The first full week of the college football season is behind us. It was a week of mixed results and what ifs for some Mountain West teams. The conference finished the week 6-6; most results went as expected with a few surprises. Let’s break down the good, the bad, and the ugly of the first week of college football.
Teams are struggling to figure out how to slow down Hawaii’s run and shoot. Cole McDonald looks like an all conference quarterback. Coach Rolo has done an excellent job of making Hawaii football relevant again. The Warriors racked up 526 yards of total offense, including 436 through the air. If their defense can even be average, watch out. The Warriors could easily start the season 6-0 and make things really interesting in the West.
Fresno Special Teams
Two blocked kicks for touchdowns in an epic 79-13 beat down of the now FCS Idaho Vandals. The Bulldogs also scored once on offense. The Bulldogs will face their first test this weekend when they travel to Minnesota to face the Gophers. The Gophers are not among the Big Ten elites, and this is a very winnable game for the Bulldogs. If they are a serious threat for a New Year’s Six game, they should be able to handle the Gophers.
Rypien to Modster
Boise State handled Troy with ease, shocking many national pundits that thought this would be a close game. Wide receiver was the primary concern for the Broncos entering the 2018 season. The Broncos were without their expected top receiver, Octavius Evans. Modster was able to create separation fairly easily and finished the game with an impressive 7 catches for 167 yards and two touchdowns. This is one of the best throws I have ever seen Rypien make...
Yes, they lost. I know, close only counts in horseshoes. However, my preseason prediction of the Aggies finishing second in the Mountain looks pretty good right now. The Spartans are likely overrated, but the Aggies went into East Lansing and played a great game. They had the lead late in the fourth quarter, and their offense managed 31 points against a good defense. If the Aggies can figure out a way to establish their run game, they are going to surprise some teams this season.
As I watched Gameday on Saturday morning, I couldn’t help but overhear the analysts say that Vander Waal looked like a capable replacement for Josh Allen. I kept thinking to myself, “Do you not understand that he was a top ten pick?” The truth is, Vander Waal has looked average at best in both starts, and the passing game was completely ineffective in the second half against Washington State. After Evans went down, the Cowboys had absolutely nothing offensively. The Cowboys managed only 206 yards of offense against what will likely be one of the worst defenses in the PAC 12.
SDSU’s Passing Game
Aztec coaches clearly don’t have much confidence in Christian Chapman. He attempted only 15 passes on the game. If the Aztecs are going to dethrone the Bulldogs or beat the resurgent Warriors, Wolfpack, and Rebel programs, they are going to have to establish a respectable passing game.
San Jose State
I’m sorry Spartan fans, but your team needs to figure things out. The Spartans are clearly the worst team in the Mountain West and are a long way from being respectable. For the sake of their program and the conference, I hope they can find a way to win a game or two this year. The Spartans allowed almost 600 yards against UC Davis. 600 yards against an FCS school, that can’t happen.
If I am a Rams fan, I am just hoping that they can pull things together and somehow manage a bowl appearance. The Rams are likely going to start the season 0-4, and a 4-8 finish is possible. The Rams defense surrendered nearly 600 yards to a Colorado team that will likely struggle this year.
Thanks for tuning in. What were your good, bad, and ugly moments from week one?