As both the Aggies and Wildcats lick their wounds from difficult finishes to their season-opening football games, their most positive-minded fans are focused on one bright spot:
Both Weber State and Utah State had first-year players step up with impressive performances that earned national attention.
WSU wide receiver Xavian Johnson has been named the National Freshman of the Week by The Sports Network and Fathead.com.
Playing in his first collegiate game, Johnson emerged as a reliable wide receiver, finishing the day with seven catches for 118 yards and two touchdowns.
The Las Vegas, Nev., native hauled in a 35-yard touchdown reception near the end of the second quarter of Saturday's game to cut the Wyoming lead to two at halftime.
With 12:18 remaining in the fourth quarter he caught a 49-yard pass for a touchdown from Mike Hoke to give the Wildcats a 32-28 lead.
As WSU fans know, Wyoming came back in the closing seconds to win the game 35-32.
"Our freshmen ... are the guys who hit the home runs tonight against them," coach Ron McBride said after the game. "They are all 18-year-old kids and will all be good players
On Sunday, USU quarterback Chuckie Keeton was named the Rivals.com National Freshman of the Week for his performance Saturday against Auburn.
Keeton, a native of Houston, Texas), was 21-of-30 passing for 213 yards and added two rushing TDs as part of 33 rushing yards in his Aggie debut in USU's hard-fought 42-38 loss at defending national champ Auburn Saturday.
Keeton is believed to be the first Aggie freshman to start a USU season-opener in at least the modern era. Keeton is also the first Aggie freshman to start a game at QB since Riley Nelson in 2006.
"Chuckie is a special player," USU coach Gary Andersen said after the contest. "We are in very good hands at the quarterback position."
Ironically, despite the national note, neither player garnered conference player of the week honors from the WAC and Big Sky.
Andersen, Keeton and the Aggies host Johnson and Weber State in USU's home opener on Saturday at 6 p.m. at Romney Stadium.
BYU, now without a conference, did have one of its players earn weekly honors. BYU linebacker Kyle Van Noy was named FBS Independent Player of the Week for defense.
A sophomore from Reno, Nev., Van Noy was the difference-maker on defense as BYU overcame a 13-0 fourth quarter deficit to defeat Ole Miss, 14-13, on the Rebels home field in Oxford.
With his team trailing 13-6, Van Noy caused a fumble that he also recovered, taking it three yards into the end zone for the decisive score and his second career defensive TD. Van Noy ended the day with four tackles, including a tackle for loss, to go with his fumble forced and recovered.