Mountain West Football: Week 10 Winners and Losers
Who came out ahead and who left something to be desired in Week 10 of Mountain West football?
Some encouragement and some letdowns from the week that was.
The calendar flipped to November this past weekend and, right on cue, it seemed as if much of the Mountain West raised its game in response. From a wild shootout on the islands to an even wilder one in San Jose and a very service academy matchup in Colorado Springs, there’s a lot to reflect on when it comes to determining who earned some props and who didn’t.
Here’s who stepped up and disappointed in Week 10.
1. Boise State running back George Holani. The Broncos didn’t panic when they found themselves in a 14-0 hole, steadily working their way back into the game and utilizing the running game to stay one step ahead of San Jose State in the second half. Holani, a true freshman, stepped up big time down the stretch and finished with 126 yards and four touchdowns against a Spartans defense that couldn’t quite weather the storm.
2. San Jose State wide receiver Tre Walker. The Spartans once again proved themselves a tough out on Saturday night and Walker, with nothing but back shoulder throws and comeback routes — with a Moss or two thrown in for good measures — put up a monster effort in the loss. He set a new high among in-conference receivers this century — Mountain West or WAC — in putting up 193 yards against a Broncos defense.
3. Fresno State wide receiver Jalen Cropper. The Bulldogs dove into their bag of tricks to outlast Hawaii and the true freshman Cropper played a pivotal role. Not only did he throw a 36-yard touchdown in the first half, he also ran for 61 yards (including a 53-yard score on a jet sweep) and caught three passes for 62 more yards, giving him one of the most unique stat lines you’ll ever see.
1. Utah State quarterback Jordan Love. What a mess. Love finished with 394 passing yards against BYU, but there was a lot more ugliness than not in the blowout loss to the Cougars. He threw three more interceptions, two of which led directly to BYU touchdowns, and coughed up a fumble in the fourth quarter.
2. New Mexico quarterback Tevaka Tuioti. The Lobos were never truly out of it in a frustrating road loss to Nevada, which makes the underwhelming second half from Tuioti all the more galling. He went just 9-of-20 for 106 yards after halftime, 77 of which came on three completions, and took two drive-killing sacks from Dom Peterson to keep New Mexico from consistently threatening.
3. UNLV athletic director Desiree Reed-Francois and head coach Tony Sanchez. After setting the bar at “bowl eligibility” last offseason, the Rebels once again failed to meet that goal with an uninspiring loss at Colorado State on Saturday afternoon. The obvious question had to be asked of both parties, and while both Reed-Francois and Sanchez said exactly what you would expect, there’s going to be a lot of soul-searching within the athletic department as UNLV heads to a bye next weekend.