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Mountain West Football Week One And What We Learned

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Air Force

The Falcons need to be ready for any and all opponents, because in their opening week win against Northwestern State was not a good showing in the first half.  If the Falcons start like that against BYU they will be dead in the water.  Tim Jefferson is going to be one of the great Air Force quarterbacks since he has a good arm and can run the option smoothly.

Also, DB Reggie Rembert went out with a neck injury in the game, and his status for the BYU game may not be known to mid week, and that will decrease their chances against BYU.

BYU

The two quarterback system was successful against Washington this past week.  Both quarterbacks played well, Jake Heaps needs to give a little more touch on his balls because a few passes that still should have been caught were bullets that the receivers could not hold onto.  Rotating every series is an odd choice, and since both played well there is no reason for that to change against Air Force this upcoming week.  QB Riley Nelson looked very good as well and used his progressions instead of running after his primary receiver was not open.

Even behind a solid offensive line the running game was suspect and if not for Riley Nelson's 45 yards the Cougar rushing game would have been under one hundred yards.  A ton of freshman played in this game and I believe as many as seven saw time in this game.  Most notably at the tight end position that saw three see time,

Colorado State

The offensive line needs some work, and the supposed strength at running back was not there.  It is safe to assume why Raymond Carter didn’t get any playing time at UCLA he averaged 0.9 yards per carry today.  Pete Thomas did look pretty good, but the coaching staff was babying him a little bit with short passes and really never attempted to stretch the Colorado defense with deep passes.

The linebacking corp is good as advertised with Ricky Brewer, Michael Sisson, and Mike Orakpo. Plus, the Buffalo offense nothing special since they were efficient, had one turnover compared to the Rams three, and capitalized on those Ram mistakes.

New Mexico

They are possibly the worst team in all of the FBS division and possibly worse then maybe ten percent of the FCS schools. Had Oregon wanted to they could have scored 100 points in the game as the half time score was 59-0. Jacksonville State beat Ole Miss, Weber State had a respectable showing against Boston College, and Villanova nearly beat Virginia. So, yeah New Mexico is that bad. Not sure what the buyout is for head coach Mike Locksley but the boosters better start saving up, because this season could get worse. Too bad Mike Leach is not coaching Texas Tech anymore or 100 points would be a given.

San Diego State

A shut out is still a shutout regardless of the 47-0 win over Nicholls State. QB Ryan Lindley is still the same quarterback that will light it up and even though all the talk is about Lindley to WR Vincent Brown opposing teams must also watch DeMarco Sampson who had seven catches, 179 yards, two touchdowns, and a long reception of 79 yards. What is also amazing from the passing game is that they averaged over 17 yards per completion, so opponents have been warned that the Aztecs will throw. Their running game finally showed up after years of no hope from the running back position. They did gain a combined 218 yards, but do not get too excited since this was a FCS team, but the Aztecs do seemed to be improving.

TCU

Where did that option come from? QB Andy Dalton and RB Ed Wesley ran the option well and it was not an option that had Dalton pitch at the last second, because at times it looked like an extended sweep. Also, not to brag but I called that the offense would be much better then the defense, however in this game it did not help that Andy Dalton through two picks. The defense will still be very good they only gave up 255 yards to Oregon State, but the offense will be the talk of this team for the rest of the year. Andy Dalton still is a mostly game manager who is surrounded by superior talent, but he is able to make a big play or two a game when needed.

UNLV

So, Mike Clausen may not have been the correct choice to be the starting quarterback for UNLV. Clausen was 4-10 for 23 yards and a score in two plus quarters, but the offense started moving when Omar Clayton came in and he went 6-16 83 yards, a score, and rushed for 59 yards to lead the team. Not sure if Clayton's success was because Wisconsin did not have their starters in, but it is obvious that he moved the team better. The offensive line was no help for the Rebels as they gave up four sacks in the game. The defensive line was not much better as Wisconsin ran for 279 yards; yes Wisconsin runs a lot with a bunch of big bodies but the defensive line will be a concern against other running teams this year.

Utah

Sloppy game by the Utes with all the turnovers and penalties they gave up against Pitt. The defense looked better then when I attended a few of their scrimmages, but they were giving up big plays and then holding firm in the redzone. They held Pitt RB Dion Lewis to a career low 75 yards on 25 carries and most of that came early in the game. Special teams were an issue yet again for the Utes as they had a blocked punt and the endless nightmare of not being able to hold onto kicks by the returner are still there.

Wyoming

This game seriously could have saved the season for Wyoming. Their schedule is tough and a loss to Southern Utah would have been terrible. QB Austyn Carta-Samuels looked really good and amassed 319 yards and three scores, and the receiver of the game is Zach Bolger who had two touchdowns and 134 yards. The running game looks to be a concern since not one back could get going in this game which could be troubling once Wyoming starts playing some good opponents. The fourth quarter comeback back Southern Utah is hard to judge since Southern Utah was passing the whole quarter to come back, and there is a good chance the backups were in the game for Wyoming.

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