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Mountaintop View 10-4-18

Poor linebacker play, backup quarterbacks, 4-star commits, and more

NCAA Football: New Mexico at Wisconsin Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

It’s Thursday, meaning college football is back again! I’m not sure how many of you actually care about Tulsa playing at Houston, but it’s happening tonight. Here are some Mountain West-related links to pass the time.

Boise State defensive coordinator Andy Avalos wants to see more production from the linebackers

It’s been a slow start for the Boise State linebacking corps. Turns out replacing an NFL Draft 1st-round selection is difficult. Middle linebacker Tyson Maeva had a big game vs. Wyoming, but the weak-side linebacker position, the position Leighton Vander Esch vacated, has struggled through four games. Boise State’s defensive coordinator knows having two safeties being some of the top leading tacklers on the team doesn’t look well on the linebacking room and they’ll be looking to improve there. That group has a big challenge this week vs. the San Diego State rushing attack.

Rocky Long’s contract with Aztecs judged among five best values in nation

San Diego State head coach Rocky Long was singled out as one of the best bargain deals in all of college football. He made around $875K, which qualifying as cheap sounds hilarious, but in college football terms it is true: Long is a steal for the Aztecs. Other notes: I doubt Boise State will be keeping Bryan Harsin at $1.65 million if things continue to progress. Hawaii head coach Nick Rolovich at $400K is laughable. Fresno’s Jeff Tedford has been worth every penny as well. Colorado State’s Mike Bobo has some ‘splainin to do.

QB Jones, Lobos embrace role as underdogs

It hasn’t been a great week for the Lobos of Albuquerque. After losing at home to the Liberty Flames, the Lobos learned starting quarterback Tevaka Tuioti had suffered a broken clavicle and will miss the remainder of the 2018 season. Former elite recruit Sheriron Jones will replace Tuioti at quarterback, and he and the Lobos are embracing their role as underdogs as expectations plummet following their loss to the Flames. Bob Davie said the Lobos will continue to utilize the spread offense and not revert back to the triple option that had become a staple of the Davie era at New Mexico.

Stand-in QB Max Gilliam confident Rebels can make bowl game

Yes, another broken quarterback. Tuioti is done at New Mexico, Armani Rogers will miss time at UNLV. San Diego State’s Christian Chapman is still out and even Nevada’s Ty Gangi has missed practice all week through Wednesday with a leg injury. The setback aside, backup quarterback Max Gilliam doesn’t think Rogers’ exit is a season-killer. Gilliam, a junior college transfer, gives himself high marks on his knowledge of the playbook. The Rebels will take on the New Mexico Lobos in the battle of the backups this weekend.

Commit Analysis: Close Look at Boise State Commit George Holani

Boise State picked up a big commitment from running back George Holani, a 4-star prospect according to 247Sports. 247’s recruiting analyst Greg Biggins takes a look at what the St. Bosco running back will bring to the Broncos. Holani is the fourth 4-star commitment in the Boise State class, according to 247Sports. Quarterback Hank Bachmeier, running back Keegan Duncan, and defensive end Casey Kline are the others.

On the horizon:

Thursday: Check out our previews for Wyoming-Hawaii, San Diego State-Boise State, and Utah State-BYU