Week three in the Mountain West was for a lack of a better term, lacking. Except for wins from Boise State and San Diego State not a single Mountain West team won a game. Last week I emphasized that the Mountain West needed a big week from its teams as they were for the most part playing Power 5 teams. The separation between the Mountain West and the Power 5 seems to be growing as none of these teams really put up much effort, sans San Diego State. Nevada’s week was so bad they lost to Idaho State, 201 in the latest Sagarin rankings.
San Diego State had an impressive win at home against 19th ranked Stanford. The Cardinal, who took one on the chin from USC the previous week didn’t get an easier game with the home standing Aztecs. A big effort from running back Rashaad Penny led the Aztecs to a victory and putting the Aztecs into the top 25 for the first time this season. The Aztecs will get their first taste of Mountain West play next week as they travel to Colorado to take on Air Force.
In the other Mountain West victory this week was Boise State beating New Mexico in Boise. Brett Rypien was on the sidelines for this game as he is still sidelined with an injury. Starting in his place was Montell Cozart, the senior from Kansas City. Cozart looked comfortable in his starting gig, completing 15/19 for 137 yards and two scores. He also rushed for 71 yards and a touchdown.
New Mexico, on the other hand, has their own problems. Quarterback Lamar Jordan was knocked out of the game with a concussion after a Boise State defender hit him with a vicious helmet to helmet hit. He has been ruled out for this coming week, as well as quarterback Tevaka Tuioti who is likely out with a concussion. The Lobos will likely be starting Coltin Gerhart, the third string quarterback this coming week at Tulsa.
The closest any other Mountain West team came to a win this week was Air Force visiting Michigan in the Big House. The Falcons trailed 19-13 heading into the fourth quarter, however, couldn’t hold close with Michigan at the end. Air Force’s lone touchdown came on a 64 yard pass from Arion Worthman to Ronald Cleveland. The Falcons as a team rushed for 168 yards. Michigan, on the other hand, rushed for 190 on the Falcons. Air Force held Michigan to two touchdowns, one of those a 79 yard punt return from Donovan Peoples-Jones, the last touchdown coming with 1:02 left in the game.
Wyoming played Oregon really close for one quarter, but from there it wasn’t close at all. Josh Allen turned in the worst performance of his collegiate career, completing nine passes for 64 yards. He did, however, rush for a touchdown. Oregon dominated the game start to finish led by Royce Freeman and Justin Herbert.
Colorado State tried to make things interesting against Alabama, but the Crimson Tide are the top team in the country for a reason. Nick Stevens turned in a nice game, but wasn’t enough to get the Rams in the endzone enough times to win this game. Jalen Hurts absolutely killed the Rams, going 12/17 248 yards and two TDs, plus 103 yards rushing and a touchdown.
Washington beat Fresno State down after the first quarter, scoring 27 points, and never looking back from there, beating the Bulldogs 48-16 in Seattle. Jake Browning was 19/22 for 255 yards and four touchdowns to leads the Dawgs over … the other Dogs.
Utah State was the recipient of a beat down from Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons rushed for 291 yards on the Aggies in the midst of piling up over 500 yards of total offense. San Jose State was wrecked by Utah quarterback Tyler Huntley who passed for 341 yards and four touchdowns, while he also rushed for 53 yards on the Spartans. The Utes lived up to their Sack Lake City mantra as they sacked SJSU quarterbacks five times.
New Mexico 14
Boise State 28
Colorado State 23
Fresno State 16
Air Force 13
San Diego State 20
Utah State 10
Wake Forest 46
Idaho State 30
San Jose State 16
Mountain West Player of the Week
Rashaad Penny, RB, San Diego State is this week’s Mountain West Player of the Week for the second week in a row. Penny rushed for 175 yards and a touchdown for the Aztecs as they beat Stanford on Saturday night.
Mountain West MVP Candidates
Rashaad Penny, RB, San Diego State – 32 carries, 175 yards, 1 TD, 5 receptions, 31 yards.
Nick Stevens, QB, Colorado State – 21/38 247 yards, 2 TD/2 INT. 5 rush 26 yards 1 TD
Josh Allen, QB Wyoming – 9/24 64 Yards 1 INT, 8 rush 25 yards 1 TD
Diocemy Saint Juste, RB, Hawaii – Idle
Mountain West Power Rankings
1. San Diego State
2. Boise State
3. Colorado State
5. Air Force
6. Fresno State
7. New Mexico
9. Utah State
10. San Jose State
Final Thoughts and Hot Takes
What an absolutely horrific week for the Mountain West. It’s fun to think that the Mountain West is on the cusp Power 5 greatness, but days like Saturday are a reminder that the gap in every way is widening.
San Diego State, on the other hand, sure looks like a team that could play in a New Years Day bowl game. The Aztecs have played very well so far this season and the only game left on their schedule that could trip them up is a home contest against Boise State.
Rashaad Penny is absolutely the most talented player in the conference and I’m not sure there’s another player even close.
Disappointing performance from Josh Allen against Oregon. In attendance were 22 NFL scouts there to see Allen, and likely Royce Freeman. Freeman looked like an NFL running back, Josh Allen did not look like an NFL quarterback. Allen was hit hard and hit often against a stout Duck defense. Many factors are playing into why Allen has seemingly regressed this season, but I’ll save that for another blog.
I can’t decide which teams are the worst in the conference.. right now it’s a three way tie between UNLV, San Jose State, and Nevada. The teams from the Silver State have taken inexplicable losses to FCS teams, and San Jose State might just be a bad football team. Granted, the Spartans have played South Florida, a much improved Texas team, and a very good Utah team. And they beat their FCS foe, Cal Poly.
I wonder how the Michgan defensive line is feeling today after a game against Air Force. There’s just simply no way to prepare for what Air Force does to you if you’re not a team that plays a service academy every year. Glad to see that Arion Worthman’s only completion on Saturday was a touchdown. That’s an efficient passing attack….
…unless you’re playing from behind.
If Idaho State Tanner Gueller put up 269 on the Wolf Pack I hate to see what Luke Falk is going to do to them on Saturday.
God help UNLV vs Ohio State.