What We Learned After Week 9 Of Mountain West Play
A tidbit about each Mountain West team.
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Week 9 allowed more data to learn about these teams.
Air Force – This Air Force team just dominated a Utah State team that most thought was going to contend for the league. The 31-7 victory was a classic Falcons win where they held the ball for 45 minutes and the defense stepped us well by holding Utah State to its fewest yards all season.
Colorado State – The offense is clicking extremely well despite no longer having the services of running back Marvin Kinsey. In his place it was Marcus McElroy who had a season of 117 yards and two scores, his total rushing yards coming into the game was 123. The Rams are just 3-5 this year but they could cause some teams trouble this season.
Fresno State – The Bulldogs were not expected to be as good as the past two years but to put things into perspective, Fresno State had a one-win season just a few years ago in 2016. For those saying QB Jorge Reyna is the main reason for issues on this Bulldogs team need to realize it is not just Reyna. He is not a bad quarterback but there are a few other things on this team like the young wide receivers, offensive line and defense taking a bigger step back than anticipated.
Hawaii – Each week it seems that any Warriors wide receiver can step up for a big game. The latest one to have a big game was Kumoku Noa who had 120 yards and a touchdown on just four catches. In eight games this year, Hawaii’s leading receiver had 100 or more yards in seven of those done by six different players. The one player to do it twice is Jared Smart.
Nevada – This is a recurring trend for the Wolf Pack and it is the lack of a running game for the Wolf Pack. Toa Taua was held to just 21 yards and he has had a severe sophomore slump this season. Also, Nevada went to a new quarterback with Malik Henry stepping away to focus on academics and in his place is Carson Strong who had a so-so game by completing 26 of 40 passes for 247 yards with an interception.
New Mexico – The Lobos have talent and it shows in the running game with Ahmari Davis who had a season-high 200 yards and two touchdowns. That was the only thing that looked good in the 45-31 loss to Hawaii in a score that was not a close as the final score indicated.
San Diego State – For the first time all year, running back Juwan Washington rushed for more than five yards per carry. he has slowly been getting better since coming back from injury. He is still at just 3.63 yards per carry on the year but perhaps he is starting to play his best football of the year.
San Jose State – It can be argued that Josh Love is playing at an all-conference level with another passing performance of over 300 yards on the year. He is currently second in yards per game and touchdowns with 15.
UNLV – So close. The Rebels missed a field goal that would have sent the game against San Diego State into overtime, but instead, it was a 20-17 defeat. The close loss is an improvement since the Rebels did a much better job protecting the ball which was the issue last week vs. Fresno State.
Utah State – The 31-7 loss to Air Force was not the result that was expected. This Falcons defense shut down the Utah State offense completely. Yes, the Falcons held the ball for 45 minutes but the Aggies running attack had 14 yards and for the passing attack possible first-round NFL Draft pick Jordan Love was only 14 of 23 for 114 yards.
Wyoming – Quarterback Sean Chambers is proving me wrong by becoming a better passer in the second half of the season. Against Nevada he was 6 of 9 for 158 yards and two touchdowns. The improved passing game is exactly waht the Cowboys need if they are going to win the conference.