NCF Nation: Western Michigan

Big 12 media days live: Day 2

July, 22, 2014
Jul 22
9:40
AM ET
The Big 12 media days continue on Tuesday in Dallas, as Oklahoma's Bob Stoops and new Texas coach Charlie Strong each take the stage. Keep this page open throughout the day's proceedings as we bring you the latest from our reporters, who will cover all 10 teams at the event.

Carder-to-White becoming routine

October, 7, 2011
10/07/11
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It comes as little shock that Brandon Weeden-to-Justin Blackmon is one of the most prolific quarterback-receiver duos in the nation.

How about Alex Carder to Jordan White? That is even shocking to the two Western Michigan players.

Through five games, Carder and White have established themselves as one of the top tandems to watch in the country.

[+] EnlargeAlex Carder
David Butler II/US PresswireAlex Carder earned MAC West Offensive Player of the Week honors after passing for 479 yards against UConn.
"Really?" Carder said in a recent phone interview. "I had no idea. But that's pretty cool."

Cool for the Broncos, coming off an upset 38-31 win over defending Big East BCS representative UConn. Carder broke the school record for passing yards with 479 in the game, earning MAC West Offensive Player of the Week honors.

White went over 100 yards in a game for the 15th time in career, leaving him two games shy of Greg Jennings’ program record.

As they prepare to take on Bowling Green on Saturday, take a look at what they have done, and where they rank in the country. Keep in mind these stats include the Michigan game, which was called just before the third quarter ended because of weather.

The NCAA does not officially recognize the stats from those games. But the schools are allowed to count the stats for their players.

Carder has thrown for 1,466 yards this season, with 12 touchdown passes. White has 668 of those yards and five of the touchdowns.

Carder-to-White makes up 45.6 percent of the team's passing yards through five games this season. That outranks Weeden/Blackmon (28.3 percent) of Oklahoma State.

Carder-to-White also makes up 41.7 percent of the team's passing scores. That also ranks above Weeden/Blackmon (40 percent).

The school has set up a YouTube page dedicated to some of the Carder-to-White highlights of the season in order to try and get some recognition to these under-the-radar players.

"Jordan and I think a lot alike as far as what we see in the pass game and different holes and how to attack defenses," Carder said. "We talk a lot about it off the field and what we're seeing out there and how we can attack people. That connection definitely shows."

White and Carder have been able to develop their connection for two seasons now. Carder became the starting quarterback last year and now that he has a full season under his belt, he feels completely comfortable in the offense.

"I've gotten to the point where I know everything, it's like the back of my hand," Carder said. "The more you go over it, you see things that you didn't see the time before, like watching a movie over and over again."

What also has helped with team chemistry has been weekly get-togethers at Carder's house on Sundays. White sometimes makes gumbo -- Carder's favorite -- and teammates come over to watch football, eat and play video games. Carder usually mans the grill.

For White, everything that happens this season is a wonderful bonus. He was given a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA after injuries cut short two of his seasons at Western Michigan.

His main goal is to win a MAC championship, something that has not been done since he arrived in Kalamazoo.

"It would mean a lot," White said. "I've always wanted a MAC championship ring. A lot these freshmen and sophomores maybe never think about, but as time progresses here, you put in your time and work and you have nothing to show for it. You get anxious, and you need something to show everyone what you were able to accomplish and how successful you and your team have been."

Notre Dame weekend rewind: Week 1

September, 5, 2011
9/05/11
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Notre Dame would like to forget its opening weekend as quickly as possible. The No. 16 Fighting Irish were sloppy in a 23-20 loss to South Florida that has fueled the school's critics who thought the Irish's BCS goals were unrealistic.

Here's a look back at the weekend that was for Notre Dame:

The Good: Notre Dame's defense allowed just one touchdown despite being put in tough spot after tough spot by the offense and special teams. The Irish held USF to 2-of-14 on third downs and limited the Bulls to 254 yards of total offense.

[+] EnlargeJonas Gray
Jonathan Daniel/Getty ImagesJonas Gray's goal-line fumble was just one of five turnovers the Irish committed against South Florida.
The Bad: No one expected to see a group Brian Kelly called as focused as any he has ever coached turn the ball over five times in its debut. The Irish will need to hope those first-game jitters are out before a prime-time showdown this weekend.

The Ugly: Mother Nature takes the cake here. The first and second delays in more than a century of Notre Dame football resembled those of a baseball game, complete with the "time of the game" stat being announced at the end. (It was 5 hours, 59 minutes, for the record). The delays totaled 2 hours, 53 minutes, and it couldn't have been easy for either side to start and stop again after waiting the entire offseason for the games to begin.

Turning point: Jonas Gray's opening-drive fumble at the USF 1-yard line was picked up by Kayvon Webster and returned 96 yards for a touchdown. Kelly said afterward that a culmination of mistakes did his team in, not the first one. But watching the other team go up 7-0 after you drove 76 yards in eight plays over four minutes can be demoralizing early.

Call of the day: It would have been easy for Skip Holtz to invoke himself in the pregame hoopla surrounding his return to Notre Dame. But the USF coach said his players would be the ones between the stripes Saturday, and so he made it about them. They returned the favor by delivering a victory that ranks right up there in the brief 15-year history of the program.

Next Up: The Irish renew the rivalry with Michigan when the two teams meet under the lights at 8 p.m. ET Saturday for the first time in Michigan Stadium history. "College GameDay" will be in Ann Arbor, and you can bet it will be an atmosphere unlike any the Big House has ever seen. The Wolverines, like the Irish, dealt with rain delays in their opener before their game was called at the 1:23 mark of the third quarter, up 34-10 on Western Michigan. A 0-2 start going into a Week 3 matchup with co-Big Ten champ Michigan State is something Notre Dame will look to avoid at all costs.

Non-AQ bowl look

November, 9, 2010
11/09/10
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You saw my bowl projections from Sunday. Now here is a breakdown of the teams that have a shot at becoming bowl eligible this weekend.

Conference USA

Already eligible: UCF, Tulsa, Southern Miss, UTEP.

Vying for a spot: East Carolina, SMU and Houston each have five wins. The Pirates are hoping to bounce back after an embarrassing 76-45 loss to Navy at UAB. Houston hosts Tulsa in an important West division game, while SMU is off. SMU, Houston and Tulsa each have two league losses. SMU already beat Tulsa but lost to Houston. If there is a three-way tie atop the division when the season ends, the first tiebreaker is overall record to determine who plays in the Conference USA title game.

On the other end of the spectrum: Tulane (3-6), Marshall (3-6) and UAB (3-6) have to win out. Rice (2-7) and Memphis (1-8) have been eliminated.

Guaranteed bowl spots: Six.

MAC

Already eligible: Temple, Toledo, Ohio and Northern Illinois.

Vying for a spot: Miami (Ohio) is 5-4 and has a great shot at becoming bowl eligible in the next two weeks with games at Bowling Green (2-7) on Wednesday and at Akron (0-10) on Nov. 17. Kent State (4-5) needs to win two of its final three against Army (5-4), Western Michigan (3-6) and Ohio (7-3).

On the other end of the spectrum: Western Michigan has to win out. Buffalo, Central Michigan, Bowling Green, Akron, Eastern Michigan and Ball State are out.

Guaranteed bowl spots: Three.

Mountain West

Already eligible: TCU, San Diego State, Air Force, Utah.

Vying for a spot: BYU (4-5) plays at Colorado State in a critical must-win before closing against New Mexico and Utah.

On the other end of the spectrum: Colorado State, Wyoming, UNLV and New Mexico have been eliminated.

Guaranteed bowl spots: Five.

Sun Belt

Already eligible: No one.

Vying for a spot: Troy (5-3) is the only team with five wins. A home win against FIU on Saturday gets the Trojans bowl eligible. ULM (4-5) and Arkansas State (4-5) have to win two of three. The Warhawks have LSU, North Texas and Louisiana. Arkansas State has Western Kentucky, Navy and FIU.

On the other end of the spectrum: FIU, Middle Tennessee and FAU are each 3-5. The Blue Raiders may have the easiest road with games against North Texas, Western Kentucky, FAU and FIU remaining. FAU has Troy and Texas on its schedule. FIU also has tough games against Troy, Arkansas State and Middle Tennessee. North Texas, Louisiana and Western Kentucky have been eliminated.

Guaranteed bowl spots: Two.

WAC

Already eligible: Boise State, Hawaii, Nevada, Fresno State. Hawaii has accepted an invite to the Hawaii Bowl.

Vying for a spot: Idaho (4-5) has to win three of four against Boise State, Utah State, Fresno State and San Jose State. Since the Vandals have a 13-game schedule, they have to get to seven wins. Louisiana Tech and Utah State are both 3-6 and have to win out. The Bulldogs have New Mexico State, San Jose State and Nevada. Utah State has San Jose State, Idaho and Boise State.

On the other end of the spectrum: New Mexico State and San Jose State (1-8) have been eliminated.

Guaranteed bowl spots: Four.

Independents

Navy (6-3) became eligible for the Poinsettia Bowl. Army (5-4) needs one more win with games left against Kent State, Notre Dame and Navy. Army does not have an automatic bowl tie-in this year, but has backup agreements with the Armed Forces Bowl and Military Bowl. Notre Dame (4-5) needs two more wins with games remaining against Utah, Army and USC.

Non-AQ Weekend Rewind

November, 8, 2010
11/08/10
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Let's take a look at the good and the bad for the non-AQs in Week 10.

The good: Boise State and TCU remained in the national title hunt with big wins this weekend. Though their offenses made headlines -- the Broncos racked up a school-record 737 yards and TCU had more than 500 yards -- both defenses played something fierce. They both held their opponents to fewer than 200 yards of total offense. Now they are the top two teams in the country in total defense and scoring defense. TCU is No. 1 in both categories. … Meanwhile, New Mexico won its first game of the season, 34-31 over Wyoming. Quarterback Stump Godfrey made his first career start as B.R. Holbrook sat out because of an injury and went 16-of-20 for 211 yards with two touchdowns. The Lobos, which had been giving the ball away as if it was a Christmas present, forced four turnovers. It was just the second time all season they won the turnover battle in a game. … How about Nevada racking up 844 yards of total offense? Not only did Colin Kaepernick have 300 yards passing, the Wolf Pack had three 100-yard rushers: Mark Lampford, Mike Ball and Vai Taua.

The bad: Western Michigan controlled its own bowl destiny heading into its game against Central Michigan. None of the four opponents left on its schedule had a winning record, so finishing up 7-5 or 6-6 seemed realistic. But the Broncos lost for the fifth straight time to their in-state rivals -- even though the Chippewas went into the game with just two wins. Backup RB Brian Fields fumbled 2 yards from the end zone with 1:37 remaining, the fourth lost fumble of the game for Western Michigan and the Chippewas held on 26-22.

The heartache: The Akron Zips are now the only winless team in the country, but missed out on a great opportunity in a 37-30 double-overtime loss to Ball State. After tying the score late to send the game into overtime, the Zips and Cardinals traded touchdowns in the first overtime. Ball State went ahead in overtime No. 2. But all hopes were lost for Akron when Patrick Nicely was intercepted on third down by Joshua Howard to end the game. Akron had more first downs and more rushing yards than Ball State and won the turnover battle as well. … Tulane had Southern Miss on the ropes heading into the fourth quarter. The two teams were tied at 30, but the Golden Eagles scored 16 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to win 46-30. Tulane (402) outgained Southern Miss (358) and had 11 more first downs.

[+] EnlargeTCU defense
Douglas C. Pizac/US PresswireTCU shut down the high-powered Utah offense.
The off-balance: Utah and Hawaii went into their respective games as some of the highest-scoring teams in the country. But each were held to just a touchdown. Utah had been averaging 45.2 points a game, tied for No. 3 in the nation. Hawaii had been averaging 39. 2 points a game. … Meanwhile, BYU exploded offensively for the first time all season, posting more than 300 yards passing and 200 yards rushing and a season-high 55 points against UNLV. The Cougars are 39-0 since 1972 and 5-0 under current head coach Bronco Mendenhall when passing for 300 and running for 200.

A few more helmet stickers: FIU WR T.Y. Hilton had 291 all-purpose yards and four touchdowns in a 42-35 double-overtime win over ULM. He became the first Panther to score a touchdown three different ways in the same game, as he caught two touchdowns, ran for one and returned a kick for a score. … Central Michigan LB Armond Staten had 11 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, one sack and three forced fumbles in an upset win over Western Michigan. … San Diego State LB Miles Burris had a career-high 10 tackles, four tackles for loss (minus-39 yards), two sacks and two forced fumbles in a 24-19 victory over Colorado State.

A few injury items to note: Ohio quarterback Boo Jackson is questionable for the Nov. 16 game against Temple after reportedly getting into a fight outside a bar and sustaining serious injuries to his face. Coach Frank Solich would only say that Jackson is questionable for the game. Backup Phil Bates has been slowed by a shoulder injury, leaving the possibility that Ohio could burn the redshirt of true freshman Kyle Snyder. “We’re going to have to talk about it some more and look at it from different angles and make a decision about a player being brought out of redshirt if he needs to be,” Solich said. … Kent State star LB Cobrani Mixon is doubtful for Saturday’s game against Army with a shoulder injury, and starting quarterback Spencer Keith injured his thumb and is day-to-day. … BYU TE Marcus Mathews is out for the season with a lacerated spleen.

Week 11 look ahead: TCU plays San Diego State (7-2) in a classic letdown game. Will the Horned Frogs suffer an emotional low after an emotional high over Utah? Boise State has a big rivalry game against Idaho, perhaps made even bigger after comments during the offseason where school president Bob Kustra slammed Vandal culture as “nasty” and “inebriated.” Southern Miss travels to UCF in a big East Division game. The Knights, ranked for the first time in school history, control their destiny. We can’t forget about the big Tuesday night game between MAC West Division leaders Toledo and Northern Illinois.

Lunchtime Links

November, 8, 2010
11/08/10
12:30
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Time to really savor the games. The season is almost over! Then what?!

On to some links:

Utah attempts to pick up the pieces and move forward after a 47-7 loss to TCU.

TCU coach Gary Patterson reiterated that he didn't expect such a lopsided score.

Nevada's win against Idaho gives it a formula to potentially beat Boise State.

San Diego State is winning despite turning the ball over. The Aztecs have 11 turnovers during their four-game winning streak.

Spirits are high at UCF, where the Knights are ranked for the first time in school history.

Air Force has locked up the Commander-In-Chief Trophy, but the Falcons close with a bit of a letdown -- games against New Mexico and UNLV.

FIU coach Mario Cristobal was fired up after his team's double-overtime win against ULM.

Western Michigan lost to Central Michigan, calling fans to question coach Bill Cubit. But calls for him to be fired are irrational, writes Graham Couch.

Non-AQ Players of the Week

November, 1, 2010
11/01/10
4:49
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Here are the non-AQ players of the week, as selected by each conference:

Conference USA

Offense: UAB running back Pat Shed, UCF running back Ronnie Weaver. Shed ran for a career-best 176 yards and a pair of touchdowns in a 50-49 double overtime win against Southern Miss. He finished with 235 all-purpose yards as the Blazers posted their first win in Roberts Stadium. Weaver ran for a career-high 180 yards on 30 carries with two touchdowns in a 49-35 win against East Carolina.

Defense: Tulsa linebacker Shawn Jackson. His interception with 37 second left in the first half gave Tulsa the momentum in its 28-27 win against Notre Dame. He also had six tackles, a sack and two quarterback hurries.

Special teams: Tulsa punt returner Damaris Johnson. Had a 59-yard punt return for a touchdown, the second of his career in the win. He is 25 yards shy of tying the Conference USA all-time kickoff return record.

MAC

East Division

Offense: Miami receiver Nick Harwell. Had eight receptions for 97 yards and two touchdowns in a 21-9 win at Buffalo.

Defense: Bowling Green defensive tackle Chris Jones. Had six tackles, five tackles for loss, three and a half sacks and recovered a fumble in a 17-14 win at Central Michigan.

Special Teams: Kent State punter Matt Rinehart. Averaged 52 yards on four punts as the Flashes posted a 43-yard net in a 33-14 win against Ball State.

West Division

Offense: Western Michigan receiver Jordan White. Had a career-high 14 receptions for a career-high 180 yards and one touchdown in a 28-21 loss to Northern Illinois.

Defense: Northern Illinois defensive end Jake Coffman. He had four tackles and the game-saving interception on Western Michigan’s final offensive play to seal the win.

Special Teams: Toledo punter Vince Penza. Averaged 40.6 yards on five punts in the Rockets' 42-7 win at Eastern Michigan.

Mountain West

Offense: San Diego State receiver DeMarco Sampson. Had seven receptions for 175 yards and two touchdowns in a 48-38 win against Wyoming. He has three straight 100-yard games.

Defense: Utah safety Brian Blechen. Had a career-high nine tackles, an interception and a fumble recovery in a 28-23 win at Air Force.

Special teams: San Diego State punter Brian Stahovich. Kicked the longest punt in San Diego State history at 89 yards in the second half against Wyoming. It was his only punt of the day.

Sun Belt

Offense: North Texas running back Lance Dunbar. Ran for a season-high 215 yards and three touchdowns in a 33-6 win at Western Kentucky. The 215 yards was the most by any player in the Sun Belt this season and the third-highest rushing total in the nation this week.

Defense: ULM Darius Prelow. Had six tackles and an interception in a 28-14 upset win against Troy. The defense held Troy to its lowest point total in a Sun Belt game since 2006.

Co-Special Teams: Louisiana kicker Brett Baer, North Texas kicker Zach Olen. Baer made a field goal and four extra-point attempts, and had two perfectly placed onside kicks in a loss at Ohio. Olen made two field goals, including a 48-yarder, the longest by a North Texas kicker since 2005.

WAC

Offense: Hawaii quarterback Bryant Moniz. Went 27-of-38 for 326 yards and three touchdowns in a 45-10 win against Idaho. He also rushed seven times for 43 yards and another score. Moniz is the first quarterback in the nation to reach 3,000 yards this season (3,247).

Defense: Hawaii S Mana Silva. Had nine tackles (six solo), including one for a loss of 13 yards, and intercepted a pass in the win against Idaho.

Special teams: New Mexico State kicker Tyler Stampler. Went 3-for-3 on field goal attempts in a 29-27 win against San Jose State. He made a 42-yard field goal as time expired in the first half and then added a 25- and a career-long 43-yarder in the fourth quarter of a tight game.

Lunchtime Links

October, 29, 2010
10/29/10
12:00
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Let's get ready for Week 9. Somebody pass the candy corns. ...

Utah true freshman Brian Blechen is thriving after switching from quarterback to safety.

Utah quarterback Jordan Wynn is developing a winning attitude.

Fresno State's game against Colorado has been rescheduled for a date to be determined.

One loyal San Diego State fan will attend his 700th Aztecs game this weekend in Laramie, Wyo.

Here is a breakdown of Army's game against VMI.

Tulane receiver Casey Robottom is not even the most famous member of his family. That would be his mother, Natalie, the first female and African-American to take the St. John Parish president post in Louisiana.

The Middle Tennessee secondary is hoping to keep up its momentum.

Rice is looking for ways to get backup quarterback Taylor Cook on the field.

Hawaii receiver Greg Salas has been invited to the Senior Bowl.

Western Michigan receiver Juan Nunez lets his game talk for him.

Lunchtime Links

October, 26, 2010
10/26/10
12:30
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It's Tuesday, so that means it's game day. Louisiana Tech travels to No. 3 Boise State in a game that will air on ESPN2. Who you got? Give me Boise State 49, Louisiana Tech 17.

Now on to some links:

Idaho senior linebacker JoJo Dickson broke his leg against New Mexico State and is out for the season, ending his college career.

Brandon Burton is a lockdown corner for Utah.

Fresno State is gearing up for a tough stretch.

The race is on for the second guaranteed bowl berth in the Sun Belt.

The numbers don't tell the full story for East Carolina.

A loss to East Carolina would likely knock UCF out of the Conference USA race.

Western Michigan defensive backs Damond Smith and Doug Wiggins say their on-fight disagreement was blown out of proportion.

Bowling Green and Central Michigan are desperate for a win.

Hawaii punt returner Ryan Henry is out for the season with a torn ACL.

Since joining FBS in 1987, Akron has never gone winless. The Zips are 0-8 with four games left.

UNLV has reinstated WR Phillip Payne.

Non-AQ Players of the Week

October, 25, 2010
10/25/10
3:00
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Here are your non-AQ players of the week, as selected by each league.

Conference USA

Offense: Tulane WR Casey Robottom. Had a career-high 10 receptions for a career-best 151 receiving yards and two touchdowns in a 34-24 win over UTEP. His 43-yard touchdown catch gave the Green Wave the lead for good with 5:30 remaining in the game.

Defense: Houston LB Sammy Brown and UCF DE Darius Nall. Brown led the Cougars with eight tackles, two sacks and a forced a fumble in a 45-20 win over SMU. In the past two games, Brown has recorded nine tackles for loss and four sacks. Nall had 2.5 sacks, forced a fumble, had a pass pressure and tied for the team lead with six total tackles as UCF defeated Rice 41-14.

Special Teams: Houston KR Tyron Carrier. Scored on a 91-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in a win over SMU. It was the sixth of his career. Clemson's C.J. Spiller holds the NCAA career record with seven kickoff returns for touchdowns.

Mid-American

East Division

Offense: Kent State WR Tyshon Goode. Had a career-high 12 catches for a season-high 158 yards and two touchdowns in a 30-6 win at Bowling Green. He also extended his consecutive games with a catch streak to 15.

Defense: Temple DT Muhammad Wilkerson. Led the Owls with six tackles and a career-high 2.5 sacks in a 42-0 win at Buffalo. Temple had its first shutout since 1992 and first shutout of a BCS opponent since 1984.

Special teams: Kent State K Freddy Cortez. Scored 12 points in a 30-6 victory at Bowling Green. Cortez tied his career-high with three field goals (29, 32, 30), while making all three extra points. He missed a 51-yarder.

West Division

Offense: Western Michigan WR Juan Nunez. Had six receptions for a career-high 192 yards and three touchdowns in a 56-10 win over Akron.

Defense: Northern Illinois LB Tyrone Clark. Had two interceptions in a 33-7 win over Central Michigan. Both came in the second quarter to stop Chippewa drives and ensure that the Huskies would have a halftime lead.

Special Teams: Toledo KR Isaiah Ballard. Returned three kickoffs for 103 yards, including a 56-yard return, in a 31-24 win over Ball State.

Mountain West

Offense: TCU RB Ed Wesley and Utah QB Jordan Wynn. Wesley had a career-high 209 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 28 carries to help the Horned Frogs beat Air Force 38-7. Wynn completed 23 of 29 passes for 321 yards and three touchdowns in three quarters of action in a 59-6 win over Colorado State.

Defense: BYU LB Brandon Ogletree. Had career highs of five solo tackles and three tackles for loss in a 25-20 win over Wyoming. Four of the tackles came on Wyoming’s final drive of the game, and two were for a loss.

Special Teams: BYU KR Cody Hoffman. Had 104 kick return yards in the victory over Wyoming. In all, Hoffman averaged 26.0 yards on four kick returns.

Sun Belt

Offense: Western Kentucky QB Kawaun Jakes. Went 18-of-22 for a season-high 262 yards and one touchdown in a 54-21 win over Louisiana, snapping a 26-game losing streak. He also picked up 28 rushing yards and scored two rushing touchdowns. He led the Hilltoppers to scores on nine straight offense possessions.

Defense: Arkansas State DB Adrian Hills. Recorded a career-high two interceptions, including one returned 37 yards for a touchdown, over the final 10 minutes of a 37-16 fourth-quarter comeback victory against Florida Atlantic.

Special Teams: Western Kentucky K Casey Tinius. Score 12 points in the Hilltoppers’ victory over Louisiana. His 47-yard kick as time expired in the first half tied a career long.

WAC

Offense: Hawaii running back Alex Green. Ran for a career-high 172 yards and four touchdowns on 14 carries in a 45-7 win at Utah State. He had a career-long rush of 60 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Defense: Hawaii linebacker Corey Paredes. Had a game-high 10 tackles and two interceptions at Utah State. Paredes helped anchor a defense that held its opponent to 181 yards of total offense, the fewest in a game for the Warriors since 2005.

Special Teams: Fresno State K Kevin Goessling. Made all four of his field goal attempts in a 33-18 win at San Jose State. Goessling was also 3-for-3 on extra point attempts to run his consecutive streak to 116 -- 12 shy of the all-time WAC record.

Non-AQ Helmet Stickers: Week 8

October, 24, 2010
10/24/10
1:14
AM ET
Time to give out a few helmet stickers for the non-AQs after another wild Week 8:

Alex Green, RB, Hawaii. Green ran for a career-high 172 yards and four touchdowns on 14 carries in a 45-7 win over Utah State. The last time a Hawaii player scored four rushing touchdowns in a game was Glenn Freitas at UNLV in 1995. His 172 yards was the most since Calvin Melvin gained the same yardage against BYU on Sept. 11, 1993.

Ohio defense. The Bobcats had four interceptions, recovered two fumbles and had five sacks in a 34-13 win over Miami (Ohio). Miami had just 11 yards rushing.

Juan Nunez, WR, Western Michigan. Nunes had six catches for a career-high 192 yards and three touchdowns in a 56-10 win over Akron. The 192 yards are the fifth-highest single-game total in school history. Teammate Jordan White added 168 yards receiving and two touchdowns.

Casey Robottom, WR, Tulane. Robottom had a career-high 151 yards receiving and two touchdowns in a 34-24 win over UTEP. That makes back-to-back 100-yard games in a row -- the only two of his career.

Willie Taggart, coach, Western Kentucky. The Hilltoppers snapped their 26-game losing streak with a 54-21 win at Louisiana. They came oh-so-close to breaking the skid last week but gave up 28 fourth-quarter points and lost. Now the wait is finally over, giving Taggart his first win as a head coach. They racked up a season-high 409 yards of total offense, and Kawaun Jakes went 18-of-22 for 262 yards and a touchdown, while also running for 28 yards and two more scores. Don't look now, but Western Kentucky could put together a winning streak. North Texas comes to town next week.

TCU defense. The Horned Frogs have been stifling in Mountain West play, and they passed their big test against Air Force in a 38-7 win. TCU held Air Force to a season-low 184 yards rushing and 231 yards of total offense after coming into the game as the No. 1 rush offense in the country. The Falcons also scored a season-low seven points. Though it was the first touchdown TCU has allowed since Sept. 24, the Horned Frogs have only given up 10 points in four conference games. TCU is 68-2 under Gary Patterson when allowing 17 points or less. Meanwhile, TCU running back Ed Wesley had a career-high 209 yards rushing and two touchdowns.

Alexander Teich, FB, Navy. Teich became the first Navy fullback to rush for more than 200 yards, racking up 210 on 26 carries in a 35-17 win over Notre Dame. Teich added a 31-yard touchdown reception to his day. Teich has returned to the starting lineup with an injury to Vince Murray (knee) and has not disappointed. Navy beat Notre Dame for the third time in four seasons.

Jordan Wynn, QB, Utah. Wynn threw for 321 yards and three touchdowns in a little more than two quarters of work in a 59-6 win over Colorado State. Utah racked up 648 yards of total offense, and Wynn had the third 300-yard game of his career.

Lunchtime Links

October, 21, 2010
10/21/10
12:35
PM ET
Here are a few links to help you make it through another day. But hey! There is football on tonight. Join me and Pac-10 blogger Ted Miller for a live chat during the UCLA-Oregon game, beginning at 9 p.m. ET.

TCU coach Gary Patterson reportedly berated a team doctor for concluding RB Ed Wesley had suffered a concussion against SMU. Dr. Sam Haraldson told amednews.com he was "verbally accosted by the coach." Patterson said he was never contacted for the story, and couldn't go into details because of privacy laws.

The Utah starting offensive line gave up its first and only sack of the year last week against Wyoming, and it's not happy about it.

Kyle Whittingham appears to have made the right choice when he decided to coach Utah over BYU, writes Kurt Kragthorpe of the Salt Lake Tribune.

Nevada RB Courtney Randall is a student of the game, and last May became the first person in his family to graduate from college. He is in graduate classes and wants to become a sports psychologist.

Bowling Green is going to be thin at cornerback Saturday against Kent State. Starter Robert Lorenzi was dismissed from the team and Cameron Truss is out with injury.

Rice will also be missing several players for its game at UCF.

Former Southern Miss coach Jeff Bower is considered a leading candidate to replace Todd Dodge at North Texas.

UTEP quarterback Trevor Vittatoe had the walking boot off his ankle, but the Miners aren't saying whether he will play Saturday against Tulane.

Western Michigan is trying to avoid what happened the last time it played Akron -- a wild finish that ended with a Zips win.

UAB backup quarterback David Isabelle has an injured hand, and that might force Joe Bento into action if anything happens to Bryan Ellis.

Purdue is not pleased that Kent State dumped its game in favor of one against Alabama to open 2011.

What to watch from non-AQs, Week 8

October, 21, 2010
10/21/10
10:15
AM ET
Come one, come all for your Top 10 non-AQ storylines for Week 8:

1. Can Navy win three of its four over Notre Dame? The Navy senior class is trying to join the Class of 1937 and the Class of 1964 as the only classes to beat Notre Dame three times in their career. The Midshipmen ended a 43-game losing streak to the Irish in 2007 and won in South Bend last year. Navy has not defeated Notre Dame at a neutral site since 1960.

[+] EnlargeTCU Defense
Ray Carlin/Icon SMIThe TCU defense faces a stiff test Saturday in Air Force.
2. Does the TCU defense have another stellar performance in it? The Horned Frogs have given up one field goal in their last three games, but face a much tougher test Saturday against the Air Force triple-option offense. Gary Patterson has prepared his team for this offense throughout the spring and fall, and there is no question the defensive guru wants to see how it responds.

3. Boise State is off as it prepares to play Tuesday night against Louisiana Tech. How will this affect its standing in the polls and BCS rankings when they come out on Sunday? This is going to be a continuing story line, even when the Broncos are off. It all depends on what happens to everyone else. Oklahoma has a tough game against Missouri, and Auburn and LSU are playing in a matchup of Top 6 teams. Many have wondered whether a big Auburn win would vault it ahead of the Broncos. That remains to be seen. Remember, last week at this time we thought Boise State would be No. 1. Instead, the Broncos are No. 3.

4. Will BYU or Wyoming be bowl eligible this season? I still have the Cougars going to a bowl game, but they have got to win this one. If Wyoming is going to be bowl eligible, it has to win this one, too. Neither team has been prolific on offense, and both have faced difficult schedules to this point. But with this game followed by contests against UNLV, Colorado State and New Mexico, I can still see BYU finishing 6-6.

5. Does SMU take control of the West Division in Conference USA? It might be too early to say that, but certainly the Mustangs have a chance to distance themselves with a win. That would give them a two-game lead over Houston and Tulsa, two teams they have already beaten. UTEP, Rice and Tulane would also be at least two games back, depending on results from the weekend.

6. Which Utah State team shows up against Hawaii? It is the team that barely lost to Oklahoma and looked dominant against BYU? Or is it the team that scored a combined 13 points against San Diego State and Louisiana Tech? Coach Gary Andersen has said his team does not know how to handle success. The Aggies had a week to prepare for Hawaii, which has scored 49 or more points in four of its five wins over them in WAC play.

7. Rocky Long returns to New Mexico. The San Diego State defensive coordinator has declined interview requests this week as his team gets ready to play the Lobos, where he was head coach for 11 seasons before stepping down following 2008. He had success there, guiding the team a school-record 65 wins. Since he left, Mike Locksley has gone 1-17 and the program is the worst in the country.

8. Does UTEP become bowl eligible for the first time since 2005? The Miners had a chance last week but had a disappointing loss to UAB. They play Tulane on Saturday in a game they are favored to win. UTEP stands at 5-2 following a 4-8 season last year, and the seniors on this team made it a point to bring everyone closer together to set higher goals, because they were so tired of losing. UTEP has several players banged up going into the game, including quarterback Trevor Vittatoe (ankle, shoulder), but he expects to play.

9. Can the Utes start creating turnovers this week against Colorado State? About the only thing coach Kyle Whittingham has had to complain about his team is its lack of turnovers. Utah only has gained six turnovers in six games -- four interceptions and two fumbles. Last season, Utah was able to force 25 turnovers and had a plus-5 turnover margin.

10. Can Akron break its winless streak against Western Michigan? Pretty unlikely the way this season has gone for a team that has taken on its Zips nickname. Quarterback Patrick Nicely is 2-11 as a starter, and coach Rob Ianello says he is sticking with him. But Nicely has done little to help the cause, completing less than 50 percent of his passes, with three touchdowns to seven interceptions. But the poor guy has been sacked 23 times.

Non-AQ Did you know, Week 7

October, 15, 2010
10/15/10
9:00
AM ET
Time for a little trivia in our weekly edition of non-AQ Did You Know?

TCU quarterback Andy Dalton became only the third player in Mountain West Conference history to top the 10,000-yard mark for total offense in a career. He joins former BYU quarterbacks Max Hall (11,569) and John Beck (11,060). Dalton has 10,075 yards through the games of Oct. 9.

More notes on the TCU defense: The Horned Frogs are one of two FBS teams with two shutouts this season (Oregon), and the only team to record back-to-back shutouts. TCU has held opponents scoreless for eight straight quarters. The league record for most consecutive quarters without allowing an opponent to score is 11, shared by BYU (Sept. 13 to Oct. 4, 2008) and Utah (Nov. 15, 2003 to Sept. 2, 2004). Through the first six weeks of the season, TCU has yet to allow an opponent to pass for 200 yards.

Utah and Boise State are the only two teams in the country that have allowed just one sack entering Week 7.

Western Michigan is the first MAC team to play Notre Dame since the league was formed in 1947. The Broncos have played Notre Dame twice in program history, 1919 and 1920, losing both. Notre Dame is one of two all-time opponents that Western Michigan has never scored against. Virginia Tech is the other.

This will be the third different team Brian Kelly has coached against a Bill Cubit-led Western Michigan team (Central Michigan, Cincinnati, Notre Dame). Here is what Cubit had to say about the matchup:

“We’re not going to match up physically or talent wise,” he said. “We’ve got our work cut out. We know that it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out the tough challenge we’ve got against them, talent-wise and home-field advantage. But my kids are going to go out there and play hard, play smart and go and execute.”

Kent State will retire the No. 9 jersey worn by Joshua Cribbs in a halftime ceremony against Ball State on Oct. 30. Cribbs joins Jim Corrigall (No. 79, 1967-69), Jack Lambert (No. 99, 1971-73) and Eric Wilkerson (No. 40, 1985-88) as the only players in the 88-year history of the program to have their number retired.

During his four-year career with the Golden Flashes from 2001-04, Cribbs became just the second player in NCAA history with two “double-1,000 seasons” (1,000 yards passing and rushing). He set the school career passing mark with 7,169 yards, while his career rushing total of 3,670 yards ranks third.

In addition, Cribbs still holds the career records for rushing touchdowns (38), completions (616), attempts (1,123), total plays (1,755), total yards (10,839), points (246) and total touchdowns (41). The first three-time captain in school history, he was an honorable mention All-American as a senior in 2004.

Boise State receiver Austin Pettis has caught four touchdown passes this year and has 33 in his career, the most of any active player. He is nine shy of tying the WAC’s all-time record of 33, set by Wyoming’s Ryan Yarborough from 1990-93.

Idaho has done some nice things defensively this season. The Vandals have the WAC’s best red-zone defense, allowing teams to score 64.7 percent of the time. They have allowed a total of three points in the first quarter of games this year, the fewest by any WAC team in a quarter this season. And they lead the WAC and rank fourth in the nation in sacks with 3.4 a game.

Through five games, East Carolina has already matched its 14-game total from a season ago in passing touchdowns with 15. The Pirates are averaging nearly 80 more yards per game in passing offense with a league-leading 297.2 per game. That figure is up from 227.4 yards per game through the air in 2009.

UTEP’s Trevor Vittatoe is the seventh player in Conference USA history to throw for 10,000 yards. Last week against Rice, he became the Miners’ all-time leader in touchdown passes (89), passing yards (11,260) and total offense (11,117).

Kolton Browning’s 1,075 yards passing through five games are the most by a ULM quarterback since it joined the Sun Belt Conference in 2001. He is also the first ULM quarterback to throw for more than 200 yards in four straight games since Steven Jyles did it five times in 2004.

Lunchtime Links

October, 14, 2010
10/14/10
12:30
PM ET
More Thursday night football, with USF at West Virginia and Kansas State at Kansas.

UCF had another good day in front of a national television audience Wednesday night, this time beating Marshall. At 4-2, UCF is off to its best start since 1998.

More on the botched replay in the San Diego State-BYU game -- one of the three replay booth staffers was a BYU athletic department employee.

Fresno State running back Tracy Slocum will face former teammate Frank Padilla when New Mexico State plays the Bulldogs on Saturday.

The Lumbee Indian tribe senses a kindred spirit with the Boise State football team.

Nevada defensive end Dontay Moch is known for his speed, but has impressed with his strength this season.

Utah's special teams have been special.

BYU running back JJ Di Luigi has proven to be a strong rusher.

The paths of Western Michigan coach Bill Cubit and Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly changed on one night.

Louisiana freshman Darryl Surgent made a huge first impression on special teams last week against Oklahoma State.

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