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MWC Week One Games & Game of the Week Prediction

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What MWC teams are in action the first week of the season, and what will be the Game of the Week for the MWC?

Fresno State v San Diego State
Finally, a full week of MWC football action!
Photo by Kent Horner/Getty Images

All twelve teams are in action over the course of three days. A ton of exciting match-ups in non-conference play. This is a chance for the MWC to earn some respect across the country.

Game 1 - UC Davis at San Jose State

Game Time: Thursday, August 30th at 8:00 PM (Mountain)

Spread - N/A

The Spartans start the season at home on a Thursday night versus an FCS school. Brent Brennan starts Year 2 in San Jose State, looking to build off of a 2-11 season in 2017. The UC Davis Aggies went 5-6 in 2017, finishing 8th in the Big Sky Conference. Another thing about the Aggies is that they have a familiar face coaching on their sidelines. Dan Hawkins is going into Year 2 at UC Davis after previously serving as head coach for Boise State (2001-2005) and Colorado (2006-2010). This could be an interesting game.

Game 2 - Utah State at Michigan State

Game Time: Friday, August 31st at 5:00 PM (Mountain)

Television - Big Ten Network

Spread - Michigan State by 23.5

Utah State is coming off of a 6-7 season in 2017. The Aggies start 2018 in difficult fashion by traveling to play the #11 ranked Spartans. Michigan State returns a lot from a team that went 10-3 in 2017. The Spartans have a good defense, so this game likely comes down to how well the Aggies play on defense since a shootout is probably unlikely.

Game 3 - San Diego State at Stanford

Game Time: Friday, August 31st at 7:00 PM (Mountain)

Television - FS1

Spread - Stanford by 15

The Aztecs are coming off of a 10-3 season that had to feel like a bit of a disappointment after early victories versus Stanford and Arizona State since San Diego State did not make the MWC Championship Game and lost a bowl game to Army. Stanford is coming off of a 9-5 season in 2017. In Week 3 of last season, San Diego State beat Stanford in San Diego. Now, Stanford gets to host San Diego State.

Game 4 - Portland State at Nevada

Game Time: Friday, August 31st at 7:00 PM (Mountain)

Spread - N/A

Nevada is coming off of a 3-9 season in 2017 and is in Year 2 under Jay Norvell. Portland State is a bad team in the FCS. How bad? Portland State went 0-11 in 2017. This should be an easy victory to start the season for the Wolf Pack.

Game 5 - Colorado vs Colorado State in Denver, CO

Game Time: Friday, August 31st at 7:30 PM (Mountain)

Television - CBS Sports Network

Spread - Colorado by 7.5

The Rams are coming off of a shocking loss at home to Hawaii. The Ram’s defense struggled mightily in Week Zero. The offense struggled in the first half, but the passing offense caught fire late, nearly leading CSU all the way back from a 30 point deficit. Colorado is coming off of a 5-7 season in 2017 that was a disappointment for their fans after the Buffaloes had won ten games in 2016.

Game 6 - Stony Brook at Air Force

Game Time: Saturday, September 1st at 12:00 PM (Mountain)

Streaming - Facebook

Spread - N/A

The Falcons are coming off a 5-7 season in 2017. Troy Calhoun is entering his 12th season as head coach at Air Force, and his history suggests that Air Force should bounce back in 2018. Stony Brook is a FCS team that went 10-3 in 2017. This is a good FCS team, so Air Force should be prepared for a fight.

Game 7 - Washington State at Wyoming

Game Time: Saturday, September 1st at 1:30 PM (Mountain)

Television - CBS Sports Network

Spread - Washington State by 1.5

Wyoming is coming off a nice win on the road at New Mexico State. The defense appears to be playing up to their 2017 level. The offense appears to have a found a running game. The Cougars are coming off of a 9-4 season in 2017, but much has changed at Washington State. While the Cougars had roster turnover, they also saw a lot of turnover in the coaching staff. As such, Washington State goes into 2018 with more unknowns than you might expect with Mike Leach going into Year 7.

Game 8 - UNLV at USC

Game Time: Saturday, September 1st at 2:00 PM (Mountain)

Television - PAC12 Network

Spread - USC by 26

The Rebels are coming off of a 5-7 season in 2017. Tony Sanchez is entering Year 4 at UNLV. After improving by a win each year in his previous three seasons, this might be the year that Sanchez turns the Rebels into a winner. The Trojans went 11-3 in 2017. However, Sam Darnold is gone, replaced by a true freshman in JT Daniels. Ronald Jones II is also gone at RB, but expect to see Stephen Carr become the feature back and carry more of the load on offense for USC. On defense, USC struggled against the run in 2017, so expect UNLV to run the ball as long as they don’t fall too far behind.

Game 9 - Boise State at Troy

Game Time: Saturday, September 1st at 4:00 PM (Mountain)

Television - ESPN News

Spread - Boise State by 10.5

First off, this game deserves a better broadcast arrangement. These two programs have been pretty similar on paper over the last couple of seasons. Boise State went 11-3 in 2018 and returns a lot of experience. Expectations are high for this season. Troy is coming off of an 11-2 season in 2017. Troy has some turnover to deal with - most notably replacing a four-year starter at QB in Brandon Silvers. Neal Brown has yet to announce his new starter at QB, but whoever it is will get their first career start. Last season, Boise State started the season with a close win in Boise against Troy. Now, the Broncos have to travel to Troy, Alabama to start 2018.

Game 10 - Incarnate Word at New Mexico

Game Time: Saturday, September 1st at 6:00 PM (Mountain)

Spread - N/A

New Mexico is coming off of a 3-9 season in 2017. They are hoping to bounce back to the winning seasons they had in 2015 and 2016. Playing Incarnate Word to start 2017 will definitely help with that. Incarnate Word is a FCS team that went 1-10 in 2017. Expect an easy win for the Lobos.

Game 11 - Idaho at Fresno State

Game Time: Saturday, September 1st at 8:00 PM (Mountain)

Streaming - Facebook

Spread - N/A

Fresno State is coming off of a 10-4 season in 2017 where they played in the MWC Championship Game. That was a complete turnaround from 1-11 in 2016. 2018 will be Year 2 under Tedford for the Bulldogs, and it will be interesting to see if he can continue his magic. Meanwhile, Idaho has dropped down to the FCS in 2018. However, this team has more talent than the typical FCS team since they had been playing in the Sun Belt until this season. Idaho went 4-8 last season. In 2016, Idaho went 9-4 with victories over UNLV and Colorado State. This should be a win for Fresno State, but they shouldn’t completely overlook the Vandals.

Game 12 - Navy at Hawaii

Game Time: Saturday, September 1st at 9:00 PM (Mountain)

Television - CBS Sports Network

Spread - Navy by 11.5

Hawaii is fresh off of a huge win in Fort Collins. Hawaii’s offense put up tons of yardage and seems to be clicking on all cylinders. While the Hawaii pass defense got burned, the Rainbow Warriors did a good job stopping the run. That will be vital against Navy’s triple-option this week. Navy went 7-6 in 2017. Ken Niumatalolo always has Navy as a consistent winner, and this season should be no different.

Game of the Week Prediction - San Diego State at Stanford

I don’t get the spread in this game at all. The Aztecs defeated the Cardinal last season in a close game. I’d expect much the same this season. The Aztecs defense will have a large challenge in containing Bryce Love, but they managed to win a game last year where Love had 184 yards rushing. If San Diego State beats Stanford, they will be heavily discussed as a possible New Year’s Six selection going forward.

Let us know which game you think will be the Game of the Week in Week One.

Poll

What will be the Week One - Game of the Week?

This poll is closed

  • 0%
    UC Davis at San Jose State
    (0 votes)
  • 4%
    Utah State at Michigan State
    (3 votes)
  • 26%
    San Diego State at Stanford
    (18 votes)
  • 1%
    Portland State at Nevada
    (1 vote)
  • 1%
    Colorado vs Colorado State
    (1 vote)
  • 1%
    Stony Brook at Air Force
    (1 vote)
  • 32%
    Washington State at Wyoming
    (22 votes)
  • 0%
    UNLV at USC
    (0 votes)
  • 25%
    Boise State at Troy
    (17 votes)
  • 0%
    Incarnate Word at New Mexico
    (0 votes)
  • 1%
    Idaho at Fresno State
    (1 vote)
  • 5%
    Navy at Hawaii
    (4 votes)
68 votes total Vote Now