Mountain West Football: Week 1 Winners and Losers
Who came up big and who busted in the first full Saturday of Mountain West football?
Some encouragement and some letdowns from the week that was.
Looking back at the results of Week 1, you could think that, on the whole, it ended up as a glimpse of what might have been. A few upset bids came up short, and while most teams took care of business against FCS opponents, that wasnt universally true.
Nonetheless, the Mountain West often entertained, and we’re here to give props and tsk-tsks to Week 1’s big individual winners and losers.
1. Boise State quarterback Brett Rypien. The Broncos avoided another slow start to non-conference play thanks to their senior signal-caller, who got off to a blistering start against Troy and never let up. He finished 20-of-28 for 305 yards and four touchdowns, delivering strike after strike in what was easily the conference’s biggest win of the week.
2. New Mexico’s passing game. Yes, you could say, “Well, it was only Incarnate Word”, but it was certainly an encouraging sign that the #ThrowBos are more than just an abstract idea. The offense’s new identity looked sharp on Saturday: Tevaka Tuioti threw four touchdowns, the most by a New Mexico quarterback since 1998, and finished with a passer rating of 246.05, while eight different receivers had a catch of over 30 yards.
3. Hawaii receiver John Ursua. Week 1’s other big win saw the Warriors senior stay hot and make critical catches, as he finished with ten catches for 167 yards and two touchdowns in the 56-41 victory over Navy. Right now, he’s on pace to catch 110 passes for 1,885 yards and 26 touchdowns.
1. Colorado State defensive coordinator John Jancek. The revamped Rams defense got light up for the second week in a row, allowing 9.17 yards per play in their 45-13 loss against rival Colorado. That was the team’s worst per-play effort since 2011, and they also had just three tackles for loss and zero sacks in 65 total plays. The two turnovers they created are encouraging, but they need to get drastically better in a hurry.
2. San Jose State quarterbacks Josh Love and Michael Carrillo. It seemed unusual that Spartans coach Brent Brennan would elect to start Love against UC Davis, but the decision proved costly. He went just 14-of-29 for 109 yards, a touchdown and an interception, which wasn’t nearly enough against a UC Davis offense that just couldn’t stop scoring. Carrillo replaced him in the third quarter and lasted just two drives, completing the same number of passes (one) to his own team and the opponent.
By the time Montel Aaron came off the bench and led a few scoring drives, the deficit was already too great. It was a damaging setback for a promising team that wants to show positive growth in year two under Brennan.
3. Wyoming quarterback Tyler Vander Waal. Chalk it up to inexperience, perhaps, but there’s no doubt the redshirt freshman disappointed after a strong debut in Week 0. Some of that had to facing more third-and-mid-to-long situations than head coach Craig Bohl would like, but he was just 1-of-10 in moving the chains on those third downs against Washington State on Saturday.