Mountain West Football: Week 5 Winners and Losers
Who came out ahead and who left something to be desired in Week 5 of Mountain West football?
Some encouragement and some letdowns from the week that was.
Despite a thin slate of games on Saturday, Week 5 in Mountain West football action had as many twists and turns as any weekend we’ve seen so far this fall. There were dominant performance and big comebacks, all the overtimes you could ask for and, as usual, some winners and some losers.
Let’s get to all of the accolades and rebukes, as we pick out the best and worst of Week 5.
1. Fresno State quarterback Marcus McMaryion. From start to finish, this was the best single-game performance from a Bulldogs QB since Derek Carr. He also complemented his 213.27 passer rating, which came from completing 24-of-31 passes for 368 yards and four touchdowns, with his fifth rushing touchdown of the year.
2. Boise State wide receiver A.J. Richardson. It has become clear that the Broncos have a bevy of weapons to defend their conference championship, but the senior Richardson carried the day in a big win over Wyoming, catching six passes for 112 yards and one of the most impressive touchdown grabs of the month.
3. San Jose State defensive tackle Boogie Roberts. The win may have gotten away from the Spartans on Saturday, but Roberts had himself quite a game regardless. Not only did he give SJSU its first lead against Hawaii with a two-yard touchdown plunge — paging the Piesman Trophy committee — he had five tackles and forced a Cole McDonald fumble that ultimately sent the game into its five overtimes.
1. Mountain West kickers. Was yesterday the worst overall week by conference kickers ever? It must be in the conversation: San Jose State’s Bryce Crawford hit on just 2-of-6 field goal attempts, while Hawaii’s Ryan Meskell was just 3-of-5. Nevada’s Ramiz Ahmed missed from 51 yards, though that distance is never easy; Fresno State’s Asa Fuller missed his lone attempt from 43 yards, even if it was rushed to beat the clock before halftime. Boise State’s Haden Hoggarth missed from 38 early against Wyoming, though it didn’t come back to haunt the Broncos like two weeks ago.
There are more contenders for the Mountain West crown this season than last, and if some of them are going to have the occasional special teams adventure, those who appear as if they won’t — namely Utah State and San Diego State — might feel good about their chances in spite of other questions.
2. The Air Force running game. Something may be seriously wrong in Colorado Springs, as the Falcons were beaten at their own game by Nevada in yet another close loss. Air Force had just 28 yards on 24 attempts in the first half as the Wolf Pack built a 28-10 lead, and they finished with a meager 3.02 yards per carry, the eighth time in the last 16 games (going back to the start of 2017) that Air Force has failed to crack four YPC. If they can’t rediscover their running efficiency, things could go south in a hurry for Troy Calhoun and company.
3. New Mexico’s pass defense. One step forward, one step back. Just when it looked like the Lobos might have some solutions for slowing the pass-happy offenses in the Mountain West, they followed their performance against New Mexico State with… well, let’s just say maybe it was a good thing that game wasn’t on television yesterday. Liberty quarterback Stephen Calvert racked up 417 passing yards and three touchdowns, all of which came as the Flames built a 42-10 lead.