We finally made it to week 10 of Mountain West football and I’m sad because that means there is not much football left. This football season has flown by and the top half of the MW is not looking any more clear. We know how the West division of the conference is going to shape up, but the Mountain division is still pretty wide open. The pillow fight of the week between two opposing service academies turned out pretty well for the guys from the Rockies but other than that there weren’t many surprises this week.
Starting off our week was the Black Knights from Army making the trip across country to take on Air Force. The Falcons were on a seven game slide coming into this game and needed a win to preserve at least a win in the Commander-in-Chief series. This game was pretty nip-tuck for quite a while as the teams were tied at 21 going into halftime. For the Falcons running back Anthony LaCoste had a huge day going for 263 yards and three scores, averaging 11.4 yards per carry. That’s a huge day for a running back. Seems like a candidate for MW player of the week. On the other side of the ball Black Knight back Terry Baggett had 121 yards on 20 carries and a touchdown. This game was so close that they were both over 400 yards offense, only a few yards separating them. Army controlled the ball 37 minutes to Air Force’s 22. Not too often does AFA lose the time of possession battle. The Falcons will be at New Mexico next Friday.
The Hawaii Rainbow Warriors are a disaster in every sense of the word. Norm Chow, in week 10, still cannot help himself and is playing two quarterbacks, or in this week’s case, three. Sean Schroeder may not be a good quarterback, and Taylor Graham has been a disaster, but pick one and stick with it. You’re hurting your team by playing musical QBs. Not only that but the Warriors were VERY delayed in getting to Utah due to some a-hole that deserves electrocution shooting up LAX as the Warriors were waiting to board their charter flight. Alright, now I’m done ranting so I can now go onto Utah State thumping the piss out of Hawaii. Darell Garretson should give Utah State fans a little bit of relief in knowing that in Charles F. Keeton’s absence they are in good hands. He turned in a good game against a porous (and probably freezing) Hawaii defense. He had 370 yards and three scores to lead the Aggies to a 47-10 blowout in Logan. Joey DeMartino is quietly putting together a nice season for the Aggies rushing for 104 yards and a score. Sean Schroeder completed half of his passes for 213 yards, but had three INTs. That’s not going to win you many football games. Hawaii will make a very long trip to Navy, Utah State will be at UNLV.
UNLV was coming off a big win against their in-state rival Nevada and was trying to get bowl eligible since .. probably when I was in elementary school. San Jose State was fresh off of a track meet with Wyoming. Spartans quarterback David Fales is regarded as one of the top passers in the Mountain West so what do you do when you have a quarterback like that? Beat the Rebels over the head rushing, naturally. The Spartans, as a team, rushed for 312 yards, including 187 from walk-on running back Jarrod Lawson. You’d never expect that out of the Spartans. Fales had a fair poor night passing, completing only 15 of this 30 passes for 150 yards, 1 TD and 2 INTs. On the other side of the ball the Spartans were pretty stingy with rushing yards, giving up only 24 yards to Tim Cornett, and 55 to Caleb Herring. Herring also threw for 265 yards and a pair of scores. Bet you guys had never thought the day would come where the Spartans would be a rushing team. San Jose State will host San Diego State next in a fairly important conference game, UNLV will host Utah State next.
And in bizarre-o world New Mexico took a trip to San Diego State and San Diego State running back Adam Muema nearly outrushed the New Mexico offense. Muema put together another nice game for the Aztecs to keep them in the hunt in the West division of the Mountain West. Muema went for 233 yards and three scores as the Aztecs pulled out a close one 35-30. The Aztecs also got a nice game from Quinn Kaehler who threw for 201 yards and a pair of scores. Ezell Ruffin accounted for 165 of Kaehler’s passing yards. On the other side the Lobos couldn’t’ get anything going offensively. Cole Gautsche was 6-16 for 101 yards and a pick, while only rushing for 54 yards. Kasey Carrier rushed for 72 while the Mountain West’s best name Crusoe Gongbay rushed for 66 and a score. Not many teams have totally shut down the Lobo rush attack like this. The Lobos will host Air Force on Friday night, San Diego State will head to San Jose for a showdown with the Spartans.
Colorado State had upset on their minds this weekend as they hosted Boise State. The Rams were on a two game winning streak and ready to make a move towards the top of the Mountain division. Those feelings were short-lived as the Broncos took control of the game half way through the second quarter and stepped on the Rams’ throats. The Rams had a 17-14 lead at one point but couldn’t keep their offense rolling and couldn’t keep the Boise offense off the field. Grant Hedrick turned in his best day as a Bronco, throwing for 305 yards and five scores. Did Jay Ajayi continue fumbling? Matt Miller turned in a nice game for the Broncos as the Helena, MT native roped in two scores and 96 yards receiving for the Broncos. On the Rams side of the ball Garrett Grayson threw for nearly 400 yards and a score but couldn’t quite lead the Rams back despite a couple of fourth quarter scores. Kapri Bibbs had another nice game rushing for 69 yards and three scores for the Rams. The Rams controlled the ball for 40 minutes of this contest and piled up more than 600 yards offense. The Broncos will be on a bye week, while the Rams will host Nevada.
Sometimes the problem with YouTube creeping while writing is that I forget to write and just watch music videos. Whooooopsie!
In the night cap the Fresno State Bulldogs were looking to keep their perfect record, and BCS ranking, in tact while facing off with the Wolf Pack (two words). Nevada came to this football game to fight, but ultimately, this wasn’t their day. They got down 24-7 at the half and it looked over at this point, but the Wolf Pack kept battling back and closed the gap to 24-16 but that’s as close as it would get, and eventually finished 41-23. Derek (not David) Carr did what he does and that was throw for a whole boat load of yards, 487 of them, and three scores. Josh Quezada had a nice game for the Bulldogs rushing for 115 yards. Cody Fajardo did everything he could to lead the Wolf Pack to victory but came up short. He threw for 206 yards and a pair of scores while rushing for 98 more yards. Kendall Brock rushed for 94 yards and a score. Fresno State receiver Josh Harper had himself a terrific game catching 253 yards worth of passes and two scores. The Wolf Pack will be at Colorado State next, Fresno State will head off to Laramie for an ESPN2 matchup with the Cowboys.
There were some great individual performances from Mountain West players this week. Anthony LaCoste may have turned in the best performance, but don’t discount the games that Derek Carr, Josh Harper, and Adam Muema had. Players are starting to peak and turn in terrific performances every week.
This coming week will have plenty of action. Air Force and New Mexico will start us off in the Mountain West pillow fight of the week on ESPNU. Nevada and Colorado State are playing for a spot in a bowl game at this point. Navy will try to get one game closer to bowl eligibility, and should beat Hawaii to get to five wins. Utah State and UNLV’s winner will become bowl eligible. I don’t see any reason why Utah State won’t win this game. UNLV has now hit the difficult phase of their schedule. A pair of late games will finish off the schedule for the Mountain West, Wyoming hosting Fresno State and San Jose State hosting San Diego State. Wyoming is in a must-win situation right now, and the tough part of their schedule is coming. Should be a chilly night in Laramie. Will that phase Derek Carr? SDSU and SJSU should be a fun game, but I’d be hard pressed to think David Fales and the Spartans can’t win this. Happy week 11!