Mountain West Football: Examining Each Opponent’s Week 4 Depth Chart
What stands out in the depth charts released by each of the Mountain West’s seven Week 4 non-conference opponents?
What to keep in mind before kickoff.
UTEP (link to depth chart)
What stands out: We already knew about the Miners’ veteran defensive line, but Cal Wallerstedt has been a revelation behind them at middle linebacker.
Why that could be important: With Boise State’s long-standing offensive struggles, it wouldn’t be too much of a shock if Wallerstedt made a number of big plays like he did against New Mexico last Saturday. He has 23 total tackles and leads all Conference USA defenders with 5.5 tackles for loss to go along with three sacks, making the most of his first extended stint in the starting lineup.
Toledo (link to game notes, depth chart on page 4)
What stands out: The Rockets have by and large used a committee to try and replace the production from star running back Bryant Koback, so Micah Kelly and Jacquez Stuart appearing on the two-deep might be notable.
Why that could be important: Well, Koback hasn’t been so easy to replace. The former Toledo standout averaged 6.75 yards per carry with 15 touchdowns in 2021, but Kelly and Stuart have managed a combined 4.0 YPC through three games. Peny Boone and Willie Shaw have also seen equal shares of the workload so far, too, and haven’t been much better, so there’s a path to victory for San Diego State if they can keep their focus on quarterback Dequan Finn, the team’s leading rusher.
Sacramento State (link to depth chart)
What stands out: Injuries cut short his 2019 and 2021 seasons while COVID erased 2020 inbetween, but senior linebacker Armon Bailey is finally on the field once again and anchoring the middle of the Hornets defense.
Why that could be important: The Vallejo native has always been a tantalizing prospect when it comes to generating havoc, as he has 7.5 tackles for loss and 53 tackles in 21 career games, which could pose a problem for a Colorado State offensive line that has often struggled mightily to give Clay Millen adequate time to throw.
What stands out: As noted by WBRZ’s Corey Rholdon, the Tigers started two freshman at offensive tackle last week against Mississippi State: Emery Jones and Will Campbell.
Why that could be important: Campbell had already started all three games at left tackle, but Jones’s strong performance against the Bulldogs justified kicking veteran Charles Turner inside to guard, which could help the unit coalesce more strongly in the long term. For as good as the New Mexico defense has looked to this point, LSU will pose their toughest challenge yet.
New Mexico State (link to depth chart)
What stands out: The Aggies have already utilized three different offensive line combinations in four games, with the latest move shifting senior tackle Gabriel Preciado from the left side of the line to the right while elevating redshirt freshman Shiyazh Pete to the lineup at left tackle.
Why that could be important: With six sacks and 21 tackles allowed for loss so far this season, New Mexico State is clearly looking for a unit that can stablize the offense for the long-term. For a Hawaii defense whose pass rush is slowly coming around, picking up three sacks in the last two games, this could be another opportunity to produce with an eye on the long term.
BYU (link to depth chart)
What stands out: The Cougars haven’t made that many changes to their starting lineup so far, but one switch to note is at defensive tackle, where Logan Lutui had his first career start against Oregon in place of a banged-up Tyler Batty.
Why that could be important: The Weber State transfer held his own against the Ducks, posting four total tackles in BYU’s loss. Head coach Kalani Sitake has already mentioned that Batty is closer to being back in action among the injured Cougars but, regardless of the veteran’s status, keeping Lutui and the rest of the Cougars defensive line out of the backfield will be what helps Wyoming put an upset bid together.
What stands out: Redshirt freshman tight end Blake Bosma, just a week and a half removed from earning a scholarship, was ahead of Joshua Burgett on the most recent depth chart.
Why that could be important: With projected starter Austin Hence out for the foreseeable future, Bosma appears to be the one to hold down the fort in his stead. Though he was held without a catch against Pitt last week, he had five receptions in the opener against Ball State, providing a useful security blanket for quarterback Jack Salopek.