THIS WEEK’S GAMES TO WATCH FOR: Conference USA’s Charlotte looks to make a splash on national television Friday night, hosting the American’s Temple Owls. The 49s have never faced the Owls, who are receiving votes in both the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches Polls. On Saturday, the league has three teams playing nonconference opponents, including Middle Tennesse. The Blue Raiders host SEC-member Vanderbilt, which opened the season with a loss to C-USA member WKU. Conference USA also has four league games on tap. It’s the second straight year Old Dominion opens C-USA play with the defending league champs, visiting Marshall. WKU and Rice meet for the first time while UTSA and UTEP look to break the 1-1 series tie. It is Homecoming for the Miners, who have won six of their last seven homecoming games.
The Mountain West begins Saturday with four non-conference games, including the first game in the series for the Commander-In-Chief cup. Air Force won the cup last year but Navy, new members of the American Athletic Conference, has won nine of the last 12. San Jose State, which has lost six straight road games, heads to Alabama for a battle with the SEC’s Auburn Tigers. New Mexico hosts in-state rival New Mexico State, looking to win three of its first five for the first time since 2007. There are four MW conference games slated, including a battle between the last two Gildan New Mexico Bowl champions as Utah State (2014) hosts Colorado State (2013). UNLV and Nevada fight for the Fremont Cannon while Frenso State and San Diego State vie for the Old Oil Can Trophy. For a complete schedule with series notes, see page 1.
RECAPPING WEEK 4: Boise State started the week off with a statement win (56-14) at Virginia Friday night. The Broncos returned an interception 21 yards for a touchdown on the very first play of the game and increased their lead to 17-0 with almost 8 minutes still left in the first quarter. The MW notched two other nonconference road wins on the weekend as Nevada held off Buffalo and Colorado State slipped past UTSA. In league play, New Mexico garnered a 10-point win on the road and San Jose State ran past Fresno State.
Conference USA claimed three nonconference victories as Marshall edged past Kent State in double overtime and WKU and UTEP posted double-digit wins. In league play, Louisiana Tech used home field advantage for a 10 point win over FIU while Florida Atlantic picked up its first win of the season, beating Charlotte. Complete C-USA and MW results for week 4 are:
Boise State def. Virginia, 56-14
#5 Baylor def. Rice, 70-17 #22 Wisconsin def. Hawai`i, 28-0
Appalachian State def. Old Dominion, 49-0 Colorado State def. UTSA, 33-31
Florida Atlantic def. Charlotte, 17-7 Illinois def. Middle Tennessee, 27-25
Iowa def. North Texas, 62-16 Louisiana Tech def. FIU, 27-17
Marshall def. Kent State, 36-29 2OT Nebraska def. Southern Mississippi, 36-28
Nevada def. Buffalo, 24-21 New Mexico def. Wyoming, 38-28
Penn State def. San Diego State, 37-21 San Jose State def. Fresno State, 49-23
UNLV def. Idaho State, 80-8 UTEP def. Incarnate Word, 27-17
WKU def. Miami (OH), 56-14
A PREVIEW OF THINGS TO COME: The Mountain West and Conference USA’s only meeting this season in preparation of the tenth annual Gildan New Mexico Bowl is in the books. Colorado State trailed UTSA, 17-16, in the Alamodome at the half on Saturday, Sept. 26. The Ram’s Nick Stevens opened the second half with a pair of touchdowns, putting CSU in front en route to the 33-31 win. It is the fewest meetings of conferences pitted to play in the Albuquerque-based bowl game in it’s 10-year history. The MW has won two straight Gildan New Mexico Bowls and both contests (2010 and 2014) against Conference USA.
NEW MEXICO’S TRUE HEROES: After a highly successful inaugural program in 2014, the State of New Mexico, along with the Gildan New Mexico Bowl, is searching for the next round of New Mexico True Heroes - New Mexicans who make their communities a better place to live, work, and raise a family.
The New Mexico True Heroes Program is online now at NewMexico.org/TrueHeroes. The nomination form asks two key questions: “What makes this person a New Mexico True Hero?” and “How have the nominee’s efforts made a difference in his or her community?”
The 2014 New Mexico True Heroes included: John Masterson (Roswell) for his bravery in ceasing a school shooting at Berrendo Middle School, Jan DeMaggio (Albuquerque) for her creation of dream bedrooms for children with life-threatening illnesses, Chuck Howe (Angel Fire) for his work in aiding veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Jim Stogsdill (Albuquerque) for the advocacy and protection he and his group provide for children in abusive or intimidating situations.
Nominations remain open through Friday, October 9. A panel of judges from around the state will determine the top ten finalists, and four New Mexico True Heroes will be named this fall. The honorees will take part in a series of community events in their hometowns and get special recognition during the festivities surrounding the 2015 Gildan New Mexico Bowl on Saturday, December 19.