The Boise State football team has regained control of its destiny in the Mountain West.
Utah State lost at New Mexico 14-13 on Saturday — the Aggies’ second conference loss since beating the Broncos on Oct. 16.
Boise State (7-2, 4-1 Mountain West) is tied for first in the Mountain Division with Air Force (6-3, 4-1). The Broncos and Falcons meet Nov. 20 in Boise. Utah State is 5-4, 4-2.
Boise State had a bye Saturday and returns to action next Saturday at Albertsons Stadium against New Mexico (5-4, 3-2). The game — the final regular season Saturday home game of the year — starts at 8:15 p.m. on ESPNU.
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If the Broncos win their final three games, including the finale at San Jose State (4-5, 3-2) on Nov. 27, they will play in the Mountain West championship game with a chance to defend their conference title.
And because the Broncos have been ranked ahead of West Division leader San Diego State (6-3, 5-0) by the computers, there’s a good chance the title game would be played in Boise in that scenario.
NEW MEXICO 14, UTAH STATE 13
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — David Anaya is one of those home-state players that toils beyond the limelight for New Mexico. He shone brightly in the Lobos’ victory over Utah State on Saturday.
Anaya, a senior from Roswell, caused a fumble that led to one touchdown and recovered teammate Carlos Wiggins’ fumble on a fourth-quarter kickoff return that kept the Aggies from getting the ball in good field position.
The forced fumble came after New Mexico (5-4, 3-2) went three-and-out to start the third quarter. Anaya hit Utah State returner Andrew Rodriguez at the 14. The ball bounced free and was recovered by Reece White at the 3, from where Richard McQuarley scored on the next play.
“Honestly, when I’m running down there, my first thought is to make the tackle, but I really wanted the ball,” Anaya said. “I really wanted to make a play for this team. I’m a senior. I first thought was we needed that kind of juice, that kind of intensity to get up. I thought I’d make a play, whether it was a tackle or getting the ball. I just wanted to make a play.”
Still, New Mexico needed a break to hold against the Aggies (5-4, 4-2). The Lobos got it with one minute remaining when Brock Warren’s 41-yard field goal attempt with one minute remaining drifted wide right for his first miss of the season. He converted two other field goals earlier in the game.
The Aggies pulled with 14-10 on Kent Myers’ 24-yard touchdown pass to Rodriguez in the third quarter then closed it to 14-13 on Warren’s 41-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter.
Utah State moves a half-game behind Boise State and Air Force in the Mountain Division. New Mexico is one game off the lead pending next week’s trip to Albertsons Stadium.
AIR FORCE 20, ARMY 3
AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. — Karson Roberts threw two TD passes to tight end Garrett Griffin, Air Force’s defense turned in a dominating performance, and the Falcons won their school-record 11th straight home game by beating Army.
The victory makes Air Force (6-3) bowl eligible. Even more, the Falcons remain in the running for the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy, which is presented annually to the winning academy in the round-robin competition. Air Force lost to Navy earlier this season and needs the Black Knights (2-7) to beat the Midshipmen next month to retain the trophy.
With Utah State’s loss to New Mexico, Air Force and Boise State are tied atop the Mountain West’s Mountain Division at 4-1. The Falcons host the Aggies next week.
COLORADO ST. 26, WYOMING 7
LARAMIE, Wyo. — Dalyn Dawkins rushed for 140 yards on 25 carries, Izzy Matthews scored two rushing touchdowns and the Colorado State defense held Wyoming scoreless until late in the fourth quarter.
Colorado State (4-5, 2-3) gained 228 of its 348 yards of total offense on the ground. The Rams opened a 23-0 lead at halftime and extended it to 26-0 in the third quarter. Wyoming (1-9, 1-5) managed just 132 total yards through three quarters.
UNLV 41, HAWAII 21
LAS VEGAS — Keith Whitely ran for 124 yards and a touchdown, Lexington Thomas added 120 more yards with a touchdown, and the Rebels (3-6, 1-3) beat the Rainbow Warriors (2-8, 0-6) in interim coach Chris Naeole’s debut.
FRIDAY’S LATE GAME: BYU 17, SAN JOSE ST. 16
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Tanner Mangum (Eagle High) tied a BYU record for touchdown passes for a freshman, and San Jose State failed on a two-point conversion attempt with 45 seconds to play. San Jose State marched 85 yards in 10 plays, the last a 6-yard sweep by quarterback Kenny Potter. The Spartans (4-5) immediately lined up for the two-point PAT, but Tyler Ervin’s halfback pass was incomplete.
Mangum’s 4-yard toss to Mitch Mathews that gave the Cougars (7-2) a 7-3 lead in the first quarter was his 15th touchdown pass this season, tying Jake Heaps (2010) for the BYU freshman record.