Mountain West Football: Week 1 Recap
A rundown of the teams participating in the Week 1 action in the Mountain West.
A Week 1 Recap Of The Mountain West Teams In Action
Most of the Mountain West teams opened their season this weekend and some played their second game of the season like Hawaii and Wyoming.
Here is a recap on all the Week 1 action by the teams in the Mountain West.
Thursday August 30th
UC Davis 44 San Jose State 38
Oh, the sad, unfortunate state of affairs that is the San Jose State football program.
The collective thought would be that San Jose State football in 2018 would be no great shakes but I did not even imagine the Spartans laying an egg on opening night against an FCS opponent in UC Davis.
Well, it happened as the Spartans fell to the UC Davis Aggies 44-38 as the Spartans open the season on about as low a note as one can imaging. The Spartans were not projected to be good, but this loss combined with the rest of their schedule means it is easy to see the Spartans going winless in 2018.
Friday August 31st
Michigan State 38 Utah State 31
The Aggies gave the 11th ranked Michigan State Spartans all they could handle on Friday night. Aggies quarterback Jordan Love (29 for 44, 319 yards) and the Aggies offense was able to move the ball against a talented Michigan State defense with easy for most of the night.
However, Michigan State found a way to pull out a win as Spartan quarterback Brian Lewerke’s miracle pass completion to Felton Davis late in the game on 2nd and 7 help set up the Connor Heyward 13-yard touchdown run to give Michigan State the lead for good. The Aggies last ditch effort to tie the game disappeared as Joe Baschie’s interception sealed the Michigan State victory.
Logantj, said it best in his morning after thoughts of this game, the rest of the Mountain West need to take notice of Utah State. Right now, this team does have what it takes to make some serious noise in the conference in 2018.
Stanford 31 San Diego State 10
The Aztecs defense did what they needed to do if they were wanting to defeat Stanford for the second straight season: Contain Heisman Trophy candidate Bryce Love. The Aztecs were able to do this as they limited Love to just 29 yards on 18 carries.
However, the Aztecs defense had no answer to stop the surprise player of the game: Stanford wide receiver JJ Arcega-Whiteside.
Arcega-Whiteside lit up the Aztec secondary for 226 yards on six catches for three touchdowns. Cardinal quarterback KJ Costello threw for a total of 332 yards as the Cardinal defeated the Aztecs 31-10 in Palo Alto.
For the Aztecs, running back Juwan Washington ran for 158 yards and quarterback Christian Champ was his usual efficient self as he completed 10 of 15 passes but only for 115 yards in the losing effort.
The key takeaway is that the Aztec secondary got exposed on Friday night in the air by Stanford. The Aztecs play in a division with teams like Hawaii, Nevada and Fresno State who have healthy passing attacks. It behooves the Aztecs to shore up their secondary before facing any of these teams down the road.
Nevada 72 Portland State 19
Nevada overcame a slow start early in this game and ended up dropping 72 points on the Vikings as the Wolf Pack cruised to a lopsided victory over Portland State on Friday.
Wolf Pack quarterback Ty Gangi threw for 312 yards and three touchdowns (all three of them were caught by WR McLane Mannix) as Nevada had no problems against an FCS opponent this time. The competition for Nevada gets harder as the Wolf Pack travel to Nashville on Saturday to face off against Vanderbilt.
Colorado 45 Colorado State 13
For the second straight week the Rams defense got exposed as bad yet again. This time it was by Colorado Buffaloes. CU quarterback Steven Montez threw for 338 yards and threw for four touchdowns as the Buffs cruised to an easy win over Rams. This is the Buffaloes fourth straight win over Colorado State in this series rivalry.
Saturday September 1st
USC 43 UNLV 21
The Rebels used some big plays from players like Lexington Thomas, Armani Rogers and Kendal Keys to go up 14-9 on USC early in the game.
But the Trojans got it together and turned it on the offensive side of the ball by outscoring UNLV 24-7 in the second half to defeat the Rebels 43-21.
The Rebels were able to run the ball very well against USC as they racked up 308 total yards on the ground (Lexington Thomas contributed 136 yards to that total).
Rebels quarterback Armani Rogers ran for 82 yards but only threw for 97 yards on 12 for 27 passing (roughly under four yards a pass completion). If the Rebs want to become bowl eligible this season, Rogers passing numbers must be better.
#22 Boise State 56 Troy 20
Boise State hit the road to open their 2018 season as they faced off a very good Troy Trojans team out of the Sun Belt conference.
The Broncos routed the Trojans by 36 points on Saturday as Brett Rypien threw for 305 yards and tossed four touchdowns. Broncos wide receiver Sean Modster caught seven passes for 167 yards and caught two touchdowns in the win.
The Broncos in my opinion laid the best claim as the best Group of Five team in the nation by going on the road and easily defeated a Troy team that is a favorite to win the Sun Belt this season. They also laid claim to the best new trend of the season.
I present to you the Boise State Turnover Throne
Air Force 38 Stony Brook 0
The Falcons defense limited Stony Brook to 75 total yards of offense on Saturday as Air Force easily took care of the Seawolves 38-0.
The Falcons rushing attack tallied up 333 rushing yards as Air Force had no problems in shutting out Stony Brook on Saturday.
Washington State 41 Wyoming 19
Wyoming looked poised to follow up an impressive win over New Mexico State in Week 0 with a victory over Power 5 opponent Washington State. Early on, the Cowboys looked poised to do so.
But in the second half, Washington State scored touchdowns on four of their first five possessions and cruised on from there as the Cougars easily defeated Wyoming 41-19.
The Cowboys rushing game was solid with Nico Evans gaining 89 yards and scoring a touchdown before he got hurt in the second half. But the passing game for Wyoming was no where to be found as quarterback Tyler Vander Waal was an abysmal 8 for 20 passing for 67 yards and one interception.
Wyoming on offense must find a competent passing attack soon before conference play starts to give their rushing attack some much needed help. The road won’t get easier for the Cowboys as they travel to Columbia to face off against Missouri on Saturday.
New Mexico 62 Incarnate Word 30
The Lobos may have found their passing game on Saturday night as Lobos quarterback Tevaka Tuioti threw for 327 yards and four touchdowns as New Mexico routed the Incarnate Word Cardinals 62-30.
The Lobos had talked about opening up their passing attack during the offseason and so far, the results have been a pleasant surprise. We will see if this newly effective Lobos passing attack can continue into their game next week as they face Wisconsin on the road.
Fresno State 79 Idaho 13
The defending Western division champions of the Mountain West started the 2018 season in dominating fashion as the Bulldogs thrashed newly minted FCS school Idaho by a score of 79-13 on Saturday night.
The Bulldogs did most of their damage on the ground as they racked up 239 rushing yards and seven rushing touchdowns with Jordan Mims accounting for three of those rushing touchdowns in the winning effort.
Senior quarterback Marcus McMaryion had a solid night as he went 19 for 26 passing for 207 yards but it was the Fresno State rushing attack that had the big night.
Even the Bulldogs special teams got in on the scoring action. Jaron Bryant of Fresno State returned two blocked Idaho field goals for touchdowns as the Bulldogs laid the beatdown on the Vandals in California’s Central Valley.
Hawaii 59 Navy 41
In just his second career start, Hawaii quarterback Cole McDonald turned in another stellar performance this Saturday. McDonald threw for 428 yards and six touchdowns as Hawaii defeated Navy to improve the Rainbow Warriors record to 2-0.
Hawaii wide receiver John Ursa was outstanding once again as he caught ten passes for 167 yards. His fellow Warrior receivers Cedric Boyd (11 rec, 90 yards) and JoJo Ward (six catches, 161 yards) also contributed as well.
Navy did do their best to climb back into the game but in the end, the Hawaii passing attack was too much to handle for the Midshipmen.
The Rainbow Warriors are 2-0 to start the season and their offensive output so far this season should put everyone in the Mountain West conference on notice that Hawaii is going to continue to make noise throughout the season.