Week 3 Mountain West Football Overreactions
Time to get a little bit crazy.
What could go wrong…
The third week of Mountain West was good for some teams and others not so much. This is not going to be your rational recap of the week but a likely foot-in-mouth scenario with some big swings that likely won’t come true but is going to be fun to track.
Fresno State Will go to a New Year’s six game
It would not be an overreaction Monday by saying that Fresno State’s win over then-No. 13 UCLA should shoot the Bulldogs into the conversation. They get to host Boise State and Nevada but the biggie will be taking on San Diego State on the “road” in Carson, against the Aztecs.
— Bri Mellon (@BriABC30) September 20, 2021
QB Jake Haener is not only playing as one of the best in the Mountain West but nationally he is slinging the ball extremely well. He is top-10 nationally in total yards, yards per games, touchdowns, QB rating, and yards per attempt.
Not to mention running back Ronnie Rivers who is a multi-purpose back who can do it all running, pass-catching and returning. Jalen Cropper is a beast at wide receiver. Yes, the defense gave up 37 points but they made plays and shut down Zach Charrbonett who 19 yards on six carries. Coming into the game he rushed 17 times for 223 yards.
Fresno State will need some help as Coastal Carolina and Cincinnati are currently ranked higher in both polls but those don’t count and the first playoff rankings are still over a month away from its Nov. 2 release.
Nevada’s title hopes are done
Yeah, it was one game but the Wolf Pack rushing offense and defense looked really bad against Kansas State. To be fair, the Wildcats rush defense has been really good and shutdown Stanford to just 1.77 yards per carry in the opener, but that was still better than Nevada’s 1.09.
Something has to get better on both sides because for Carson Strong to have elite passing days he needs Toa Taua to be more productive. They still have games against San Diego State, San Jose State, and Fresno State.
Those three teams not only have a good rush defense but two of the three in the Bulldogs and Aztecs have elite backs, and the Spartans have a pretty good one in Tyler Nevens.
If the Wolf Pack can’t figure this out then their title hopes are gone.
Wyoming leads Mountain West in points per game
This is a title one I thought would never enter the universe, but here we are with the Wyoming Cowboys averaging 38 points per game which is currently third behind Utah State and Fresno State which are both above 40 points per game at 41 and 43.
— Wyoming Cowboy Football (@wyo_football) September 18, 2021
New offensive coordinator Tim Polasek has opened up the playbook with more wide receivers getting the ball with more passing plays. Sean Chambers passing numbers are not elite but they are much better than what the Cowboys have been used to under Brent Vigen.
The Cowboys point totals have been aided, slightly, but a few defensive touchdowns but this Wyoming team is no longer going to win games 24-17.
Boise State starts off 1-5
Buckle up, Boise State fans, things have the potential to get ugly. Right now, the Broncos are 1-2 on the year and have issues running the ball and stopping the run.
Against Oklahoma State, the Broncos allowed Jaylen Warren to rush for 281 yards with a long of 75, scored twice and averaged 6.82 yards per carry. There is some good news mixed in there and that is Warren was shut down after the first half, so it does show that the Broncos made some changes to attempt to shore that up.
The ground attack felt it was good to go with George Holani fully healthy, but he ended up with just 28 yards on 12 carries and a long of nine. The offensive line was missing some key players but if Holani is to be as good we build him up to be, then the production should be better.
As for the potential poor record for the Broncos, here are their next slate of games, which begin after a much-needed off week.
- at Utah State
- vs. Nevada
- at BYU
- vs. Air Force
To step back from the overreaction curtain, the odds of Boise State losing all of those games is highly unlikely. However, not all four of those games are slam dunks. The Aggies of Utah State look like a completely different team than last year and will be no easy out.
Nevada has its own issues running and stopping the run, but they have a better passing attack than the Broncos with Carson Strong throwing downfield to multiple wide receivers.
BYU is just a really good team and will be the most likely loss of the bunch with how they have been playing and sweeping through the Pac-12 South so far.
Then there is Air Force which has lost four straight to Boise State and all by at least 10 points or more. The Flacons are never an easy out even when teams like the Broncos have won so many in a row.
The point of a potential Boise State 1-5 start is that it is a possibility, albeit a small one, but who would ever say that about the Broncos, basically ever?
None of these games are guaranteed wins as all four at the very least look to be bowl teams and perhaps even be in the Mountain West title game among the three conference games.
ESPN’s FPI is more confident in Boise State by being favored in three of four.
Boise State is not this invincible team that should be expected to go in and win every game — regardless of what its fans think — yet, they are still a really, really, really, good football team that very well could win at least three of these games. That is the problem, we don’t know what Boise State team will show up each week.