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Making The Rounds: Mountain West Opponents Spring Game Wrap Ups Part One

Now that the majority of spring games are over time to see what the opponents of the MWC performed in their spring game. Under each school name is something about their opponents from their spring game.

Air Force

Extensive spring recap with video from Oklahoma's spring game, plus stats, and some quotes from QB Landry Jones:

Q: What sticks out to you about the game now that it's over?
Kenny Stills. He went up and made some plays. We threw some deep balls at him and I remember one being short, but he went up and made the plays. I was really excited to see him do that.

Q: It looked as if your receivers have made improvements over the past four months.

Jones: Yeah, Kenny Stills had a great game catching a couple of deep balls for us. Dejuan Miller played a great game as did Cameron Kinney. And I thought the offensive line held up protections. Overall I would say we had a pretty good day.

Navy had a great second scrimmage this spring. Awards handed out at the Army spring game.


QB Christian Ponder looked good in the Florida State spring game:

Wow. Ponder's arm strength looked tremendous. If he's really not yet full strength as Fisher said, then look out because his arm is already excellent. The ball that he overthrew Fortson on (I think Jarmon lost it in the sun or just couldn't see it) was enormous. Ponder was victimized by 2 or 3 drops (at least 2 by walk-ons)

Also, FSU receiver Rodney Smith was impressive:

Everyone notices when 6'6" plays well, and the Sophomore from Miami had himself a day. Smith caught 3 balls for 69, 41, and 14 yards. Like many young players, he was somewhat boom or bust and I believe he did have one drop, but he also made several plays when he was well covered.

Washington Huskies had their spring game with backup quarterback Nick Montana had a good showing as did the running backs:

The undisputed star of the evening was QB Nick Montana who was 21 of 34 for 156 yards and two touchdowns. Montana has been impressive all spring while battling it out with Keith Price for the back up QB role. Price as 4 of 9 for 39 yards. Heisman hopeful Jake Locker was 3 of 7 for 15 yards in limited duty.

Demetrius Bronson and Johri Fogerson led the team in rushing. Bronson who has descended to the bottom of the depth chart this spring had a nice evening picking up 73 yards on 11 carries. Fogerson had eight carries for 51. Frosh phenom Deontae Cooper has 13 carries for 30 yards and a touchdown.

The Nevada Wolfpack spring game had a surprising lack of rushing yards and bad quarterback play:

The Blue defense held the Silver offense in check most of the day, allowing just 45 rushing yards and picking off three passes by senior Colin Kaepernick. The Silver quarterbacks threw for just 113 yards on 8-of-16 passing and one touchdown. Junior Corbin Louks, sophomore Duke Williams and junior James-Michael Johnson each had interceptions for the Blue team, while the Blue defense also scored on a two-yard fumble recovery by junior Shane Anderson.

Utah State found some more offensive weapons in their spring game:

With Robert Turbin on the mend due to a torn anterior cruciate ligament, Derrvin Speight, Kerwynn Williams and Michael Smith have all had good moments and have showed the abilityto contribute heavily in the running game.
Meanwhile, the receivers have distinguished themselves as a deep group with speed and the ability to make plays after the catch. "I love what the receivers have brought to the table," USU quarterback Diondre Borel said. "They've played well, and we're really getting comfortable with each other."

Colorado State

The quarterback battle at Colorado is not too much clearer after their spring game:

Both quarterbacks played well. Obviously when you complete over 75% of your passes as each did, it is hard to be too critical. I don't think either separated themselves as the number one quarterback this spring even though Hansen was listed on top of the depth chart. Hansen had two deep balls that fell incomplete to WR Toney Clemons that he will see on film as a missed opportunity and a pass he needs to complete. One late in the second quarter that ultimately was flagged for pass interference on CB Jimmy Smith but was well under thrown to a streaking Clemons down the sideline.

If Hansen gets the ball out on time, it is a touchdown. The next miss was to open the second half on a post route to Clemons. Hansen did do some things well today like using the entire field and all of his options. He found TE DaVaughn Thornton multiple times today in the middle of the field which kept the defense on its toes. He still has a tendency tuck the ball and move rather than stick in the pocket and make the throw. He gets in trouble when he gets caught up between moving in the pocket and standing firm to deliver the pass, often throwing off balance into coverage. But, he still adds that dimension of being a threat in the pocket and someone the defense has to account for.

Idaho's defense stepped it up in their spring game:

The Vandals defense continued to impress Akey, too. "We gained a lot of ground on defense this spring," he said. "What I see É was a defense that has gained confidence. It has a swagger. I'm very happy to see that." The offense settled for field goals or punts on a number of occasions as the Silver won 27-14.

New Mexico

Video of Texas Tech's Spring game. Double T Nation talks scrimmage defense, which is very much "under construction":

The defensive line was pretty banged up and I thought that the players up front just couldn't muster much pressure on the quarterback. Of course, when you're talking about a 164 play scrimmage where there's a handful of players that get playing time and not just the starters, it's not going to look perfect. I mentioned this a couple of times to the group after the game, that I'm a bit concerned about Brian Duncan's ability to get consistent pressure on the quarterback. I tend to think of Duncan of being a bit undersized, but truthfully, he's the same size as Daniel Howard. The key is probably technique and time. He's virtually learning an entirely new position, a position which requires him to completely change how he approaches the game. Of the players that I think can effectively make that change, it's Duncan and Bront Bird. I get the feeling that whatever either of them are asked to do, they'll do for the betterment of the team.

Oregon's spring game this past weekend was all about the quarterbacks:

Both Nate Costa and Darron Thomas looked very good at times, and not so good at others. Neither QB gained an edge in a battle that will likely go all the way into late August. But no matter who is chosen, the coaching staff is optimistic about the passing game, which is already ahead of where the Ducks were last season, according to offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich.

The running game was spotlighted in UTEP's spring game:

Jason Williams made a quick mark on the game, as the running back accounted for the first two touchdowns and didn't carry the ball on either. The scoring opened on the first possession, when he threw a halfback pass to a wide-open Donovan Kemp for a 20-yard strike. He then caught a 12-yard pass from Meger to give his team a 14-3 lead.