Mountain West Football: Week 6 Winners and Losers
Who came out ahead and who left something to be desired in Week 6 of Mountain West football?
Some encouragement and some letdowns from the week that was.
With so many surprising results and back-and-forth battles, picking the best and worst from Week 6 in Mountain West football action definitely came with the toughest cuts yet. We’ll give honorable mentions to the likes of Colorado State’s Jan-Phillip Bombek, Utah State’s Tipa Galeai and San Diego State’s Jordan Byrd, but the best of the best and the worst of the worst, as usual, are below.
Let’s get to all of the boo-yahs and boo-nahs, as we pick out the best and worst of Week 6.
1. Hawaii defensive end Kaimana Padello. We might as well start calling Padello “the Mililani Mauler” after last night’s performance against Wyoming. He added two sacks to his season total of seven, which now leads the Mountain West and puts him in a tie for fourth among FBS defenders, and had two other quarterback hurries, three tackles for loss and a forced fumble that was nearly recovered for a Warriors touchdown in the second quarter.
2. Air Force defensive end Jordan Jackson. Navy never got its powerful running game going against the Falcons on Saturday afternoon, and Jackson proved himself a key performer in the effort to reclaim the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy. He finished with seven tackles and 3.5 tackles for loss to lead a front seven that held Midshipmen quarterback Malcolm Perry to 90 yards of total offense.
3. New Mexico quarterback Sheriron Jones. After some up-and-down play in last week’s loss to Liberty, Jones came out swinging in what might have been the weekend’s most startling result. He racked up 323 yards of total offense, 250 through the air and 73 on the ground, and made a lot of tough throws en route to four touchdowns in a romp over UNLV.
1. UNLV quarterback Max Gilliam. Nobody was quite sure of what to expect from life without Armani Rogers, but the Rebels offense was a disaster against New Mexico on Saturday afternoon. They did not cross midfield until their first scoring drive at the beginning of the fourth quarter, and Gilliam was a big reason for the poor performance, finishing just 15-of-35 for 123 yards, 83 of which came when UNLV was already down 36-0, with two garbage-time touchdowns and an interception.
2. Boise State quarterback Brett Rypien. In a battle of Mountain West heavyweights that lived up to the billing, the Broncos’ senior quarterback just didn’t have it on Saturday afternoon. He only completed 10 of his first 22 passes and finished 21-of-41 for 170 yards and two interceptions, though San Diego State had him under fire early and often, too, sacking Rypien four times.
3. The Wyoming secondary. When word broke shortly before kickoff that Hawaii quarterback Cole McDonald would miss Saturday night’s game, a lot of optimism swung toward Wyoming and its strengths, but there’s no doubt this game was a let down because of some missed opportunities. Marcus Epps dropped what would have been a sure pick-six, and the coverage broke down on Hawaii’s final breakthrough in the closing minutes.