Week two is behind us and the Mountain West had another chance to make a statement in non-conference play. While there weren’t the prolific victories of week one, there were some solid wins for the conference and a few games they wish they had back.
San Diego State
UCLA is a really bad football team, but this was an encouraging win for the Aztecs. They didn’t put up a ton of points, but Ryan Agnew had 293 yards passing. If Agnew can continue to put up those kind of numbers, the Aztecs are going to be tough to beat. However, the running game continues to be a concern as Juwan Washington managed only 41 yards on 20 carries.
I contemplated where to put the Rainbow Warriors. Their first half performance was rough, as the Beavers were able to run the ball at will. However, they made some nice adjustments in the second half and were able to come away with a narrow victory over a PAC 12 foe. We will learn what kind of team this is when they travel to Seattle to take on the University of Washington this weekend.
Like Hawaii, I wasn’t sure what category the Broncos should land in. I put them here strictly for what the defense did in the second half. Giving up zero yards in a half is impressive regardless of the opponent. The Bronco offense was also successful moving the ball but struggled in their opponent’s territory for the second consecutive week. If the Broncos can finish drives, they are going to be tough to beat.
Evaluating this team after a victory over FCS Stony Brook is nearly impossible. The offense looked dynamite, much like it did for most of the Wake Forest contest. The Aggies have a bye next week and will finally face a good defense in week four when they take on San Diego State. This is a huge game for Utah State if they have any hopes of contending for the conference championship.
It is hard to gauge this Colorado State squad through two games. They took on a respectable FCS foe and played well. I will say this, Colin Hill looks the part at quarterback, and he’s healthy. The real test comes next week, when they take on a bad Arkansas team. If Colorado State is a bowl team, this is a game they should win.
The Bulldogs should have won this game, and it was a game they needed. For the second year in a row, the Bulldogs narrowly lost to Minnesota. I think Reyna has the potential to be a good quarterback, but their inability to generate a consistent running game has hindered Fresno State. Luckily for the Bulldogs, the schedule eases up a bit.
I know Craig Bohl likes to play an old school style of football and run it down the opposing teams throat, but they need to do something to generate more of a passing attack. Chambers only accounted for 103 yards through the air and completed only 8 of 18 passes. The have relied heavily on timely turnovers that have generated points, but they looked vulnerable in the secondary and surrendered nearly 400 yards passing. The Cowboys may be 2-0, but they still have plenty to work on. Luckily for them, they take on Idaho next week and should have the opportunity to fine tune some of their issues.
Nevada looked like they were going to put up a fight for about a quarter, and then the Ducks went crazy. There is nothing wrong with losing to a team that might win the PAC 12, but 77-6? That’s downright embarrassing. But, the Wolf Pack are starting a freshman quarterback and showed some resilience in their game against Purdue. I think Nevada will improve as the season progresses.
San Jose State
I thought this was a game that the Spartans could win. Tulsa is a program that has struggled in recent seasons, and it looked like the Spartans might be trending upward. SJSU had their chances, but were thoroughly outplayed in the second half. This would have been a nice win for the Mountain West against an AAC opponent.
This was a bad loss. There is no other way to put it. No respectable Mountain West team should get destroyed by any Sun Belt squad. I have said it for a long time now, but how long of a leash does Tony Sanchez have? Losing by 26 to a Sun Belt team at home should never happen. This was by far the ugliest performance of the week.
That’s it for this edition of “The Good, the Bad, the Ugly.” What were your good, bad, and ugly moments of week two? Leave your thoughts in the comments below,