Week four of the college football season is behind us, and conference play is officially underway. Some teams disappointed, while other teams shocked the college football world. Let’s revisit the good, bad, and ugly moments of the past weekend.
If there is one team that has continually haunted the Broncos since they have joined the Mountain West, it’s Air Force. The Boise State offense looked flustered and confused for the majority of the first half, but luckily, a solid showing from the defense kept the Broncos in the game early. The Bronco offense started to click in the second half and they were able to establish the run in the fourth quarter which allowed the Broncos to develop an insurmountable lead in the fourth quarter.
It was an interesting game for the Aggies. A team known for their elite offense struggled to put up points. Luckily for Utah State, their defense came to play, and an early pick six gave the Aggies control of the game. The two teams were evenly matched offensively, but the early interception proved to be the difference and allowed Utah State to walk away with an important win in their first conference play.
San Jose State
The Spartans did it! They won a game, and they won it against an SEC foe. The Spartans utilized a solid passing attack with Josh Love throwing for over 400 yards. San Jose State also intercepted Arkansas quarterback Nick Starkel five times. A great win for the Spartans who will look to surprise this season.
Nevada looked like a different team when they went to Cristian Solano at quarterback. He was able to beat UTEP with his arms and his legs. The Wolf Pack overcame a slow start to come away with a solid victory.
Whenever you can defeat your biggest rival, that’s a good thing. It wasn’t a pretty showing for the Lobo defense, but they were able to overcome an early deficit and come away with a victory. The Lobos should take the time to celebrate this win, because it is looking like those moments are going to be few and far between.
The Warriors run defense continued to struggle against an FCS foe. Cole McDonald looked sharp, but he took some vicious hits later in the game. The health of the Hawaii offensive line is worth keeping an eye on and could play a big role in how they finish the season. Next week is key for Hawaii, as they travel to Nevada to take on the Wolf Pack. If they have any chance of contending in the West, they have to come away with a victory.
It took everything they had to come away with a victory over a poor FCS team in Sacramento State. We have given Tedford and the Bulldogs the benefit of the doubt after losing to USC and Minnesota. But, if the Bulldogs have any hope of contending for another title, they have a number of issues they need to iron out.
Toledo is a solid MAC squad, but a good Mountain West team should be able to beat any MAC team at home. The Rams failed to do so. It was a back and forth contest between Colorado State and Toledo late Saturday night. The Rams defense continued to show their true colors, giving up 436 yards on the ground. The offense did everything they could to keep the Rams in the game, but nearly 700 yards of total offense wasn’t enough to win the game.
The Falcons are a really good football team and put up a heck of a fight in Boise. Ultimately, their blitzing came back to haunt them, as Hank Bachmeier and CT Thomas teamed up in the passing game. Efficiency in the passing game ultimately opened things up in the run game, and they could not stop Boise State in the fourth quarter. The Broncos were also disciplined in the passing game and limited the Falcons opportunities downfield. With that being said, I think the Falcons will give plenty of Mountain West teams fits this year.
San Diego State
While they put up a fight against a solid foe, this was a poor showing for the Aztecs. The Aggies had a solid game plan: stop the run and force Agnew to beat you with his arm. The secondary is the weakest part of Utah State’s defense, and Agnew couldn’t do enough to exploit it. Agnew held onto the ball way too long, and a poor throw early in the game that resulted in a pick six ultimately cost the Aztecs the game.
The Cowboys have been playing with fire early in the season. They have relied heavily on timely turnovers that result in points. Tulsa did an excellent job of slowing down the Wyoming run game and forcing the Cowboys to beat them through the air. Tulsa also exploited the Cowboys secondary, and Zach Smith finished the game with over 350 yards through the air for Tulsa.