Mountain West Football: Week 4 Winners and Losers
Who came out ahead and who left something to be desired in Week 4 of Mountain West football?
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Some encouragement and some letdowns from the week that was.
You couldn’t ask for more from a week with a mix of in-conference and out-of-conference play, right? The Mountain West tallied five more wins in OOC action, including another Power 5 trophy, though it wasn’t roses all the way around: Wyoming and Colorado State, at least, struggled to resolve the same old problems that have plagued them throughout 2019 thus far.
Here are Mountain West football’s winners and losers in Week 4.
1. San Jose State. Yesterday’s win was a long time coming for the program. Yes, you could say “it’s only Arkansas”, but snapping an 0-24 slide against Power 5 programs is still a big deal and it wasn’t a fluke, either. For roughly 55 minutes (excepting, perhaps, Arkansas’s late rally to tie the score), the Spartans straight up out-played the Razorbacks. They created five turnovers and outgained the Hogs by a yard per play, finally putting together their most complete game in a long time.
2. Boise State nose tackle Sonatane Lui. The Broncos squared off in a tense battle with Air Force that proved to be as tough as expected, but there’s no doubt the senior lineman had an outsized influence on how the game unfolded. He racked up a team-high 16 tackles and four solo tackles, a significant part of why, outside of five chunk plays, the vaunted Falcons running game managed just 3.69 yards on 46 other carries.
3. New Mexico quarterback Tevaka Tuioti After an off-season of personal heartache, seeing the redshirt freshman return as the Lobos’ starter under center was definitely one of the more feel-good narratives of the weekend. He backed up the warm and fuzzies, though, by helming the Lobos’ strongest offensive performance of the year so far: He threw for a career-high 355 yards, the most by a Lobos quarterback since Casey Kelly in 2003, and ran for 59 while also tossing three touchdowns in a wild Rio Grande Rivalry win over New Mexico State.
1. Colorado State defensive coordinator John Jancek. This isn’t the first time Jancek’s unit has appeared on this list, but when the offense racks up nearly 700 yards of total offense and the team still loses because your players coughed up 8.97 yards per play — the fourth time in CSU’s last 16 games that opponents have cracked at least eight yards per play — and managed zero sacks and one tackle for loss, you’re going to be on it again.
2. Wyoming quarterbacks. The Cowboys suffered a rash of injuries on Saturday, getting especially hard hit at running back, which meant that Craig Bohl needed his quarterback Sean Chambers to step up. Yet again, though, the redshirt freshman struggled to make an impact through the air (though he wasn’t helped by some key drops), finishing the day 9-of-25 with 193 yards. 124 of those yards came in the game’s last 13 minutes, which would help to explain why Bohl benched Chambers temporarily for Tyler Vander Waal, who wasn’t any better (1-6-21-0-0). It was a perfect example of a team running up against its limitations.
3. Fresno State kickers. The Bulldogs’ 34-20 win over Sacramento State wasn’t an especially inspiring one, and now it seems clear the championship trophy wasn’t the only thing they took from Boise State last December. Kicker Cesar Silva missed three field goals from 49, 35, and 37 yards, dropping him to just 5-of-9 on the season, while Asa Fuller missed an extra point try early in the fourth quarter. Where have you gone, Jimmy Camacho?