With week three of the Mountain West season in the books it’s safe to say that the Mountain West didn’t fare nearly as bad this week as they did last week. Ha, who am I kidding? Light that dumpster on fire again this week. At least the only win wasn’t Air Force over San Jose State. Boise State whipped up on a hapless Big Sky opponent. There was that. The Mountain West is now 2-28 against BCS opponents this season.
One might say that if you want to dance with the big boys you have to beat the big boys. Right now I’m pretty sure the Mountain West has a worse record against BCS foes than any other conference.. maybe even the WAC, but I need to check my work on that.
The season is early, and maybe I’m a little premature in lighting this conference on fire like a cheaper trailer with an electrical short, but good lord has the Mountain West ever been so bad in non-conference play before? I’m pretty sure the answer to this is no.
The only Mountain West wins this week came against the Big Sky Conference of FCS. I’m going to go with, “that’s not good.” Most of the losses this week were against good competition, but San Diego State losing one to South Alabama’s gotta be a tough pill to swallow if you’re the Aztecs. South Alabama started its football program in 2009 and begun its transition to FBS in 2011. The Aztecs would love to have that game back, I’m sure.
Enough jabber about the woes of the conference and onto the slaughterhouse… err, recaps from last week.
But first.. we need some Taylor Swift to get this thing going.
Boise State d. Idaho State 52-0
Boise State got the Mountain West started this week with a pretty convincing victory over Idaho State. Idaho State had a lot of hype coming into the season as being legitimate contenders to move towards the top of the Big Sky. So far they are 1-2 on the season and really didn’t even put up a fight against Boise State who just rolled over the top of them. The big news out of Boise is quarterback Ryan Finley being lost for what will be a good portion, if not the whole season, with an injury. The game also saw true freshman Brett Rypien see his first collegiate action and he made “Sparks Fly” in relief. He was 8/9 for 126 yards in his Boise debut. I wouldn’t be surprised if he starts the rest of the season.. and he may not let go of that spot until he graduates with his degree in Lego building. Jeremy McNichols has 69 yards and three scores to help propel the Boise offense. Boise plays at Virginia Friday night on ESPN.
Arizona State d. New Mexico 34-10
Arizona State hasn’t gotten off to the start they thought they would. They were supposed to be contenders for the Pac12 South title this season and so far they’ve looked pretty average. Then New Mexico came rolling into town and suddenly they might have a little confidence. The game started off like you were watching an ACC heavyweight bout.. 0-0 after the first quarter. Arizona State kicked it into gear after that and didn’t slowdown until they were “Out of the Woods.” New Mexico simply didn’t get their offense moving. Very poor running the ball, averaging 3.9 yards per carry. Quarterbacks Austin Apodaca and Lamar Jordan didn’t generate much offense, throwing for a combined 111 yards and one turnover. Tyrone Owens was responsible for the only Lobo touchdown in this one. The Lobos will take their triple-option road show to Laramie next weekend to play the Cowboys. Maybe Cole Gautsche’s hair was responsible for Lobo victories…
Michigan d. UNLV 28-7
Tony Sanchez would love to just “Shake It Off” right now. I’m sure he didn’t envision his college coaching debut to be off to an 0-3 start, but to be fair, UNLV has pretty much opened with a murderers row of scheduling so far. At Northern Illinois (who should have beaten Ohio State this past weekend), home against UCLA and away at the Big House in Michigan. Not ideal. Michigan didn’t play particularly well, but UNLV didn’t play particularly well either. They didn’t put their first points on the board until the 4th quarter when Blake Decker hooked up with Devonte Boyd for a touchdown. I would think that UNLV can get back on the horse next week and pick up Sanchez’s first win against Idaho State. I mean, it’s not like Bobby Hauck is coaching them anymore, hopefully no more worries about getting rolled at home against FCS teams, right?
Michigan State d. Air Force 35-21
Air Force has a way of sneaking up on opponents who have never seen them play before and taking them to the wire. A lot of teams don’t expect to have an offensive lineman diving at their knees all day (which causes some “Bad Blood”) and see these tiny running backs flying in every direction. Michigan State, which typically boasts one of the country’s top defenses, was up to the task of slowing up the Falcons rushing attack on Saturday. Connor Cook continued on with his Heisman Trophy candidacy with a 247 yard, four touchdown effort against Air Force. Air Force had some success on the ground rushing for 279 yards on the ground and two scores, one from Benton Washington and the other from DJ Johnson. Karson Roberts turned in a decent day going for 149 yards and a touchdown, while rushing for another 44 yards. Jalen Robinette led Falcon receivers with 82 yards and a score. Air Force will be on a bye next week.
Texas A&M d. Nevada 44-27
Nevada made a trip South to “Swag U” or whatever the hell they’re calling themselves nowadays to play Texas A&M. In Nevada’s “Wildest Dreams” they were going to silence the Kyle Field crowd and win this one. In reality, no so much. Texas A&M got on the scoreboard first and didn’t look back. Aggies quarterback Kyle Allen threw for 270 yards and four scores in route to beating the Wolf Pack. Tra Carson from A&M rushed for 137 yards on the day. Nevada quarterback Tyler Stewart threw for 206 yards and two scores, while running back James Butler ran for 107 yards. The Wolf Pack’s lone touchdown came on a 4th down conversion when Don Jackson ran for a 31 yard score. The Wolf Pack will make a cross-country trip this coming weekend to take on Buffalo.
Washington d. Utah State 31-17
Utah State is not having the kind of year they thought they would, despite that Chuckie Keeton was cleared to play this year due to a medical redshirt and their defense features the pre-season Mountain West player of the year Kyler Fackrell, but it seems like “Everything Has Changed.” The Aggies are 1-2 on the season and their only win was a squeaker against Southern Utah of the Big Sky. Keeton had a less than stellar day throwing for 177 yards and two interceptions. The Aggies were held to 254 yards of total offense against the Huskies. The defense gave up 368 yards passing to Jake Browning and the Husky offense. The Aggies scored on a 97 yard fumble return by Jontrell Rocquemore. Wow, that’s not a fun name to spell or say. The Aggies were one of two teams featured on this week’s “Misery Index” published by USA Today. I’m guessing that’s not good. They’ll have a couple weeks to think about it as they’re on bye this week.
Colorado d. Colorado State 27-24 (OT)
Colorado State definitely has some “Teardrops on My Guitar” this week. As a sign of really bad things to come the team found out that their mascot, Cam the Ram, died hours before the game on Saturday. Then to make matters worse they lost to in-state rival Colorado at Mile High Stadium in Denver. The Rams actually had a decent day offensively but couldn’t do enough to put the Buffs away. The Rams had a 14-0 lead at the end of the first quarter and looked like they were off to the races. Colorado put up the next three scores before the Rams finally tied it up at 17 in the third quarter. The Rams and Buffs traded fourth quarter touchdowns. In overtime Diego Gonzalez booted a 32 yarder to win it. Rams quarterback Nick Stevens threw for 282 yards and a score with two interceptions. Dalyn Dawkins ran for 118 yards and a score, with Jasen Oden Jr running for 80 and score. Rashard Higgins (his nickname is dumb, by the way) caught 125 yards and a score. The Rams head out on the road this weekend to Texas-San Antonio in the AlomoDome.
Oregon State d. San Jose State 35-21
San Jose State just couldn’t get the offensive wheels spinning on Saturday as they traveled to Corvallis to take on the Beavers of Oregon State. They also couldn’t figure out how to stop the Beaver rushing attack who amassed 303 yards and three scores. San Jose State had three quarterbacks throwing the football on Saturday.. not a lot of opportunity for continuity when you’re struggling. The Spartans actually took a 21-14 lead into halftime but 21 unanswered points from the Beavers sealed the deal. Seems like the Spartans know this story “All Too Well.” A Jon Gray pick six was the final dagger the Beavers needed. San Jose State will be hosting in-state rival Fresno State next week.
South Alabama d. San Diego State 34-27 (OT)
This was basically the worst thing for San Diego State right now and are probably “Red” with anger. Losing to FBS newcoming South Alabama at home isn’t good. On the bright side, Donnel Pumphrey is still pretty much the baddest man in the Mountain West right now. Pumphrey had 102 yards rushing and a score and was also the leading receiver for the Aztecs, catching 55 yards worth of passes. San Diego State tried pretty hard to put this game away with Donnel Pumphrey punching in a touchdown for 2:05 left in the game to take a three point lead. However, the Jaguars weren’t done, as they kicked a 46 yard field goal to tie the game and send it into overtime. Once it got into overtime the Jags ran in a touchdown from Xavier Johnson and iced the game. Disappointing loss for San Diego State and it won’t get any easier for them this week as they head to Happy Valley to take on Penn State.
Washington State d. Wyoming 31-14
Wyoming took a trip to the Palouse to face Washington State. A lot of Wyoming fans are starting this team will “Never Grow Up.” The Cowboys, however, seem to be maturing on a weekly basis. This week’s foe, Washington State, is never an easy task. The team literally explodes for yards upon yards sometimes. The Cowboy defense did a nice job of containing the Cougars, and even outgained them in total offense (409-378). However, drives that seemed to stall and a pretty frequent shooting themselves in the foot with untimely penalties unraveled several Cowboy drives. Cowboy quarterback Cameron Coffman threw for 296 yards and two scores. Sophomore running back Brian Hill ran for 139 yards, back to back weeks of 100 or more yards rushing yards. The Cowboys also had two wide receivers over 100 yards for the first time since 2013, Tanner Gentry (127) and Jake Mulhardt (113) both hit the century mark. Both also had a score. The Cowboys will be at home against New Mexico next week.
Utah d. Fresno State 45-24
In the last loss for the Mountain West on the night Utah smacked Fresno State around pretty good. Fresno didn’t decide to show up to this game until the 4th quarter when they attempted to make a comeback, scoring 21 points. However, Utah also scored 21 points in the fourth quarter and said this game is “Mine.” I didn’t see the game, but I’m guessing if there was a combined 42 points in the last quarter of a game that was in-hand, I’m guessing they let Twitter call the defenses in that quarter. Fresno State only need 16 plays in the 4th quarter to put up 21 points. They should have used that strategy to begin with! Utah’s Devontae Booker had a pretty good game, rushing for 156 yards and two scores and also receiving 56 yards. Between Booker and Kendal Thompson they pretty much provided all of the Utes offense. Fresno State will head up the coast to take on San Jose State.
Hawaii vs UC-Davis 47-27
FINALLY! To bookend the Mountain West weekend Hawaii won a game to beat UC-Davis of the Big Sky Conference. At least the Mountain West can claim superiority over one conference this season (even though the record isn’t perfect). USC transfer Max Wittek (who isn’t “Superman”) threw for 272 yards and two scores to lead the ‘Bows over the Aggies. There sure were a lot of Aggies in this write-up this week (three, four if you count Colorado State). Paul Harris rushed for 147 yards and a score, and Melvin Davis added 45 yards and two scores. UC-Davis threw for 233 yards and two scores, he piled up most of the Aggies offense. Hawaii heads on the road for a tough task at Camp Randall next week and the Wisconsin Badgers, their second B1G opponent this season.
That wraps up this Mountain West week. Hopefully you all got an education in Taylor Swift songs this week. That’s literally the only thing that can power me through such an awful week of Mountain West football. That, and this giant beer I just knocked out. A few Mountain West teams are jumping into conference play this weekend. For those teams I guess you can say that it’s a clean slate. The season isn’t over for anyone yet, but teams are going to have to play better if they want to see the post season. The conference has a lot of bowl tie-ins and teams will have trouble getting to six wins by losing some of these non-conference games they should have won.
Next week it starts new, hopefully we see better games.