Mountain West Football: Week 3 Winners and Losers
Who came out ahead and who left something to be desired in Week 3 of Mountain West football?
Some encouragement and some letdowns from the week that was.
Week 3 was certainly full of highs and lows: The Mountain West claimed three different wins over the Pac-12 on Saturday, Utah State put together another dominant offensive performance, and San Jose State covered the spread again! On the other hand, Boise State got derailed in Stillwater, and Colorado State must have missed their connecting flight to Gainesville because they hardly showed up against the Florida Gators.
All in all, it was a weekend full of winners and losers, so let’s hand out some kudos (kudoses?) and for shames as we pick out the best and worst of Week 3.
1. New Mexico strong safety Marcus Hayes. The Lobos reclaimed the upper hand in Saturday’s edition of the Rio Grande Rivalry thanks to big contributions from the defense, and no one had a bigger impact than the redshirt freshman from Rockford, Illinois. He grabbed two interceptions, including a game-icing pick six in the closing minute, to help put the New Mexico State Aggies away for good.
2. San Diego State WARRIOR Trenton Thompson. The Aztecs took down #23 Arizona State thanks, in no small part, to some controversial but savvy playmaking by the sophomore Thompson. He got called for targeting on the Sun Devils’ last offensive drive, but that penalty erased what would have set up a goal-to-go situation for ASU when the pass was ruled incomplete. So while he’ll miss the first half of SDSU’s next game, I’m sure that Thompson, who also had one of the team’s three sacks, would happily make that tradeoff again.
3. UNLV quarterback Armani Rogers and Fresno State quarterback Marcus McMaryion. Both quarterbacks had strong performances Saturday with their arms and their legs. The Rebels dominated Prairie View A&M from start to finish and the sophomore Rogers accounted for 252 yards of total offense (130 passing, 122 rushing), while McMaryion led the Bulldogs to a blowout win at UCLA by throwing for 270 yards on 22-of-33 attempts.
Oh, yes, and both quarterbacks had five total touchdowns, including four each on the ground.
1. The Boise State offensive line. There’s no one culprit for the Broncos’ offensive line struggles in Stillwater, but Brett Rypien was under siege for nearly the entire game and the running game all but vanished. Oklahoma State sacked Rypien seven times and held Alexander Mattison to just 53 yards on 14 carries. We’ve seen the Broncos bounce back from these kinds of troubles before, but it won’t get any easier with Wyoming on the horizon in two weeks.
2. The Wyoming offense. The Cowboys ended up gaining about 25% of the day’s total offense on their game-winning drive against Wofford, which tells you a lot about where Wyoming is these days. Not counting their final kneeldown, they had six drives that went fewer than ten yards. They were outgained through three quarters by a 232-149 margin and allowed three sacks on the afternoon. To Wofford.
3. Colorado State’s hopes that money can assuage an irate fanbase. The Rams averaged 3.7 yards per play, fumbled four times, lost three of those fumbles, gave up five sacks, let Feleipe Franks finish 8-of-9 through the air after failing to complete his first six first attempts, and lost by 38 in the Swamp to the Florida Gators. At least they got a cool $2 million for their troubles.