We’re nearing the end of the Mountain West football season, with four weeks of regular season football left and the Mountain West is far from decided. Last week we thought that Fresno State was moving to be the class of the conference, then they inexplicably lost to UNLV this past weekend. Boise State seems to have regained its footing after a rough stretch and now seem to be rolling through their schedule.
The Broncos have a tough road left in front of them, facing three teams who could potentially give them fits, but the Broncos seem to be up to the task.
The Mountain West week started with Air Force heading up the road to Fort Collins to take on Colorado State to battle for the beloved Ram/Falcon trophy. The Falcons only needed two pass completions to have their way with the Rams. Oh, and they rushed 74 times for 413 yards, that probably helped too. The Rams quickly jumped out 14-7 first quarter lead. Dalyn Dawkins took off on a 76 yard run for a touchdown, then on their next possession Michael Gallup hauled in a 55 yard touchdown to give the Rams the early lead. Air Force tied it up with a Traven Birdow touchdown to follow. After a quick Ram answer, Air Force punched in two touchdowns before the half including a pick six by Shaquille Vereen, to get a 28-21 lead. Izzy Matthews tied it up early in the third quarter, but it was all Air Force after. Falcon quarterback Arion Worthman capped the Falcon win with a seven yard scoring run to finish it. The Falcons will be home hosting Army next weekend, Colorado State will be on the road at Wyoming.
San Jose State made the trip to Provo to take on the fairly hapless BYU. The Cougars, coming in to the game with just one win on the season, got a hold of a team they could actually beat. The Cougars jumped all over the Spartans early and never let up. Tanner Mangum tossed two quick touchdown passes early in the game and that would have been just about enough to win it. The Cougars would put up ten more before the half. In the fourth quarter San Jose State came to life well after the game was decided and put up a couple of touchdowns, two passes from Montel Aaron to Tre Walker and Tre Hartley. San Jose State will host San Diego State next weekend.
UNLV pulled off the upset of the week this week by handing Fresno State its first conference loss of the season. UNLV trotted out quarterback Johnny Stanton this week and he was effective enough to get the Rebels the win. If you’re a big fan of field goals, this game was for you. Fresno State and UNLV combined for five field goals. UNLV used a big second half to ice this game. Johnny Stanton helped his own cause by running for a seven yard touchdown on the Rebels first drive of the second half. Lexington Thomas scored a fourth quarter touchdown to ice the game for the Rebels. Jordan Mims was a bright spot for Fresno State, who had both of the Bulldogs’ touchdown runs. UNLV will host Hawaii next week, Fresno State will host BYU.
New Mexico took a trip to Laramie this weekend for Wyoming’s homecoming. Last season New Mexico scored a lot of points on Wyoming. This time Wyoming scored a lot of points on New Mexico. The Cowboys, who have been struggling offensively, managed to put 42 on the Lobos. The Lobos, however, had their own problems as they turned the ball over seven times. A few of those turnovers came deep in their own territory which made for easy Wyoming scores. The Lobos ventured away from their typical game plan and threw the ball 25 times. Of those 25 passes, ten were completed and five were intercepted. The Lobos managed only 115 yards rushing on 40 attempts against the improved Wyoming defense. Josh Allen had a big day for the Cowboys, throwing for 234 yards and four touchdowns. Two of those touchdowns were to Austin Fort. To New Mexico’s credit, they didn’t allow Wyoming to score at all in the second half. Wyoming will host Colorado State next weekend in their annual Border War, while New Mexico will host Utah State.
Boise State kept its winning way rolling this weekend with a win over Utah State in Logan. The Broncos are trying to stake their claim to hosting the Mountain West championship game, while trying finish the season undefeated in conference play. The Broncos dominated the game right out of the gate by jumping out to a quick 14-0 lead thanks to two Brett Rypien touchdown passes. Utah State would get on the board with Ron’quavion Tarver catching a Jordan Love touchdown pass. Boise State responded by ripping off 21 straight points. At that point the game was out of hand and anything Utah State could do would not help.. even though LaJuan Hunt scored a touchdown. Boise capped off their game with two late field goals from Haden Hoggarth to improve to 4-0 in conference play. The Broncos will host Nevada, while Utah State will be at New Mexico.
In the late night game, San Diego State took a trip to paradise for a business trip against Hawaii. Rashaad Penny made his case for league MVP as he ran for 253 yards and two scores to beat the Warriors in Honolulu. Penny let Juwan Washington in on some of the fun as he scored for the Aztecs late in the first quarter. The Aztecs got on the board again, this time a Christian Chapman touchdown pass to Mikah Holder. Hawaii got on the board for the only time, with a Dru Brown touchdown run right before halftime. The second half belonged to Rashaad Penny scoring on a one yard and 63 yard touchdown run. San Diego State will be at San Jose State, while Hawaii will be at UNLV.
Air Force 45
Colorado State 28
San Jose State 20
Fresno State 16
New Mexico 3
Boise State 41
Utah State 14
San Diego State 28
Mountain West Player of the Week
This week’s Mountain West player of the week is San Diego State’s Rashaad Penny who rushed for 253 yards and two touchdown as the Aztecs rolled to a win over Hawaii this past weekend.
Mountain West MVP Candidates
Rashaad Penny, RB, San Diego State – 30 carries, 253 yards and 2 TD
Nick Stevens, QB, Colorado State – 17/31 for 269 yards, 2TD 3INT
Diocemy Saint Juste, RB, Hawaii – 17 carries, 40 yards
Andrew Wingard, DB, Wyoming – 5 tackles, 2 INT
Brett Rypien, QB, Boise State – 19/27 for 260 yards, 3TD
Mountain West Power Rankings
1. Boise State
2. San Diego State
3. Colorado State
5. Fresno State
6. Air Force
8. New Mexico
9. Utah State
12. San Jose State
Final Thoughts and Hot Takes
Writing these recaps is really hard to do while the World Series is busy outscoring San Jose State.
That was a low blow, but I’m not apologizing.
Air Force gets to host Army this weekend, the second game for the Falcons in the race for the Commander in Chief trophy. The Falcons lost to Navy earlier in the season. I feel like West Point should be a bucket list place to see a football game.
Fresno State is going to look back on that loss to UNLV and kick themselves really hard. Inexcusable loss for the Lobos. For the Rebels it’s a win that makes Tony Sanchez’s seat a little less hot. With that in mind, is there any pressure on Tony Sanchez in Las Vegas right now? Don’t see a lot of chatter about it, even though the Rebs are probably headed to another losing season.
That said, would really like to see the Bulldogs absolutely pummel BYU this weekend. But I ain’t bitter..
The annual Border War between Wyoming and Colorado State is this weekend. The Rams lead the overall series 58-45-5, Wyoming leads the series since the Bronze Boot came into play, 25-24. The Cowboys won last year in Fort Collins. Should be a fun game.
My picks for this week: Army, New Mexico, UNLV, Boise State, San Diego State, Wyoming, Fresno State.