If there’s one thing we learned in week 13 of the Mountain West season is that defense is probably, and preferably, optional. Five Mountain West teams scored over 40 points. Two games featured final scores of both teams scoring more than 50. Folks, if this doesn’t have WAC written all over it I’m not sure what does. Not sure why they don’t re-adopt the old WAC name and let the days of no defense just happen. In other news, we all knew Fresno State pretty much had the West division wrapped up, and it looked like Boise State had the Mountain division on ice, but ohhhhhh no. San Diego State had something to say about that, even though they don’t have a dog in the fight.
Getting us started this week was UNLV taking on Air Force. UNLV was looking to do something they haven’t done since … well, I may not have been born, but not sure. Anyways, they wanted to get bowl eligible. Lucky for them they found a team who is not very good at football this year, Air Force. Bobby Hauck’s Rebels got off to a screaming start, going up 27-0 before Air Force got on the board. The conditions in Falcon Stadium were not exactly ideal for football, some cold, some snow, and about eight people there to witness it. Tim Cornett had another bang-up game for the Rebels rushing for 220 yards and four touchdowns. Herring added another 56 yards and two scores and the Rebels cruised to a 41-21 victory and will be bowl eligible. UNLV will host San Diego State next, Air Force will be at Colorado State playing for the Ram/Falcon trophy.
San Jose State and Navy turned into an unexpected track meet on Friday night, and honestly, I’m surprised Navy was going score for score considering they’re a rush first offense. Then again, when you don’t play rush defense it makes it pretty easy to keep up. The teams combined for 1078 total yards and 110 points. That’s so WAC. These teams traded scores all night long, but the real theatrics came in the fourth quarter. With Navy up 24-22 San Jose State punched in a touchdown with Tyler Winston catching a pass from David Fales. Keenan Reynolds answered with a 38 yard run. After SJSU stalled on their next drive Navy punched in another Keenan Reynolds touchdown to go up 38-30 with 2:38 left. David Fales took over and did his thing, leading a scoring drive with no time left, and converted a two point conversion to tie it at 38. Free football! The teams continued trading TDs in overtime, but in OT number three David Fales chucked an interception and on the next play Keenan Reynolds scored from 25 yards out. Reynolds finished with 240 yards and seven touchdowns. Fales finished with 440 yards passing and five touchdowns. Also of note, Navy only completed four passes. San Jose State will look to upset Fresno State next week at home.
Wyoming and winless Hawaii weren’t going to let Navy and San Jose State have all the fun so they held a WACmeet of their own in Laramie. The Cowboys let Brett Smith do his thing and he turned in the best performance a Mountain West player has ever had. Smith threw for 498 yards and seven touchdowns and rushed for 142 yards and one more score. The 640 yards are a Mountain West record and the most by a player in the NCAA this year. The seven touchdown passes are a high in the NCAA this season, and his eight touchdowns are the most in Mountain West history. Smith also became the Wyoming all time leader in yards. Hawaii quarterback Sean Schroeder also had a nice game, throwing for 499 yards and six scores. This game also went to overtime, but wasn’t nearly as exciting as the Navy/SJSU game. Hawaii failed to convert on a 4th down and Wyoming took the ball and kicked a field goal to win it. This one ended with 1417 total yards, 64 first downs, and a few very entertained fans. Hawaii will host Army next week, Wyoming will be at Utah State.
Colorado State went to Logan, Utah in hopes of adding to their six win total, Utah State is still fighting for a spot in the Mountain West championship game. This game, however, was the anti-WACmeet. In fact, I’m sure most people grabbed a book, some cocoa, and enjoyed a very pleasant afternoon. This game finished with less than 400 yards of total offense. The highlight of this game was Joey DeMartino scoring a touchdown in the third quarter. Even Kapri Bibbs couldn’t rush on this Utah State defense, he was held to 54 yards. Garrett Grayson had a pair of turnovers in a pretty blah day for him as well. I’m actually getting bored writing this particular game. Utah State wins 13-0. Colorado State will host Air Force, Utah State will host Wyoming with hopes of the Mountain West title game on the line.
And that, kids, is why on this week of giving thanks I’m thankful that I don’t have to watch the B1G or ACC every week.
Poor New Mexico.. they get scored on heavily just about every week. This week they faced the #1 offense in the Mountain West and Derek (not David) Carr. Derek Carr pretty much did what he wanted throwing for 527 yards and seven scores. Josh Quezada rushed for 90 yards and a score. The Bulldogs, who haven’t been known to play great defense this year, held the New Mexico triple option to 168 rushing yards. Clayton Mitchem started in place of Cole Gautsche and I can only assume that played a big part of New Mexico’s offensive ineptness. Fresno State had three receivers over 100 yards, Devante Adams was over 200 and had four touchdowns. That’s quite a bit. New Mexico will be at Boise State next, Fresno State will be at San Jose State.
In the night cap, whooooo boy, was it a doozy. Not a terribly exciting game offensively, however, it delivered in quality. Boise State quarterback Grant Hedrick was off most of the night but still kept the Broncos in it. Quinn Kaehler delivered a nice game for the Aztecs, throwing for 288 and two scores. Jay Ajayi had 103 yards and a score for Boise. Boise State had a chance to win this at the end of regulation, but since we’re talking about Boise here, you guys know how this one turns out. Overtime here we come! In overtime Boise got on the board first with a field goal from Goodale, but the Aztecs responded with a touchdown pass from Kaehler to Colin Lockett. This loss effectively has removed Boise from the Mountain West title game. Boise State will host New Mexico, San Diego State will be at UNLV.
At this point you have to think Utah State will be the other representative in the Mountain West title game that will be held in Fresno. Boise State’s kicking problems are starting to become the norm rather than the outlier. This time it cost them another shot at Fresno. Hard to think that Wyoming will go into Logan and not win, but crazier things have happened. I mean UNLV is bowl eligible. Amirite? Wyoming has something to play for, and that’s bowl eligibility, but a pretty tough draw to get that done. Great offensive stats from Brett Smith, Derek Carr, and David Fales this week. Oddly, all of them scored a lot of points for their teams. Carr, even though his team is undefeated, still can’t get any respect among the nation’s elite players. He should be in the discussion for the Heisman trophy. Then again, so should Jordan Lynch from Northern Illinois.
This coming week of football should be a nice end to the regular season. Fresno State and San Jose State should provide plenty of offense. I really wouldn’t be surprised if we eclipse 110 total points and more than 1000 yards total offense. RIP defense. Colorado State should handle Air Force at home. Utah State should take care of Wyoming to get into the MW title game. Nevada and BYU should be interesting.. Cougars are coming off of a loss to Notre Dame, Nevada just had a bye. Nevada ebbs and flows with Cody Fajardo. Lol.. sorry, New Mexico, but you aren’t beating Boise State on the road. UNLV and San Diego State should be a fairly good game, neither have much to play for at this point since they’re both bowl eligible, but what a turn around for San Diego State after getting demolished by the FCS’s number two ranked team, Eastern Illinois. Tony Romo must be proud. Army and Hawaii should give us a look at what futility on the football field looks like. I think Hawaii probably wins this game, they’re a hungry bunch and I think they can break their 0-11 skid this weekend.