10 Best Mountain West Football Games Of 2017
Our staff gives ranks the best games
Relive the top games from 2017
There were a lot of good games in the Mountain West from this past year so we attempted to whittle it down to the top 10 games of the year. The criteria was wide open with our staff just picking the best games. That could be dominant games, back-and-fort or odd losses like Howard vs. UNLV.
Let’s start with the games that missed the cut and it begins with Howard vs. UNLV. The Rebels were a 45-point favorite and lost 43-40 and this was a pre-cursor to UNLV’s season which saw drives stalled for field goals — the Rebels kicked four — and a lackluster defense.
Another game that missed the cut was Fresno State shutting out New Mexico 38-0. Yes, the Lobos were bad but the Bulldogs held them to 109 rushing yards and this was the first inkling that Fresno State would be a pretty good team.
New Mexico State 30, New Mexico 28 was another on that missed the cut and this gets consideration as the Lobos were trailing 30-5 heading into the fourth quarter and New Mexico nearly overcame that deficit by scoring 23 points in the final frame
The Broncos were extremely dominant on both sides of the line of scrimmage and Boise State was on for a blowout win leading 24-0 with 37 seconds left in the first half but Oregon scored two defensive touchdowns to make this game very interesting.
9. Fresno State 33, Houston 27
The bowl victory for the Bulldogs capped one of the biggest turnarounds in college football history by having a nine-game swing. The Bulldogs sealed the win late in the game when Jaron Bryant’s had 44-yard interception return for a touchdown off a deflection with 3:49 in the fourth quarter.
8. Air Force 38, Utah State 35
This game was late at night the week before the conference title games and there was nearly nothing on the line as Utah State had already secured bowl eligibility and Air Force was knocked out.
What makes this game on the list is not only the back and forth nature but Air Force had Isaiah Sanders under center and he shredded the Aggie defense in his first start and rushed 44 times for 196 yards and three touchdowns. The Falcon defense was the ultimate hero as Utah State was up 28-24 but then Santo Coppola recored a fumble in the end zone to give Air Force a lead. While that drive could have ended the game for Utah State but they responded with a touchdown for another lead. Then Air Force seals with the win with a 10-play 75 yard touchdown drive. Those final four drive is what puts this game over the top.
7. UNLV 38, New Mexico 35
This game may seem odd on the list but the offensive production of both teams gives it a spot on the list. Rebel QB Armani Rogers had his best game of the year by throwing for 211 yards and a touchdown but he also rushed for another 193 yards and a score. His running back teammate Lexington Thomas had two scores of his own with 127 yards.
The Lobos had a massive rushing attack with three players over 100 rushing yards and as a team had 482 yards and five touchdowns.
Let’s be honest. One reason this game is here is because of it being a snow game, but it was more than that. This was a close game throughout and it was a rivalry game. The game made the list because of how the game played out late.
After a fourth quarter fumble by Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen that Colorado State failed to turn into points, the Cowboys put together a seven-play, 69 yard drive capped off by a three yard touchdown run by running back Kellen Overstreet to put Wyoming up for good.
5. Navy 48, Air Force 45
Oh boy! This was a game for the ages. The Falcons trailed 28-10 at the half and then 31-10 after the Midshipman scored a field goal on its first drive of the third quarter. Air Force would go onto score a touchdown on five straight possessions in the second half but that was not enough as they came up short when Navy sealed the game on an 11-play, 75-yard drive that ended up with a touchdown to win it with 15 seconds left.
4. Boise State 17, Fresno State 14
Round two of this game was just as good as the first one in a low scoring and defensive battle. The breakthrough in this game came when Boise State backup running back Ryan Wolpin came in for Alexander Mattison and ran well against the Fresno State front line. The Bulldogs essentially wore down and their offense was unable to break through against the Boise State defense.
3. San Diego State 20, Stanford 17
Bryce Love vs. Rashaad Penny did not disappoint. The two best backs on the West Coast combined for 393 yards of yards from scrimmage. There was a power outage that stalled the game late in the fourth quarter when San Diego State had the ball and trailing. Aztecs were able to keep their composure and regroup before upsetting a then-ranked Cardinal team.
2. Washington State 47, Boise State 44 (3OT)
The main thing that sticks out in this game is the blown lead by Boise State, the swapping of quarterbacks on both sides and Montel Cozart throwing possibly the worst pick-six of the year on an odd shovel pass that resulted in Washington State getting back into this game.
1. Boise State 59, Colorado State 52 (OT)
28-3 is infamous with the Atlanta Falcons blowing a lead in the Super Bowl and also now the Colorado State Rams blew a 25-point lead against Boise State. Points is just one reason why this game is here but the comeback by the Broncos and then going to overtime is why it tops our list. Colorado State is still looking for its first win over Boise State.