Mountain West Media Days
Boise State picked to win the MWC
Mon, Jul 22, 2013
LAS VEGAS -- Boise State was predicted to win the 2013 Mountain West Football Mountain Division title, while Fresno State was chosen to finish atop the West Division, the league announced today at its annual Media Days, being held at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.
This season marks the first time in Conference history for divisional play. Air Force, Boise State, Colorado State, New Mexico, Utah State and Wyoming make up the Mountain Division, with Fresno State, Hawai‘i, Nevada, San Diego State, San Jose State and UNLV comprising the West Division. The two divisional winners will meet in the inaugural MW Championship Game, which will be held Dec. 7, 2013 at the home stadium of the divisional champion with the highest BCS ranking.
The Broncos compiled a 7-1 league record in 2012 to share their first MW title with the Bulldogs and Aztecs. They received 40 first-place votes, and earned a total of 245 points in a poll of media members. Boise State posted an 11-2 overall mark in 2012 and finished the year ranked No. 14 and No. 18 in the USA Today/Coaches and Associated Press final polls, respectively.
Boise State returns four starters from a defensive unit that led the Mountain West in scoring defense and ranked eighth nationally at 15.77 points per game last season. The Bronco defense also boasted a 1.54 turnover margin in 2012, second-best in the nation. Offensively, five starters return, including senior quarterback Joe Southwick and 2012 All-MW second-team wide receiver Matt Miller, a junior.
Fresno State, which finished its first season of Mountain West play as tri-champions with a 7-1 mark (9-4 overall) in 2012, garnered 39 first-place votes and a total of 243 points in the poll. Senior quarterback Derek Carr, the 2012 MW Offensive Player of the Year, heads up a group of seven starters returning to lead the Bulldog offense.
Last season, Fresno State ranked 17th in the country in scoring offense (37.92 ppg) and 12th in passing offense (325.62). Eight players return to a defensive squad that ranked second in the country in passing defense (167.15 ypg), 22nd in total defense (338.85 ypg), 37th in scoring defense (23.85 ppg) and tied for seventh in turnover margin (1.15 tpg).
The MWC boasts two of the top quarterbacks in the country in Fresno State's Derek Carr and San Jose State's David Fales, who led the Spartans to their first 11 win season in more than 70 years. Fales beat out reigning Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel at the Elite 11 camp in Oregon recently.
As a redshirt junior last season, Fales completed a national-best 72-percent of his passes while throwing for 4,193 yards, 33 TDs and nine INT. He was third in the nation in passing effieciency, behind only AJ McCarron of Alabama and Georgia's Aaron Murray.
Both Carr and Fales are on the Senior Bowl's watch list for the 2014 game.
Carr, meanwhile, enters his senior season ranked 3rd nationally in career TD passes and his TD-to-INT ratio
(63-to-16) ranks only behind McCarron (49-to-8) and TCU's Casey Pashall (36-8)
He ranks third nationally in career touchdown passes and his career touchdown-to-interception ratio of 63-to-16 ranks third among returning quarterbacks, behind Alabama's A.J. McCarron (49-to-8) and Texas Christian's Casey Paschall (36-to-8).
Carr passed for a league record 4,104 yards with 37 touchdowns and just seven interceptions in 2012.