Friday night was a bit of a Mountain West Conference showcase, and it ended with mixed results for the conference. San Diego State played a back-and-forth slugfest, with the Aztecs coming out on top, 51-44, in overtime. For Utah State, the news wasn't as good: a 31-14 loss to former MWC member BYU, and a seemingly serious injury to quarterback Chuckie Keeton.
San Diego State (2-3, 1-0 MWC) jumped out to a 23-17 halftime lead over Nevada (3-3, 2-1). The Aztecs appeared to put the game away in the third quarter, taking a 44-23 advantage into the final 15 minutes. However, the Wolfpack weren't done, and a 21-0 run in the fourth quarter, including the game-tying score with 1:38 remaining, forced the game into overtime. SDSU scored on its first possession in the extra period, and Nevada couldn't match it, failing on a 4th-and-11 play from the 26 to end the game.
Over at Mountain West Connection, SB Nation's MWC blog, they're noting that after weeks of struggles, the Aztecs' offense finally broke out against a porous Nevada defense.
San Diego State, whose offense has struggled all year, had no issues this game against a woeful Nevada defense. Two Aztec runners went for over 100 yards as Adam Muema totaled 134 and Donnel Pumphrey totaled 112. The Nevada defense allowed Aztec quarterback Quinn Kaehler to look like a Heisman candidate going 23/30 for 286 with 3 touchdowns and no interception. And make no mistake, Kaehler is no Heisman candidate.
In the other game of the night, BYU (3-2) slowly ground Utah State (3-3, 2-0) into a pulp. Unfortunately for the Aggies, the lopsided loss wasn't close to the worst thing that happened. Keeton, the dynamic quarterback who has scored 19 total touchdowns this season, left the game in the first quarter with a knee injury. Utah State officials fear a torn ACL and MCL, which would bring an early end to the season for the junior signal caller.
BYU took a 10-0 lead in the first quarter, and after Keeton's injury, the Aggies never really threatened. Craig Harrison came on in relief for Utah State, completing just 18-of-41 passes for 185 yards and a touchdown and carrying six times for 38 yards. The Aggies' offense, which is averaging 491.2 yards and 40.4 points per game this season, compiled 397 yards against the Cougars, and USU's second touchdown of the night was scored with 1:34 left in the game.
Nathan Mathis at SB Nation BYU blog Vanquish the Foe was pleased with BYU's performance.
BYU played a great game, and Taysom Hill showed improvement in his passing game for the second week in a row, going 17-31 (54%) with three touchdown passes. The Cougar defense gave another impressive show, though again, many people wanted to see how this defense would hold up against Chuckie Keeton. Nevertheless, BYU's defense held the Aggies to two touchdowns, one of which came on a short field caused by the first of Taysom Hill's two turnovers.
Hill, Matthews, and Jamaal Williams all logged impressive performances offensively. Hill went 17-31 with 278 yards, three touchdown passes, and two turnovers. Van Noy was his usual self defensively, and his performance was highlighted by his pick six at the beginning of the game, a play which gave the Cougars the momentum from the very beginning.