Photo courtesy of Utah State Athletics
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (Sports Network) -
IDAHO: The Vandals had a rough go of it in the season opener as they bowed to FCS foe Eastern Washington at home in a 20-3 decision last Thursday night. Kicker Trey Farquhar knocked through a 27-yard field goal to begin the scoring late in the first quarter, but after that the Vandals were never heard from as the squad managed a meager 237 yards of total offense. Quarterbacks Logan Bushnell and Taylor Davis combined to hit 16-of-32 passes for 164 yards, the former tossing an interception and being sacked once. Najee Lovett caught eight balls for 105 yards in the losing effort. Next up for the Vandals is a meeting with the Bowling Green Falcons on the road in Ohio this Saturday. The series is tied at one game apiece, with BGSU posting a 32-15 win in the most recent encounter last season in Moscow. The 2009 clash took place in the Humanitarian Bowl in Boise where Idaho captured a thrilling 43-42 victory.
LOUISIANA TECH: The Bulldogs were supposed to kick off their campaign on Thursday, August 30 in Shreveport against Texas A&M, but school officials decided to postpone the game due to the impending weather brought on by Hurricane Isaac. The meeting with the Aggies will now take place on October 13 as both schools had that date open on their respective schedules. Now, the season opener for Louisiana Tech becomes the team's matchup against Houston this Saturday. In a series that dates back to 1948, the Cougars own a 4-2 edge against LaTech, thanks in part to a 35-34 victory in last year's meeting.
NEW MEXICO STATE: Winners of just four games all of last season, the Aggies got off on the right foot with a 49-19 rout of Sacramento State at home last Thursday night. Andrew Manley threw for a career-high 367 yards and three touchdowns as he completed just 14 of his 22 attempts. Making it look rather easy on the other end was Austin Franklin who registered a career-best 236 receiving yards and two TDs for NMSU. On the defensive side of the ball, Trashaun Nixon led the team with 15 tackles, his first career double-digit tackle performance. Next up for the Aggies is the first road test of the new season, a stop at Ohio University on Saturday. The Bobcats won the first and only meeting between the teams last season by a score of 44-24 in Las Cruces.
SAN JOSE STATE: The Spartans gave it everything they had versus local rival Stanford, the 21st-ranked team in the nation, but San Jose State still bowed in the Bill Walsh Legacy Game by a score of 20-17 at Stanford Stadium on Friday night. Quarterback David Fales converted 24-of-35 pass attempts for 216 yards and a score, but he was picked off once and sacked three times by a Stanford team that begins life after Andrew Luck who was the first pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. Noel Grigsby reeled in seven passes for a game-high 92 yards and a score, while Damon Ogbum made an impression on defense with two forced fumbles and 1.5 tackles for loss. Next up for the Spartans is another in-state competitor in UC Davis. The Aggies won the most recent matchup two seasons ago, 14-13, but the team still trails in the all-time series by a count of 5-4-2 nonetheless.
TEXAS STATE: Another newcomer to the WAC, the Bobcats made a huge splash in their first game as an official member of the Football Bowl Subdivision as they dominated the Houston Cougars in a 30-13 final on Saturday night in Robertson Stadium. Marcus Curry paced the Bobcats with a career-best 131 yards rushing and three total touchdowns. The victory marked the first time the Bobcats have defeated an FBS team since 2000 when they took care of Louisiana- Monroe. As a unit, the Bobcats raced for 248 yards on the ground, compared to just 115 for the hosts, while quarterback Shawn Rutherford shook off four sacks and finished 18-of-24 for 189 yards and a score. Known for their aggressive passing attack which last season led the FBS with 450.1 ypg, the Cougars were limited to just 211 yards through the air and 326 yards of total offense which fell far short of the team's monstrous 599.1 ypg which led the nation a year ago. Staying in the Lone Star State for the next few weeks, Texas State hosts Texas Tech in its home opener this Saturday.
TEXAS-SAN ANTONIO: The Roadrunners kicked off life as a member of the Western Athletic Conference in exciting fashion on Saturday afternoon as they slipped by South Alabama in a 33-31 final. Kicker Sean Ianno played the hero for UTSA as he knocked through four field goals, including a career-long 51-yarder with 16 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter which proved to be the game winner. Now in just their second season with a football program, the win was the first for the Roadrunners away from Alamo City and was also the school's first-ever win against an opponent from the Football Bowl Subdivision. Quarterback Eric Soza converted 18-of-30 passes for 215 yards and three touchdowns, while the entire team rolled up 183 yards rushing on 31 attempts. The Roadrunners will be in action again this weekend when they entertain Texas A&M-Commerce from Division II's Lone Star Conference.
UTAH STATE: The Aggies won their sixth straight regular-season outing as they kicked off the 2012 campaign with a resounding 34-3 triumph over Southern Utah last Thursday. Utah State, which scored on each of its first three possessions, was paced by Joe Hill who turned his 11 rushing attempts into 116 yards and three touchdowns, while quarterback Chuckie Keaton converted all but four of his 26 pass attempts for 304 yards and two TDs as well. Matt Austin reeled in five passes for 119 yards and a score as the Aggies rolled up 581 yards of total offense and held Southern Utah to just 209 yards in the meeting. Next up for the Aggies is a meeting with in-state rival Utah in Logan this Friday. The Utes own a 77-28-4 advantage in the all-time series versus USU, posting a 35-17 win in the most recent matchup back in 2009 to give them 12 in a row over the Aggies. The last win for Utah State was a 21-14 final on the road back in 1997.