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WAC Round-up: Week 7

16 Oct

San Jose State-28 Hawaii-27

Only one word could describe this sloppy, scrappy Friday night affair in the San Francisco Bay Area. Turnover. There were 12 of them in the Warriors’ first conference loss of the season, six of them coming from interceptions. Following an early Hawaii touchdown, the Spartans would take over and control the second quarter, scoring 20 points from two touchdown runs from Chandler Jones and two field goals. Hawaii ruled the third, and took a one-point lead into the fourth quarter. Hawaii’s Joey Iosefa extended the visitors’ lead to seven but SJSU was determined to give the Spartan fans good reason to celebrate on Homecoming. SJSU’s Duke Ihenacho blocked the PAT and ran it back for two points, which would leave the Spartans at a five-point disadvantage. Jones and quarterback Matt Faulkner hooked up for a 36-yard touchdown pass with 36 seconds remaining to give SJSU a one-point lead. The clock ticked down to zero and the Spartan faithful stormed the field following SJSU’s second WAC win of the year, one more than they won throughout the entirety of conference play last season.


Nevada-49 University of New Mexico-7

It didn’t take long for Mackay Stadium in Reno to turn into a slaughterhouse Saturday, and the host Wolf Pack manhandled the winless Lobos. Nevada’s rushing game took command early on and the Wolf Pack found themselves ahead 14-0 in the first quarter after rushing touchdowns from Lampford Mark and Stefphon Jefferson. Quarterback Cody Fajardo threw for 200 yards, zero touchdowns and one interception but the freshman rushed for 86 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries. Despite only 39 yards, Mark went for three touchdowns and the Wolf Pack offense had almost 600 total offensive yards against a helpless New Mexico squad. The Lobos didn’t score until late in the fourth quarter when Tarean Austin ran it in for a 17-yard touchdown. UNM quarterback B.R. Holbrook was held to 62 passing yards and he completed 40 percent of his passes. At .500, the Wolf Pack are 1-0 in the WAC and host Fresno State next weekend.


Fresno State-31 Utah State-21

The Bulldogs remain perfect in the WAC and overcame an early drought against a potent Utah State team on Saturday. Fresno State were victim to two long touchdowns early in the first quarter, a 47-yard touchdown pass to Michael Smith from Chuckie Keeton and a 57-yard touchdown run from Robert Turbin. Bulldog quarterback Derek Carr answered back with a 23-yard touchdown pass to Isiah Burse and a one-yard touchdown run, which set the teams even at 14. The lead would change twice more but Carr and Fresno were able to retain it in the fourth quarter following the sophomore’s 23-yard touchdown pass to Jalen Saunders. Robbie Rouse’s touchdown run extended the lead to 10 and USU were unable to threaten offensively in the fourth quarter, which would ultimately lead to a loss in their conference opener.

Volleyball unable to finish in Las Cruces

30 Sep

Theo Lawson

Photo by Zach Edwards

Despite winning a decisive second set, the Idaho volleyball team came up short Thursday night in Las Cruces against WAC foe New Mexico State. The Vandals dropped the first set 18-25, dominated in the second 25-14 but were unable to finish in the third and fourth losing 22-25 and 23-25.

Idaho, now 1-2 in the WAC and 6-9 overall, were led by two double-double performances, one from sophomore Allison Walker, who had 14 kills and 10 digs and the other coming from Jenny Feicht, who had 32 assists and 10 digs.

A dramatic third set saw six ties and four-lead changes. After the hosts allowed the Vandals four consecutive points, and the score sat at 24-23, NMSU were able to close out the set victory. Idaho competed in the fourth set and closed another gap to come within one point once again, but at 23-22, the Aggies would clinch the final two points and second WAC win of the season.

“This one is on us,” coach Debbie Buchanan said. “We outplayed New Mexico State in a lot of ways. We just committed too many errors. The one game  we won we only gave up five errors, but we’ve got to be better and we need to have a higher expectation. We’ve played at a high level for the last three months. Hopefully we learned something from this and we get better. There’s no way that we’re going to win when our outsides have 32 kills but 24 errors. That’s not going to win matches.”

The Vandals close out their two-game roadtrip Saturday in Ruston, La., when they square off with another WAC opponent, Louisiana Tech. The match starts at 12:00 P.T.



WAC Round-up: Week 4

26 Sep

San Jose State- 34 New Mexico State- 24

Despite only one win in their first four games, San Jose State has proven they may be a contender in the WAC this season. Led by a pair of seniors, quarterback Matt Faulkner and running back Brandon Rutley, the Spartans amassed 450 total offensive yards, handing the Aggies their third loss of the 2011 season. Following a 78-yard touchdown run from NMSU’s Kenny Turner which would put the Aggies up 24-17, the Spartan defense clamped down, while the offense thrived. Two consecutive SJSU touchdowns, followed by a field goal gave them a 34-24 advantage and the Spartans wouldn’t look back from there. Rutley rushed for 209 yards and two touchdowns while Faulkner threw for 236 yards and two touchdowns.

Texas Tech- 35 Nevada- 34

The Wolf Pack staged a raid of their own on Saturday, but couldn’t contain the Texas Tech. offense in the second half. The Red Raiders clinched the win with 36 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter when quarterback Eric Ward hooked up with Seth Doege. Nevada led by two touchdowns in the third quarter but only managed two field goals in the fourth, while the Raiders converted two touchdowns. Doege was 22 for 38 with two touchdown passes and 222 passing yards. Nevada quarterbacks Tyler Lantrip and Cody Fajardo combined for 250 passing yards and two touchdowns. The Wolf Pack (1-2) take on No. 4 Boise State next Saturday with hopes to upset the Broncos for the second straight year.

Hawaii- 56 UC Davis- 14

Quarterback Bryant Moniz tossed seven touchdowns in the first half and the Rainbow Warriors steamrolled a subpar Aggie team. The Hawaii defense prevented UC Davis from scoring until midway through the third quarter when the Warriors were already leading 49-0. The hosts had a chance to see four quarterbacks take snaps, although Moniz would be the only one to complete a touchdown pass. The senior racked up 424 total passing yards, completing 75 percent of his passes. Davis were held to less than 200 total offensive yards while the Warriors posted 637. Hawaii are now 2-2 and open up WAC play next week in Ruston, La., against Louisiana Tech.

Mississippi State- 26 Louisiana Tech- 20

An overtime period was necessary to decide which Bulldogs squad would come out on top of a dogfight that lacked any kind of offense whatsoever. After a La. Tech field goal put the game at a 20-20 with nine minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, both defenses held their own, forcing overtime. Quarterback Chris Relf connected with LaDarius Perkins for a 17-yard touchdown pass and the Miss. St. Bulldogs earned their second win of the season. Three interceptions were thrown and four field goals were converted in a defensive battle between two sides who have struggled to prove themselves thus far.

Colorado State- 35 Utah State- 34

Another example of the WAC falling to a rival conference in overtime, but this time double overtime would be required to settle things. The Rams tied it up with 42 seconds remaining and would each score during the first overtime. The second overtime saw Colorado State punch it in first but Utah State would respond with a touchdown of their own. Aggie coach Gary Anderson opted for the win and a two-point conversion but the Rams denied the attempt from running back Robert Turbin and walked away with the victory. Turbin led the Aggies with four touchdowns and 115 total rushing yards, but the passing game failed to show any consistency as USU quarterback Chuckie Keeton only completed nine passes for 86 yards. Ram CSU sophomore Chris Nwoke ran for 85 yards and two touchdowns, including one in the second overtime.

WAC Round-up: Week 2

11 Sep

Idaho-44  North Dakota-14:

When the Fighting Sioux went up 14-3, Vandal fans questioned coach Robb Akey and his reasons for leaving quarterback Brian Reader in the game.  Akey’s faith in Reader proved to be beneficial for Idaho’s success and the senior completed 15 consecutive passes in the second and third quarter. Idaho closed the gap to 14-10 at halftime and went up when Reader and Marsel Posey hooked up early in the third.  Freshman Bradley Njoku notched a pick six in the fourth quarter and the Vandals rolled to their first win of the season. Reader threw for 299 yards and four touchdowns; Vandal fans can now breathe. 


Oregon-69  Nevada-20

Darron Thomas and the Ducks flew high over the Wolfpack defense, and the junior quarterback threw for 295 yards, while tying the school record for touchdowns in a game (6).  Wolfpack quarterbacks Tyler Lantrip and Cody Fajardo combined for three interceptions and Nevada didn’t score until late in the first half, already down 34-0. Ducks freshman DeAnthony Thomas made up for two fumbles in last week’s loss to LSU by rushing for 81 yards on eight carries and receiving for 93 yards on two receptions and two touchdowns. End result- Nevada without Colin Kaepernick.


New Mexico State-28  Minnesota-21

The Aggies beat the Big-Ten! The Aggies beat the Big-Ten! Believe it or not but it did happen. The toilet team of the WAC upset the Golden Gophers in a game that saw NMSU up by two touchdownson two occasions. In terms of total offensive yards, the Aggies tallied just two more than the Gophers and each forced two turnovers.  Andrew Manley’s 288 passing yards and three touchdown passes made the difference in this one, despite his two intereptions.  NMSU will take advantage of the momentum going into three winnable games against UTEP, San Jose State and New Mexico.


Washington-40  Hawaii-32:

The Rainbow Warriors proved too feeble away from the island and Husky quarterback Keith Price made the most of his second start for the Holuday Bowl Champions. Hawaii’s slow start led to three unanswered touchdowns from UW, two of those coming from Price and wide receiver Jermaine Kearse, who only hooked up twice. Hawaii received a late second quarter boost from Richard Torres’ 99-yard interception return but Price took over once again, connecting with Devin Aguilar to put UW up by two touchdowns.  Price finished with 315 passing yards, four touchdowns and one interception. 


Nebraska-42  Fresno State-29

Nearly a miracle in Lincoln on Saturday. The Bulldogs took a three-point lead into halftime and added to it following an early third quarter field goal.  Cornhusker quarterback Taylor Martinez led the game in rushing touchdowns with two but the sophomore’s passing TD to Quincy Enunwa would give the hosts the lead and Nebraska wouldn’t look back from there.  Fresno State staged a late comeback effort that saw them down by two, but a 100-yard kickoff return sealed the deal for the No. 10 Cornhuskers.  With tough battles against Cal and Nebraska, the Bulldogs look for a much easier challenege against North Dakota next weekend. 


Louisiana Tech-48  Central Arkansas-42

La. Tech were less than impressive against their Southland Conference opponents but came away with the win in overtime to give the Bulldogs their second win of the season. Down 42-35 late in the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs relied on their ground game and a rushing touchdown from Ray Holley, followed by one from Lennon Creer in overtime.  The Bulldogs survived a career night from Bears quarterback Nathan Dick, who completed 29 passes and amassed 370 yards while throwing for four touchdowns. 


Utah State- 54  Weber State- 17

After a four-point loss to last year’s national champion Auburn Tigers, the Aggies achieved the revenge they were seeking, against in-state rival Weber State. Robert Turbin led an upbeat Aggie squad with 180 rushing yards on 18 carries and two touchdowns.  The Wildcats posted a second quarter threat to the hosts when a touchdown pass and field goal gave Weber St. a seven point lead.  Turbin’s 14-yard touchdown run set the game at a 17-17 deadlock but Utah St. stormed out in the second half to shut the Wildcats out and score five unanswered touchdowns.


UCLA-27  San Jose State-17

The Spartans had Bruins fans worried heading into the fourth quarter, when San Jose State’s Brandon Rutley ran for a 65-yard touchdown, tying the game at 17-17 late in the third.  UCLA held their own in the fourth, scoring twice to help the Bruins to their first 2011 victory.  SJSU, still winless, couldn’t find an offensive rhythm and quarterback Dasmen Stewart was 15 for 31 with 111 yards and one interception.  Derrick Coleman and Jonathan Franklin combined for two rushing touchdowns and over 200 rushing yards for the Bruins, ultimately making the difference in this one.

The roundup: Nov 5

5 Nov

Morning to one and all. It’s…well, it’s actually a pretty darn cruddy-looking day on the palouse, which is perfect reason to get inside and enjoy some women’s basketball action! The Vandal women are back in action after a nine-month hiatus and hit the hardwood in the Memorial Gym tonight at 6 p.m. for their first and only exhibition game of the season against Lewis-Clark State College. Be there!

Plenty of news abroad about the Vandals, mainly in football. Enjoy Vandal fans!



Men’s basketball

That’s all for another round-up folks. Get out and support your Vandals this weekend, grab your Akey bobble head dolls form the football game, and come cheer on basketball!

Blasphemous Rumours: Reactions to the WACsplosion

19 Aug

With two weeks to go before college football kicks off, the sudden disintegration of the Western Athletic Conference has woken up sportswriters and bloggers from their fall camp reverie. We’ve got a compilation of the best (and bizarrest) writing on the WACsplosion.

  • Sam Wasson’s has a great rundown of this morning’s press conference with Karl Benson.
  • San Jose State is left in limbo, Jon Wilner writes in the Mercury News. Join the club, says Louisiana Tech — most damningly, the Bulldogs’ AD all but invites his program to be poached by another conference, preferably C-USA. Stephen Tsai of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser says Hawaii should quit the WAC and go independent.
  • The Fresno Bee’s Dan Lyght and Bryant-Jon Anteola have a whole slew of stories on the Bulldogs’ jump to the MWC.

    Good Afternoon Vandal Nation: WAC Tournament Day 2

    11 Mar

    RENO, Nev. — We’re back in the Lawlor Events Center for the second day of quarterfinal action in the 2010 Western Athletic Conference Basketball Tournament.

    The bracket for the men’s quarterfinals looks like this:

    (1) Utah State vs. (8) Boise State — noon

    (4) Louisiana Tech vs. (5) Fresno State — 2:30 p.m.

    (2) Nevada vs. (7) Idaho — 6 p.m.

    (3) New Mexico State vs. (6) San Jose State — 8:30 p.m.

    We’ll have complete liveblog coverage of the Vandals/Wolf Pack showdown, with pregame analysis starting at 5:30 p.m., tip at 6.

    The winners will play Friday in the semifinals, with the 1/8 and 4/5 winners squaring off in one matchup, the 2/7 and 3/6 winners in the other.

    Yesterday, Idaho’s women made history, becoming the first Vandal team to reach the semifinals in any WAC basketball tournament since Idaho joined the conference in 2005. They defeated New Mexico State, 75-63, and will play the No. 1 seeded Fresno State Bulldogs on Friday at noon.

    Men’s basketball

    • Follow us on Twitter — @VandalNation — for live courtside scoring updates throughout the WAC Tournament.
    • The Spokesman-Review’s Josh Wright has a game preview of this evening’s Idaho/Nevada showdown.
    • Idaho’s “sneaky” squad could pose a threat to the Wolf Pack’s NCAA Tournament hopes — at least, so says the Reno Gazette-Journal’s Chris Murray.