We’ve gotten through week four of the Mountain West football season and this week didn’t really give us any surprises. Except if you’re a Boise State fan, and the Broncos getting skull thumped at home by visiting Virginia. Brett Rypien made his way back to the Broncos lineup after being sidelined with an injury. However, Rypien’s presence didn’t seem to matter for the Broncos as they dropped a 42-23 game to the visiting Cavaliers.
Rypien threw for 285 yards and an interception, but wasn’t enough to get the Broncos that win. Cedrick Wilson turned in an outstanding game for Boise State, catching 209 yards and a touchdown pass from Montell Cozart. Boise State will have a bye week coming up before they take on BYU in Provo.
UNLV took a road trip to Columbia to take on Ohio State at the Shoe. The Rebels season didn’t get any easier this week as they were taking on the #10 team in the country, who is also experiencing their own pains this season. UNLV had a rough go early on, and Ohio State poured it on early and often to defeat the visiting Rebels. Ohio State quarterbacks combined for 474 yards and seven touchdowns, while rushing for 190 yards. Two Ohio State receivers caught over 100 yards in passes. UNLV only had 88 yards passing as a team. The lone bright spot for UNLV was running back Lexington Thomas who rushed for 84 yards and two touchdown.
UNLV will look to cure its ills next week as they host downtrodden San Jose State.
New Mexico went on the road and took on the Tulsa Golden Hurricane and came away with a late victory in Oklahoma. The Lobos used their potent rushing attack to pile up 338 yards, 156 of those courtesy of quarterback Coltin Gerhart. Gerhart is filling in for quarterback Lamar Jordan who is injured. Lobo kicker Jason Sanders hit a 53 yard field goal as time expired to give New Mexico the victory. The Lobos will take on fellow triple option team Air Force next weekend in Albuquerque.
Utah State got back to their winning ways this week by beating the tar out of the home standing San Jose State Spartans. The Aggies went into halftime with a 38-0 lead and didn’t ever look back. Utah State quarterback Kent Myers threw for more yards than San Jose State had in total yards, 181 to 171. San Jose State’s only touchdown came on a Jermaine Kelly interception return he took 68 yards to the house. Utah State will take on BYU in Logan next week while San Jose State will play at UNLV.
San Diego State got all that it wanted and more as they took on Air Force this weekend in Colorado Springs. The Aztecs continued doing what they do best, and that’s getting the ball into Rashaad Penny’s hands. Penny rushed for 128 yards and three touchdowns to help the Aztecs get past the Falcons. Air Force, got a 220 yard rushing effort, however, that wasn’t enough. Air Force took the lead with 6:16 left in the game on a 12 yard touchdown run from Timothy McVey, however, two plays later Rashaad Penny scampered for 53 yards to put the game away. San Diego State will next host Northern Illinois. Air Force will play at New Mexico.
In the night cap Wyoming and Hawaii gave us all some free football as the Cowboys won 28-21 in overtime. Josh Allen had another disappointing night for the Cowboys, going 9/19 for 92 yards and one touchdown. Hawaii quarterback Dru Brown threw for 280 yards and a touchdown, while Diocemy Saint Juste rushed for 120 yards and a score. Hawaii receiver John Ursua had 102 yards receiving and a touchdown. In overtime Wyoming receiver James Price hauled in a diving touchdown from Allen. On Hawaii’s first possession in overtime Dru Brown had his pass intercepted by Cassh Maluia to end the game. Wyoming will host Texas State, while Hawaii will host Colorado State.
At this point in the season there is only one Mountain West team with a winning record, San Diego State. Four of the five teams in the Mountain division are sitting at 2-2, while Air Force is at 1-2. In the Pacific division San Diego State already has what appears to be an insurmountable lead in the conference.
San Jose State has already given up 226 points this season, a 45 points per game average, is probably not a trend they want to continue if they want to find themselves in the win column again this season. The Mountain division has traditionally been the stronger of the two divisions, but is looking very balanced so far this season. It’s easy to see a scenario where these teams will all finish with similar records once they start beating each other up in conference play.
Wyoming has reason they need to worry, as their high octane offense from last season has basically been non-existent so far this year. They are currently the lowest scoring Mountain West team at 71 points on the season, or 17 points per game. Quarterback Josh Allen has lost a lot of weapons around him, but the Cowboys need to get that offense moving if they want to return to post season action this season.
For right now it’s all San Diego State and there doesn’t appear to be anyone that’s going to get in their way for the rest of the schedule. After Boise State’s loss on Friday night it’s hard to see that they will provide much competition to the Aztecs when they play on October 14.
Boise State 23
#21 Ohio State 54
#18 Washington State 45
#22 San Diego State 28
Air Force 24
New Mexico 16
Utah State 61
San Jose State 10
Mountain West Player of the Week
This week’s Mountain West player of the week is Boise State’s Cedrick Wilson. Wilson caught 13 passes for 209 yards and one touchdown in the Broncos’ loss to Virginia on Friday night.
Mountain West MVP Candidates
Rashaad Penny, RB, San Diego State – 20 carries, 128 yards, 3 TD
Nick Stevens, QB, Colorado State – The Rams were idle this week
Diocemy Saint Juste, RB, Hawaii – 26 carries, 120 yards, 1 TD
Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming – 9/19 92 yards, 1TD
Mountain West Power Rankings
1. San Diego State
2. Colorado State
3. Air Force
4. Boise State
5. New Mexico
7. Utah State
8. Fresno State
12. San Jose State
Final Thoughts and Hot Takes
Boise State is fighting through some injuries, but I definitely expected them to win, or at least play closer against Virginia. The Cavaliers might be improved this year, but I don’t know that they’re this improved. Tack up another MW loss to a Power 5 school.
Speaking of which, as I was watching Texas Tech at Houston this week I noticed that the down distance sticks all had “P6” on the tops of them. The American Athletic Conference fancies themselves as a Power 6 conference. I don’t know what they’re trying to do, and they might be better than the Mountain West, but they’re definitely not of the caliber of the Big 12.
For a while I’ve thought that UNLV was probably the worst team in the conference. I don’t know if Tony Sanchez is making that team better or not. However, after seeing what San Jose State has done this season I don’t think UNLV has to worry about being the worst team in the conference.
That said, we’re now in year three of the Tony Sanchez experiment in Vegas. I’m all for giving a coach 3-5 years to get his program in place. Sanchez is now in year three and I don’t see the Rebels winning more than one or two more games on their schedule. That will give Sanchez three straight losing seasons. Hard to believe they fired Bobby Hauck for this kind of performance, but how long will UNLVs boosters stand for this?
Wyoming may be getting close to getting their offense back on track. True freshman Trey Woods may have sealed himself into the starting running back position this past weekend. He’s a powerful runner who looks like he can put the team on his back when the passing attack is struggling. The Cowboys need to get Allen back into a groove or else it’ll be a long season in Laramie.
Where did Utah State get the steam to score 61 points this past weekend? I realize their opponent, but man, that’s quite an outburst from the Aggies!
Air Force and New Mexico should be highly entertaining. Koltin Gerhart looks like a very competent quarterback for the Lobos. This should be a classic game in the trenches for those of you who like that kind of thing.
At least there’s no Power 5 teams on the schedule this week!