Mountain West Football Week 5 Overreactions
Time to get crazy
The conference getting crazy
We tried to tell you heading into the preseason that the Mountain West has a bunch of good teams and once league play starts there will be some interesting results.
That is already happening with Fresno State shooting itself in the foot in its loss to Hawaii or the currently mind-baffling result that saw Utah State upend Air Force 49-45, despite the Falcons defense playing very well outside of that game.
Expect more of this to be the same and create some fun as the season goes on.
There won’t be a ranked Mountain West team once the season ends
Currently, San Diego State is in the top 25 polls and also is undefeated at 4-0. The Aztecs have wins against Utah and Arizona from the Pac-12. There likely will be a ranked team for the next while but in the West Division, specifically, the teams are good.
— San Diego State Football (@AztecFB) October 3, 2021
UNLV is at the bottom but its past two losses were one-score games, including an eight-point loss to Fresno State. San Jose State has defeated Hawaii and the Warriors just beat Fresno State. Nevada had a big win over Boise State but they struggled a lot vs. Kansas State in the loss.
The West Division winner really could be 5-3 and it will be very interesting to see how Fresno State, Nevada, and San Diego State face off when they play each other. Also, based on prior results, San Jose State and Hawaii could be a thorn in someone’s side among those top three teams.
The Mountain West division has 4-0 Wyoming and 4-1 Air Force but those two teams face each other soon in league play. These are the two likely teams to be ranked but the Falcons still face Boise State which has the passing game to make noise, and Wyoming has to play Utah State who is looking much better.
The league itself likely will beat each other up and there is a chance that the conference champion might not even have 10 wins. Odds are the winner will get to 10 wins but with how close this league is from top to bottom it will be tough.
Boise State won’t win the division
This sort of piggybacks on a prior bold prediction which said that the Broncos could be 1-5 that did not happen, but Boise State is no longer the beast it was over the past 20 or so years.
There are plenty of areas where Boise State is really good and winning the division is still within reach. However, as noticed in the loss to Nevada, depth on the offensive line is an issue and forcing a lot of issues.
Quarterback Hank Bachmeier is taking hits after hits — which is nothing new even dating back to his first start against Florida State a few years ago — while still playing at a high level so far this year.
Jay Norvell without context: "Bachmeier gets hit a lot." So true. Boise State's offensive line the last couple of years has deteriorated. I was really impressed with Hank Bachmeier on Saturday. Boise State's WRs are great, too. Give them a good line and it'd be amazing.
— Chris Murray (@ByChrisMurray) October 4, 2021
The offensive line used its fourth different lineup in the 41-31, loss to Nevada, and the Broncos were down to their third-string center.
The running game is having issues and George Holani getting hurt once again is a big blow to that unit being a consistent group. Currently, the Broncos are averaging 2.14 yards per carry — which includes sack yardages — and just six touchdowns on the year. However, when adjusting for sack yardages, the Broncos are averaging just 2.93 per rushing play.
If that running game can’t get going then it will be very long days for Bachmeier to try to avoid the pass rush and he can only do so much for this Boise State team.
UNLV has good QB play, maybe.
The Rebels are winless but in their prior two games, they were one-score defeats against Fresno State and currently undefeated UTSA. In the Bulldogs loss, UNLV played both Doug Brumfield and Cameron Friel as Brumfield left the game injured.
Before leaving hurt, Brumfield was 6 of 13 for 143 yards and a pair of touchdowns, and Friel did just fine in relief by completing 9 of 15 for 138 yards in half of that game.
Friel got the start against UTSA and showed up and played reasonably well for a freshman. There were ups and downs with a pair of interceptions but he did show promise by completing 25 of 37 passes for 307 yards.
The wins may not be there yet as they don’t have any this season, and any this year will be hard to come by. This overreaction may is surely that for now but just maybe it could be a reality in 2022 when UNLV fields a team that can go from losing close games to winning a few of those.