The Power Five slayers of the Mountain West have struck again! UNLV joined the fight against the Power Five by knocking off another of the “nation’s elite” by defeating Vanderbilt on the road this week. As basketball pundit Jon Rothstein would say, “the epitome of brutality.” That means Vandy paid UNLV to go on the road and beat them in their own stadium. The Rebels jumped out to a big second quarter lead and never looked back as they took down the Commodores in Nashville 34-10. Brutal indeed.
In other Mountain West action Boise State and Hawaii faced off on the Blue. Bronco quarterback Hank Bachmeier left the game with an injury, but that didn’t slow the Broncos down. Chase Cord came in to the game in relief and threw for three scores as Boise State rolled over Hawaii 59-37. The Broncos stayed at #14 this week in the national polls and currently lead the Group of Five for that New Years day game.
Colorado State went on the road this week to New Mexico and earned a win against the hapless Lobos. Quarterback Patrick O’Brien threw for 420 yards and three scores to lead the Rams. Marvin Kinsey added two more scores, including a rush in the third quarter to give the Rams their biggest lead of the game. Wyoming went on the road to take on San Diego State in the hallowed grounds of Qualcomm Stadium. Wyoming is still not throwing the football, pretty much at all. The Cowboys had 157 yards rushing against the nation’s leading rush defense. However, it wasn’t enough to take down the Aztecs. Ryan Agnew iced the game for San Diego State with 2:09 left when he hit Daniel Bellinger from 12 yards out.
Air Force hosted Fresno State in Colorado Springs this weekend. The Falcons got down early but thanks to a big second half the Falcons were able to get a big win over the Bulldogs. Donald Hammond rushed for two touchdowns and Kyle Johnson grabbed a Jorge Reyna pass and took it back the other direction to seal the game for the Falcons. In a somewhat shocking game, Nevada beat San Jose State, and did so with a last second field goal. The Pack at one point had a 21 point lead. Brandon Talton nailed a 40 yard field goal with zeroes on the clock to give the Wolf Pack the win.
Coming up this week UNLV and Fresno State hook up on Friday night on CBS SN in the Mountain West pillow fight of the week. Wyoming will host New Mexico. San Diego State will go up I-5 to take on San Jose State. Boise State will cross the border to take on BYU on Saturday night prime time. Nevada goes to Utah State. The night cap is Air Force going to the islands to take on Hawaii.
Colorado State 35
New Mexico 21
San Jose State 38
Fresno State 24
Air Force 43
Boise State 59
San Diego State 26
Mountain West Player of the Week
This week’s Mountain West player of the week is Colorado State receiver Warren Jackson. Jackson caught nine passes for 214 yards and two touchdowns as the Rams beat New Mexico this past weekend.
Mountain West MVP Candidates
Hank Bachmeier, QB, Boise State
Cole McDonald, QB, Hawaii
Jordan Love, QB, Utah State
Cedric Byrd, WR, Hawaii
Marvin Kinsey, RB, Colorado State
Mountain West Power Rankings
San Diego State
San Jose State
The Quad Shot
UNLV pulled off a huge win this week in Nashville. Beating Vanderbilt isn’t anything to write home about, they’re a bad football team in a tough conference. Their fanbase has been described as apathetically patient, and apparently it’s tough to recruit athletes to. That being said, if you’re UNLV who is also a bad football team and with half as much athletic budget as Vanderbilt, and you’re on the road at an SEC venue, you’ll take a win. And by win I mean beat the eff down. As good of a result as the Rebels could have hoped for. Probably not going to save Tony Sanchez, but good for the Mountain West and UNLV.
Boise State laid the wood to Hawaii for four straight quarters. I’m always suspect of Hawaii coming east across the time zones to play football like this. They play great on the island and are really tough to beat there, but coming into Boise they took a beating. I thought Hawaii might be a better team than this, but clearly they’re not on the same echelon as Boise. And with Hawaii formerly being the class of the West division, this says quite a bit where that side of the conference is at right now.
Kind of a weird season in the Mountain West. We’re seven weeks into the season and there’s no clear cut favorite to be the MVP. Bachmeier from Boise State is having a nice season but he’s not the top quarterback in the Mountain West. That goes to Cole McDonald. McDonald leads in completion percentage, yards, touchdown passes, rating, attempts per game, and yards per game. However, after Hawaii’s beatdown this past weekend, and Hawaii maybe not being good when they leave the island, can he be considered? Bachmeier gets the benefit of being a part of the 14th ranked team in the country. The rushing leader is Kinsey from Colorado State. He’s a good player, but will never be considered because of the Rams being so bad. Strange indeed.
Troy Calhoun said something crazy again this weekend. This time it was pondering if the Mountain West is the right place for Air Force. He didn’t wholly elaborate on what was going through his head, but it was a comment nonetheless. The quote came from the Colorado Springs Gazette:
“We are in a league where, to be blunt, I don’t know if it’s the route maybe should go,” he said. “Yet for our guys, the way they played tonight and the preparation and just the focus all week long was pretty strong, which is a really strong indicator of the quality of the leadership that we have.”
Asked to clarify what he meant by the route they should go, he said, “I just don’t know if it’s really a match. I don’t know if it’s best. I don’t know if… Now, we are. And we’re lucky to be, just the quality of the schools of the other member institutions that are a part of it.”
What does that even mean? Is Calhoun thinking that the Falcons are too big for their britches and need to be in the Big 12? Does he think they need to be independent? Navy used to be independent and now they’re not because being in a conference makes sense. Army would like to not be independent, but they’re stuck in seemingly purgatory. Weird comment from a weird dude.