The most dramatic week of the college football season is behind us. Entering the week, we thought we would have some clarity on who would be playing in the Mountain West Championship game, but some dramatic endings and surprise outcomes leave the race in the West wide open. Let’s take a look at our good, bad, and ugly teams of week eleven.
The Wolf Pack traveled to San Diego and left with their biggest victory of the season. Like the Wyoming-Boise State game, this wasn’t pretty with a halftime score of 3-3. Nevada made some excellent adjustments on the offensive end in the second half and capitalized on some fourth downs to come away with a 17-13 victory. Nevada will need some help, but the victory keeps them right in the thick of things in the West Division.
Is Jordan Love back? This may have been Love’s best performance of the year, and the pitiful play of Fresno’s secondary sure didn’t hurt. Love completed 30 of 39 passes for 388 yards and will likely be the Mountain West Offensive Player of the Week. However, the Aggie defense continued to struggle without David Woodward. Boise State fans will be keeping a close eye on their showdown with Wyoming next week. If Utah State can come away with the victory, the game with Boise State may decide the Mountain champion.
I thought long and hard about putting the Broncos in the “bad” category for a second consecutive week. The offensive line had yet another abysmal performance and the offense struggled to move the ball after the first drive. But, ultimately, this game comes down to finding a way to win and the Broncos did so. It was ugly, but thanks to a great defensive effort that was led by Curtis Weaver and Riley Whimpey, Boise State was able to come away with the overtime victory.
The Rainbow Warriors made a change at quarterback to the shock of many people. Chevan Cordeiro was great in his first start; he accounted for five total touchdowns and over 300 yards passing. Most importantly, he didn’t turn the ball over and made plays when he needed to. Hawaii was able to get on track and stay in contention for the Mountain West title. It is possible that their week 13 game against San Diego State could be a winner take all game.
The Cowboys came into Albertsons Stadium with an excellent game plan, and it nearly worked. They slowed down the game with methodical runs and an efficient passing game. However, the lack of offensive creativity ultimately cost the Cowboys the game. The flea flicker call in overtime was also a bit of a head scratcher. The Cowboys should have won this football game; now they will look to get back on track against a resurgent Utah State squad. This game could be huge for bowl implications, as the winner could be an attractive option for the Cheez-It or Armed Forces Bowl.
San Jose State
Close but no cigar. San Jose State has shown significant improvement this season, but their inability to get it done on the defensive side of the ball is going to cost them a bowl game. San Jose State was solid on offense once again, and Josh Love showed why he should be an all-conference quarterback. But, the defense couldn’t get it down when it needed to.
San Diego State
This felt like a typical San Diego State game. They had their opponent right where they wanted them, and they would find a way to get a late score and come away with a victory. Except they didn’t, and it may cost them in the long run. A win for the Aztecs would have essentially locked up the division, but now they have opened the door for a four-team race. SDSU only has two conference games left and will need to beat both Fresno State and Hawaii. If the Aztecs lose to Fresno State on Friday night, we could be looking at a four-way tie in the West. Buckle up folks; this could be a fun finish.
This Bulldog squad is hard to put a finger on. They are undisciplined on defense and struggle to stop any team with a competent passing attack as we have now seen in their last three games. But, somehow they can still win the West Division if they win out. Be sure to tune in on Friday night when they travel to San Diego to take on the Aztecs in what is now an elimination game for the Bulldogs.
That’s it for this edition of “The Good, the Bad, the Ugly.” What were some moments from week 11 that stuck out to you?