Mountain West Football: Week 10 Winners and Losers
Who came out ahead and who left something to be desired in the last weekend of Mountain West football?
Some encouragement and some letdowns from the week that was.
That was a lot of Mountain West football drama to pack into one day, huh? Now that you’ve caught your breath from Saturday’s twists and turns, here are the winners and losers from Week 10.
1. Nevada kicker Brandon Talton
The reliable Talton didn’t have his greatest game on Saturday night against San Jose State, but you could make a case that’s because a lot was being asked of him: Though he missed three field goal tries, those attempts came from 56, 37, and 52 yards.
It’s easy to forget that Talton had also connected on a 51-yard try, though, so it didn’t shake Jay Norvell’s faith in calling Talton’s number one more time. The Wolf Pack kicker went out and drilled a 45-yarder with three seconds to go, ending the Spartans’ late hopes to force overtime and putting the Wolf Pack into a position where they can play their way back into the West division lead next week against San Diego State.
— Nevada Football (@NevadaFootball) November 7, 2021
2. UNLV linebacker Kyle Beaudry
The Rebels defense absorbed a few early blows but eventually found ways to slow New Mexico for its first win of the season. No one had a bigger hand in that than Beaudry, who cleaned up with a career-best ten tackles to go along with 1.5 sacks and two forced fumbles, one of which he recovered himself, both of which led to offensive touchdowns. Not bad for a hometown talent, right?
— UNLV Football (@unlvfootball) November 7, 2021
3. San Diego State defensive linemen Cameron Thomas, Keshawn Banks, and Jonah Tavai
The Aztecs didn’t suffer much of a hangover in winning yet another defensive battle against Hawaii thanks to their trio in the trenches. Thomas, Banks, and Tavai combined for all four SDSU sacks and 4.5 of the defense’s six tackles for loss, clawing their way back to a path where they once more control their own destiny in the West division. Granted, solving Carson Strong next week is a much different task than putting the clamps on Chevan Cordeiro and company, but you won’t feel safe betting against their figuring it out.
1. Air Force’s secondary
How do you allow over 200 yards passing… to Army? The Black Knights had broken out its air attack a little more often in recent weeks and had some successes with it, but there’s absolutely no way anyone expected that Army would be able to do that for the second time in three years against a defensive backfield that had actually been solid in that element of the game beforehand.
The Falcons just didn’t do much in those opportunities to slow Army down. Tre Bugg III had a pair of pass breakups and Vince Sanford finished with a couple quarterback hurries, but by and large it was another lapse in performance akin to the earlier disappointment against Utah State.
— Army Football (@ArmyWP_Football) November 6, 2021
2. Fresno State quarterback Jake Haener
A lot of things went wrong in the Bulldogs’ faceplant at home against Boise State and Haener didn’t get a lot of support from an offensive line that got beaten to the tune of five sacks while also picking up three false start penalties, but two of Haener’s three interceptions led directly to Bronco touchdowns and are one of the primary reasons why Fresno State played its way out of the game so quickly.
For his career, Haener now owns a 28-to-3 touchdown-to-interception ratio in wins and a 12-to-12 ratio in losses. There’s still plenty to play for, but Haener and the Bulldogs offense are going to want to figure out what went wrong and fast to avoid another clunker like this.
Boise State upsets #23 Fresno State. Memorable night for the Kaniho bros. Both Kekaula & Kaonohi snag interceptions. Not sure when the last time brothers had INT's in the same game. Kekaula said one of the reason he came back was to play more w/ Nohi. #CFBHawaii #Cover2 #RR4L pic.twitter.com/uqyaZVDLeI
— Alan Hoshida (@AHoshidaSports) November 7, 2021
3. Colorado State’s defensive line
The Rams’ strength disappeared when it was needed most in the Border War loss to Wyoming, allowing the Cowboys trio of Titus Swen, Xazavian Valladay, and Levi Williams to run for 358 combined yards and two touchdowns while managing just three tackles for loss and two sacks.
That was probably the last way anyone expected CSU to lose the game, but they got continually blown off the line and that kept the Rams from keying on Williams who, well, didn’t have to do much passing, anyway.
— Wyoming Cowboy Football (@wyo_football) November 6, 2021