Cathleen Allison, AP
What a week it was in college football.
Seven ranked teams went down this week, with none bigger than Auburn's incredible 34-28 win over rival Alabama. With the game tied 28-28, and with one second left, Alabama attempted a game-winning field goal. The field goal came up just short and Auburn's Chris Davis returned the ball 109 yards for the game-winning score. With the loss, Alabama’s shot at a perfect season and a third straight BCS title is over.
That wasn't the only rivalry game that came down to the wire. The 110th meeting between Ohio State and Michigan ended with Ohio State winning 42-41. Michigan scored a touchdown with 32 seconds left and elected to go for the win with a two-point conversion. The two-point conversion failed, keeping Ohio State's unbeaten streak alive for the second consecutive season.
So how did the local in-state teams do? While the local games were not quite as dramatic, Utah State, BYU and Utah all won last Saturday.
In its first year in the Mountain West Conference, the Utah State Aggies will be playing in the inaugural MWC championship game, thanks to their 35-7 victory over Wyoming on Saturday.
The Aggies' defense held the Cowboys to just seven points, created two turnovers, capitalized on offense with more than 310 total yards and most importantly, scored five touchdowns. The Aggies made sure they did not squander a big opportunity at home in front of 21,325 fans at Romney Stadium.
“It’s one of the best feelings I’ve ever felt,” Utah State head coach Matt Wells said. “It’s what you get into this for, to play for a championship."
The win clinched the Mountain Division title for Utah State. The Aggies will now take on No. 23 Fresno State in the first-ever Mountain West championship game. The game will be played in Fresno, Calif., Saturday at Bulldog Stadium at 8 p.m. MST.
The Cougars got off to a slow start against Nevada in a homecoming game for all-American linebacker Kyle Van Noy. Heading into halftime, the Cougars trailed 7-0.
Bronco Mendenhall wanted his team to get the message at halftime as he voiced his displeasure with the team.
“What happens in the locker room stays in the locker room,” he said. “I try to be fairly calm on the sideline in these settings. But that wasn’t the moment to be calm. I was furious.”
“It wasn’t pretty,” Van Noy said of the halftime atmosphere.
The team certainly got the message as it scored on its first four possessions in the second half. The Cougars were led by running back Jamaal Williams, who rushed for a career-high 219 yards and a touchdown. Taysom Hill ran for 154 yards and a touchdown to go along with 98 passing yards and two touchdowns. Hill and Williams now have more than 1,200 rushing yards apiece on the season.
BYU has already set a new record for rushing yards this season with 3,295 yards. This broke the old record set in 2001 when the Cougars rushed for 2,832 yards.
Right now, Hill and Williams are fifth and sixth when it comes to rushing yards in a season. With a big bowl game, either one could climb into second place for most rushing yards in a single season.
Although the Utes are not going bowling this year, the team sent the seniors out the right way with a 24-17 win over Colorado on Saturday.
“We are moving forward and will take this as a positive. We sent the seniors off how they should go,” said quarterback Adam Schulz. “However, we didn’t make a bowl game and should use this as motivation in the offseason.”
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