What We Learned From Week Two in the Mountain West

Air Force

The Falcons did their normal thing by controlling the time of possession --33 minutes to 27 minutes-- with a solid 261 rushing yards, fewer penalties, and then a surprising 125 yards in the air by QB Tim Jefferson.  However the Falcons lost because of one play which was on an option run where the ball was jarred loose and returned by Minnesota for the go ahead touchdown.

The only knew thing we learned in this game that teams can slow down the run option attack which Minnesota did by not allowing the big play ability.  The longest run on the day was 25 yards.  The Falcon defense will have trouble stopping the talented wide receivers in the league; they gave up 113 yards on ten catches to WR Eric Decker.

BYU

Injuries are a concern for BYU as Scott Johnson is most likely done for the year with another concession; which occurred when a Tulane players knee collided into his helmet.  Also, RB Harvey Unga who sat out the Oklahoma game with a hamstring injury and was doubtful for this game suited up but re-aggravated the hammy.  Now he is not 100 percent for the Florida State game at home next week.

Also, BYU's offense is very, very good as they exploded after a slow first half to put up 54 points, and the protection for Max Hall was better then it was against Oklahoma.  Now that could be from the talent gap, but nonetheless good news.

 

Colorado State

Either Colorado really is that bad or the Rams were not up to playing Weber State.  Weber State is dangerously close to being 2-0 with wins over Wyoming and Colorado State.   The Ram defense needs to step it up, they did a good job of forcing Weber State into 21 third down, but allowed eleven to be converted to first downs.  Penalties are an issue with two games in the books they have 13 penalties with seven in the Weber State game. 

As expected Rashuan Green is a stud wide receiver; he hauld in six catches for 162 yards.  The quarterback play was not stellar with Grant Stucker and threw for 203 yards on the day with 39 not going to Green.  He also was under fifty percent passing for the game at 10 for 23.

New Mexico

The Lobos are really that bad.  The defense is a mess as they gave up forty points for their second straight game, and that new offense has yet to score an touchdown this year.  Their only touchdown to date is the 92 yard fumble return against Tulsa.  QB Donovan Porterie is still playing cautious because of torn ACL he suffered last year, and this team is just plain bad.  So far it looks like they can kiss goodbye their eighth straight season of a 1,000 yard rusher.

San Diego State

They played FCS opponent Southern Utah and won nicely, which is a step up from last year when they lost to Cal Poly.   However this Aztec team is much improved and will be at worst more competitive and might steal a win this year.  The best quarterback nobody knows about is Sophomore Ryan Lindley who had another great game --albeit against an FCS opponent-- with 287 yards and two touchdowns.

The running attack might have found their man in Brandon Sullivan who stepped it up from last game with 111 yards.  The Mountain West may compete with most leagues in wide receiver talent, and SDSU has their own to compete for all-confrence honors with Vincent Brown.  Brown in two games has 281 yards and two touchdowns in only 11 catches.  He is a legite deep threat for San Diego State.

TCU

The Horned Frogs finally opened up the season and their defense is better then expected.  They returned only four starters but still managed to hold Virgina to 57 yards rushing and 177 yards overall.  The offense was a little dissapointing because with thir year starter Andy Dalton under center more was being expected by him.  Also, TCU has returning a great pair of wide outs in Jeremy Kerley and Jimmmy Young, and Kerley only touched the ball in running plays while Young caught two passes.

UNLV

They are competitive but not quite there yet.  The running game is still an issue with trying to replace Franks Summers and so far the replacement Channing Trotter is not doing all that great.  The UNLV defense is still a concern as that last drive of the game against Oregon State sealed their fate as the Beavers were able to kick an easy field goal for the win.

If QB Omar Clayton is out for any amount of time the Rebels are in good shape with backup QB Mike Clausen who rallied the team and nearly won.

Utah

QB Terrance Cain needs to learn to run the run option read better.  The entire game he would just hand off to bowling ball Matt Asiata which lead to experienced defensive coach Dick Tomey crash the middle.  It is not as if Cain can not run he had 76 yards on the day.  He needs to read the defense better and take off with the ball to the edge to keep the defense honest.

Also, in keeping defenses honest Dave Schramm might be over using the Asiata package that puts him in shotgun and 95% of the time has him run the ball.  They did attempt a pass from Asiata to Cain but it was over thrown.  For this package to be effective they need Asiata to actually hand the ball of some as the receiver is nearly always in motion or pass the ball.  By mixing those plays that package is leathal.  Also, the Utes are going to get burned if they keep running Jereme Brooks or David Reed on quick slants.

Wyoming

The Pokes can get up for big games.   They were able to hang with Texas and lead for nearly a half, but tackling issues and depth took over for Wyoming.  Robert Benjamin might be the front runner in the quarterback competition, that is if Dave Christensen decides to play one quarterback.  Evaluating the running game may be difficult, but the Cowboys did not do a good job in running the ball against Texas.

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