Welcome to the week nine edition of “The Good, the Bad, the Ugly.” It was a statement week for two teams, while others are playing catch up. Let’s revisit the good, bad, and ugly moments of week nine in the Mountain West.
Utah State and Fresno State
I put these teams together for a reason. At this time, they are clearly the class of their respective divisions. The Bulldogs decimated a reeling Hawaii team that has now lost three games in a row. For the first time this year, Fresno State looked a bit vulnerable on the defensive side of the ball. However, their offense is exceeding expectations and has done an excellent job preying on lesser teams.
For the Aggies, their offense did an excellent job rebounding after struggling in Laramie. Jordan Love will likely take home offensive player of the week honors after throwing for more than 400 yards and four touchdowns.
There is good reason to question both of these teams. Out of the top four teams in the Mountain West, they have played far and away the easiest schedules. Both teams have had the luxury of facing bad quarterbacks most of the season. Their secondaries have gone through the majority of the season untested. That will change in coming weeks when the schedules start to pick up.
Congratulations! You won a rivalry game!
This team has shown a lot of growth. The rest of their schedule is manageable, and they should have an excellent chance to finish the season 8-4 and possibly second in their division. The Wolf Pack were beaten in almost every statistical category against the Aztecs, but they capitalized on some turnovers and came away with a huge victory.
Brett Rypien and John Hightower
Quarterbacks and running backs usually get all of the love when it comes to player of the week honors. But, John Hightower deserves serious consideration. Hightower had his best game as a Bronco catching 8 passes for 182 yards and 3 touchdowns. Air Force had no match for his speed, and Rypien’s deep ball was on the money. Rypien wasn’t too shabby himself, throwing for 399 yards and tying a career high with 5 touchdown passes.
San Jose State
The Spartans won a game! The Spartans won a game! In all seriousness, San Jose State has looked like a decent football team in recent weeks; they almost beat Hawaii and SDSU. They have a formidable offense, but their defense needs a lot of work.
Boise State’s Defense
I would have put them in the ugly category, but they had a respectful performance in the second half. The Broncos had no answer for the fullback dive and quarterback, Isaiah Sanders. Halftime adjustments slowed down Sanders and the fullback dive, allowing Boise State to come away with the victory.
San Diego State
The Aztecs have been flirting with disaster for quite some time, and they dropped their first conference game of the season against Nevada. It felt like an Aztec loss was coming, but it did not happen in the way I expected. The Aztecs held the Wolf Pack to less than 300 yards of total offense and had their best offensive performance of conference play with over 450 yards. Somehow, the Aztecs still managed to lose this game. They still control their own destiny. If they win out, they will play in the conference championship game.
They lost to San Jose State. Enough said. This team has not been able to overcome the loss of Armani Rogers, and the defense has continued to get worse as the season has progressed. Tony Sanchez should be on the hot seat.
Speaking of hot seats, Bob Davie’s days in New Mexico are done. New Mexico was completely destroyed by Utah State and went into halftime trailing 52-5. With the issues in the athletic department, you have to wonder if Division I football is in the best interest of the school.
It takes a special kind of defense to make Wyoming look good on offense, and somehow the Rams managed to do so. Mike Bobo made the switch to Colin Hill, but it was much of the same for the Rams. Is Mike Bobo on the hot seat in Fort Collins? Only time will tell.
I’m sorry to say it, but this team was a fraud. Luckily for them, they still have UNLV on the schedule and should be able to secure a bowl game.
What were your good, bad, and ugly moments of week nine?