One more week of college football in the Mountain West is over and now it’s time to talk about it. The biggest surprise in the Mountain West this week was San Diego State getting absolutely dominated in the fourth quarter by South Alabama and losing on the road. The Mountain West has had an absolutely atrocious non-conference season and this loss for the Aztecs basically underscored it. Boise State is going to need a miracle to get to a New Year’s Day bowl game because the quality of the conference this year is just simply not good on a national stage.
Air Force had a nice ball game against Navy this weekend in the first game of the Commander-in-Chief series. The Falcons have discovered they have a passing attack. Nate Romine had 257 yards through the air and a pair of scores. Five of his passes went to Jalen Robinette, who had 163 yards receiving and a score. The Falcons held Navy to 57 yards rushing, which is almost unheard of for a Navy team. The Midshipmen passed for 260 through the air. Air Force will travel to Army on November 5th to try to complete the sweep.
Wyoming got a monkey off of its back this weekend by beat Colorado State in the 108th Border War in Fort Collins. The Border War win was the first of the Craig Bohl tenure. The Cowboys looked like they were in for another blowout loss, falling behind 14-3 in the first quarter. Wyoming quickly turned the tide, including a 55 yard interception return for a touchdown by defensive tackle Chase Appleby and the Pokes never looked back. The Cowboys went on a 35-3 run to finish the game and bring the Bronze Boot back to Laramie.
Boise State continued its stranglehold on the top of the Mountain West with a 21-10 win over Utah State on the blue this weekend. Jeremy McNichols had 132 yards on 30 carries for the Broncos. Boise State has moved up to 19th in the polls. They will need to hope for a Houston loss at some point, as well as themselves to keep rolling to find a Group of Five bid to a bowl game. Houston and Boise State are the only two Group of Five teams ranked in the AP poll. Boise State, Houston, and Western Michigan are all ranked in the Coaches Poll.
Air Force 28
San Jose State 41
New Mexico 48
San Diego State 24
South Alabama 42
Colorado State 17
Utah State 10
Boise State 21
Fresno State 20
Mountain West Player of the Week
Diocemy Saint Juste, running back, Hawaii Rainbow Warriors. Saint Juste didn’t have a lot of impact on the scoreboard in the Warriors win vs Nevada, however, he did contribute A LOT of yards to their win. Saint Juste had 19 carries for 205 yards Saturday night in Honolulu.
Mountain West MVP Candidates
Brett Rypien, QB, Boise State. 15/24, 163 yards, 2 touchdowns.
Thomas Sperbeck, WR, Boise State. 5 catches, 64 yards, 1 touchdown.
Brian Hill, RB, Wyoming. 19 carries, 166 yards, 1 touchdown.
Donnel Pumphrey, RB, San Diego State. 25 carries, 151 yards, 1 touchdown.
Nate Romine, QB, Air Force. 8/14, 257 yards, 2 touchdowns.
Mountain West Power Rankings
1. Boise State
2. Air Force
3. San Diego State
5. New Mexico
6. Utah State
8. Colorado State
9. San Jose State
12. Fresno State
Looking Ahead to Week 6
Boise State and New Mexico will be starting us off on week six. They will be kicking off on Friday night in Albuquerque. Air Force will travel to Wyoming to take on the Cowboys, who are fresh off of a Border War win. Hawaii will take a trip to the West Coast to take on San Jose State. Two struggling teams in Fresno State and Nevada will shoot it out in Reno. Utah State and Colorado State face off in Fort Collins. To wrap up the week, UNLV will take on San Diego State.
Final Thoughts and Hot Takes
We’re seeing the final days of Tim DeRuyter in Fresno State. I don’t know if the athletic department can afford to buy him out at mid-season, but he definitely won’t be around to coach the Bulldogs next season.
San Diego State losing to South Alabama on the road is definitely a head scratcher. South Alabama had struggled the previous week to beat a bad FCS team Nicholls State. Their other win was another head scratcher, at Mississippi State. South Alabama, in theory, should be a very talented team but this was a game that San Diego State needed to win.
Air Force is a win versus Army away from winning the Commander in Chief trophy. Normally you could bank on Air Force winning this game due to Army’s general ineptitude on the football field. However, the Black Knights are a rejuvenated team this year under head coach Jeff Monken. The Black Knights are the top ranked rushing attack in FBS right now.
UNLV is an awfully tough team to read. Last week they get beaten by arguably one of the worst FBS teams, Idaho, and this week they take Fresno State to the woodshed. I know Fresno is bad, but they’re not Idaho bad. Quite a puzzler.
Nevada getting totally dominated by Hawaii was a surprise to me. Getting beat in the trenches and unable to get a passing attack generated I guess will lead to getting beat.
The November 25th game between Boise State and Air Force is looking like a lot of fun right now.