Mountain West Wire’s Football Players of the Month, August/September
Who stood out from the first month-plus of Mountain West football action?
The best of the early Mountain West season.
The Mountain West definitely had a September to remember, huh? And August was pretty good to the conference, too.
With so many individual standouts in the young season, we wanted to highlight those players who have been head and shoulders above their peers. After conducting two separate polls among our staff and our Twitter followers, here are the selections for our first players of the month for 2019.
Offensive Player of the Month
Staff Vote: Cedric Byrd, WR, Hawaii
The Warriors must have felt very confident about their ability to replace John Ursua and Byrd has rewarded that confidence in spades. Through five games, he is tied for the FBS lead with 40 catches and stands alone with nine touchdown catches, while his nine catches of 20-plus yards and 498 receiving yards rank sixth and 12th overall, respectively. Long story short, Byrd is a significant reason why the run-and-shoot is going to create some havoc in Mountain West play.
Others receiving votes: Hank Bachmeier, QB, Boise State; Marvin Kinsey, RB, Colorado State; Cole McDonald, QB, Hawaii
Fan Vote: Cedric Byrd
Others receiving votes: Hank Bachmeier, QB, Boise State; Sean Chambers, QB, Wyoming; Marvin Kinsey, RB, Colorado State; Jordan Love, QB, Utah State; Cole McDonald, QB, Hawaii; Charles Williams, RB, UNLV; Dante Wright, WR, Colorado State
Defensive Player of the Month
Staff Vote: Curtis Weaver, STUD, Boise State
The Broncos star has picked up right where he left off, with his six sacks putting him in a tie for third among FBS defenders. It’s no wonder, then, that Boise State currently ranks sixth nationally with a 12.5% Sack Rate, so spare a thought, if you can, for the offensive line coaches who will have to try (again) to slow Weaver down.
Others receiving votes: David Woodward, LB, Utah State; Manny Jones, DE, Colorado State
Fan Vote: David Woodward, LB, Utah State
Woodward has been a tackling machine for the Aggies, collecting 55 (including 3.5 tackles for loss) in their first four games. That’s good enough to be in a tie for fourth among FBS players, but consider that he has also forced four fumbles, too, the only person to do so thus far.
Others receiving votes: Solomon Byrd, DE, Wyoming; Alijah Halliburton, S, Wyoming; Ellison Hubbard, DT, Colorado State; Curtis Weaver, STUD, Boise State; Lakota Wills, LB, Air Force; Logan Wilson, LB, Wyoming
Special Teams Player of the Month
Staff Vote: Brandon Talton, K, Nevada
Talton made national headlines by walking the Wolf Pack off with a 56-yard field goal to defeat Purdue, but he should probably get more attention in emerging as one of the country’s most reliable kickers, full stop. He’s not only been perfect on field goal tries to date, he’s one of just two FBS kickers to be 10-of-10. We all expected the Mountain West to feature a potential Lou Groza finalist again, but Talton being the one to fit the bill is one of the conference’s earliest and best surprises.
Others receiving votes: Austin Conway, PR, Wyoming; Dominik Eberle, K, Utah State; Eric Sachse, K, Boise State; Savon Scarver, KR, Utah State; Andrew Shelley, K, New Mexico; Ryan Stonehouse, P, Colorado State
Fan Vote: Brandon Talton
Others receiving votes: Austin Conway, PR, Wyoming; Dominik Eberle, K, Utah State; John Hightower, KR, Boise State; Eric Sachse, K, Boise State; Savon Scarver, KR, Utah State; Ryan Stonehouse, P, Colorado State
Freshman of the Month
Staff Vote: Hank Bachmeier, QB, Boise State
“Hurricane Hank” is starting to bear down on the rest of the Mountain West after strong performances in non-conference play. He’s played like one of the best freshman quarterbacks in the country thus far with a 146.53 passer rating that ranks sixth among FBS freshmen QBs. And among the players in that group with at least 100 pass attempts, Bachmeier’s 63.5% completion rate and 8.7 yards per attempt each rank fourth.
Others receiving votes: Titus Swen, RB, Wyoming; Dante Wright, WR, Colorado State
Fan Vote: Sean Chambers, QB, Wyoming
Chambers has shown no ill effects from the injury that ended his 2018 campaign prematurely, rebounding to play like one of the country’s best running quarterbacks. His 381 rushing yards (at an impressive 7.1 YPC) trails only Oklahoma’s Jalen Hurts among FBS quarterbacks and he’s accounted for nine total touchdowns, including six on the ground.
Others receiving votes: Hank Bachmeier, QB, Boise State; Solomon Byrd, DE, Wyoming; Karter Shaw, G, Utah State; Titus Swen, RB, Wyoming; Brandon Talton, K, Nevada; Rome Weber, S, Wyoming; Dante Wright, WR, Colorado State