Mountain West Football: Week 12 Winners And Losers

Mountain West Football: Week 12 Winners And Losers

Boise State

Mountain West Football: Week 12 Winners And Losers


Mountain West Football: Week 12 Winners And Losers

We take a look at the Mountain West’s winners and losers from Week 12 of college football.

Contact/Follow @MattK_FS & @MWCwire

Encouragements and letdowns from the week that was.

Week 12 of Mountain West football action did not disappoint, with high drama everywhere from Laramie to the Hawaiian islands. As always, however, in the end some teams won big time and some were left wondering how things went wrong.


1. Preseason predictions

Go figure that in spite of the Mountain West’s early season chaos, things ended up turning out exactly as we at Mountain West Wire and the conference media expected.

Boise State wasn’t perfect on Saturday against Wyoming, but the Broncos put together their sixth win in the last seven games and defeated Wyoming to wrap up the Mountain division title. Fresno State, meanwhile, obliterated another team near the bottom of the conference standings, as good teams should, in a 41-14 drubbing of Nevada on the road. The Bulldogs have now won six in a row themselves and clinched a championship rematch with the Broncos on December 3, proving once and for all that we know what things are every once in a while, at least.

2. Utah State running back Calvin Tyler Jr.

The two teams above aren’t the only ones who’ve had a stunning reversal of fortunes throughout the 2022 campaign, though. Utah State notched its fifth win in six games, as well, with a 35-31 home win over San Jose State in which the Aggies found yet another way to push themselves to bowl eligibility.

This time, it was on the shoulders of their senior running back, who tallied 125 yards and three touchdowns, including the game-winning plunge with less than three minutes to go in the fourth quarter, on 30 carries. It’s going to be a photo finish behind Brad Roberts for the other RB spot on the all-conference team, but Tyler Jr. just made his best case yet.

3. Hawaii’s seniors

The Warriors have had quite a calendar year, but the most experienced players on Timmy Chang’s roster led the way in a stunning 31-25 victory over UNLV on senior night.

The offensive line, whose starting lineup was comprised entirely by seniors (Stephan Bernal-Wendt, Austin Hopp, Ilm Manning, Eliki Tanuvasa, and) Micah Vanterpool, paved the way for running back Dedrick Parson to post 115 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries and held the Rebels to just one sack in pass protection. Wide receiver Zion Bowens and tight Caleb Phillips each grabbed a touchdown pass, as well.

Seniors on defense accounted for all three Hawaii sacks and 5.5 of the team’s seven tackles for loss, too, while linebacker Logan Taylor also had a key third-quarter interception.

Another tight end Jordan Murray, meanwhile, made huge contributions on special teams with two onside kick recoveries to help stall UNLV’s late comeback bid. For one night, anyway, the braddahhood and pride of an entire state was on full display, giving a new boost of optimism that the program will eventually turn things around once again.


1. UNLV head coach Marcus Arroyo

On the other hand, the Rebels let a chance to go bowling slip away late on Saturday night, falling on the road to Hawaii in a frustrating 31-25 loss. Incredibly, UNLV is now 0-4 in games decided by eight or fewer points this year after going 0-6 in such games last season (and you have to go back to 2019 to find the last time they won a one-score game).

As in their past close calls, an inability to finish drives on offense played a big role in deciding the game. While kicker Daniel Gutierrez was as reliable as ever, connecting on 4-of-5 field goal attempts, the Rebels got just 19 points out of six trips inside the Warriors’ 30-yard line; after turning 87.5% of red zone trips into touchdowns during non-conference play, that figure has been more than halved in Mountain West action to 40.9%, tenth in the conference.

The lackluster showing is going to renew the conversation about Arroyo’s job security, and while he’ll still be able to claim that he doubled the team’s win total from a year ago, the “what might have beens” could play a role in increased scrutiny as the off-season approaches and the pressure is on reclaim the Fremont Cannon next week.

2. Wyoming quarterback Jayden Clemons

The Cowboys will think about how their chances of stealing the Mountain division title slipped away on Saturday, losing to Boise State at home by a 20-17 margin. They gave the Broncos everything that they could handle… in every way but one.

Once news broke that Andrew Peasley would miss the contest after being in concussion protocol all week, the redshirt freshman had a couple of nice throws early in the game but struggled to break through often-tight coverage in the midgame and then threw two killer interceptions to JL Skinner in the last two minutes of the fourth quarter which erased their comeback hopes. Overall, Clemons finished 3-of-16 for 30 yards with three interceptions. Wyoming needed more out of its passing game and didn’t get it.

3. Colorado State’s interior defense

The Rams didn’t exactly let Air Force fullback Brad Roberts run wild on Saturday, but they also never found a solution to the old-fashioned dive and that kept them from reclaiming the Ram-Falcon Trophy on Saturday in a 24-12 loss.

Colorado State managed just two tackles for loss from their edge rushers, Mohamed Kamara and CJ Onyechi, while Roberts and Emmanuel Michel nickel-and-dimed the tackles and linebackers to death with a combined 214 yards on 45 carries. On the bright side, though, not many defenses have been able to slow Air Force’s fullbacks this year, so they have plenty of company in this regard.



More MWWire