Top 10 Mountain West Football Non-Conference Games
What non-league games are the most important?
Let’s discuss the big OOC games
There are plenty of non-conference Mountian West football games and we decided to rank the games that are the most important for the team and secondary to the league.
A few high profile one’s not on the list include Nevada taking on Oregon or Utah State traveling to Baton Rouge to face LSU. The reason for that are those are very, very likely to be a loss so we are trying to be realistic with this list of 10 games that could be wins for the conference.
10. Purdue at Nevada, Aug. 31
This is a great test for Nevada and whoever takes over at quarterback. Purdue’s win total projections are set at 7.5 so the Boilermakers will be a tough team on offense since they retained head coach Jeff Brohm. The passing game is what Nevada needs to do is try to stop a potential top-10 air attack. This game is near a toss-up since it is in Reno.
9. Hawaii vs. Arizona, Aug. 24
This is a Week 0 game and even if it were to be in a crowded weekend of games it has the chance to stand out because there should be a lot of points from each team.
This is a very winnable game for the Warriors at home despite being a very early double-digit underdog.
8. Boise State at BYU, Oct. 19
This is here due to close games over the years and also that this is a rivalry matchup. By the time this game is played, Boise State will have its quarterback positioned ironed out and the Cougars should have a completely healthy Zach Wilson who is still recovering from shoulder surgery.
The Broncos have won three in a row but in Provo have dropped two of three since 2013. This is important because the Cougars should be improved from last year and this game is usually close with three of the past four being decided by 11 points or less.
7. Fresno State vs. Minnesota, Sept. 7
Fresno State really wants revenge over what happened last year on the road taking on Minnesota. This time is at home and the biggest concern for the Bulldogs is to stop the Golden Gophers ground attack that is led by Mo Ibrahim rushed for 1,160 yards and had nine touchdowns, plus there is Bryce Williams who added 502 yards as a freshman.
However, quarterback play is an issue with Minnesota and it was not exceptional with Tanner Morgan and Zack Annexstad, however wide receiver Tyler Johnson could be taken within the first three rounds of the NFL Draft. Johnson is joined by Rashod Bateman who is hopeful to have a great season.
6. Air Force vs. Army, Nov. 2
Army should be a good team but how good is the question at hand since the Black Knights have an extremely soft schedule. This game will very likely determine who will win the coveted Commander-In-Chief trophy. Army does return quarterback Kelvin Hopkins is back who rushed for 1,017 yards and 17 touchdowns.
The big loss in this Army triple-option attack is fullback Darnell Woolfolk who had 956 yards and 14 touchdowns. There will be a replacement for the fullback but breaking in a new guy is not always extremely easy.