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September 6, 2007

Will's WAC Power Poll

1) Boise State (1-0, 0-0) at Washington, Saturday (1:30 PM) First win was, as expected, an easy roll over 1-AA Weber State... plenty of positives, as the 1st team offense went 8-for-8 in touchdown drives and the defense stymied any attempt at offense by the visiting Wildcats... BSU has never won a true road game over a BCS-conference school... DB Kyle Wilson injured his hand, taking him off punt-return duties for the time being.

Player Watch: Freshman DE Ryan Winterswyck had a memorable debut for the Broncos, leading the team with 8 tackles (3 solo) against Weber. He took advantage of increased playing time with regular starter Mike Williams on the bench.

By the Numbers: The Broncos own the nation's longest 1A/Bowl Series winning streak with 14 consecutive triumphs. Brigham Young is second with 11 straight victories. Only USC (49) has more wins than BSU (47) since 2003.

(2) Hawai'i (1-0, 0-0) at Louisiana Tech (5 PM) The Warriors rolled, as expected, over 1-AA Northern Colorado late Saturday night... junior Michael Washington contributed an 80-yard punt return for a score... scored 42 points in the 1st half before letting off the gas a bit... had 30 first downs in the game, 27 of them passing.

Player(s) Watch: "The Big Three," Ryan Grice-Mullan, Jason Rivers, and Davone Bess, lived up to billing in the opener as the receiving trio combined to catch 21 passes for 285 yards and 4 touchdowns.

By the Numbers: Colt Brennan earned WAC Player of the Week honors by completing 34-of-40 passes for 416 yards and 6 touchdowns... in the 1st half. That's a tidy quarterback efficiency rating of 221.86

(3) Fresno State (1-0, 0-0) at Texas A&M (1:30 PM) Didn't dominate as thoroughly as BSU and Hawai'i, but did open with a win over 1-AA Sacramento State... outrushed the visiting Hornets, 225 yards to 42... did turn the ball over 3 times, all on fumbles... made up for it by converting 12 of 20 3rd downs to keep drives alive.

Player Watch: Despite the gaudy team rushing numbers, no one player really stood out. Ryan Matthews led the way with 77 yards. Lonyae Miller added 57 yards and a touchdown.

By the Numbers: Fresno's defense held Sac State to just 102 yards of total offense, one of the better efforts in the nation.

(4) New Mexico State (1-0, 0-0) vs New Mexico (7:30 PM) Not exactly the way the trendy pick to surge in the WAC hoped to start, turning the ball over 4 times in a 35-14 win over SE Louisiana... Chris Williams, one of the most productive players in America last season, was limited to just 4 receptions... Chase Holbrook did throw 4 touchdowns in the game, but also had 3 interceptions.

Player Watch: Great start to the season for LB Dante Floyd, tallying 10 tackles and 2 sacks in the win.

By the Numbers: Holbrook only had 9 interceptions all of last season. He's 1/3 of the way to matching that total already after an uneven week 1 performance.

(5) Nevada (0-1, 0-0) at Northwestern (10 AM) Look at the positive side, at one point the Wolfpack had a 10-7 lead over Nebraska in Lincoln... outscored 45-0 from that point on in 52-10 defeat... outgained by the Huskers in the game by a final margin of 625 to 185... Jonathan Amaya was strong in defeat, posting 12 tackles and returning an interception 80 yards for Nevada's lone touchdown... converted just 1 of 13 3rd downs.

Player Watch: Nick Graziano won the race to be the 'Pack's starting quarterback but did not shoot out of the gates strong at Nebraska, completing just 8-of-24 passes for 109 yards. Colin Kaepernick completed 1 pass in relief, for minus-1 yard.

By the Numbers: 19:22-- Nevada's time of possession on Saturday. That means their defense was on the field for literally 2/3rds of the game. Bad recipe for an underdog on the road in a place like Lincoln.

(6) San Jose State (0-1, 0-0) at Kansas State (5 PM) Like Nevada, SJSU was embarrassed in an opportunity to make a name for themselves, falling 45-3 at Arizona State... The Spartans leading rusher against the Sun Devils? QB Adam Tafralis with 19 yards, 15 on 1 carry... flip side-- ASU rushed the ball 53 times for 250 yards... David Richmond, the JC receiver we told you to watch, led the Spartans with 5 receptions but only gained 32 yards (6.4 per catch).

Player Watch: The quarterback position was flat-out bad for SJSU on Saturday. Tafralis, Sean Flynn and Jordan LaSecla combined to complete just 11 passes for 75 yards. Tafralis finished the game with a passing efficiency rating of a nightmarish 38.5.

By the Numbers: Arizona State converted nearly every 3rd down they encountered-- literally. The Sun Devils torched the Spartan defense en route to a 13-17 conversion rate on 3rd down for the game.

(7) Idaho (0-1, 0-0) vs Cal Poly (3 PM) Played top-ranked USC tougher than virtually anyone in the galaxy expected in the 38-10 loss... Vandals came up empty on 2 trips inside the red zone, missing a chance to actually make the Trojans squirm a bit... Shiloh Keo had a huge game on defense for the Vandals, making 10 tackles, intercepting 2 passes, and recovering a fumble... punter TJ Conley also had a big game, averaging 43 yards on his 8 punts... defense missed a ton of tackles, with LBs David Vobora, Jo Artis Ratti, and Ben Ogletree combining for just 12 stops.

Player Watch: Redshirt freshman running back Deonte Jackson was borderline brilliant against a powerful Trojan defense, rushing for 99 yards on 22 carries in his first collegiate action. A big assist goes to the Vandal offensive line (Adam Korby, Mike Iupati, Adam Juratovac, Billy Bates, and Kris Anderson) as Idaho running backs combined for nearly 140 yards on the ground.

By the Numbers: Freshman QB Nathan Enderle completed 16 of 34 passes in his first start, showing remarkable poise. But he needs help from his wide receivers, who combined to catch just 8 passes for 80 yards against the Trojans.

(8) Louisiana Tech (1-0, 0-0) vs Hawai'i (5 PM) Forced 6 turnovers in a less-than-inspiring 28-7 win over Central Arkansas... the Bulldogs were actually outgained, 386-261... Tech was outplayed in several facets of the game besides total yardage, Central had statistic advantages in time of possession, 3rd down conversions, 4th down conversions, and a big edge in passing yards... Tony Moss earned WAC Defensive Player of the Week for his 3 interceptions, he only had 1 in his career before the trio of picks Saturday.

Player Watch: Zac Champion may have been the winning quarterback on Saturday, but he couldn't have inspired a ton of confidence, passing for just 71 yards against the 1-AA Bears. Tech's leading receiver was Joe Anderson, who had 3 catches for a meager 13 yards in the game.

By the Numbers: Patrick Jackson was his usual productive self for Tech, rushing for 120 yards and a score, catching 2 passes for 23 yards, and averaging 31 yards per kickoff return.

(9) Utah State (0-1, 0-0) at Wyoming (12 PM) Sorry Aggie fans, you may have missed your best chance at a win this season when UNLV skipped town with a 23-16 win... USU had a chance to take the lead in the 4th quarter but missed the PAT after Leon Jackson's TD run... the Aggies ran the ball 40 times in the game for just 97 yards, a 2.7 per carry average.

Player Watch: WR Kevin Robinson performed well in defeat, catching 5 passes, uncorking a 49-yard punt return, and averaging nearly 28 yards per kickoff return.

By the Numbers: Utah State totalled just 234 yards of offense against a defense that gave up nearly 390 yards of offense per game last season.


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