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Air Force squandered its chance to host the Mountain West championship game Saturday by losing 47-35 at New Mexico.

San Diego State (9-3) made sure it didn't make the same mistake, beating Nevada, 31-14.

The Aztecs finished 8-0 in conference play. Still, the Falcons (8-4) were in position to host because the site is determined by rankings and Air Force held a solid lead there heading into the final week of the regular season. The loss dropped the Falcons to 6-2 in the conference.

Air Force and San Diego State did not meet this season. The Falcons lead the series with the Aztecs 19-14, but SDSU has the advantage in San Diego 8-7 and is currently riding a five-game win streak in the series.

San Diego State hasn't lost since Sept. 26 at Penn State.

AIR FORCE (8-4, 6-2)

Game: New Mexico 47, Air Force 35. Jhurell Pressley scored on back-to-back offensive snaps, covering 57 and 75 yards, to jump-start the Lobos offense. Pressley rushed for 170 yards and three touchdowns in total. Air Force running back Timothy McVey kept the Falcons in the game with five touchdowns on 105 rushing yards and 157 receiving yards.

Takeaway: The Falcons struggled to stop the run at New Mexico which finished with 377 yards rushing a bad sign as they prepare to play run-heavy San Diego State in the title game.

Next: at San Diego State, Mountain West Championship Game, Saturday

BOISE STATE (8-4, 5-3)

Game: Boise State 40, San Jose State 23. Tailback Jeremy McNichols broke a tackle inside the 5-yard line with 2:51 left in the third quarter for a touchdown reception, then busted touchdown runs of 88 and 19 yards in the fourth quarter to blow open a game the Broncos trailed at halftime. McNichols finished with 232 total yards.

Takeaway: McNichols has had one of the best under-the-radar seasons in college football this year. He leads the nation with 23 touchdowns and ranks 14th with 146.2 yards per game from scrimmage.

Next: Bowl game TBD.


Game: Colorado State 34, Fresno State 31. Joe Hansley returned two punts for touchdowns and added a 24-yard touchdown catch for the go-ahead score as the Rams rallied for a road win. Kevin Nutt Jr. also returned a kickoff for a touchdown, giving the Rams three kick returns for scores in the first 31 minutes of the game.

Takeaway: First-year coach Mike Bobo quietly orchestrated a strong second half for Colorado State. The Rams went 5-1 down the stretch after a 2-4 start.

Next: Bowl game TBD.

FRESNO STATE (3-9, 2-6)

Game: Colorado State 34, Fresno State 31. The Bulldogs outplayed the Rams from scrimmage and lost because of unthinkable special teams breakdowns. Fresno State allowed Colorado State to return two punts and a kickoff for touchdowns in the first 31 minutes of the game. Running back Marteze Waller led Fresno State with 112 rushing yards and a TD.

Takeaway: Coach Tim DeRuyter's program was the subject of significant criticism before this game. Losing by allowing three kick returns for touchdowns will only intensify the scrutiny.

Next: Season completed.

HAWAII (3-10, 0-8)

Game: Hawaii 28, Louisiana Monroe 26. Hawaii ended its eight-game losing streak behind 266 rushing yards from Paul Harris. Quarterback Ikaika Woolsey added three total touchdowns (two rushing) and the Warriors held off a late charge after leading 28-10.

Takeaway: New coach Nick Rolovich, a former Hawaii quarterback under June Jones who was the offensive coordinator at Nevada, likely will need several years to rebuild the Warriors into a potential contender in the Mountain West.

Next: Season completed.

NEVADA (6-6, 4-4)

Game: San Diego State 31, Nevada 14. The Wolf Pack failed to score in the second half in their bid to upset the West Division champs. Jerico Richardson finished with six catches for 106 yards to lead Nevada's attack.

Takeaway: Coach Brian Polian got the Wolf Pack to a bowl in a bad division but likely needs to show more progress in 2016.

Next: Bowl game TBD.

NEW MEXICO (7-5, 5-3)

Game: New Mexico 47, Air Force 35. Jhurell Pressley scored on back-to-back offensive snaps, covering 57 and 75 yards, to jump-start the Lobos offense. Pressley rushed for 170 yards and three touchdowns in total. The Lobos created six plays that went for 40 yards or more. Air Force running back Timothy McVey kept the Falcons in the game with five touchdowns.

Takeaway: If not for Rocky Long's 8-0 conference record, New Mexico's Bob Davie would be the Mountain West coach of the year. His team beat Utah State, Boise State and Air Force, arguably the top three programs in the Mountain Division.

Next: Bowl game TBD.

SAN DIEGO STATE (9-3, 8-0)

Game: San Diego State 31, Nevada 14. The Aztecs scored the last 17 points to finish the regular season unbeaten in Mountain West play and earn home-field advantage for Saturday's conference championship game. Donnel Pumphrey and Chase Price each topped 100 rushing yards for the second time in the past three games.

Takeaway: The Aztecs rolled through conference play but didn't face Boise State, Air Force or New Mexico arguably the top three teams in the Mountain Division. They'll be tested by Air Force in the title game.

Next: vs. Air Force, Mountain West Championship Game, Saturday

SAN JOSE STATE (5-7, 4-4)

Game: Boise State 40, San Jose State 23. The Spartans led 10-9 at halftime and deep into the third quarter, but three missed tackles near the line of scrimmage proved costly. Boise State's Jeremy McNichols converted those three missed tackles into a 5-yard TD catch on third down, an 88-yard TD run and a 19-yard TD run.

Takeaway: Coach Ron Caragher's program showed progress in 2015 but should have achieved bowl-eligibility. The Spartans lost by one point to BYU, in overtime to Nevada and also this one to Boise State despite leading late in the third quarter.

Next: Season likely completed.

UNLV (3-9, 2-6)

Game: Wyoming 35, UNLV 28. Wyoming tailback Brian Hill rushed for 232 yards and a touchdown. QB Cameron Coffman provided the winning score with a 64-yard TD pass to Jacob Hollister with 2:20 left in the game. UNLV QB Blake Decker threw three touchdown passes and wide receiver Devonte Boyd contributed 122 receiving yards.

Takeaway: All that buzz about UNLV and new coach Tony Sanchez wore off during the second half of the season. The Rebels went 1-6 in their last seven games.

Next: Season completed.

UTAH STATE (6-6, 5-3)

Game: BYU 51, Utah State 28. The Cougars outscored the Aggies 27-7 in the second half to win the rivalry game. Quarterback Tanner Mangum threw four touchdown passes for BYU. Utah State QB Chuckie Keeton contributed a 52-yard touchdown run and the 61st touchdown pass of his career.

Takeaway: The Aggies went 2-4 after beating Boise State on Oct. 16 a huge missed opportunity for a program searching for its first Mountain West title.

Next: Bowl game TBD.

WYOMING (2-10, 2-6)

Game: Wyoming 35, UNLV 28. Wyoming tailback Brian Hill rushed for 232 yards and a touchdown and set the school single-season record for rushing (1,631). QB Cameron Coffman provided the winning score with a 64-yard TD pass to Jacob Hollister with 2:20 left in the game.

Takeaway: Wyoming's young roster should pay dividends in 2016. A win to go into the offseason will provide some momentum for recruiting and the work ahead.

Next: Season completed.


1. It was a wild year. The Mountain West lost 21 straight nonconference games against FBS teams, but only after beating a couple of Pac-12 teams; the Mountain Division favorite switched from Boise State to Utah State to Boise State to New Mexico to Boise State to Air Force; San Diego State lost to South Alabama but went 8-0 in the West Division; and Air Force squandered home-field advantage for the title game on the last day of the regular season.

2. Mountain West teams can run the ball. Conference players rank eighth (Brian Hill, Wyoming), 12th (Tyler Ervin, San Jose State), 13th (Donnel Pumphrey, San Diego State) and 19th (Jeremy McNichols, Boise State) in the nation in rushing. Teams rank third (Air Force), ninth (New Mexico) and 15th (San Diego State).

3. QB questions continue. The Mountain West's lack of proven quarterbacks was a big storyline coming into the season. It's a little better next year with Brett Rypien (Boise State), Kenny Potter (San Jose State) and Nick Stevens (Colorado State) returning but a good chunk of the league will have uncertainty at the position next summer.

4. The coach on the hottest seat in 2016 will be Fresno State's Tim DeRuyter, whose team never looked like a bowl contender this year.

5. The Mountain is best again. For the second straight year, the Mountain Division was the stronger half of the Mountain West. The group considered the weaker side when the divisions were formed produced four winning records and five bowl teams. The West produced one winning record and two bowl teams.


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