What We Learned from Week Seven Of Mountain West Football

Air Force

The Falcons lost a heart breaker to Utah on the road and falls to 4-4, and is still just a step below the top three teams in the league.  A bowl berth is still realistic with games against Army, Colorado State, and UNLV, so getting to seven wins is a real chance.  QB Connor Dietz looks to be firmly entrenched as the starter while QB Tim Jefferson is now the backup.  The Falcon defense which is ranked eighth nationally, but those numbers are deceiving because the Air Force offense holds the ball so often opposing teams are not able to gain yards.

BYU

The Cougars are who we thought they were! BYU yet again was taken out by the speedier TCU Horned Frogs, and lost a conference home game for the first time since the 2005 season.  The same story for BYU is that their coacheing staff does not make adjustments, even though they said they had plans A, B, and C this year.  Big games are not the norm for BYU to win -- Oklahoma the exception -- and are 10-13 since 2005 in games against BCS opponents, bowl games, and against Utah or TCU.  Now, the conference title is essentially out of reach but the Cougars still have a chance at eleven wins if they win out. 

Colorado State

Where to start, the Rams started off hot with three straight wins and getting some votes for the top 25, but since then they lost five straight.  Now three of those were against the top of the league BYU, TCU, Utah, and a respectable lose to a solid Idah team, but the loss to San Diego State fulfilled the tailspin.   All is not lost for the Rams, because they finish the season against four winnable games with Air Force, Wyoming, New Mexico and UNLV; so a bowl win a potential seven win regular season is in reach.  The Rams defense just needs to step up and be able to protect a lead.  Not sure if the Rams just gave up in the last game, but San Diego State needed to pass since they were behind and ended up marching at will down the field.

New Mexico

Coach Locksley fulfilled his suspension which did not matter as they lost to UNLV for their seventh in a row.  The tow main problems on the field for the Lobos are that they have little to no running game, and they keep turning the ball over.  If they were to be decent in both categories then they might have at least a couple wins on the year.

San Diego State

Aztecs going bowlin'? That is a possibility with games left against UNLV, New Mexico, and Wyoming.  Now those games are not going to be easy but are all winnable.  Last weeks come from behind victory against Colorado State was the first time in a long time that the Aztecs came from behind from that margin to win.  Not only did the Aztecs come back but they dominated the Rams and lead the nation in passing and receiving yards; oh and those receiving yards were not by star WR Vincent Brown, but back up DeMarco  Sampson.  The Aztec defense also did their part by stopping a Ram defense that worked them pretty good in the first half.  Head Coach Bradhy Hoke finally looks to have the Aztecs moving in the right direction and could surpass expectations if somehow were to get to a bowl game in his first year.

TCU

Four sacks against BYU is becoming the norm for the Horned Frogs, and they now look to be in the drives seat for a BCS game after jumping Boise State in the latest BCS standings.  They still have two tough games left by traveling to Wyoming and then Utah in Fort Worth.  There is a little talk of the national title game, but a lot needs to happen for that, but I am sure that Coach Gary Patterson will take his first appearance to a BCS game as a consolation prize.  For all the people who say TCU does not have a good offense then they are not watching this team.  The Horned Frogs may not have a dominant numbers guy, but they spread the ball out to a lot different players which make them hard to defend. 

UNLV

Playing New Mexico can help solve problems in the short term, but UNLV is still a massive under achiever yet again under Mike Sanford.  The real question is if this win over the hapless Lobos can somehow spring board the Rebels to an improbable bowl berth? I am going to say no, even though there are some winnable games on the schedule.  This offense should be better with possibly the best receiver in the league in Ryan Wolfe and touchdown magnenet Phillip Payne, but the offense is not good enough to outscore opponents.  Defense is sitll a mess and gives up too many big play, points, and yards.  Another long bowl-less off seasnon awaits the new coach -- oh I mean Mike Sanford.

Utah

The Utes were lucky to defeat Air Force this past weekend.  QB Terrance Cain has not been running as he has in the past, and that could be from a lingering ankle injury; that ankle also could be the reason for him putting the ball on the turf as well.  Playing Air Force is tough, but the Ute defense made the plays it needed to hold off the Falcons.  Even though the Utah defense is not as dominant as expected they are still getting the job done; however that may not be enough when they travel to TCU.  One question surrounding the program is if/when Coach Whittingham will burn the Jordan Wynn's redshirt and replace him for the struggling Cain.  My opinion is that if Wynn was not a true frosh then he would be seeing time, but with the Utes at 6-1 and the conference title in reach Wynn will keep the redshirt unless Cain is significantly injured.

 

Wyoming

The Pokes took a much needed bye week and are sitting pretty at 4-3, and took the off week to prepare for Utah.  The inevitable 4-4 is waiting, but some players are on this team that played in Salt Lake in 2007 where the Utes recovered an onside kick while being up 50-0, and that lead to former coach Joe Glenn bringing out the one finger victory salute.  So, there could be some players that want some revenge for that gesture by the Utes.

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