The Falcons lost running back Jared Tew in the first quarter which hurt their offensive production against San Diego State. Air Force actually had their best offensive game sans FCS patsy Northwestern State. The offense was good throughout the game, but the rush defense is what hurt the Falcons. They allowed freshman Ronnie Hillman to rush for 190 yards, two scores, and an eight yard average per carry.
The Cougars did score the first points against TCU in Mountain West play so that is a positive, but it was only a field goal. I think it has more to do with offensive coordinator Robert Anae then it does starting a true freshman quarterback. Yes, Heaps would struggle this year, but I don't think many thought the offense would be this inept. The defense did slow down TCU's rushing game which is a positive for the Cougars.
Wow! The Rams offense showed up and did an amazing job against UNLV. Freshman quarterback Pete Thomas had a career day going 10 for 14 with 233 yards and three scores. The running game which has been just dreadful was lead by Leonard Mason who had 121 yards, a score, and an 8.6 yard average per carry. The Rams were a fast striking team scoring four touchdowns on three plays or less.
Off week! Time to party in Albuquerque. So, how bad are the Lobos? They lose by over 30 to UNLV and then UNLV loses by more then 30 to Colorado State. The only news from New Mexico was that the local AP voter was late to turn in their ballot.
San Diego State
The Aztecs beat their first ranked opponent since defeating No. 16 Wyoming 28-24 on Nov. 7, 1996. In that time frame they lost to 25 straight ranked opponents. Ronnie Hillman may not only be the best freshman in the league, but he has the stats to be the offensive player of the year if he keeps up his pace. Hillman leads the Mountain West in three categories: rushing yards with 785 yards, average at 130.83 (next closest is at 95 per game), and touchdowns at ten. Oh, and for good measure he is top 10 in all three categories in the nation. The Aztecs have FINALLY arrived after a ten plus year of losing, and look to be a formidable opponent to Utah and TCU.
This week the passing game was utilized as Andy Dalton threw for four touchdowns and 273 yards. The defense had a good game, but they did give up their first points in ten quarters of play when BYU scored a field goal in the third quarter. We know they are good, and they can beat teams either running or passing.
The Rebel defense was a strong as a thick fog against Colorado State. They allowed Colorado State to score on four touchdown drives of three plays or less. The Rebel offense was not terrible, but they were not able to have extended drives. They had ten drives that were less then five plays; actually nine since they took a knee at the end of the first half.
Yes, Utah won 30-6, but it seemed as if they were not focused on this game. Jordan Wynn threw three picks with two being thrown in the endzone, so Utah had a few chances to really take apart Wyoming. The game just seemed blah for the most part. Shaky Smithson did his thing by having 111 yards on only four punt returns. The Utes did have their first 100 yard rusher in a game this season when Matt Asiata ran for 109 yards.
The Pokes are finally done with one of the toughest schedules in the country that featured five ranked teams with four being in the top ten. Utah's defense stifled Wyoming's offense that has been hit or miss this season. The bright spot was the three picks by Wyoming which kept the game closer then what the final score came out to be. Look for Wyoming to start winning some games, possibly starting with a game against BYU this weekend.