The door for Boise State’s chance at a New Year’s Day bowl game just got kicked wide open this weekend. With Houston’s loss to Navy on Saturday the Broncos are now in the drivers seat to land a big bowl game. However, there are many thing in the Broncos way still, including a matchup with San Diego State (more than likely), a game with Wyoming. There are other things out of their control as well, such as a surging Western Michigan. I can’t imagine Houston will drop too far in the polls, so they could still be in line for one of the six New Years games, so Boise State will still need to take care of business.
Who are these Wyoming Cowboys and what have you done with them? Wyoming in back to back weeks has beaten both Colorado State and Air Force. Air Force came into the Wyoming game undefeated and left with a loss. The Cowboys seem to be putting some things together and winning football games. The rushing attack led by Brian Hill has been steady. Josh Allen and his receivers are doing good things and minimizing turnovers. The defense is much improved from last season as the kids are growing up. Wyoming sits with a 4-2 record right now and very well could be a bowl team this season. Craig Bohl is doing good things in Laramie, and the patience and wins are now coming.
As I wrote earlier this season, the Mountain West has shifted into a conference that is effective at running the football. At the halfway point in the Mountain West football season there are three running backs from the conference in the top 10 in rushing. Donnel Pumphrey leads all rushers with 891 yards, 25 yards ahead of Jamaal Williams from BYU. James Butler from Nevada checks in at number five at 728 yards rushing, and Brian Hill is one spot behind him with 721 yards. If you’ve been paying attention to Heisman pundits you’ll notice that Donnel Pumphrey is not getting a lot of recognition for his efforts. Certainly there are some talented players in FBS this season, such as Louisville’s Lamar Jackson, but Pumphrey should be getting talked about more.
Air Force 26
Fresno State 22
San Jose State 17
Utah State 24
Colorado State 31
San Diego State 26
Boise State 49
New Mexico 21
Mountain West Player of the Week
This week’s Mountain West player of the week is Boise State quarterback Brett Rypien. He threw for 391 yards and five touchdowns. He was 21/28 passing in the Broncos’ win over New Mexico.
Mountain West MVP Candidates
Brett Rypien, QB, Boise State. 21/28 for 391 yards and five touchdowns.
Thomas Sperbeck, WR, Boise State. Nine receptions, 198 yards and two touchdowns.
Brian Hill, RB, Wyoming. 29 carries, 92 yards, one touchdown.
Donnel Pumphrey, RB, San Diego State
Nate Romine, QB, Air Force. 6/19 for 188 yards and two touchdowns. 12 carries, 9 yards, one touchdown.
Mountain West Power Rankings
1. Boise State
2. San Diego State
4. Air Force
5. Colorado State
6. Utah State
9. New Mexico
11. Fresno State
12. San Jose State
Looking Ahead to Week 7
Next week San Diego State will start us off by traveling to central California to take on Fresno State. New Mexico will head to Air Force to take on the Falcons. Colorado State will make the trip north to Boise to take on the Broncos. Nevada will hop across the state line to take on San Jose State. To finish us off at 9:59pm, UNLV will kick off at Hawaii. I don’t know why the start time is listed at 9:59 (or whatever time zone you’re in), but it is.
Final Thoughts and Hot Takes
– For three quarters Wyoming’s defense did some baaaaad things to Air Force. Things are changing in Laramie.
– Boise State just keeps on rolling. They have some tough games coming up, but there’s a lot of dangerous weapons on that team that looked primed to win the Mountain West.
– Houston losing this weekend may not matter too much. There seems to be a lot of love for that team in the college football world, which means that even if Boise goes undefeated that Houston could probably still grab the Group of Five bowl spot.
– Hard to get a read on Hawaii right now. Can’t tell if Nick Rolovich is turning them around or if they’re just beating bad teams. Probably a combination of both, but I’ll say this much, Rolo’s Twitter might be one of the best Mountain West follows out there.
– As one UNLV reporter said Saturday night, “I objectively really, *really* want UNLV to win this game without completing a pass. Openly rooting now.” That’s how things were going for UNLV this weekend.