13-1 in games after a scheduled open week since joining the Mountain West in 2011, the only loss coming to New Mexico in 2015 (Nov. 14; 31-24).
Boise State played seven-straight games to open the 2021 season, the longest stretch without a scheduled open week (in a non-COVID year) since 2015, when the Broncos played nine straight before an off week.

BRONCO GAME NOTES

THE SERIES
Boise State is a perfect 10-0 against Colorado State all-time, including five victories in Fort Collins. The Broncos’ first win over the Rams came in Boise State’s first conference game as a member of the Mountain West, a 63-13 drubbing in Fort Collins, Colo., Oct. 15, 2011.

SUCCESS ON THE ROAD
Boise State has won 12-consecutive conference road games, dating back to a Nov. 25, 2017 loss to Fresno State (28-17).

AN INTERESTING PARALLEL
Prior to the Broncos’ 26-17 road victory over 10th-ranked BYU, Boise State, under first-year head coach Andy Avalos, had gone 2-3 to open the season for the first
time since 2001. That season, under first-year head coach Dan Hawkins, Boise State went on the road and knocked off No. 8 Fresno State (35-30).

THE MIDDLE EIGHT
When Boise State wins the middle eight, it wins the game. In the Broncos’ three wins, during the final four minutes of the first half and the first four minutes of
the second half, the team has outscored its opponents, 27-0. In the team’s four losses, the Broncos have been outscored 39-7 in the middle eight.

SECOND-HALF DEFENSE
Boise State’s defense is one of only five nationally to not allow a touchdown in the second half or overtime in four games this season (West Virginia, Iowa, Air Force and San Jose State). Toledo is the lone defense to not allow a touchdown in the second half or overtime in five games this season.

DYNAMIC DUO
Defensive linemen Scott Matlock and Isaiah Bagnah rank among the top pass rushers in the Mountain West and nationally. Matlock, with 6.0 sacks, ranks tied for
11th nationally – and tied for first in the league – at 0.86 sacks per game. Bagnah, with 5.0 sacks, ranks tied for 32nd nationally – and tied for sixth in the MW – at 0.71 sacks per game. Boise State and Colorado State are the only schools in the conference that boast at least two individuals in the top 40 nationally in the statistical category.

Colorado State Rams

NOTING THE RAMS
• Colorado State enters year two – and the first true full season – under head coach Steve Addazio who was named the program’s 23rd head coach on Dec. 12, 2019. Addazio is in his 11th year as an FBS head coach in 2021 with the Rams after seven seasons at Boston College (2013-19) and two seasons at Temple (2011-12). He is only the second Colorado State head coach (Earle Bruce) to have won a bowl game as a head coach with another school.

• Addazio has been a head coach in five bowl games and led his teams to six bowl games. He has coached in more bowl games as a head coach than all other CSU head coaches except Earle Bruce (10 prior to CSU).

• Colorado State returned all but one starter from the 2020 squad and has a roster which includes 33 senior, fifth-year or beyond players.

• Tight end Trey McBride, fresh off a 2020 All-American season, elected to return to Colorado State in 2021 and is bringing NFL scouts to campus on a weekly basis. McBride appeared on Todd McShay’s Big Board as the top tight end and No. 27 overall prospect for the 2022 NFL Draft.

• Senior Ryan Stonehouse, a two-time All-American (2018, 2020), is currently the NCAA’s all-time career leader in punt average with a 47.3 mark. The three-time All-Mountain West performer is aiming to finish his career above 46.31.

• SACK MASTERS: Colorado State enjoyed an offseason of highlights at the professional level as former Ram Shaq Barrett – the NFL’s leading sacker in 2019 – won a Super Bowl with Tampa Bay, and Al Baker (1974-77) was unofficially named the NFL’s single-season sack record holder based on a review of film by Pro Football Reference for his 23 sacks in his rookie season.

• Speaking of sacks, Colorado State returns every contributor from a defensive front that led the nation in tackles for loss per game last season, including All*Mountain West First Team performer Scott Patchan who ranked No. 6 nationally in the category a season ago. The Rams were the most improved defensive line in the nation in 2020.

NOTING THE GAME
• Colorado State returns home after a two-game road swing to host Boise State, a team the Rams have never defeated in 10 tries.

• The Rams are the lone Mountain West team to have never defeated the Broncos. San Jose State was in the same dubious company before a victory over Boise State in the 2020 Mountain West Championship Game.

• In the last two games in Fort Collins, games between the Rams and Broncos have been tighter. Colorado State fell in overtime 59-52 in 2017 and 31-24 in 2019 following a massive snowfall in northern Colorado that week.

• HC Steve Addazio is 0-1 vs. Boise State, but that does not include a matchup in the 2018 First Responder Bowl between Boston College and Boise State. That
game was never finished due to weather.

Sat., Oct. 30 @ 7:30 pm PT
Fresno State Bulldogs at San Diego State Aztecs

THE SERIES (complete series info on pg. 8)
Series: SDSU leads, 30-25-4 / SDSU is 3-2 in last 5 gms.
Home: 17-11-2, Away: 13-14-2
SDCCU/Qualcomm/Jack Murphy: 10-4
Bulldog Stadium: 2-5
Longest SDSU Win Streak: 9, 1962-70
Longest Fresno State Win Streak: 8, 1954-61

Fresno State Bulldogs

THE BREAKDOWN
• The second-most played opponent for the Fresno State football program behind San Jose State is San Diego State, who will meet the Bulldogs for the 60th time on Saturday evening. • Fresno State and San Diego State will play for possession of the Old Oil Can Trophy, currently kept by the Aztecs.

IF THE ‘DOGS WIN
• Fresno State would have the Old Oil Can for the first time since 2018.
• Fresno State would defeat its second ranked opponent of the season.
• Kalen DeBoer would pick up his first win against the Aztecs as Fresno State head coach.
• The Bulldogs would win their first road test against the Aztecs since 2017.
• Fresno State would snap San Diego State’s 7-game winning streak, and blemish their undefeated season so far.
• Fresno State would win its second game of the season in the LA area.

THE BONES

• Fresno State Athletics is celebrating its centennial year and the 2021 football season is the 100th season of competition in program history.

• This is the 11th season* of the “Battle for the Old Oil Can” Trophy, given to the winning team in the rivalry series between San Diego State and Fresno State.

• Since the Mountain West implemented divisions and a conference championship game in 2013, the winner of the Bulldogs-Aztecs game has gone on to represent the West division in the title game six-of-seven times. The 2020 championship game was the first time since 2013 that neither San Diego State or Fresno State was the West Division representative, rather it was San Jose State, who went on to claim the title.

• Fresno State will face its third ranked opponent of the season as it travels to No. 21 San Diego State on Saturday.

• With a win last Saturday, Fresno State became bowl eligible for the first time since 2018.

• Fresno State senior running back Jordan Mims had a career-high game, leading the Fresno State offense to its 34-32 win over Nevada last Saturday at Bulldog Stadium. For his efforts, the Mountain West named him the conference Offensive Player of the Week on Monday.

• Jordan Mims has another honor rolling in as The Paul Hornung Award, presented by Texas Roadhouse, selected Mims to its weekly honor roll for week eight.

• Fresno State’s 2021 team captains are quarterback Jake Haener, running back Ronnie Rivers, defensive end
David Perales and linebacker Tyson Maeva.

• Whether it be transfers or true freshmen, Fresno State has seen a handful of fresh faces see their first taste
of Bulldog game action through the first seven games this season. Twenty four first-year ‘Dogs have played in
at least one game on the year.

• The Bulldogs have made quick work on the offensive scoring drives, having nine touchdown scoring drives
this season that have been scored in less than 1:00.

• Senior running back Ronnie Rivers became the program’s all-time leading touchdown scorer with touchdown No. 45 of his career against UConn on Aug. 28.

• Last time out, Rivers tied the program record for most career rushing touchdowns with his 64-yard touchdown run against Nevada. The senior Bulldog is tied atop the record books with Ryan Mathews (39, 2007-09).

• The Bulldogs lead the FBS in total tackles for loss (64.0) and are averaging 8.0 TFL per game this season, enough for second in the FBS.

• Fresno State is No. 3 in the FBS in fumbles recovered this season (9). The Bulldogs have recovered at least one fumble in each game on the year, with a season-best two at then-No. 13 UCLA. Fresno State has recovered at least one fumble in 13 of its last 14 games dating back to the 2020 season opener against Hawai’i.

THE AZTECS
SCOUTING THE AZTECS
No. 21 San Diego State is 7-0 (3-0) this season, coming off a 20-14 win over Air Force. The Mountain West leader survived a fourth-quarter comeback from the Falcons to remain one of nine undefeated FBS teams through Week 8. SDSU is off to its first 7-0 start since 1975. The Aztecs have notable Power 5 wins over Arizona (38-14) and Utah (33-31, 3OT). No. 21 is the highest that SDSU has ranked since coming in at No. 19 on Oct. 8, 2017. The Aztecs have hung their hats on a stingy defense this season. In the FBS, SDSU ranks No. 2 in third down conversion percentage and No. 7 in scoring defense. DB Trenton Thomspon ranks No. 3 in passes defended and DL Cameron Thomas ranks No. 7 in TFLs. SDSU’s punter Matt Araizer has earned four midseason All-America selections for the junior, including three on first teams (AP, ESPN and Sporting News) and one on the second team (The Athletic).

SERIES HISTORY
The second-most played opponent for the Fresno State football program behind San Jose State is San Diego State, who will meet the Bulldogs for the 60th time on Saturday evening. The ‘Dogs trail the all-time series 30-25-4 since the first-ever meeting in 1923. In games in San Diego, the Bulldogs are 11-17-2. After an eight-year pause, the Bulldogs and Aztecs renewed their rivalry in 2011 with a nonconference game and have played every season since with Fresno State joining SDSU in the Mountain West in 2012. Prior to 2011, the two schools played once in a nonconference game in 2002 after a stretch from 1992-98 playing as WAC league members. They also had intra-conference stints in the California Collegiate Athletic Association (1940-67) and Pacific Coast Athletics Association (1969-75). Out of the 59 all-time meetings, 46 of them have been intra-conference battles. Since the ‘Dogs moved to the Mountain West in 2012, the ‘Dogs are 5-3 against SDSU with wins in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017 and 2018.

LAST TIME
After defeating the Aztecs in back-to-back seasons, Fresno State fell to San Diego State 17-7 in 2019. The Aztecs held the Bulldogs to a season-low 206 total offensive yards to secure the victory in San Diego. The home team used an uncharacteristic offensive assault of 323 yards passing in addition to 102 on the ground as they outgained the Bulldogs by 219 yards. The teams did not face each other during the 2020 season, the game was canceled due to COVID protocols

FRESNO STATE NOTES

PLAYING FOR HARDWARE
This is the 11th season* of the “Battle for the Old Oil Can” Trophy, given to the winning team in the rivalry series between San Diego State and Fresno State.

The trophy stems from the discovery of an old oil can from Fresno (circa 1935) that was recovered during a San Diego State campus building project, said Jacquelyn K. Glasener, executive director of the Fresno State Alumni Association. “The old oil can,” she said, “likely came from a time when Aztec and Bulldog fans traveled to football games between the two schools via the old, twisting, precipitous Grapevine section of Highway 99 over Tejon Pass.”

“Cars in those days carried extra oil and water to be sure they could make it through difficult trips,” added Jim Herrick, former executive director of the San Diego State Alumni Association. The alumni associations of the two schools purchased an antique oil can to be the basis of the trophy to be awarded to the winner of the rivalry game each time the schools meet. *This is the 10th game played for the trophy as the 2020 game was canceled due to COVID19.

THE WEST DIVISION’S CREAM OF THE CROP
Since the Mountain West implemented divisions and a conference championship game in 2013, the winner of the Bulldogs-Aztecs game has gone on to represent the West division in the title game six-of-seven times. The 2020 championship game was the first time since 2013 that neither San Diego State or Fresno State was the West Division representative, rather it was San Jose State, who went on to claim the title.

The Bulldogs captured the West Division crown in 2013, 2014, 2017 and 2018, while the Aztecs played in the annual game in 2015, 2016 and 2019 as the West representative. In 2013, an epic 35-28 overtime win proved to be the deciding factor for the Bulldogs to earn the West crown over SDSU as the teams finished one-two in the final regular season league standings. A season later, a 24-13 victory at home over the Aztecs gave the ‘Dogs the edge when the season ended with both teams knotted at 5-3 in league play. In 2017, these two teams finished one-two again in the West race, but the Bulldogs defeated the Aztecs 27-3 on the road to give them the edge. In 2018, Fresno State ran away with the West Division going 7-1 while SDSU was 4-4 in league games. The Bulldogs won the 2018 edition of the series, 23-14.

The Bulldogs went on to win the MW Championship in two of the four seasons they advanced (2013, 2018) while SDSU won the MW Championship game in two of their three trips to the title game (2015, 2016).

RANKED OPPONENT? IT’S NOTHING NEW
Fresno State will face its third ranked opponent of the season as it travels to No. 21 San Diego State on Saturday. Fresno State has won three of its last four games against a ranked opponent. Fresno State’s last test against a top-25 team was at then-No. 13 UCLA on Sept. 18, 2021. The Bulldogs showed they can hang with anybody on the field, earning the win in “down-to-the-wire” fashion, 40-37. Prior to defeating UCLA this season, the Bulldogs’ last win over a ranked team was over then-No. 19 Boise State in the 2018 Mountain West Championship (Dec. 1, 2018). Before that, Fresno State defeated then-No. 23 Boise State on Nov. 25. 2017. Fresno State is 1-1 against its ranked opponents this season, falling at then- No. 11 Oregon 31-24 on Sept. 5. The
‘Dogs bounced back just two weeks later with their win at then-No. 13 UCLA.

GOING BOWLING
With a win last Saturday, Fresno State became bowl eligible for the first time since 2018. Fresno State’s last bowl game was a memorable one, defeating Arizona State 31-20 in the Mitsubishi Motors Las Vegas Bowl at Sam Boyd Stadium in 2018. The win in the bowl game secured Fresno State’s first-ever 12-win season. Running back Ronnie Rivers was named the game’s Most Valuable Player after accounting for 286 all-purpose yards, the fourth-most in a game in program history. He totaled 212 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 24 carries, while adding 41 punt return yards and 33 yards receiving. With a bowl appearance this season, Fresno State will play in its 15th bowl game since 2000, and its 30th in program history.

OFFENSIVE NOTES

NSTANT OFFENSE
The Bulldogs have made quick work on the offensive scoring drives, having nine touchdown scoring drives this season that have been scored in less than 1:00. Arguably the most notable one of the season was the game-winning drive at UCLA that ended with a 13-yard pass from Jake Haener to Jalen Cropper. The scoring drive was 6 plays for 75 yards and lasted 40 seconds. Fresno State has already had more scoring drives in under 60 seconds this season than they had in 2020, 2019, 2017, 2016, and 2015. The Bulldogs have had their most since the 2018 season.

2021 SCORING DRIVES UNDER 60 SECONDS:
• Rivers 61-yd pass from Haener vs. UConn, 10 seconds
• Cropper 86-yd pass from Haener vs. UConn, 14 seconds
• Cropper 24-yd pass from Haener vs. Cal Poly, 7 seconds
• Kelly 51-yd pass from Haener vs. Cal Poly, 11 seconds
• Pope 62-yd pass from Haener vs. Cal Poly, 54 seconds
• Cropper 13-yd pass from Haener at UCLA, 40 seconds
• Pope 65-yd pass from Haener at Hawai’i, 53 seconds
• Cropper 3-yd pass from Haener at Wyoming, 36 seconds
• Rivers 64-yd run vs Nevada, 28 seconds

BEST 1-2 PUNCH AROUND
Ronnie Rivers and Jordan Mims. A backfield threat together since 2017. Rivers and Mims have been a productive duo for the Fresno State offense over the years. When its not Rivers, it’s Mims and that is not a problem for the ‘Dogs.

Fresno State has utilized its run game more heavily in the last two outings, and it has worked. Defeating Wyoming at its own game, winning 17-0 behind 163 rushing yards and just 96 passing yards, the Bulldogs had a flashback of the work Mims and Rivers can put in when rotating together. Mims led the team with 78 yards rushing, but Rivers led the ‘Dogs in carries that week.

Last time out, it was Mims who ran all over the Nevada defense. Totaling career-high numbers in carries and rushing yards, Mims led the ‘Dogs in the run game on the week. Rivers had the longest run of the game with a 64-yard touchdown run in the first quarter.

Implementing Rivers and Mims back into the offensive play calling was something the Bulldogs wanted to do as they came out of the bye week two weeks ago, and it paid off. With the use of the veteran duo, the Bulldog offense is becoming more dimentional and not seen as just a passing attack for opposing defenses.

RONNIE IN THE RECORD BOOKS
Senior running back Ronnie Rivers became the program’s all-time leading touchdown scorer with touchdown No. 45 of his career against UConn on Aug. 28. Rivers broke the record in a big way, with a personal-best 61-yard receiving touchdown versus UConn. Rivers officially passed Anthony Daigle (1991-93) and sits as the leader in
the category. On the same play, Rivers also became the program’s all-time leader in career pass receptions by a running back and career receiving yards by a running back. He currently has 141 pass receptions for 1,307 yards in his career.

Last time out, Rivers tied the program record for most career rushing touchdowns with his 64-yard touchdown run against Nevada. The senior Bulldog is tied atop the record books with Ryan Mathews (39, 2007-09). With 80 yards rushing against Nevada, Rivers made the jump to fourth in Fresno State history with 3,202 career rushing yards. Robbie Rouse (4,647), Ron Rivers (3,473) and Ryan Mathews (3,280) are ahead of him.

MR. DO IT ALL
Rivers has the nation’s second-most career all-purpose yards (4,870 yards) among active FBS players. Rivers moved into fourth all-time in Fresno State history with 161 all-purpose yards against UCLA. The senior back passed his father (Ron Rivers) and Rodney Wright on the all-time all-purpose yardage leaders list at Fresno State. Rivers had 80 all-purpose yards last time out.

DEFENSIVE NOTES

SACK CITY
Fresno State is averaging three sacks a game this season, enough to rank No. 16 in the FBS. The Bulldogs’ 24 team sacks are the seventh-most by any team in the FBS this season. Nine different Bulldogs have registered a sack this season, but it has been the power in the defensive line unit that has racked up the numbers on getting to the quarterback. The starting defensive line unit in defensive tackle Kevin Atkins, defensive ends Arron Mosby and David Perales, and defensive tackle Leonard Payne Jr. are the teams first four leaders in the stat category, respectively. Atkins has a career-best and team-leading 6.0 sacks on the year so far.

LOOK OUT FOR 99
Fresno State defensive end David Perales ended the 2020 season as one of the most disruptive ends in the Mountain West. Perales was one of two Bulldogs to earn second team All-Mountain West honors at the conclusion of the 2020 season, but was not tabbed a preseason pick entering 2021. Perales had a slow start to the year for his usual play, not registering a sack until the fifth game of the season. Since then, he has had at least half a sack in four-straight games. Against Nevada, Perales came up big for the Bulldogs, registering a career-best 2.0 sacks. On the year, Perales has 24 tackles, 8.5 TFL, 4.0 sacks and two forced fumbles.

OUR FAVORITE KIND OF LOSS
Fresno State’s defense has registered at least 8.0 tackles for loss in five of seven games played this season. The Bulldogs lead the FBS in total tackles for loss (64.0) and are averaging 8.0 TFL per game this season, enough for second in the FBS. Defensive end Arron Mosby has the sixth-most tackles for loss in the NCAA, recording 10.0 in eight games this season. He is 16th in tackles for loss per game, averaging 1.2 through eight games on the year.

LEADER OF THE LOSSES
Kevin Atkins has 9.5 TFLs in the first eight games this season, setting
a new personal single-season mark. Atkins is off to a strong start as
a senior leader on the defensive line, and has recorded the most TFLs
by a Fresno State interior defensive lineman since 2005.

PLAY TO THE BALL
Fresno State is No. 3 in the FBS in fumbles recovered this season (9). The Bulldogs have recovered at least one fumble in each game on the year, with a season-best two at then-No. 13 UCLA. The Bulldogs’ fumble recovery against Nevada came at a crucial time, coming late in the fourth quarter as David Perales hit QB Carson Strong on a strip sack and Evan Williams scooped the football. The play stopped a critical Nevada offensive drive. Seven of Fresno State’s nine recovered fumbles have been from seven different players – Gates, Kwami Jones, Arron Mosby, Evan Williams, Kevin Atkins, Bralyn Lux and Leonard Payne Jr. DE Mosby and DB Williams lead the team with two apiece. Fresno State has recovered at least one fumble in 13 of its last 14 games dating back to the 2020 season opener against Hawai’i.

BRING THE JUICE 3-2
Fresno state junior safety Evan Williams leads the team with 57 tackles on the season, 35 solo. Williams has been a leader on the defensive side of the ball, both on the field and off. Whenever 32 is on the field, his presence is known. Williams has done a little bit of everything for the Bulldog defense on the year. Behind leading the team in tackles, Williams has added 3.0 TFL, two interceptions, two pass breakups, two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble. Williams ranks No. 4 in the FBS in fumbles recovered, picking up his second of the season last week against Nevada.

San Diego State Aztecs

SCENE SETTER (as of Sunday, Oct. 24)
• Off to its best start since the 1975 team opened the season 8-0, No. 21/20 San Diego State (7-0; 3-0 MW) returns to play the first of four straight conference divisional games when the Aztecs play “host” to Fresno State (6-2; 3-1 MW) in the 60th meeting for the Battle for the Old Oil Can.

• The game is a critical showdown between the teams currently at the top of the West Division standings of the Mountain West. The Aztecs (3-0) lead the West with Fresno State (3-1) a 1/2-game back and Nevada (2-1) a game behind.

• San Diego State leads the all-time series with Fresno State, 30-25-4. Either SDSU (2015 and 2016) or Fresno State (2013, 2014, 2017 and 2018) represented the division in the conference championship game in six of the first seven years of the two-division format. Amazingly, the composite score of the 59 previous meetings is Fresno State 1,217, San Diego State 1,205.

• Since 2012, San Diego State and Fresno State have each won three Mountain West championships.

• For the first time in school history, San Diego State moved up in the AP Top 25 Poll for a fourth consecutive week. The Aztecs debuted in the poll on No. 25 on Oct. 3, moved to No. 24 on Oct. 10, No. 22 on Oct. 17 and No. 21 on Oct. 24. If SDSU is ranked in the Oct. 31 poll, the Aztecs will tie the school record most consecutive polls ranked and most weeks ranked in a single season set in 1970.

• San Diego State is up to No. 21 in the AP Top 25 Poll and No. 20 in the AFCA Coaches Poll. This is SDSU’s highest ranking in the AP poll since the Aztecs were No. 19 for three consecutive weeks during the 2017 campaign (final week of that run was Oct. 8).

• This is the 28th week SDSU has appeared in the AP poll in school history and the 14th appearance since the start of the ’16 campaign.

• SDSU has made appearances in the AP Top 25 in four of the last six seasons (2016, 2017, 2019 and 2021) after experiencing a 341-poll drought (from Nov. 14, 1995 through Sept. 11, 2016).

• San Diego State is one of nine undefeated teams in the nation (out of 130 FBS programs). Of the nine, the Aztecs are the only unbeaten team in the Mountain West and the only unbeaten program in the Pacific Time Zone.

• San Diego State ranks among the top 25 teams nationally in 19 NCAA statistical categories. Most impressive is that all three areas – offense, defense and special teams – are represented. Listing only the major categories, on defense the Aztecs are 2nd in third down percentage defense (26.3), 4th in rushing defense (79.9), 5th in total defense (279.4), 6th in team passing efficiency defense (102.79), 7th in scoring defense (15.7), 9th in team tackles for loss (6.9), 14th in passes intercepted (9), 16th in team sacks (3.00) and 24th turnovers gained (13). On offense, the Aztecs are 6th in fewest interceptions (2),12th in turnovers lost (6) and 25th in time of possession (31:40). On special teams, SDSU is 1st in net punting (46.89), 2nd in blocked punts (2), 6th in non offensive
touchdowns (4), 19th in kickoff return average (26.77)

• San Diego State has one or less turnovers in six straight games. The Aztecs have either been positive or even in the turnover category in all seven games this season.

• The Aztecs have not trailed in the fourth quarter of a game this season.

• The Aztecs have been dominant to date with four of their seven victories coming by at least 18 points. San Diego State owns a season scoring margin of +107 (+15.3 ppg). Including only games against FBS opponents this season, the Aztecs are tied for 16th nationally in scoring margin.

• San Diego State has won six straight “home games” and is 7-1 at its temporary home in Carson, California. Since Nov. 2, 2013, the Aztecs are 40-10 in home games, outscoring the opposition by 577 points (1,441-864) during that span. SDSU will open its new stadium in Mission Valley on Sept. 3, 3022 against Arizona.

• San Diego State is 3-0 as an underdog this season and is 12-6 straight-up as an underdog since Oct. 17, 2015.

• Last Saturday, San Diego State scored the first 20 points of the game in a 20-14 victory at Air Force. The Aztecs held the Academy, which entered the game 6-1, to just 259 total yards, including 192 yards rushing (144 below their season average).

• The San Diego State defense once again showed why it is one of the nation’s best units. The Aztecs forced two turnovers and held the Falcons to just 4-of-16 on third down.

• San Diego State junior Aztec Patrick McMorris and junior linebacker Michael Shawcroft led the way with seven tackles apiece.

• Senior running back Chance Bell rushed for 50 yards on eight carries and had a touchdown to lead a ground attack that posted 157 yards rushing and two touchdowns.

• Junior defensive end Cameron Thomas has the fifth best defensive rating in the nation (per PFF) among players with 300 snaps. He has the most quarterback hits in the nation (14), and leads the team in tackles for loss (11) and quarterback hurries (13).

• Senior left tackle Zachary Thomas ranks eighth nationally among tackles in Pro Football Focus blocking grades (min. 400 snaps). In 406 snaps this season, Thomas
has allowed no sacks, no QB hits and has not committed a penalty.

• Defensively, San Diego State has been one of the top units nationally for the better part of a decade. In the 15 games in which Kurt Mattix has served as defensive coordinator (since the start of 2020 season) San Diego State ranks nationally tied for second in rushing touchdowns allowed (7), third in rushing yards allowed per game (89.7), third in total defense (281.6), fourth in pass efficiency defense (109.0), fifth in yards per rush (2.8) and fifth in scoring defense (16.8).

THE LEGEND OF MATT ARAIZA
• Junior punter/placekicker Matt Araiza, an AP first-team midseason All-American, continues to lead the nation and is on pace to break the NCAA FBS record for punt average. Araiza earned his third MW Special Teams Player of the Week honor of the 2021 campaign by averaging 54.8 yards per punt and a 50.8 net punt average, with
a long of 81 yards (no return on that punt) and two field goals, including a 51-yarder. Additionally, all five of his kickoffs went for touchbacks.

• For the season, Araiza leads the nation in punt average at 54.0 yards. He has 28 punts that have traveled at least 50 yards and has 22 punts downed inside the 20-
yard line. As previously mentioned, Araiza is on pace to break the NCAA record and could produce the following results and still be on record pace: Have consecutive 0-yard punts in his next two attempts, or average 24.20 yards (just over half his average) over his next five punts or average 37.59 yards over his next 10 punts.

• Matt Araiza leads the country with a 53.96 punt average, 3.79 yards per punt more than No. 2 (50.17). The 3.79-yard difference is greater than the difference between No. 2 and No. 17 (3.74 yards) of the 2021 national leaders.

• Araiza has five of the 19 longest punts in the nation this season (longest punt this season (86 yards), fifth longest (81), 10th longest (77), 14th longest (75) and 19th longest (72)).

• Since 1996, Araiza has consecutive games with at least an 80-yard punt and a 50-yard field goal. It has only happened one other time in a FBS game in the last 26 seasons (Utah’s Louie Sakoda at Wyoming on Oct. 11, 2008) over that span.

PROGRAM-AT-A-GLANCE
• Since the start of the 2015 campaign, San Diego State is 60-22 with a 72.8 winning percentage (T-9th nationally with Wisconsin) and the Aztecs are 59-19 (75.6 percent) since Oct. 3, 2015 (7th nationally).

• SDSU has four double-digit victory seasons in the last seven years. Only 10 schools in the nation can say that – San Diego State, Alabama, Appalachian State, Boise State, Clemson, Georgia, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma and Wisconsin.

• San Diego State has posted 11 consecutive seasons with at least a .500 record. That is tied for the eighth-longest streak nationally and is tied with Washington for the longest streak among Pacific Time Zone teams. In 10 of those 11 seasons, the Aztecs have posted a winning record.

• Since the start of the 2019 campaign, San Diego State is 15-2 in games decided by seven or more points.

• The Aztecs’ last seven losses have come by a combined 53 points and nine of their last 12 losses have been by 11 points or less.

• San Diego State is 59-19 in its last 78 overall games and 38-13 in its last 51 regular-season games against Mountain West opponents.

• The Aztecs are 16-8 in their last 24 games decided by eight points or less.

TRENDING
Searching for the formula to a San Diego State victory? Look no further.

OFFENSIVE KEYS
• San Diego State is 52-2 the last 54 times it has rushed for 200 yards. The Aztecs have surpassed 200 yards rushing in the first five games this season.

• The Aztecs are 71-15 since 2011 when committing one turnover or less, something SDSU has done in 23 of its last 28 games.

• San Diego State’s 26 turnovers since the start of the 2019 are the fifth fewest in the country (Kent State leads with 21).

• SDSU had an advantage in time of possession in 20 of the last 28 games. Since 2011, the Aztecs are 30-7 when possessing the football for at least 35 minutes.

DEFENSIVE KEYS
• The Aztecs are 62-3 since 2011 when holding the opposition to 17 points or less. SDSU has held 16 of its last 22 opponents to 17 points or less.

• The Aztecs are 33-7 since 2011 when allowing less than 150 passing yards.

• San Diego State is 52-5 the last 57 times it has held the opposition to a 33.3 percent or less mark on third down.

• Since 2009, San Diego State’s record broken down by opponent passing efficency: less than 110: 61-8; between 110-150: 39-23;
greater than 150: 5-23.

• Since the start of the 2015 campaign, SDSU is 39-2 when holding its opponent to a passing efficiency rating of below 110. SDSU has
done that in five of seven games this season.

SPECIAL TEAMS / OVERALL TRENDS
• The Aztecs have are 39-2 the last 41 times when owning a turnover advantage.

• San Diego State is 19-2 the last 21 times it has an advantage in field position.

• Since the start of the 2015 season, San Diego State is tied for the most kickoff returns for touchdowns (13) with Kansas State.

• Since the start of the 2020 season, San Diego State has eight non-offensive touchdowns, tied for third nationally (Alabama, 10).

• This season, the Aztecs have four non-offensive touchdowns (two punt return, kickoff return, interception return). That is tied for sixth, two behind UTSA (6).

THE 7-0 START

• San Diego State is off to its first 7-0 start in the last 46 seasons (since 1975).

• In the Division I era, this is the first time SDSU has opened a season 7-0 with a pair of victories over teams from a Power 5 Conference.

• This is the fourth 7-0 start for the Aztecs in the 53 seasons at the Division I level.

• Despite playing a pair of Pac-12 opponents this season, San Diego State’s scoring margin of +107 is its best in a season which opened 7-0 since the Aztecs were +192 after a 7-0 start in 1975.

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