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September 14, 2007

Will's WAC Power Poll 3

1 Boise State (1-1, 0-0) home against Wyoming Saturday night… might've been bumped from the top spot had Hawaii not struggled so mightily to beat La Tech… Saturday's homecoming contest against the Cowboys is the first of 4 straight home contests on the blue for the Broncos… BSU has 8 rushing touchdowns and 1 passing touchdown thusfar.

Player Watch: Sophomore Jeremy Childs has the makings of being a dominant #1 receiver for Boise State, with 14 receptions through 2 games. For a point of reference, the next 4 receivers on the leaderboard for BSU have combined for 15 grabs.

By the Numbers: 5 different tight ends-Sherm Blaser, Tommy Gallarda, Richie Brockel, Ryan Putnam, and Chris O'Neill-have caught passes this year.

2 Hawaii (2-0, 1-0) at UNLV Saturday… beat the Rebels last year (42-13) on the islands… The Warriors were penalized for their traditional pre-game "haka" dance last weekend, game officials ruled it unsportsmanlike conduct because Louisiana Tech was still on the field warming up for the game.

Player Watch: Colt Brennan has 964 yards passing already with 10 touchdowns, completing more than 75 percent of his tosses.

By the Numbers: Hawaii is averaging an NCAA-best 40.5 yards per punt return.

3 Fresno State (1-1, 0-0) at Oregon on Saturday… Oregon beat the Bulldogs in Fresno last year… fell in triple overtime at Texas A&M last weekend… Fresno was on the wrong end of a nearly-15 minute replay delay where the Big XII replay officials overturned a fumble call they had previously upheld, taking the ball away from Fresno State on the Texas A&M 1-yard line.

Player Watch: TE Bear Pascoe is off to a great start with 10 receptions for 161 yards and 4 scores after two games.

By the Numbers: Fresno has 18 wins over Pac 10 teams since 1980, the most wins by any school against the conference in that timespan.

4 Nevada (0-2, 0-0) hosts 1-AA Nicholls State Saturday in Reno… dating back to last season, Nevada has lost 4 straight games… started last season 0-2 as well before rallying for an 8-4 finish… Northwestern outscored Nevada 26-7 in the 2nd half to rally for the win… Luke Lippincott rushed for 140 yards on 28 carries in the losing effort.

Player Watch: Nick Graziano rebounded from a horrible week-1 outing at Nebraska by throwing for 337 yards and a pair of touchdowns against the Wildcats.

By the Numbers: Nevada only converted 5 of 17 3rd-downs in the game.

5 Louisiana Tech (0-2, 0-1) at California Saturday afternoon… it's Tech's 1st road game of the season… forced Hawaii into 3 turnovers last weekend as the Bulldogs nearly upset the Warriors… DB Antonio Baker leads the WAC in tackles and will be challenged by All-American candidate DeSean Jackson this Saturday at Berkely.

Player Watch: Patrick Jackson could force people to start talking about a WAC running back other than Ian Johnson, leading the WAC (9th nationally) in total yards per game and is 2nd in the WAC in rushing yards.

By the Numbers: Tech is 1-0 all time against Cal, a 41-34 win in Shreveport in 1997.

6 New Mexico State (1-1, 0-0) hosts UTEP in Las Cruces on Saturday… the Aggies have 69 points through 2 games but have not scored a rushing touchdown yet… NMSU hasn't beaten the neighboring Miners since 2002.

Player Watch: WR tandem Chris Williams and Derek Dubois have combined to catch 27 balls and 7 scores for the Aggies already.

By the Numbers: Williams leads the WAC and is 6th nationally in scoring (15.0 points per game).

7 Idaho (1-1, 0-0) at Washington State Saturday night… Deonte Jackson topped 200 yards rushing last week against 1-AA Cal Poly and is averaging over 150 yards per game, tops in the WAC… Head coach Robb Akey joked on the WAC's weekly phone conference that he'll have to be sure he heads to the right sideline Saturday in Pullman after spending several years as an assistant at Washington State.

Player Watch: Through 2 games, exactly 2 wide receivers have caught passes for the Vandals-Lee Smith (7) and Max Komar (6).

By the Numbers: Right now, Idaho is +4 in turnover differential, the second-best ratio in the Western Athletic Conference.

8 San Jose State (0-2, 0-0) at Stanford on Saturday… second straight one-sided loss last week, 34-14 at Kansas State… head coach Dick Tomey had 4 different players throw passes at K-State and they combined to go 28-41 for 221 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Player Watch: We've mentioned SJSU's issues at wide receiver, but junior Kevin Jurovich turned in a solid performance against the Wildcats. The converted defensive back hauled in 10 passes for 82 yards and also carried the ball twice for 13 yards.

By the Numbers: Hard to gague what this means given the foes (Arizona State and Kansas State), but San Jose State has a total of 113 yards rushing on 57 carries through 2 games.

9 Utah State (0-2, 0-0) at Oklahoma on Saturday… the hits just keep on coming for 3rd-year head coach Brent Guy, who suspended leading tackler Antonio Taylor
for the remainder of the season-just in time to face an Oklahoma team that has scored 130 points in 2 games… Utah State has 13 players from Texas, so the Aggies expect a big group of blue-clad fans in Norman.

Player Watch: With Taylor gone for the season, USU will need even more from Jake Hutton. After missing most of last season with a foot injury, the junior linebacker from Pocatello, ID, has 18 tackles and a sack through 2 games.

By the Numbers: Utah State is in the bottom 3 of the WAC in the following categories: points, rushing yards, passing yards, total yards per game, and 3rd down conversions.


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