Mountain West Football: Week 2 Winners and Losers
Who came out ahead and who left something to be desired in Week 2 of Mountain West football?
Some encouragement and some letdowns from the week that was.
Mountain West football didn’t have quite as many high profile matchups in Week 2 as it did in during the opening weekend, but it was nonetheless wild and, as usual, provided both some good and bad surprises.
So let’s not waste much time, here are the folks we’re giving the thumbs up and smdh’s after Saturday, Week 2’s big individual winners and losers.
1. Colorado State head coach Mike Bobo. Maybe no one in the conference had a worse start to the season than the Rams, and trailing 27-9 midway through the third quarter looked like just the latest in a series of dismal performances by the green and gold. The offense rallied, though, to score 25 unanswered points while the defense responded by shutting down Arkansas’s passing game. It was a critical turnaround from a coach who needed a big win more than anyone else in the conference.
2. Utah State kicker Dominik Eberle. The Aggies proved that their opening performance against Michigan State was no fluke, and senior kicker Eberle was especially on point in a record-tying performance against New Mexico State. He finished 6-of-6 on field goal attempts — from 21, 32, 44, 51, 51 and 51 yards — and tied the NCAA record with 24 total points.
3. San Diego State running back Juwan Washington. Washington was a bright spot in the Aztecs’ loss against Stanford, and his big performance staved off an unexpected challenge from Sacramento State in the team’s home opener. With 36 carries for 156 yards and three touchdowns, he’s already proven more than capable of handling the RB1 workload in San Diego, especially with Christian Chapman’s status up in the air.
1. The San Jose State offense. The Spartans looked lively in the second half of their opener against UC Davis, but whatever progress they made with Montel Aaron under center was erased and then some in Pullman. Losing Tyler Nevens hurt, of course, but SJSU finished with just 109 yards of total offense, the lowest total by a Mountain West team since 2015 (conversely, Sports Reference couldn’t even find a similar performance from Wazzu, so it’s significant either way). With Oregon and revitalized Hawaii on the horizon, there are no easy solutions in sight.
2. The Air Force secondary. The Falcons nearly clawed their way back from a 33-20 fourth quarter deficit, but it’s hard not to think what might have been had Florida Atlantic not been able to move the ball through the air nearly at will. The Owls built a 19-7 halftime lead while quarterback Chris Robison went 21-of-24 for 224 yards and he finished with 471 passing yards even as the Falcons bottled up running back Devin Singletary.
Air Force has struggled with allowing big plays in the last few years and FAU exploited that weakness again on Saturday.
3. Nevada quarterback Ty Gangi. The Wolf Pack offense disappointed as a whole on Saturday against Vanderbilt, but the senior quarterback perhaps stumbled the most. He finished 22-of-39 with 216 yards and a touchdown, but he also turned the ball over three times and converted just 2-of-11 third down opportunities in the air. Nevada will have a chance to rebound, but Gangi will have to bounce back and lead the way.