The Mountain West Round-Up has hit week five and this locomotive shows no signs of stopping. Except next week, there will be no recap as I’ll be punishing my liver at the Great American Brew Fest. That said, the punishment my liver will be taking next weekend doesn’t even come close to the punishment San Jose State has taken this season.
I knew I could tie those things together.
The Mountain West started its football week off with BYU traveling to Logan to take on Utah State. This battle features two teams with two very similar colors of jerseys. I’m sure that’s where the similarities stop. Utah State started the scoring with a Dax Raymond touchdown pass from Kent Myers. BYU responded on Utah State’s next drive with a 46 yard interception return by Micah Hannemann. The teams spent the second quarter trading blows and going into the half with the Aggies leading 24-21. From there on Utah State took control. Kent Myers ran in a touchdown, and Jalen Davis put the exclamation point on with a 50 yard interception return for touchdown. The Aggies completed a win vs BYU for the first time since 2014. Utah State host Colorado State next week.
Wyoming was looking to extend their winning streak to two as they hosted the Texas State Bobcats from the Fun Belt. The Bobcats, for a lack of a better term, are a bad team. If Wyoming was going to figure out their offensive problems it would be against Texas State. The Cowboys exploded for 31 points in the second quarter and handily defeated Texas State 45-10 in Laramie. Josh Allen had 219 yards passing and three touchdowns. Two of those touchdowns went to CJ Johnson. Tyler Hall added to his national leading kick return average by taking a 95 yard return to the house. Wyoming will be on a bye week next week.
In a series of night games, San Diego State hosted a feisty Northern Illinois team. Northern Illinois and the Aztecs got off to a rocky start as a Northern Illinois linebacker poked Rashaad Penny in the eyes, temporarily removing him from the game. The linebacker has since been suspended by his coach. That didn’t seem to slow Penny down a whole lot as he rushed for 107 yards and caught 32 yards in passes and a touchdown. The Aztecs continued their assault on their schedule this season with another win and should move up in the polls this week. The Aztecs will be at UNLV next weekend.
Air Force traveled to Albuquerque this weekend to take on fellow triple option team New Mexico in their annual meeting of who can run the ball further. Air Force jumped out to a 21-14 halftime lead, but it was all Lobos in the second half. Running back Richard McQuarley scored four second half touchdowns to put the Lobos over the Falcons 56-38. He ended his scoring assault with two runs of 63 and 65 yards. His last one coming with under four minutes left in the game. The teams combined for over 900 yards of offense in a surprisingly high scoring shootout. McQuarley finished the day with 179 yards and five touchdowns. The Falcons will next play at Navy, while New Mexico will have a bye week.
Nevada continued its ineptitude this season with a road trip to Fresno State. Two important streaks were snapped this weekend in this game. First, this is the Bulldogs first win vs an FBS opponent in the last 687 days. Second, this is the first time Nevada has started 0-5 since 1964. Those are both pretty depressing things for those programs. At any rate, Bulldog quarterback Marcus McMaryion had 296 yards and two touchdowns to lead passers. Nevada had two touchdown passes from Ty Gangi in the loss. Nevada will be hosting Hawaii next week, while Fresno State will be at San Jose State.
The other team in the Silver State, UNLV, found an opponent worse than Nevada, San Jose State. The best thing to cure your woes is a game against the Spartans. In this case it was the perfect recipe for the Rebels to get back into the win column. Rebel quarterback Armani Rogers turned in a nice game, throwing for 203 yards and two scores, while rushing for 71 yards and two more scores. Running back Lexington Thomas rushed for 146 yards and two scores. In total the Rebels rushed for 345 yards. On the other side of the ball San Jose State quarterback Josh Love threw for 315 yards and a score, but was picked twice. The Rebels will host San Diego State, while San Jose State will host Fresno State.
In the night cap, and for those of you lucky enough, you got to see Robert Kekaula and his hometown Hawaii Rainbow Warriors host Colorado State. This game combined for over 1100 yards of total offense, but the total yards don’t necessarily reflect a close game. In fact, Colorado State blew out Hawaii. The Rams controlled the game all the way through. The Rams got an outstanding game from Michael Gallup who caught 212 yards worth of passes for one touchdown. Nick Stevens had 351 yards and four touchdowns. Hawaii quarterback Dru Brown had a fine game for himself as well, throwing for 362 yards and two scores, while Diocemy Saint Juste rushed for 97 yards and a score. However, none of that was enough to slow down this potent Rams offense. Colorado State will be in Logan to take on Utah State next week, Hawaii will travel to Reno to take on Nevada.
Utah State 40
Texas State 10
Northern Illinois 28
19 San Diego State 34
Air Force 38
New Mexico 56
Fresno State 41
San Jose State 13
Colorado State 51
Mountain West Player of the Week
This week’s Mountain West player of the week is Colorado State receiver Michael Gallup who had eight receptions for 212 yards and a touchdown as Colorado State defeated Hawaii on Saturday night.
Mountain West MVP Candidates
Rashaad Penny, RB, San Diego State – 25 carries, 107 yards, 2 receptions 32 yards 1 TD
Nick Stevens, QB, Colorado State – 18/22 for 351 yards, 4 TD
Diocemy Saint Juste, RB, Hawaii – 18 carries, 97 yards, 1 TD
Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming – 14/24 for 219 yards, 3 TD
Andrew Wingard, DB, Wyoming – 5 tackles
Mountain West Power Rankings
1. San Diego State
2. Colorado State
3. New Mexico
5. Boise State
6. Air Force
7. Utah State
8. Fresno State
12. San Jose State
Final Thoughts and Hot Takes
All in all, not a bad week for the Mountain West. Always nice to see a MW team put the screw to BYU. Wish it happened more often.
Hopefully Boise State can fix whatever is wrong with them and put a beating on them down in Provo next Friday night. That game will air on ESPN.
Don’t for one second think that Craig Thompson doesn’t make a weekly trip to the Zion curtain holding a boombox outside of the BYU campus, however.
The New Mexico/Air Force game was certainly an offensive explosion I did not expect to see. I also did not expect to see the Lobos win so handily.
That said, looking at the power rankings above, I have no idea how good any of these teams in the middle are. Picking between 3 and 7 is a total crap shoot. None of those teams have looked overly impressive this season, but at the same time they show flashes of brilliance. That’s the beauty of the Mountain West, I guess, no one really knows what’s going to happen week to week.
This will probably offend the San Jose State fans reading but whatevs, but do they bring anything to the conference in the sports that matter? They are terrible at football with three winning seasons since 2000. Their men’s basketball team is .. wow. One post season appearance (in any tournament) since the year 2000. Women’s basketball has had a winning record 3 times since 2000. I mean, if we want the reputation of this conference to go up, wellllll….
Was that too much ranting for one hot take? You bet! Do I care? Eh, I’m good at wasting time on Sunday nights.
Anyhow, if you’re the praying type, Chad Smith (WyoNation lead writer) and I will be embarking on an adventure in the Denver Convention Center trying beer after beer. Any must-haves we need to try to find?
See you in two weeks. Maybe.