MOUNTAIN WEST FOOTBALL

CONFERENCE STANDINGS

The Mountain West from top to bottom:

No. 23 Brigham Young (8-2, 6-0 Mountain West) vs. Utah (8-3, 5-2): A victory should put Cougars in the Las Vegas Bowl, because their chances at a Bowl Championship Series game are remote.

Air Force (9-3, 6-2), regular season over: Falcons appear headed to Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth, Texas.

Utah (8-3, 5-2) at No. 23 BYU (8-2, 6-0): San Diego’s Poinsettia Bowl looks like destination for Utes.

New Mexico (7-4, 4-3) vs. UNLV (2-9, 1-6): Though rules prohibit the Lobos from playing in own bowl two years in a row, circumstances might put hometown team back there anyway.

San Diego State (4-6, 3-3) vs. Texas Christian (6-5, 3-4): Aztecs only Mountain West school to never play in a bowl since league’s inception in 1999.

TCU (6-5, 3-4) at San Diego State (4-6, 3-3): New Mexico Bowl bid possible with a victory.

Wyoming (5-6, 2-5) at Colorado State (2-9, 1-6), Friday: Cowboys’ last bowl appearance was a 24-21 victory over UCLA in the 2004 Las Vegas Bowl.

Colorado State (2-9, 1-6) vs. Wyoming (5-6, 2-5), Friday: Rams’ last postseason victory was 45-20 over North Texas in the 2001 New Orleans Bowl.

UNLV (2-9, 1-6) at New Mexico (7-4, 4-3): Rebels’ 31-14 victory over Arkansas in 2000 Las Vegas Bowl was their last postseason appearance.

FIVE BEST PLAYERS

1. Chad Hall, WR, Air Force: Easily leads conference with 117.9 yards rushing per game.

2. Beau Bell, LB, UNLV: Seemed to make more than eight tackles he was credited for at TCU, and did so with a sprained ankle.

3. Max Hall, QB, BYU: No MWC quarterback close to his 312.1 yards passing per game.

4. Darrell Mack, RB, Utah: His play could be the key to whether Utah upsets BYU.

5. Carson Bird, CB, Air Force: Has nine takeaways — six interceptions, three fumble recoveries.

THEY WROTE IT …

Salt Lake Tribune columnist Kurt Kragthorpe, on Utah’s 28-10 victory over New Mexico: “That’s seven straight wins overall for the Utes, the last five in conference play. This run has featured a dominating defense whose performance evokes a question: Seriously, would anybody want to face these guys right now?”

Fort Worth (Texas) Star-Telegram columnist Gil LeBreton, on TCU’s improved play since a late-October bye: “… In the 16-day interval between the Utah and New Mexico games, the Horned Frogs finally were able to lick their wounds and reassess who they are. They’s TCU, head coach Gary Patterson reminded them. There are bowl games that the Frogs need to go to, and there’s a current winning tradition to uphold. With a possible ninth bowl bid in 10 seasons on the line, the Frogs drove 92 yards to a touchdown on their opening possession and went on to defeat UNLV convincingly, 34-10 …”

THEY SAID IT …

BYU linebacker Bryan Kehl, on a 35-10 victory over Wyoming that clinched at least a share of the Mountain West championship: “The Cougars just won half the trophy. But there’s not a single guy in that locker room who wants just half a trophy.”

San Diego State wide receiver Chaz Schilens, on Air Force’s 670 total yards, including 569 rushing: “I’m not exactly sure what they were doing out there, but whatever it was, it worked.”

Colorado State quarterback Caleb Hanie, on the Rams’ 507 yards in a 42-34 victory over Georgia Southern: “We could do whatever we wanted. I was hoping it was like that every game. It was nice to be hitting on all cylinders, and it’s rare when it happens.”

COMPILED BY MARK ANDERSON/REVIEW-JOURNAL

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