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Media and Coaches Split On WAC Favorite

WAC Press Release
July 23, 2008

SALT LAKE CITY – Fresno State has been picked the favorite by the WAC football coaches while Boise State has been selected to win this year's title by the media as announced today at the league’s football preview being held in Salt Lake City. Nevada was picked third in both of the polls.

Fresno State finished last season with a 9-4 record and was third in the WAC with a 6-2 mark. The Bulldogs defeated Georgia Tech in the Roady’s Humanitarian Bowl, 40-28, to win eight of its final 10 games.

Boise State followed up its perfect 13-0 mark in 2006 with a 10-3 record last season. The Broncos were 7-1 in the WAC to finish in second place. Boise State’s only loss came against conference champion Hawai‘i in a game that was played for the WAC title at the end of the season. It marked the end of a five-year championship run for Boise State. The Broncos went on to compete in the Sheraton Hawai‘i bowl, their sixth consecutive bowl appearance.

Nevada finished in a tie for fourth last season and played in the New Mexico Bowl, its third consecutive bowl appearance.

The media also voted on preseason players of the year. Boise State running back Ian Johnson was voted the Offensive Player of the Year, while Hawai'i linebacker Solomon Elimimian was picked as the Defensive Player of the Year.

Johnson, a senior from San Dimas, Calif. (Damien HS), is the top returning running back in the country with 3,417 career rushing yards and 46 touchdowns scored. He ran for 1,041 yards and 16 touchdowns last year after a sophomore season with 1,714 yards and 25 scores. Johnson’s 45 career rushing touchdowns are just 12 shy of tying the WAC all-time record of 57 set by Marshall Faulk (San Diego State, 1991-93).

Elimimian, a senior from Los Angeles, Calif. (Crenshaw HS), was a first-team all-WAC performer last year after leading the Warriors in tackles with 141, including 12 for a loss. His 313 career tackles are the seventh most in WAC history and 130 shy of tying the all-time mark of 443 set by Robert Rodriguez (UTEP, 2001-04). Elimimian is also a two-time academic all-WAC honoree.

2008 WAC Preseason Pollsl (1st-place votes in parenthesis):

  Team Points
1. Fresno State (7) 63
2. Boise State (2) 57
3. Nevada 43
4. Hawai'i 41
5. Louisiana Tech 33
(tie) San Jose State 33
7. New Mexico State 26
8. Idaho 15
9. Utah State 13
  Team Points
1. Boise State (25) 383
2. Fresno State (20) 379
3. Nevada 296
4. Hawai'i 243
5. Louisiana Tech 209
6. San Jose State 183
7. New Mexico State 167
8. Idaho 87
9. Utah State 78


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