Mountain West Football: Week 2 Winners and Losers
Who came out ahead and who left something to be desired in Week 2 of Mountain West football?
Some encouragement and some letdowns from the week that was.
It’s always tough to follow up a performance like the Mountain West had in the season’s first full week.
Sure enough, the outcomes across the conference in Week 2 were decidedly mixed. The conference did score another pair of wins over Power 5 schools, but there were some serious letdowns of all kinds, as well. Who came out ahead and who left us wanting?
Here are Mountain West football’s winners and losers in Week 2.
1. San Diego State quarterback Ryan Agnew. There’s been a lot of skepticism about the Aztecs’ new-look offense but, on the road against UCLA, the junior quarterback showed that San Diego State could win by… throwing the football? Believe it. He finished the afternoon 23-of-31 for 296 yards, the most by an SDSU quarterback since 2014, and a touchdown. If he continues to demonstrate they can lean on his arm even as the running game sputters, watch out.
2. Hawaii wide receiver JoJo Ward. Another week, another Warriors pass catcher with four touchdowns. Only in the run-and-shoot offense, right? Ward made the most of his 13 targets, hauling in ten catches for 189 yards — while scoring from 5, 29, 29, and 35 yards out — to help Hawaii survive a challenge from Oregon State at home.
3. Boise State STUD Curtis Weaver. For the second straight week, the Broncos defense clamped down in a big way and, for the second straight week, the defensive line led the charge. Weaver picked up his second sack of the year and tallied 1.5 TFLs among his six total tackles in a hard-fought home win over Marshall.
1. UNLV quarterback Armani Rogers. As the Rebels’ junior quarterback goes, so does UNLV and, well, Saturday was a huge step backwards. Tony Sanchez and offensive coordinator Garin Justice decided they wanted to lean on the pass, but Rogers absorbed six sacks and finished just 8-of-23 for 42 yards with an interception before being relieved by Kenyon Oblad. It may be too early for UNLV to have a quarterback controversy on its hands, but the trend doesn’t look promising now.
2. The Nevada secondary. The Wolf Pack aren’t going to face a legitimate Heisman candidate every week, of course, but they weren’t able to find a way to contain Justin Herbert like they did Elijah Sindelar the week before and got lit up. Through two weeks, Nevada has allowed Purdue and Oregon to complete 70.1% of their passes at 9.5 yards per attempt, so while the going gets easier from here in non-conference play, that’s something they’ll need to improve.
3. Fresno State quarterback Jorge Reyna. It seems like it should be hard to lose a game the exact same way two weeks in a row, but that’s exactly what has happened to the Bulldogs. Reyna threw another game-ending interception against Minnesota last night, in the red zone, with enough air under the throw for the opposing safety (Antoine Winfield yet again, another twist of déjà vu) to get a bead on it. The numbers say he improved on his performance against USC — 24-of-35, 288 yards, and three touchdowns — but the killer mistakes will limit the team’s ceiling if they continue.