2007 Mountain West Conference football season

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The 2007 Mountain West Conference football season was the ninth since eight former members of the Western Athletic Conference banded together to form the Mountain West Conference. It began on August 30 when UNLV defeated Utah State. The same night, Utah fell to Oregon State in Corvallis, Oregon. Brigham Young University won its fourth conference title.

Coaching Changes[edit]

Standings[edit]

2007 Mountain West Conference football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
#14 BYU   8 0         11 2  
Air Force   6 2         9 4  
New Mexico   5 3         9 4  
Utah   5 3         9 4  
TCU   4 4         8 5  
San Diego State   3 5         4 8  
Wyoming   2 6         5 7  
Colorado State   2 6         3 9  
UNLV   1 7         2 10  
† – Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll


Statistical leaders[edit]

Passing
Player School COMP ATT YDS TD INT
Max Hall BYU 277 461 3,617 24 12
Kevin O'Connell SDSU 257 439 3063 15 8
Donovan Porterie New Mexico 223 380 2636 13 8


Rushing
Player School ATT YDS YPC TD
Chad Hall Air Force 211 1415 6.7 14
Harvey Unga BYU 227 1,211 5.3 13
Rodney Ferguson New Mexico 292 1179 4.0 13
Darrell Mack Utah 231 1128 4.9 10


Receiving
Player School REC YDS YPC TD
Marcus Smith New Mexico 86 1039 12.1 3
Travis Brown New Mexico 68 895 13.2 5
Brett Swain SDSU 58 973 16.8 5
Austin Collie BYU 50 837 16.7 6


Tackles
Player School SOLO AST TOTAL
Beau Bell UNLV 79 47 126
Russell Allen SDSU 71 48 119
Drew Fowler Air Force 43 67 110
Kelly Poppinga BYU 42 58 100


Sacks
Player School SACKS
Jan Jorgensen BYU 13.5
John Fletcher Wyoming 10.5
Chase Ortiz TCU 8.0


Interceptions
Player School INT
Carson Bird Air Force 6
Julius Stinson Wyoming 5

Memorable Games[edit]

September 1, 2007 • Invesco Field at Mile HighDenver, ColoradoFSN • Attendance: 68,133

A Kyle Bell touchdown run with 10:05 remaining in the 3rd gave Colorado State a 28–17 lead, but a Demetrius Sumler score later in the quarter brought Colorado within 3. Buffaloes' kicker Kevin Eberhart kicked a 22-yard field goal with 13 seconds left in regulation to force overtime. The Rams had the first possession in overtime, but quarterback Caleb Hanie's pass was intercepted in the endzone. Eberhart then kicked a 35-yard field goal to win the Rocky Mountain Showdown for Colorado.

September 1, 2007 • War Memorial StadiumLaramie, WyomingVersus • Attendance: 31,620

Cowboys' running back Devin Moore ran for 125 yards, and the Wyoming defense held Virginia to just 110 yards of total offense and only 7 rushing yards to begin their season by defeating a Cavaliers squad that would end the year 9–4 and one of the best teams in the ACC.

September 1, 2007 • LaVell Edwards StadiumProvo, UtahVersus • Attendance: 64,525

Max Hall threw for 288 yards and two touchdowns in his first game as full-time starter at BYU, and the Cougars' defense held Arizona to just 32 yards rushing to avenge a season-opening loss to the Wildcats a year prior.

  • #13 UCLA 27, BYU 17

September 8, 2007 • Rose Bowl StadiumPasadena, CaliforniaVersus • Attendance: 72,986

Despite being outgained by the Cougars 435-236, UCLA was able to capitalize on three BYU turnovers- including a 56-yard interception return for a touchdown by Trey Brown- and held on to win the first meeting of the two teams.

  • #7 Texas 34, #19 TCU 13

September 8, 2007 • Royal-Memorial StadiumAustin, TexasFSN • Attendance: 84,621

The Horned Frogs led 10–0 at halftime on the strength of a 45-yard interception return for a touchdown by senior cornerback Torrey Stewart, but Texas began the second half with 27 unanswered points to pull away for good.

  • Air Force 20, TCU 13 (OT)

September 13, 2007 • Falcon StadiumColorado Springs, ColoradoCSTV • Attendance: 31,556

Playing another road game just four days after the Texas game, TCU quarterback Andy Dalton's touchdown pass to Walter Bryant with 13:10 left in the 4th quarter put TCU ahead 17-3, but a touchdown pass from Shaun Carney to Keith Madsen and a 71-yard touchdown run by Jim Ollis tied the score at 17 all with just over five minutes to play. In the final minute of regulation, TCU found themselves well within field goal range, but Dalton's intended pass to Jimmy Young was intercepted by Carson Bird in the endzone to force overtime. The Horned Frogs had the first possession in overtime, but kicker Chris Manfredini's 36-yard field goal attempt hit the upright. Air Force kicker Ryan Harrison then nailed a 33-yard field goal to win it for the Falcons, and the cadets rushed the field.

  • Utah 44, #11 UCLA 6

September 15, 2007 • Rice-Eccles StadiumSalt Lake City, UtahVersus • Attendance: 43,056

After starting the season 0-2, Utes' quarterback Tommy Grady threw for 246 yards and 3 touchdowns and running back Darrell Mack ran for 107 and a score as Utah overwhelmed the Bruins to avoid an 0-3 start and turn their season around.

September 15, 2007 • Arizona StadiumTucson, ArizonaFSN • Attendance: 51,996

Donovan Porterie threw for 327 yards and three touchdowns, and the New Mexico defense held Arizona to just 38 yards rushing to give the Lobos their second victory over a Pac-10 team in school history.

  • TCU 21, SMU 7

September 22, 2007 • Amon G. Carter StadiumFort Worth, TexasCSTV • Attendance: 31,511

A blocked punt return for a touchdown by redshirt freshman Bart Johnson and a 58-yard interception return for a touchdown were enough to overcome a lackluster offensive game for the Frogs, who avenged their only loss of the 2005 season and took back the Iron Skillet from their crosstown rivals.

  • BYU 31, New Mexico 24

September 29, 2007 • University StadiumAlbuquerque, New MexicoCSTV • Attendance: 34,204

Max Hall's 251 yards passing provided enough offense for the Cougars, who benefitted from five Lobo turnovers, to win a crucial conference road game in Albuquerque.

  • Wyoming 24, TCU 21

October 6, 2007 • War Memorial StadiumLaramie, Wyomingthe mtn. • Attendance: 23,007

Wyoming kicker Billy Vinnedge's 23-yard field goal gave the Cowboys a 24–6 lead with 8:25 remaining in the 4th quarter, but TCU quarterback Andy Dalton threw two touchdown passes to bring the Frogs to within 3. Another furious drive got TCU in position to send the game to overtime, but kicker Chris Manfredini's 48-yard field goal attempt missed as time expired.

October 13, 2007 • Stanford StadiumPalo Alto, California • Attendance: 37,777

One week after a near-comeback against Wyoming, TCU found themselves behind 31–17 to Stanford, who had upset #1 USC the week before. This time, however, the Frogs comeback was successful, fueled by touchdown passes from Dalton to Jimmy Young and Aaron Brown, as well as a touchdown run by Brown.

  • New Mexico 34, Air Force 31

October 25, 2007 • University StadiumAlbuquerque, New MexicoVersus • Attendance: 26,087

Rodney Ferguson ran for 146 yards and two touchdowns, and kicker John Sullivan hit two fourth-quarter field goals as the Lobos overcame a 31–28 deficit late in the third quarter to defeat the Falcons.

  • BYU 27, TCU 22

November 8, 2007 • LaVell Edwards StadiumProvo, UtahVersus • Attendance: 64,241

Max Hall passed for 305 yards and a touchdown and BYU's defense came up with two sacks in an 11-second span late in the 4th quarter to seal a 27–22 victory. Andy Dalton's touchdown pass to Bart Johnson with 3:49 remaining cut the Cougars' lead to 5, but then David Nixon sacked Andy Dalton on second down on the Frogs' last possession, then on fourth-and-8, Bryan Kehl pounced on Dalton as he lost his footing with 1:58 left. The Cougars ran out the clock and won for the 10th straight time at home.

November 10, 2007 • Notre Dame StadiumSouth Bend, IndianaNBC • Attendance: 80,795

Air Force's Chad Hall ran for 142 yards, and the Falcons' defense held the Irish to just 58 yards on the ground to hand Notre Dame their most lopsided loss to a service academy since 1963.

  • Colorado State 36, Wyoming 28

November 23, 2007 • Hughes StadiumFort Collins, Coloradothe mtn. • Attendance: 18,827

Caleb Hanie threw for 245 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Rams' to their 3rd Border War win in 4 years and regain the Bronze Boot from the Cowboys. The loss ended all hope Wyoming had for making a bowl game.

  • #23 BYU 17, Utah 10

November 24, 2007 • LaVell Edwards StadiumProvo, UtahVersus • Attendance: 64,749

Freshman running back Harvey Unga rushed for 141 yards and scored the winning touchdown for BYU on an 11-yard run with 38 seconds remaining as the Cougars defeated the Utes in thrilling fashion in the Holy War and also wrapped up their second straight conference title.

Bowl Games[edit]

Poinsettia Bowl[edit]

December 20, 2007 • Qualcomm StadiumSan Diego, CaliforniaESPN

In the first bowl game of the 2007 season, the Utes' quarterback Brian Johnson threw for 226 yards as the Utah was able to outlast the 316 yards of rushing offense built up by the Midshipmen. It was Utah's seventh consecutive bowl victory, a streak that dates back to 1999.

New Mexico Bowl[edit]

December 22, 2007 • University StadiumAlbuquerque, New MexicoESPN

For the second year in a row, the Lobos were invited to play in their hometown bowl game. This time, however, they emerged victorious. It was their first bowl victory since 1961, snapping a five-game losing streak. Quarterback Donovan Porterie threw for 354 yards to earn MVP honors.

Las Vegas Bowl[edit]

  • #19 BYU 17, UCLA 16

December 22, 2007 • Sam Boyd StadiumLas Vegas, NevadaESPN

The Cougars and the Bruins had met in the regular season on September 8, with UCLA claiming victory, 27–17. In front of the Las Vegas Bowl's fifth consecutive sell-out, however, the Cougars won the rematch 17-16, as Eathyn Manumaleuna blocked UCLA kicker Kai Forbath's last-second field goal to preserve victory.

Texas Bowl[edit]

December 28, 2007 • Reliant StadiumHouston, TexasNFL Network

In a rematch of former Southwest Conference rivals, TCU overcame a 10–7 halftime lead and then held back a last-minute rally by the Cougars to win their third consecutive bowl game, 20-13. Freshman quarterback Andy Dalton threw for 249 yards to earn MVP honors, while the TCU defense held Houston to just 32 yards rushing.

Armed Forces Bowl[edit]

December 31, 2007 • Amon G. Carter StadiumFort Worth, TexasESPN

Making their first bowl appearance since 2002, Air Force jumped out to a 21-0 lead to start the game. But then the Cal offense got going, with quarterback Kevin Riley throwing for 269 yards and 3 touchdowns and running back Justin Forsett running for 140 yards and two scores. This was the MWC's only loss of the 2007 bowl season.

Awards[edit]

  • Coach of the Year: Troy Calhoun, Air Force
  • Offensive Player of the Year: RB/WR Chad Hall, Sr, Air Force
  • Defensive Player of the Year: LB Beau Bell, Sr, UNLV
  • Special Teams Player of the Year: K/P Louie Sakoda, Jr, Utah
  • Freshman of the Year: RB Harvey Unga, BYU

All Conference Team[edit]

Offense
Quarterback Max Hall, So, BYU
Running back Chad Hall, Sr, Air Force
Rodney Ferguson, Jr, New Mexico
Wide receiver Travis Brown, Sr, New Mexico
Marcus Smith, Sr, New Mexico
Tight end Dennis Pitta, So, BYU
Offensive Line Blaine Guenther, Sr, Air Force
Ray Feinga, Jr, BYU
Dallas Reynolds, Jr, BYU
Devin Clark, Sr, New Mexico
Vince Natali, Sr, New Mexico
Kicker John Sullivan, Sr, New Mexico
Kick Returner Brian Bonner, Sr, TCU
Defense
Defensive Line Jan Jorgensen, So, BYU
Chase Ortiz, Sr, TCU
Tyler Donaldson, Sr, New Mexico
Martail Burnett, Sr, Utah
Linebacker Jon Rabold, Sr, Air Force
Bryan Kehl, Sr, BYU
Beau Bell, Sr, UNLV
Defensive back Carson Bird, Sr, Air Force
DeAndre Wright, Jr, New Mexico
Steve Tate, Sr, Utah
Julius Stinson, Sr, Wyoming
Punter Louie Sakoda, Jr, Utah

References[edit]