Welcome back to Mountain West football season! Who didn’t love watching late night football on a Saturday night? I know that I needed an extra cup of coffee Sunday morning. Let’s take a look at the good, bad, and ugly performances of week one.
For three of the four quarters, this felt like the Boise State from the WAC days: a team that showed no mercy to their opponents. The third quarter was a bit of an outlier. Boise State rested Holani and didn’t utilize Shakir; the Broncos also rotated their second and third string defensive line on the possessions where Utah State scored their touchdowns. There is still some room for growth, but it was a dominant showing nonetheless.
I was a little surprised at the outcome of this one. I didn’t think this Hawaii squad would have what it takes to travel to Fresno and beat the Bulldogs. Cordeiro looked like he was poised and ready to lead Hawaii. The Rainbow Warriors will have a tougher task this weekend when they have to travel all the way to Laramie to take on a Wyoming squad that will be looking to bounce back after a tough loss in Reno.
San Diego State
SDSU did what needed to be done and dominated a lowly UNLV squad. I’m still intrigued to see how the quarterback position plays out. The running game looked like teams from SDSU past and the defense was dominant as expected. The Aztecs should roll against the Aggies this weekend.
The Wolf Pack jumped out to a 28-6 lead in a game that pitted two teams with high expectations for the season. Carson Strong played an amazing game and looks like he is ready to compete for a spot on the all-conference team. The Wolf Pack have some flaws on the defensive side of the ball, but their offense will put up plenty of points this season.
San Jose State
I have to admit it, I underestimated the Spartans. I’m still not quite sure if they are a bowl team, but they aren’t going to have the significant fall off that I thought they would. Starkell proved that he is no Josh Love, but he is capable of keeping the Spartans in games. If this week was any indication, the Spartans defense is vastly improved.
This was not like the Wyoming teams we are used to seeing. They have some depth on the offensive side of the ball, and Levi Williams proved to be a capable replacement after Sean Chambers went down with a significant injury. The Cowboy defense has some major question marks that will likely keep the team from contending for a conference championship.
Well, the Aggies played one really good quarter and showed some fight. That is why they landed in the “Bad” category. This team is replacing the vast majority of its offensive production and it shows. But I think the Aggies have enough talent to win a couple games this year.
This was probably the most shocking performance of the week. On paper, it looked like Air Force would have a capable offense and a defense that would struggle. It was quite the opposite against the Spartans. This is not the 2019 Falcon squad.
In my opinion, the Rebels looked like the worst team in the conference this week. They played three different quarterbacks and none of them looked like they were up for the job. Charles Williams is going to have to carry that team if they are going to win any games this year. Arroyo has done an excellent job recruiting, but this is a long term rebuild.
Turnovers really plagued the Bulldogs. The rust factor was definitely present for Fresno State. They really just didn’t look like a team that was ready to play on either side of the ball. Hawaii deserves plenty of credit, but Fresno State looked like a team that had just started team activities.
That’s it for this edition of “The Good, the Bad, the Ugly.” Next week, we will be tackling the week two match-ups.