Here are five games in the Mountain West Conference to watch in 2013:
Friday, Sept. 27
The Buzz: These two programs are quite familiar with each other as both were members of the Western Athletic Conference before heading into this season. They open conference play against each other for the second straight season. Last season, Utah State scored touchdowns on its first four possessions on its way to a 49-27 victory over the Spartans. The Aggies went on to capture their first conference championship outright since 1936. After 11-2 seasons, both programs went through coaching changes with Utah State’s Gary Andersen leaving for Wisconsin and San Jose State’s Mike MacIntyre heading to Colorado.
Boise State at Utah State
Saturday, Oct. 12
The Buzz: Boise State’s decision to remain in the Mountain West instead of bolting for the Big East this season means the league will continue to have a marquee program like the Broncos to showcase on a national scale. These two programs have meet 13 previous times with Boise State winning the last 10 meeting including the last one in 2010 when Kellen Moore threw three touchdowns to lead the Broncos to a 50-14 victory. These two teams finished with top 15 defenses – Boise State (12), Utah State (14) – but only the Aggies had a top 25 offense in 2012.
Nevada at Boise State
Saturday, Oct. 19
The Buzz: One of the most notable rivalries in the Mountain West has been Nevada and Boise State. These two programs have faced each other 39 times on the football field with the Broncos holding a 26-13 advantage including 10 of the last 11 meetings. However both of these programs have a history together including in 2006 when Boise State wrapped up a perfect season and a BCS bowl bid with a victory over the Wolf Pack. In 2010, Nevada returned the favor by ending Boise State’s perfect season in overtime. The loss stopped any chance the Broncos had of competing for a national title.
Fresno State at San Diego State
Saturday, Oct. 26
The Buzz: Fresno State finished in a three-way tie for first with Boise State and San Diego State last season earning the Bulldogs a share of the conference title in their first season in the Mountain West. After flirting with a move to the Big East, San Diego State returns to MWC helping to continue its long-standing rivalry with the Bulldogs. Last season, Derek Carr threw for 536 yards and five touchdowns to lead the Bulldogs to a 52-40 victory. It was just a precursor to the rest of the season as Carr earned the conference’s offensive MVP award.
Saturday, Nov. 30
The Buzz: Colorado State and Air Force meet for the 51st time in a storied rivalry that started back in 1957. Air Force has owned this series (30-19-1) including winning the past seven meetings. In fact, the Falcons have pretty much dominated on the gridiron during that time, winning on average by a margin of 19 points per game. Much of that can be attributed to the team’s rushing attack, which was first in the league in 2012. That could change this season with the team’s top two leading rushers – Cody Getz and Connor Dietz – having moved on.
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