Mountain West Football: Week 9 Winners and Losers
Who came out ahead and who left something to be desired in Week 9 of Mountain West football?
Some encouragement and some letdowns from the week that was.
Some apologies, first and foremost, that this weekly article took a brief hiatus for Week 8 last Saturday. I believe that I was the weekend’s big winner since I got to spend three days at Disneyland but, thankfully, other people stepped up to take back the mantle throughout a wild Week 9. That makes for much more interesting reading.
Let’s not waste a lot of time, here are Mountain West football’s winners and losers.
1. Utah State quarterback Jordan Love. This seems like a broken record, but I don’t know what else you can do when someone, like Love, puts up 448 passing yards and four touchdowns in just one half of play. The Aggies needed a big statement against New Mexico with the first College Football Playoff rankings on the horizon, and their sophomore quarterback gave it to them.
2. Nevada punter Quinton Conaway. The Wolf Pack finally brought San Diego State’s charmed one-score existence to a halt thanks to Conaway, who did more than enough to make folks exclaim “look at that dang punt” all throughout Saturday night. He averaged a staggering 51.1 yards per punt and pinned four of his nine kicks inside the SDSU 20-yard line, playing an integral part in Nevada winning the field position game.
3. UNLV receiver Tyleek Collins. The Rebels defense never gave them a chance against San Jose State, but the true freshman Collins did all he could to bring them back time and again. He had nine catches for 170 yards and four touchdowns, giving UNLV an explosive element the offense desperately needed.
1. San Diego State quarterback Ryan Agnew. That second half… woof. He was only 8-of-19 after halftime and looked very skittish against a Nevada team that seemed eager to give the game away or run away with it every other drive. And watching him ineffectively scramble again and again must have had Aztecs fans reaching for the Rolaids as SDSU suffered their first defeat in Mountain West play.
2. The Colorado State defensive line. Their tackling looked atrocious all night long. How can you allow a combined 277 rushing yards to Nico Evans and a quarterback, Sean Chambers, making his first career start?
3. UCF fans. Sorry, y’all: Between Utah State and Fresno State (not to mention Boise State still lurking with the schedule to make a late run), you’re gonna have to work a little harder to earn that Group of 5 New Year’s Day bowl bid this time around. Good luck trying to claim South Florida and Cincinnati will be potentially worthwhile wins next month!