The latest installment of this week in Mountain West football was certainly an entertaining one. Laramie, Wyoming have you guys recovered from your hangover yet? The Cowboys shocked Boise State on Saturday in Laramie by beating the Broncos 30-28. The game ended when Chase Applebee hit Boise State quarterback Brett Rypien near the end zone and sent the ball flying out the back of the end zone. It was the Cowboys’ biggest win since 2002 when the Cowboys defeated a ranked Air Force team in Laramie. The Broncos fell from 13th to 24th in the latest AP poll this week.
Until Saturday night the Broncos were in the driver’s seat for the Group of Five bowl berth on New Year’s Day. With Wyoming beating Boise State on Saturday the Broncos are no longer in control of that seat. At this point, the highest ranked Go5 team is Western Michigan, currently 17th in the polls. You have to think that Craig Thompson and the rest of the Mountain West administration probably had to be restrained from hurling themselves out of the nearest window, knowing that Wyoming’s win cost the conference significant post season money.
It’s entirely possible that Western Michigan could stumble and Boise State or San Diego State could crawl back into the bowl chase, however, PJ Fleck has the Broncos rolling right now and there’s not much left in their path. The Broncos will face Toledo to close the season and could find themselves in the MAC title game. A lot of dominoes have to fall for the Mountain West to wrap up that bowl game right now.
In other Mountain West news, the San Diego State Aztecs absolutely pummeled Utah State in Logan this weekend. Another week, another 200-yard performance from Donnel Pumphrey. He is still the national leader in rushing, for those keeping track. Air Force needed all four quarters to beat Fresno State this weekend in Eric Kiesau’s debut for the Bulldogs. San Jose State got a home win against UNLV. In the night cap New Mexico needed all four quarters to beat Hawaii on the road. The Warriors had previously been surging but stumbled against New Mexico and their triple option attack.
San Diego State 40
Utah State 13
Air Force 31
Fresno State 21
Boise State 28
San Jose State 30
New Mexico 28
Mountain West Player of the Week
Wyoming tight end Jacob Hollister is this week’s Mountain West player of the week. Hollister caught six passes for 144 yards and two touchdowns vs Boise State.
Mountain West MVP Candidates
Brett Rypien, QB, Boise State. 22-35, 295 yards, 1 INT.
Thomas Sperbeck, WR, Boise State. 8 receptions, 80 yards.
Brian Hill, RB, Wyoming. 28 carries, 146 yards
Donnel Pumphrey, RB, San Diego State. 32 carries, 223 yards.
Mountain West Power Rankings
1. San Diego State
3. Boise State
4. New Mexico
6. Colorado State
7. Air Force
9. Utah State
10. San Jose State
12. Fresno State
Looking Ahead to Week 10
This week’s Mountain West action starts off on Friday night with Boise State hosting San Jose State on ESPN2. Air Force will look to complete the last leg of the Commander-in-Chief series against Army on CBSSN. Fresno State will take on Colorado State. Hawaii will travel to take on Mountain West Pacific division leader San Diego State. Nevada will take on New Mexico. In the late game on ESPN2 Utah State and Wyoming will play for Bridger’s rifle in Laramie.
Final Thoughts and Hot Takes
– Ron Caragher may have put off his mid-season firing by winning vs UNLV this past weekend. A fine win for the Spartans.
– UNLV, on the other hand, looked all out of sorts. Kurt Palandech tried getting UNLV back into this game but came up short.
– Anymore questions on Wyoming’s long-term trajectory?
– Didn’t see Hawaii losing at home to New Mexico. The Lobos might be quietly good? They’re now one win away from bowl eligibility.
– Three Mountain West teams are now bowl eligible, Boise State, Wyoming, and San Diego State. Two more are within one win, Air Force and New Mexico. Hawaii is currently sitting at four wins and have a difficult schedule coming up.
– Going to be a lot of 6-6’ish teams from the Mountain West heading into bowl season this year.