Another week in the Mountain West has come and gone and another interesting showing from Mountain West teams again this week. The out of conference struggles continued for the conference as Air Force, Wyoming, and San Jose State all managed to lose to teams not in the Mountain West. Only New Mexico was the team to win an out of conference game, beating New Mexico State.
I’m not really sure what the out of conference record for the conference is at the moment but I’m guessing it’s somewhere in between Nelson from the Simpsons yelling, “HA-HA” and an actual dumpster on fire. The 1-3 record this week isn’t ideal. I don’t think I can say what the problem with the losses is, none of the games were particularly tough. The only real fight any MW team put up this week was San Jose State against Auburn. Never thought I’d type those words.
That being said, a few rivalry games happened this week. Air Force took on Navy in their annual Commander-in-Chief’s series. UNLV and Nevada played in their annual Governor’s Cup game, winner gets the largest trophy in college football, the Fremont Cannon. New Mexico and New Mexico State continued their Rio Grande Rivalry series. Judging by those games it looks like Air Force won’t be winning the Commander-in-Chief trophy, the Fremont Cannon is changing colors, and New Mexico State still isn’t good at football.
Let’s get started into recapping, shall we?
Air Force 11, Navy 33
Air Force made the cross-country trip to Annapolis this weekend to take on Keenan Reynolds and Navy. This game was basically not even close from the get-go, with the Falcons down 21-0 at the half and Navy never looked back. Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds balled out throwing for 117 yards and a score while also rushing for 183 yards. Not a bad day. Air Force’s Karson Roberts struggled going 5-12 for 73 yards and a pick through the air, and only 28 yards on the ground with a score, the Falcons only touchdown on the day. Air Force was hampered by four turnovers in this contest, which typically doesn’t help you win football games. Then again, the weather probably wasn’t all that great either since there’s this hurricane thing happening there. Needless to say, AFA probably won’t be bringing that fancy trophy back to the Springs. Air force will be at home next week to take on Wyoming.
Wyoming 13, Appalachian State 31
Wyoming also made a cross-country trip this week to another soggy environment to take on the Mountaineers of Appalachian State. The Mountaineers got off to the races in a hurry this week by scoring 14 points in a matter of four minutes into the game. It really didn’t get any prettier from there for the Pokes. Appalachian State running back Marcus Cox ran for 178 yards and a score for the Mountaineers. Not to be outdone Brian Hill of the Cowboys ran for 208 yards and a score. This was Hill’s second 200 yard game this season. Cameron Coffman threw for 155 yards with a score and a pick six to his name. Bouts of rain and fog hampered the Cowboys offense.. and defense.. basically everything. They’re now 0-5 on the season, their worst start since 1975. The Cowboys will head down I-25 next week to take on Air Force.
San Jose State 21, Auburn 35
San Jose State did everything they could to win this football game. They did not win this football game. Four turnovers probably was the leading cause of that. They outgained Auburn in total yards, time of possession, first downs, passing yards and still lost. Auburn isn’t the Auburn we’re used to seeing the last couple of years, but games in Jordan-Hare are tough when you beat yourself. That said, this is a game to build on for the Spartans. Joe Gray had an okay game, 224 yards and a score, but two picks. Running back Tyler Ervin had 160 and a score as well. However, the Spartan defense ran the “let Peyton Barber score” play too many times and he gashed them for five scores. That seems significant. SJSU will be at UNLV next week.
UNLV 23, Nevada 17
Tony Sanchez is all of a sudden on a two game winning streak. Those are words I didn’t think I would have typed this season.. or maybe even next season, but here I am all hopped up on some goofy kombucha drink (shut up, I live in Missoula, that’s how we roll) typing it for you to read. And not only is Tony Sanchez on a two game winning streak, but he won the Fremont Cannon on his first try. The game was pretty even matched but neither team was spectacular. UNLV running back Keith Whitely was a bright spot for the Rebels rushing for 76 yards and a score. Nevada quarterback Tyler Stewart had a 202 yard game with a score and pick and also rushed for a team high 61 yards. UNLV will be at home vs San Jose State, Nevada will be at home vs New Mexico. Paint that cannon, Rebs!
Colorado State 18, Utah State 33
Colorado State is having a bit of a letdown after last year (but really, what MW team isn’t?) and Utah State just piled on them. Aggies quarterback Kent Myers went straight HAM as he threw for 137 and a score and also ran for 191 yards and another score. He was basically a one man wrecking crew on the Rams defense. The Rams didn’t help themselves by turning the ball over three times as well. The officiating crew basically had more pass attempts than the quarterbacks as they littered the ground with 24 penalties for 235 yards. The SEC is jealous of that kind of yardage. Rashard Higgins continued his argument for the Mountain West’s top receiver with 114 yards and a score on Saturday. The Rams will host Boise State, Utah State will travel to Fresno State.
New Mexico State 29, New Mexico 38
New Mexico is fairly adept at running the football. As evidenced by their 401 yards rushing and four scores New Mexico State found out the hard way that you have to stop the rush to win. However, their own back, Larry Rose III rushed for 260 yards and three scores himself. That’s a terrific day for a back. However, his team lost. Lobos quarterback Lamar Jordan led the Lobos with 157 yards and a score. Teriyon Gipson added 142 yards, and Jhurell Pressley added another 99 yards. So many guys that can run the ball in that offense, but it took an 0-4 team for it to really come out. Anyhow, New Mexico gets all of the water rights to the Rio Grande which means New Mexico State had to go without showers after the game. New Mexico travels to Reno for a game with Nevada next week.
Hawaii 0, Boise State 55
Poor Hawaii, they traveled all the way to the mainland and got beaten down by Boise State. And really, this wasn’t just a beat down. The Broncos basically let off the gas for the entire second half because they were already up 49-0. True freshman Brett Rypien had a fairly efficient night going 19-25 for 271 yards and three scores. Jeremy McNichols had 108 yards and two scores. Hawaii.. well, they had about 170 yards of total offense compared to Boise’s 554. Hawaii also turned the ball over four times. The yellow flag parade also made an appearance at this game last night with a combined 15 flags for 141 yards. My cousin was pretty sure he jinxed the Broncos last night because he was unable to attend the game in his Sumo Bronco blow-up suit because the fan died. Luckily I was able to calm him down over Facebook reminding him they were playing Hawaii. Obviously he doesn’t carry the burden of being the guy who jinxes Boise. With that note, Hawaii plays at home vs San Diego State. Boise goes to Fort Fun for a game against Colorado State.
Fresno State 7, San Diego State 21
In the Mountain West nightcap Fresno State took a trip down the coast to take on San Diego State. If you like passing offense, well, this is not the game for you. In fact, I’m not entirely positive Fresno State even got over 100 yards total offense (they didn’t). Is that bad? San Diego State put on a small track meet, however, as running back Chase Price ran for 151 yards, and Donnel Pumphrey ran for 124 yards and a score. Not a bad night for them two. I could go into the passing numbers but I don’t want to embarrass anyone. Fresno State will be at home against Utah State, San Diego State will be at Hawaii.
If I haven’t blown your mind enough tonight check this out.. UNLV is leading the Mountain West … West division. MY HOW TIMES HAVE CHANGED. However, not a single team on that side of the Rockies has a winning record. Only two of the teams have scored more points than have been scored on them, and both of those are a pretty close margin. It’s going to hilarious to see how bad Boise destroys whomever wins that division in the Mountain West title game. Probably won’t help their RPI though.
Does that even exist in college football?
Back to business.. it looks like Boise State is going to be the team to beat and really, there’s no one that can beat them. Maybe they’ll trip up against a team like Utah State or Air Force, or maybe New Mexico will gash them with one of their dozen running backs. Or maybe SJSU will show us that playing good against Auburn wasn’t a fluke. And maybe I’ll somehow acquire a magical pony. You just don’t know.
That said Boise will have to keep winning if they want the Group of Five spot in a New Years Six bowl. Right now Temple, Memphis, Houston, Toledo, Ohio, and Georgia Southern are looking like solid contenders for that spot. Houston might be the strongest of that group, having Tom Herman running the show has proven VERY beneficial for Houston and a huge loss for Ohio State.
And as a reminder.. Shake It Off, Wyoming fans. Better days are ahead!