Mountain West Football: Examining Each Opponent's Week 2 Depth Chart

Mountain West Football: Examining Each Opponent's Week 2 Depth Chart

Air Force

Mountain West Football: Examining Each Opponent's Week 2 Depth Chart


Mountain West Football: Examining Each Opponent’s Week 2 Depth Chart

What stands out in the depth charts released by each of the Mountain West’s ten Week 2 non-conference opponents?

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What to keep in mind before kickoff.

Colorado (link to depth chart)

What stands out: After being supplanted by Jarek Broussard over the last couple of years, Alex Fontenot is back atop the Buffaloes depth chart at running back with Deion Smith.

Why that could be important: Given that Colorado is yet another team still dealing with a quarterback competition into the season, one thing that would certainly help in the interim is a decent running game which could keep defenses from keying on whoever is under center. Against TCU, Fontenot and Smith didn’t find much daylight (15 carries, 61 yards) and it’s an open question as to whether things will improve much against the Air Force defense.

California (link to depth chart)

What stands out: When news broke in late August that defensive end Brett Johnson would miss his second straight year with injury, the Golden Bears turned to Jaedon Roberts to provide a solid bookend for veteran Ethan Saunders.

Why that could be important: It’s no secret that Cal is all about defense, which made losing Johnson, a preseason all-conference pick, a big blow for Justin Wilcox’s team. Roberts played as part of an extensive edge rusher rotation against UC Davis — seven players had between 14 and 30 snaps against the Aggies, according to Pro Football Focus — but he might be in line for a bigger role starting this week against UNLV.

Middle Tennnessee State (link to depth chart)

What stands out: The Blue Raiders have a talented defensive line, but one name behind that group who has also played his way into the starting lineup is redshirt freshman Devyn Curtis, who’s listed as the starter at middle linebacker.

Why that could be important: Is Curtis MTSU’s version of Drew Kulick? At first blush, that appears to be the case. He made 11 appearances and one start for the Blue Raiders between 2020 and 2021, though the latter season got cut short by injury, but he fits right on a defense that generally skews pretty young as it is with six combined freshman and sophomores among the starting eleven.

Northern Colorado (link to games notes, depth chart on page 46)

What stands out: After losing last year’s leading rusher, Gene Sledge, to the transfer portal, the two-deep at running back features a pair of incoming transfers in Elijah Dotson and David Afari.

Why that could be important: Landing Dotson, after he stepped away from Sacramento State early last season, and Afari, a role player at Miami of Ohio, has already paid dividends. The pair combined for 163 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns in their opening loss to Houston Baptist and will likely see plenty of touches as the Bears take aim at Wyoming.

Incarnate Word

What stands out: The Cardinals offense generates a healthy amount of buzz, but defensive end Chris Whittaker made his first start for UIW last Saturday in their win over Southern Illinois.

Why that could be important: UIW might again be plenty capable of winning shootouts this year, but performances like the one Whitaker had against SIU (four tackles, two sacks) will provide a boost to a defense that was merely okay about generating havoc in 2021. Against a Nevada team that has managed to stay balanced on offense in its first two games, enough disruption could force the Wolf Pack to change its plans.


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