Mountain West Football: Week 13 Winners and Losers
Who came out ahead and who left something to be desired in Week 13 of Mountain West football?
Some encouragement and some letdowns from the week that was.
With a full slate of Mountain West football action, this weekend was easily the one with the highest stakes for everyone involved: Bids in the conference championship, bowl eligibility, renewed rivalries, and a lot more were all on the line.
It made the way things unfolded all the more surprising. Here’s who stepped up and disappointed in Week 13.
1. Hawaii head coach Nick Rolovich. The agents of chaos are the kings of the West division thanks to the steady and always pedal-to-the-metal guidance of its leader. It hasn’t been the easiest year both on and off the field for the Warriors — the team has played for Scheyenne Sanitoa since his unfortunate passing before fall camp, while the ongoing quarterback shuffle and uneven defensive performances have brought the occasional headache — so it’s a credit to Rolovich that they have won and will now take aim at their first outright conference title since 2007.
2. Boise State running back George Holani. Jaylon Henderson’s second start at quarterback got off to a slow start, but the true freshman Holani made sure the Broncos wouldn’t stumble with a berth in the title game on the line. He had four of his seven runs of ten-plus yards in the first quarter, including carries of 35 and 36 yards, en route to 178 yards and two touchdowns in what became a rout of Utah State.
3. Air Force quarterback Donald Hammond III. New Mexico was able to keep the game competitive for a half, but the Falcons senior came alive down the stretch to help break away from the Lobos. He completed 9-of-10 passes for 327 passing yards with four second-half touchdowns, the kind of performance Air Force fans hadn’t seen in over 40 years.
1. Colorado State head coach Mike Bobo. What’s a guy have to do to get a rivalry win around here? The Rams were frustrated yet again in a Border War loss to Wyoming and Bobo fell to 2-13 in games against the Cowboys, Air Force, and Colorado, so while injuries may explain in part why the team has faltered down the stretch and the buyout remains cumbersome, it wouldn’t be a shock if the powers-that-be in Fort Collins took a long look at his tenure with another likely loss on the horizon next weekend.
2. San Jose State quarterback Josh Love. It seems strange to suggest that a guy who threw for 465 yards belongs here, but Love was too mistake-prone in the Spartans’ loss to UNLV. He threw four interceptions, including one of the tip drill variety in the game’s last minute, that spoiled a chance to steal the win and keep the team’s bowl hopes alive.
3. Fresno State head coach Jeff Tedford. The upside here is that at least the athletic department won’t have to pay out a ton of bonuses this year but, considering Tedford’s still-considerable $1.6 million base salary, falling entirely out of the bowl picture has to be considered a massive disappointment. Fresno State’s 1-4 record in games decided by eight or fewer points this fall can’t be forgiven entirely by their injury woes when the decision-making, most notably throwing three straight times inside their own five-yard line and going three-and-out on the team’s last drive, continues to raise eyebrows.