Another week is complete, and another week of Mountain West football is in the books. San Diego State’s Donnel Pumphrey is leaving little doubt that barring injury he will be the player of the year in the conference. Pumphrey turned in another 200 yard performance and added a couple more touchdowns to his tally this year. After three weeks of football Pumphrey is the leading rusher in the nation. He is more than 200 yards ahead of Brian Hill, the second leading rusher in the Mountain West, and eighth in the nation.
Boise State was idle this week, but even with that it’s hard to imagine there’s much in the way of a Boise State/San Diego State matchup in the Mountain West title game. Again, we’re only three weeks in and there’s a lot of football to play, but these teams are just rolling right now. I don’t see a dark horse in the Mountain West right now that will dethrone either of these teams unless Air Force can do more of those things they do.
New Mexico losing at Rutgers was a bit of a surprise to me. I thought New Mexico might be close to turning a corner, and should have had a very winnable game against Rutgers. The absence of Teriyon Gipson may have had a small part to do with the Lobos struggles. Fresno State getting absolutely blasted by Toledo was also a little bit of a surprise. Toledo piled up more than 600 yards on the Bulldogs, including 318 on the ground. At some point Hawaii is going to stop living on an airplane, right? What a tough travel year for the Warriors thus far. Hard to build consistency when you spent so much time traveling.
Arkansas State 20
Utah State 34
New Mexico 28
Fresno State 17
Central Michigan 44
Northern Colorado 21
Colorado State 47
San Jose State 17
Player of the Week
Lots of worthy candidates this week for the player of the week, and all three were running backs. However, the player of the week this week has to go to Donnel Pumphrey from San Diego State. Pumphrey turned in a 220 yard performance against Northern Illinois. He had three touchdowns and averaged 9.6 yards per carry for the Aztecs. Pumphrey is currently leading all FBS rushers with 599 yards. The next best behind him is Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson with 464. Honorable mention this week to Brian Hill (207 yards, two touchdowns) and James Butler (174 yards, three touchdowns).
Mountain West MVP Candidates
Donnel Pumphrey, San Diego State. 23 carries, 220 yards, 3 touchdowns.
Brett Rypien, Boise State. Idle this week.
Thomas Sperbeck, Boise State. Idle this week.
Brian Hill, Wyoming. 25 carries, 207 yards, 2 touchdowns.
James Butler, Nevada. 28 carries, 174 yards, 3 touchdowns.
Mountain West Power Rankings
1. San Diego State
2. Boise State
3. Air Force
5. Colorado State
7. Utah State
8. New Mexico
9. San Jose State
10. Fresno State
Looking Ahead to Week 3
A lot of road games for Mountain West teams this week. With that there’s a lot of opportunity for the Mountain West teams to make statements of their own. Wyoming starts the week off by traveling to Eastern Michigan looking to avenge last year’s loss to the Eagles. Nevada will be on the road at Purdue. San Jose State will be on the road at Iowa State. Colorado State will be on the road at Minnesota. Boise State will travel to Oregon State. Those are all opportunities for the Mountain West to prove it’s meddle against some power five conference teams. Utah State and Air Force will kick off the conference season in Logan. UNLV will host Idaho and Fresno State will host Tulsa. Tough match up for the Bulldogs in that contest. UNLV, I’m afraid to say, could have its hands full with Idaho. Neither team look very good right now.
Final Thoughts and Hot Takes
– UNLV getting absolutely blasted was probably the last thing that Tony Sanchez could have seen coming this season. Central Michigan quarterback Cooper Rush had an outstanding game against the Rebels. The Chippewas are now 3-0 on the season while UNLV falls to 1-2.
– Colorado State took care of Northern Colorado pretty quickly on Saturday. Hard to get a read on the Rams as they’ve now tried their third different quarterback this season.
– Wyoming looked very good against UC-Davis on Saturday. Hard to read into that game as UC-Davis is not a very good football team. They certainly brought some talented players to Laramie, but just not a great team. We’ll get a better read on Wyoming this week when they travel to Ypsilanti to take on Eastern Michigan.
– San Jose State gave Utah a tussle for a while, but the Utes were just too good for the Spartans. Like a lot of Mountain West teams, hard to tell what kind of team SJSU right now, but they look like they might be up and coming.
– Is there a defense out there that can slow down Donnel Pumphrey? I’m not sure we’ll see it this season, he’s really good.
– UNLV announced this week another donation gift from the Fertitta family. They are 100% behind Tony Sanchez and the Rebels. This last donation from the family will be a football complex on the campus that will have training table, academic areas, as well as locker rooms.