Mountain West Football: Examining Each Opponent’s Week 3 Depth Chart
What stands out in the depth charts released by each of the Mountain West’s eight Week 3 non-conference opponents?
What to keep in mind before kickoff.
What stands out: After starting nearly all of last year, quarterback Darius Perrantes has taken a back seat to the athlete he replaced: Joe Mischler.
Why that could be important: Perrantes had a solid 2021 in a pinch, but it may have always been a matter of time until the job belonged to Mischler. And why not? He was a first-team all-conference selection in the FCS spring season and averaged 9.2 yards per attempt with nine touchdowns in five games, so Hawaii finding its footing on defense may not necessarily be a given.
UTEP (link to game notes, depth chart on page 5)
What stands out: With Justin Garrett and Jacob Cowing now gone, the depth chart at wide receiver is now led by Tyrin Smith, Reynaldo Flores, and Kelly Akharaiyi.
Why that could be important: In short, the Miners were one of the most explosive passing attacks anywhere in the Group of 5 last year but they’re struggled to replicate that without their two 2021 stars. Smith has seen his yards per catch average drop from 17.3 to 13.4 while Flores, though he’s already surpassed last year’s catch total with 19 so far, has seen a drop from 15.7 to 12.4.
It’s not for a lack of trying, but the New Mexico Lobos secondary could find itself in a position of strength once again on Saturday.
North Texas (link to depth chart)
What stands out: The Mean Green have talent in their front seven, but cornerback Ridge Texada has been thrust into a big spot opposite veteran DeShawn Gaddie in the secondary.
Why that could be important: If UNT has a potential Achilles heel for UNLV to exploit, it might be their porous pass defense. The Mean Green got shredded by SMU two weeks ago and even FCS Texas Southern did some damage through the air, but Texada and Gaddie have had two pass breakups each in the early going and will have their hands full with Kyle Williams, Ricky White, and company.
UT Martin (link to game notes, depth chart on page 9)
What stands out: The Skyhawks had an open quarterback competition headed into the season, but incumbent Dresser Winn currently sits atop the depth chart and started both of UTM’s first two games over Cornelious Brown IV.
Why that could be important: After ascending to the QB1 role in a tight spot late last season, Winn hasn’t made the Skyhawks regret their decision in the young season. Against Western Illinois and Missouri State, he’s completed 65.3% of his throws, averaged 8.5 yards per attempt, and throws six touchdowns against just one interception. Obviously, facing the Boise State defense marks an extra degree of difficulty or three, but UT Martin has the offensive talent to hang around on the blue if the passing game remains sharp.