Mountain West Football: Midseason Team Grades

Mountain West Football: Midseason Team Grades

Air Force

Mountain West Football: Midseason Team Grades

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Colorado State Rams

Colorado State defensive back Jack Howell runs after intercepting a Washington State pass during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022, in Pullman, Wash. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)

Offense: D- | Defense: C | Special Teams: D- | Meeting/Exceeding Expectations: D

The Fort Air Raid offense hasn’t really come together as envisioned, mostly owing to ineffectiveness and injuries along the offensive line. That explains why the Rams are currently dead last among all FBS teams in averaging 0.61 points per drive and allowing a sack rate of 16.8%. Colorado State also ranks 129th in earning 26.2% of available yards per drive.

In spite of recent defections like Melquan Stovall and Ty McCullouch, it hasn’t been all doom and gloom for Matt Mumme’s unit, though. Quarterback Clay Millen has been accurate despite being continually under duress and wide receiver Tory Horton has been one of the best pass catchers in the conference when he can get the ball in his hands. Running back Avery Morrow has come on strong in the last couple weeks, too, to help lead a ground game which has taken pressure off of a young quarterback room. All in all, though, it’ll take time for this unit to reach its fullest potential.

As for the defense, things started ugly but you don’t have to squint too hard to see progress being made by Freddie Banks’s athletes. Believe it or not, the Rams are actually in the top 50 by drive yards allowed per opponent offensive play (5.51, 47th) and just outside of it in available yards percentage allowed (45.4%, 54th). One thing that needs to improve, though? Red zone defense: CSU has given up 19 touchdowns in 26 opportunities, a 73.1% rate that’s the worst in the conference.

The struggles elsewhere have served to mask severe special teams struggles. Replacing Ryan Stonehouse was never going to be easy, but Paddy Turner currently sports the worst yards per punt average of anyone in the conference. Michael Boyle has been shaky in replacing Cayden Camper, too, connecting on just 4-of-6 field goals in four games. Henry Katleman’s kickoffs are a quiet bright spot, though, as he has put up a 83.3% touchback rate.

Head of the Class: Mohamed Kamara, DE

Horton has excelled as a big play threat on offense, but it’s hard to imagine how rough the CSU defense would look without Kamara’s efforts. He currently leads the Mountain West with 9.5 tackles for loss and is tied for second with four sacks, posing a problem for opposing backfields every week.

One Player Deserving of More Attention: Jack Howell, S

Even after earning a Freshman All-American nod last season, it felt like Howell flew under the radar coming into 2022. He’s been even better in the five games he’s played to date, averaging 12.2 tackles for per game while grabbing three interceptions and forcing one fumble, all of which underlie a 87.8 overall PFF grade that’s the third-best among all FBS safeties.

Midseason Grades By Team

Air Force | Boise State | Colorado State | Fresno State | Hawaii | Nevada | New Mexico | San Diego State | San Jose State | UNLV | Utah State | Wyoming

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