Mountain West Football: Ranking The 2022 Non-Conference Games, #29 to #20
The Mountain West has 49 non-conference games on the docket in 2022. These ten games may pique your interest for a number of reasons.
Not the best, but interesting in their own rights.
Our countdown of Mountain West football’s top non-conference games continues into the middle of the pack. There’s a lot of potential for blowouts in this bunch of games, but with college football you can never be totally certain of what will happen.
29. Boise State Broncos at UTEP Miners
Why the game might be a drag: These two teams haven’t played very often, but it has never been particularly close. Given Boise State’s talent advantage on paper, why would that chance in 2022?
Why the game might be more interesting than you think: Though UTEP fell off a bit in the second half of last year, the Miners are still much improved overall and should be in a position to put up much more of a fight for a change.
Another player worth tuning in for: UTEP DE Praise Amaewhule
— Conference USA (@ConferenceUSA) October 10, 2021
28. North Texas Mean Green vs. UNLV Rebels
Why the game might be a drag: If the Mean Green and Rebels from the first half of last year show up, there may not be much offense to root for.
Why the game might be more interesting than you think: If the Mean Green and Rebels from the second half of the year show up, when both teams were much more competitive, this could be one of the more underappreciated G5-vs.-G5 matchups on the schedule.
One player worth tuning in for: North Texas LB KD Davis
ICYMI — North Texas linebacker outlook for 2022: KD Davis to lead experienced group with one key hole to fill following departure of his longtime running mate Tyreke Davis.https://t.co/AND77i1IJX
— Brett Vito (@brettvito) February 22, 2022
27. UNLV Rebels at Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Why the game might be a drag: The Irish haven’t lost to a Mountain West team since 2007 and the Rebels have too much uncertainty to seriously challenge a likely top-25 team on the road.
Why the game might be more interesting than you think: Notre Dame is turning over personnel at enough key positions that, if UNLV’s top young talents get after it, the road team could give these Irish an unexpected test.
One player worth tuning in for: Notre Dame TE Michael Mayer
Michael Mayer tossing a safety around. pic.twitter.com/Kt2rydHtxB
— Greg Brandt (@devywarehouse) November 28, 2021
26. Western Michigan Broncos vs. San Jose State Spartans
Why the game might be a drag: The Broncos had one of the more exciting offenses in the Group of 5 last year, but they’re replacing their star quarterback and top wide receiver.
Why the game might be more interesting than you think: Well, the Spartans flopped hard in this matchup a year ago, so revenge games are always worth keeping an eye on.
One player worth tuning in for: Western Michigan RB Sean Tyler
SEAN TYLER 101 YARDS TO THE 🏠
Western Michigan (-7) takes the lead!pic.twitter.com/5isFqsksmc
— Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) December 27, 2021
25. UNLV Rebels at California Golden Bears
Why the game might be a drag: In recent years, Cal has not possessed what you’d call a top-tier offense. The Bears might be able to put the young Rebels in a proverbial defensive chokehold, though, and win a low-scoring snoozefest.
Why the game might be more interesting than you think: Because Cal can struggle to score points, UNLV might have a better chance at an upset bid than you’d suspect if the offense can pull things together.
One player worth tuning in for: CB Lu-Magia Hearns III
— Pac-12 Conference (@pac12) November 22, 2021
24. Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders vs. Colorado State Rams
Why the game might be a drag: Both teams are probably going to want to throw the ball a lot, but what happens if one or both offenses isn’t firing on all cylinders?
Why the game might be more interesting than you think: It could be a compelling contrast of styles when Fort Air Raid contends with a defense that has a couple players who can get after the quarterback.
One player worth tuning in for: Middle Tennessee State DE Jordan Ferguson
MTSU DE Jordan Ferguson is a power 4-3 end who does well as a stand-up rusher when asked. Strong vs. the run and brings just enough quickness to win the inside lane. Hustles to the ball downfield or from the back side. #SnapScout22 pic.twitter.com/0TjPKj9YDT
— Chad Reuter (@chad_reuter) July 11, 2021
23. Hawaii Warriors at Michigan Wolverines
Why the game might be a drag: The Warriors are restocking after an arduous early off-season and Michigan is coming off of a College Football Playoff berth. Needless to say, there’s a huge talent disparity.
Why the game might be more interesting than you think: Now that the Wolverines are replacing some high-end defensive talents like Aiden Hutchinson, what happens if the Warriors come out swinging and are able to protect the quarterback?
One player worth tuning in for: Michigan QB Cade McNamara
Cade McNamara 76-yard TD to Ronnie Bell for Michigan 🙌 pic.twitter.com/ZhwiqYPABd
— ESPN College Football (@ESPNCFB) September 4, 2021
22. Tulsa Golden Hurricane vs. Wyoming Cowboys
Why the game might be a drag: Concerns about the Cowboys offense may not be alleviated even against a Tulsa defense that saw its best player leave via the transfer portal and a remade defense could struggle against what looks like a solid ground game.
Why the game might be more interesting than you think: The closer you look, the more you realize these teams have a lot in common: Strong running backs, a knack for developing talent, and stingy defenses.
One player worth tuning in for: Tulsa CB Tyon Davis
— American Football (@American_FB) December 20, 2021
21. Western Kentucky Hilltoppers vs. Hawaii Warriors
Why the game might be a drag: WKU burst back onto the national scene last year with a record-breaking offense, but the offensive coordinator, quarterback and top two receivers are all gone. How much of a falloff could there be?
Why the game might be more interesting than you think: If there isn’t much regression, and if Hawaii hits its offensive stride early, both teams could light up the scoreboard in a defense-optional tilt.
One player worth tuning in for: Western Kentucky WR Daewood Davis
Doing everything in yo power to make sure your family straight is 🅿️ pic.twitter.com/5nR3hEBgy5
— Daewood Davis (@daewood_davis) January 11, 2022
20. Toledo Rockets vs. San Diego State Aztecs
Why the game might be a drag: Do you like offense? The Aztecs may be more than happy to fall back on its field position game while the Rockets are replacing their top running back and may not have enough elsewhere on offense to keep the home team from outlasting them in a rock fight.
Why the game might be more interesting than you think: Do you like defense? According to Bill Connelly’s recent SP+ projection update, both the Rockets and Aztecs project to have top-25 units on that side of the ball this season, meaning this could be a whole new kind of chess match between two excellent units.
One player worth tuning in for: Toledo LB Jamal Hines
— Toledo Athletics (@ToledoRockets) November 5, 2021