The Mountain West is not going anywhere and picked up right off from last year with a pair of big wins. The league went 2-1 over Big XII opponents with BYU beating #3 Oklahoma, and Colorado State taking out Colorado. Overall the league went 6-2 with loses coming by the hand of Texas A&M over New Mexico and UCLA beating San Diego State. That puts the league at 2-2 against automatic qualifying leagues.
Yes, the league id beat up on two FCS teams and Utah beat Utah State, but the league could not be more giddy for the BYU win over Oklahoma and the Colorado State win over Colorado. We know for sure that the Mountain West looks to be as good as last year.
Starting with the Utah game last Thursday we do know that RB Matt Asiata is carrying the load and is a stud as he had 38 touches, two scores, and 156 yards. The Utes main target looks to be David Reed he had 172 yards receiving. The quarterback position is fully in the hands of Terrance Cain. Cain did not have to go deep but made his reads and took what the defense gave him, and then allowed the receiver to make the plays.
The Utah defense was so-so at times, that 96 yard waltz was an example, but the Utes were missing Koa Misi so some adjustments needed to be made. Plus, the corners could be in trouble as they did not seem as fast as that 4.4 speed as claimed.
The things to take out from the Air Force game is that the Falcons are the same team that runs the ball like mad, and using everyone to move the ball. Next week when they play at Minnesota is when we will find out about Air Force.
BYU having a solid defense is the most surprising, because last year the Cougar secondary was getting burned by nearly every school they faced. While Oklahoma was replacing most of their starting wide outs and with the loss of Jermaine Gresham the Sooner receivers were not able to beat BYU deep. The offensive line for BYU held up when they needed it most. Yes, Max Hall was pressured, threw interceptions, and was sacked; however on that fourth down pass to win the game he was nicely protected. The coaching staff made freaking adjustments, it took a while but BYU was moving the pocket for Max Hall to bide more time.
The big news out of the Wyoming game was not that Weber State made a comeback but that their was a quarterback rotation. This rotation was unbeknown to starter Robert Benjamin; the replacement was true freshman Austyn Carta-Samuels who had more snaps then Benjamin. Next weeks showdown against Texas will be interesting in the quarterback situation.
New Mexico is not as hyped as Mike Locksley claimed for them to be. The Lobos had no running game against Texas A&M and the pass defense was even worse. This could be a long season for the Lobos, because Texas A&M is nothing special.
San Diego State is showing improvement, despite their defense giving up 30 straight points to UCLA. QB Ryan LIndley was solid as he was in 2008 with two touchdown passes, but the rushing game needs major improvement as does the defense. However, the Aztecs do not look like the team last year that rolled over once the lead got away.
UNLV provided a solid performance over FCS Sacramento State winning by 35 points. The running game was the most intriguing to see who would replace Frank Summers. Most thought it would be CJ Cox but it actually was Channing Trotter who had three scores and 102 yards rushing.
The last quasi-upset of the weekend came out Sunday with Colorado State taking out Colorado. The big surprise was that Grant Stucker came out early and performed well behind that offensive line. His first drive was great with a deep pass that set up the early 7-0 score. He ended up with a decent 208 yards and a score. The running game was looking for a replacement and found it in Leonard Mason who in his first collegiate game had 107 yards rushing and 20 yards receiving.
There you have the important stuff we learned from week one of the Mountain West. Hopefully more can be made from UNLV, Wyoming, and Air Force since they are not playing FCS schools next week.