Mountain West Football: Week 6 Winners and Losers
Who came out ahead and who left something to be desired in Week 6 of Mountain West football?
Some encouragement and some letdowns from the week that was.
After five straight exciting weeks of football, it was perhaps only a matter of time before the Mountain West got stuck with a fairly bland slate of results. A lack of surprises, though, doesn’t necessarily mean that identifying the week’s biggest winners and losers is any tougher.
Here’s who stepped up and disappointed in Week 6.
1. San Diego State cornerback Luc Barcoo. The Colorado State Rams had shown plenty of big-play offensive potential, but no one did more to shut that down on Saturday night than the Aztecs’ senior defensive back. Barcoo had three interceptions, the first player to do so since Nevada’s Dameon Baber back in November 2017, and none of them were gimmes, either. It’s just more evidence that SDSU possesses one of the best secondaries in the country.
2. San Diego State wide receiver Kobe Smith. While he still has a ways to go to match the single-season production of past stars like Ezell Ruffin or Gavin Escobar, Smith continued to shine as Ryan Agnew’s number one target. In the Aztecs’ 24-10 victory over Colorado State, he had seven catches and at least 100 yards for the third time in 2019, the first SDSU receiver to do so since Ruffin in 2013. Smith also scored twice, and his four receiving touchdowns are the most by any SDSU pass catcher since 2016.
It’s a brave new world down in Southern California, and the sophomore receiver is the perfect exemplar of that.
3. Boise State STUD Curtis Weaver. It’s a near certainty that the Broncos’ elite pass rusher has made more appearances than anyone else, but when you set the conference record for sacks, recording three against UNLV, there’s a rule that player has to make the winner’s cut.
1. Utah State quarterback Jordan Love. A lot of the hype around the Aggies’ trip to Baton Rouge centered around the potential duel between Love and LSU’s Joe Burrow. Once again, though, Love looked ordinary against a strong defense.
In a game where the opportunities were there for the Aggies to keep things close, Love instead finished 15-of-30 with 130 yards and three interceptions, failing to lead the offense past midfield on the team’s last nine drives. Over Utah State’s last 12 games, Love has thrown 423 passes with 7.9 yards per attempt, a 61.9% completion rate, 24 touchdowns and 11 interceptions, good numbers but necessarily the elite ones we’ve come to expect.
With strong defenses like Wyoming and Boise State still on the docket, Love still has something to prove in order to burnish those first-round NFL Draft prospect bonafides.
2. Air Force’s secondary. A lot of people hailed yesterday’s tilt as an instant classic, but lost in Navy’s comeback against the Falcons is that the defensive backfield played like an absolute mess in the game’s final minutes. On two separate occasions during the Midshipmen’s last drive, an Air Force defender was woefully out of position to knock down or intercept Malcolm Perry’s wounded ducks, a shortcoming which echoed that they allowed five pass plays of 20-plus yards in the game. And again: They were playing Navy.
3. UNLV quarterback Kenyon Oblad. In his first extended audition to stick as QB1, the redshirt freshman had the unenviable task of navigating Boise State’s defense and, well, played about like you’d expect. The overall stat line — 24-of-55 for 262 yards with two touchdowns and an interception — wasn’t pretty but don’t let that fool you: UNLV’s passing game was basically DOA from the start, as it had been under Oblad the week prior.