Well… it wasn’t as bad as last week, but the Mountain West still has some work to do if it wants to become the 6th best conference in America. Haha, who am I kidding, the American Athletics Conference is awful. Louisville is escaping that mess just in time. The Mountain West managed to win more games than they did last week, but a couple of ugly losses certainly don’t help.. I’m looking at you, UNLV.. AGAIN. San Diego State, don’t think you’re immune to this as well. Let’s get started..
Boise State taking on something called a Tennessee-Martin. Presumably Tennessee-Martin came into this game knowing that Joe Southwick was on the other sideline sporting a terrific mustache. The Boise offense started a little slow, and gave up a touchdown to UTM.. but then Southwick got going and tossed some touchdowns and all of a sudden it was 48-7 at the half. That seems like a pretty tall mountain to climb if you’re UTM.. and I’d be right, because they only scored once more and that was when Boise played the ol’ “Engage Eight” from NCAA 13 and UTM danced in for a garbage time TD. Then again, everything after the 10:27 mark in the 2nd quarter was garbage time. Boise will next take on Air Force and their tricky tricky triple option. AFA lost to Utah State in their MW opener.
Up next is the Aztecs and the #3 Ohio State Buckeyes. We heard a lot of pre-season hype about San Diego State, challenging for the Mountain West “West” division title.. then they lost to Eastern Illinois. If you’re looking to build some morale and confidence after a crushing loss to a likely playoff bound FCS team is not to travel to Columbus, Ohio for a game. Unfortunately the football gods were not smiling on the Aztecs. The Aztecs were out of this game from the get-go, down 21-0 after the first quarter, even after the Buckeyes lost Heisman favorite Braxton Miller early in the game with a knee injury. Last week’s starter, Adam Dingwell, finished the game 0-5 and was replaced by junior Quinn Kaehler after an injury to Dingwell. Adam Muema had his second disappointing game in a row, finishing with 3 carries for 5 yards, he also came out injured. What is up with the Aztec offense this year? Up next for the Aztecs is a bye then a home date with Oregon State.
In the first Mountain West conference game of the season Utah State made the trip to Colorado Springs to take on Air Force. Mr Charles Keeton is likely not a human being from this planet. If he’s not in some post-season award consideration college football is seriously daft. Keeton has been a one man wrecking crew so far this season. In this particular instance he went 32/40 for 360 yards and 5 TDs. He also rushed for 77 yards. His second straight 400 yard game. Air Force got some bad news today as quarterback Kale Pearson, who lasted only two quarters, has been lost with season ending surgery. The Falcons will now turn to Jaleel Awini, a sophomore from Denver. Utah State took their Mountain West opener handily. Utah State will take on Weber State next who didn’t bother to show up to play Utah. Air Force will take on Boise State on the blue, who just pasted UTM.
In a highly anticipated game on the high plans, the Wyoming Cowboys took on the Idaho Vandals. The Cowboy offense started slow in this one, as Brett Smith looked a little off-target, but once him and the Cowboy offense got rolling Idaho rolled over and played dead. [Insert 100 jokes about being “vandalized” here]. The Cowboys rolled up 42 points on the Vandals before pulling the starters. That’s when things got exciting for Idaho, as they scored 10 consecutive points to end the game. Brett Smith came close to rolling up a 400 yard effort, and much like Keeton, if he’s not in the conversation for some post-season bling, college football officially sucks. Wyoming will take on Northern Colorado, who is actually worse than Weber State.
Colorado State.. oh so close to putting away that first victory of the season. They traveled to Tulsa to take on the Golden Hurricane. I’m not really sure what that means since Tulsa resides in a landlocked state, but whatever you do, don’t Google it. The Rams led the game at halftime and looked like they had an insurmountable lead going into the 4th quarter, but then the wheels fell off the Ram defense. Tulsa punched in a touchdown and a pair of field goals, the last one coming at the 0:00 mark, to give the Golden Hurricanes the win. Chris Nwoke found his groove again and rushed for 97 yards, but a sub-par game from Garrett Grayson helped the Rams stumble. They’ll kick themselves later this season for losing this one. The Rams host FCS Cal Poly next, who lost to Fresno State last weekend.
Next up is Hawaii taking on Oregon State. The Beavers are still hurting from the beating they took from Eastern Washington last weekend. However, Eastern is better than Hawaii and Oregon State flexed their muscles against the Rainbow Warriors. Beaver quarterback Sean Mannion threw for 372 yards and four touchdowns to seal this for the Beavers. This game was actually close for a while, tied at halftime at 14 all. It looked like OSU was going to see its second meltdown in as many weeks, but they overcame and put up 23 unanswered points. The Warrior passing attack was largely ineffective split between two quarterbacks. Hawaii will have a bye coming up before they head back to the mainland to take on Nevada.
Kasey Carrier you’ve lost your damn mind! I’m sure that’s what the UTEP defensive line was saying after their bout with New Mexico on Saturday night. The Lobos were looking to redeem themselves against their rival after a pretty ugly loss to FBS newbie UTSA. The Lobos, without starting quarterback Cole Gautsche due to injury, didn’t seem to have any trouble running the football without him as they piled up 395 yards rushing, 291 of that from running back Kasey Carrier, who tacked on four touchdowns to his total. With a minute and a half left the Miners sent the game to overtime with a 8 yard touchdown run from Aaron Jones. The Lobos’ Carrier sealed the deal with a 21 yard run in overtime and the Lobos win. That guy is not going to be fun for Mountain West defenses this year. The Lobos will take on Pittsburgh next on the road, who just came off a bye week.
The Nevada Wolf Pack (two words, not one) trotted out some old school helmets this week to take on UC-Davis of the FCS in their home opener. Wolf Pack quarterback Cody Fajardo was stellar in Reno, completing 18 of 21 passes for 239 yards and rushed for another 36 yards. Fajardo accounted for three of the touchdowns scored for the Pack. By the time the Aggies got on the board in this one the game was pretty much over. The Wolf Pack will test their meddle on the road this week against freshman phenom Jameis Winston and the Florida State Seminoles, who are coming off of a bye week.
This wasn’t the kind of game Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr was hoping for when the Bulldogs took on FCS Cal Poly, maybe looking for some stat padding, however, his Bulldogs got a pretty lopsided win vs. the Mustangs 41-25. By the time halftime rolled around the Bulldogs were up 34-0 and the Mustangs were out of it. Aided by a couple of special teams touchdowns the Bulldogs needed little help from Carr who only threw for 205 yards and 3 touchdowns. No big deal.. not like he was playing Rutgers or anything. The Bulldogs will be facing the seemingly improved Colorado Buffaloes on the road this week. The Buffs are coming off of a 38-24 win over FCS Central Arkansas. This is where we’ll find out if the Bulldogs are for real, and if the Buffs are paper tigers.. hope the Bulldogs bring their pass defense!
The best thing I can say about UNLV right now is at least they’re not the single worst team in FBS. What a mess Bobby Hauck has down in the desert this year. Arizona Wildcats junior running back Ka’Deem Carey was suspended for the first quarter of the game and gained more than half of the Rebels total yards and punched in two touchdowns. This one was completely out of hand by halftime when the Wildcats were up 45-6. Once the Wildcats put in the second team they kept their foot on the gas and punched in two more touchdowns to make it 58-13 final. Hauck pulled quarterback Nick Sherry after he finished 6 of 22 for 111 yards and 2 INTs and replaced him with Caleb Herring who was equally as bad, but no turnovers. The bright spot for the Rebs was junior running back Shaquille (who is 5’8”, not 7’2”) Murray-Lawrence who ripped of a 79 yard run to quickly remind Rebel fans that at least one player showed up to play. The Rebels will play host to Central Michigan who pulled off a win against FCS New Hampshire on the last play of the game.
In the final bout of the Mountain West week 2 was San Jose State and Stanford teeing off in Palo Alto. Stanford never let the Spartans have a chance in this game and held super quarterback David Fales under control for much of the game. The only time they let him loose was on a 13 yard touchdown pass to Noel Grigsby. By then the game was mostly over. Stanford used a stout defense to bottle up Fales. Stanford, in true David Shaw style, mixed a combination of rushing and passing to control the clock and keep the Spartans off the field. The Spartans will have a bye week coming up before taking on Minnesota in Minneapolis.
That’s your recap for this week. I hope it was as good for you, as it was me, but better than the Mountain West fared in a few games this week!