PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
OFFENSIVE - Louisiana Tech quarterback Colby Cameron, a senior from Newbury Park, Calif. (Newbury Park HS), completed 19-of-24 passes for 276 yards and tied a career-high with four touchdown passes in the 56-37 win over Rice. He also had four carries for 15 yards. Cameron has guided the Bulldogs to 56 points in both games this season and is 10th in the nation in total offense with 314.5 yards per game.
DEFENSIVE - San Jose State linebacker Vince Buhagiar, a junior from Concard, Calif. (Clayton Valley HS), had a team-high 11 tackles (9 solo), including a sack for a five-yard loss, in San Jose State's 40-20 win over Colorado State. Buhagiar matched his career-high in tackles and was also credited with a forced fumble and a quarterback hurry.
SPECIAL TEAMS - UTSA kick returner Kenny Harrison, a sophomore from Lindale, Texas (Linden-Kildare HS), returned three kickoffs for 111 yards (37.0 yards per attempt) in UTSA's 38-14 win at Georgia State. After Georgia State went up 7-3, Harrison returned the ensuing kickoff 84 yards to the 16-yard line. The Roadrunners scored a touchdown a few plays later to give UTSA a lead it would never relinquish. Harrison also caught one pass for 16 yards in the game to finish with a team-high 127 all-purpose yards.
Others nominated on offense:
Austin Franklin, So., WR, New Mexico State - caught seven passes for 107 yards and two touchdowns in the game at UTEP.
David Fales, Jr., QB, San Jose State - completed 27-of-34 passes for 370 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions and finished with a 199.9 passing efficiency rating in the win over Colorado State.
Evans Okotcha, Jr., RB, UTSA - rushed for 49 yards and three touchdowns on 20 carries in the win at Georgia State. He also caught four receptions for 55 yards in the game.
Kerwynn Williams, Sr., RB, Utah State - rushed 16 times for 43 yards and caught a career-high six passes for 78 yards including a 39-yard touchdown in the game at Wisconsin.
Also nominated on defense:
Le'Vander Liggins, So., DB, Louisiana Tech - had 10 tackles in the game against Rice.
Zach Vigil, So., LB, Utah State - made seven tackles including two for a loss (one sack), and forced a fumble in the game against Wisconsin.
Additional special teams nominations:
Matt Nelson, Sr., PK, Louisiana Tech - made all eight of his extra point attempts for the second straight week.
Harrison Waid, Jr., P, San Jose State - averaged 55.0 yards on four punts in the win over Colorado State. He had a season-long 63-yarder and moved up to seventh in the nation in punting.
Tyler Bennett, Sr., P, Utah State - punted a career-high 10 times for a 39.3-yard average. He also had four punts downed inside the 20-yard line.
QUARTERBACKS CAMERON, FALES PUTTING UP BIG NUMBERS - Louisiana Tech's Colby Cameron and San Jose State's David Fales have put up some big numbers this year. Cameron is 10th in the nation in total offense with 332.5 yards per game. He is 53-for-76 and has thrown for 629 yards and seven touchdowns with no interceptions. Fales is 15th in the nation in passing average with 287.7 yards per game. He led San Jose State to four touchdown drives of 75 yards or longer last week against Colorado State. The Spartans have put together back-to-back games with more than 500 yards of total offense for the first time since 2002.
WILLIAMS NEAR CAREER TOP 10 - Utah State senior running back Kerwynn Williams has 4,997 yards of all-purpose yards during his career. He is 14th all-time in WAC history and needs 378 more yards to crack the top 10. Williams is the WAC's active leader in rushing yards with 1,204. He also has 266 career receiving yards, 135 punt return yards and is already the WAC's career leader in kick return yards with 3,392.
NEW ERA - The WAC begins a new era this year with the additions of Denver, Seattle, UT-Arlington, UTSA and Texas State with only the latter two competing in football. The WAC will consist of a total of 10 schools for the 2012-13 season, but just seven will play football. Both UTSA and Texas State are eligible to compete for the WAC championship, but neither are eligible for a postseason bowl game in 2012 due to the two-year process of transitioning from FCS to FBS. Texas State began the process last year and becomes eligible for bowl games in 2013, while UTSA must wait until 2014 as it begins the transition process this season. For their opponents, wins against Texas State this year count toward bowl eligibility while those against UTSA do not.
ALL COACHES RETURN - The WAC is the only FBS conference to return all of its head coaches from a year ago. Idaho's Robb Akey is the senior member of the group going into his sixth year with the Vandals. New members UTSA and Texas State have coaches that are in their second year with the school though Texas State's Dennis Franchione coached an additional two years with the Bobcats in 1990 and 1991. Franchione had two previous stints in the WAC with New Mexico and TCU and his 59 wins as a WAC head coach are the 11th most in conference history. UTSA's Larry Coker won a National Championship in his first year with Miami (Fla.) in 2001.
PRESEASON FAVORITES - Defending WAC champion Louisiana Tech was picked as the favorite by both the media and coaches for the 2012 season. Utah State was second in both polls and San Jose State was third. As selected by the media, Louisiana Tech wide receiver Quinton Patton was voted the preseason Offensive Player of the Year while San Jose State defensive end Travis Johnson was picked as the Defensive Player of the Year. Patton, a senior, was a first-team all-WAC selection last year after catching 79 passes for 1,202 yards and 11 touchdowns in his first season with the Bulldogs. Johnson, a senior, earned first-team all-WAC honors after finishing second in the WAC with 9.5 sacks last year. He enters this season with 19 career sacks, the third most of any active player in the country.
FAMOUS IDAHO POTATO BOWL - The WAC continues its affiliation with the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl this year. The WAC champion (unless its UTSA or Texas State) will play an opponent from the Mid-American Conference. The WAC has played in the bowl game every year since 2000.
BOWL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES - Since 1997, the WAC has been an official part of the Bowl Championship Series. The WAC's champion will receive an automatic berth in one of the five BCS bowl games if ranked in the top 12 of the BCS Standings (and is the highest ranked team from a conference without an automatic bid) or if ranked in the top 16 of the BCS Standings and its ranking is higher than that of a champion of a conference that has an annual automatic berth in one of the BCS bowls. The BCS Standings are determined by a formula involving polls and computer rankings. Next year's National Championship Game will be played in Miami on Jan. 7, 2013.