We made it through another week of Mountain West football! It certainly did not go as expected. Boise State was a shell of itself in a devastating loss, Wyoming looked far more undisciplined than normal, and San Jose State is contending for a title. 2020 continues to surprise. Let’s take a look at the good, bad, and ugly performances of the past week.
San Jose State
I was wrong about the Spartans. Brent Brennan is far and away the coach of the year to this point. The Spartans are 3-0 and have learned how to play defense for the first time in as long as I can remember. The Mountain West is down to three undefeated teams in conference play, and one of them is San Jose State. I did not see that coming.
The Rams had a great bounce back performance against their biggest rival. The key to their success was Addazio making the switch at quarterback. O’Brien is a proven leader with a really solid arm. Wide receiver Dante Wright had the best performance of his young career and seems poised to be the next great Colorado State wide receiver.
The Wolf Pack did exactly what a good team should do. They dominated a team that isn’t in their league. Their passing attack continues to be potent and if Carson Strong stays healthy, he seems like a lock for offensive player of the year. The Wolf Pack are the real deal and should have a real shot at playing in the conference championship game.
For the second consecutive week, Hawaii’s defense struggled to stop a mediocre offense. Luckily for the Rainbow Warriors, quarterback Chevan Cordeiro was able to overcome two first-half interceptions and came out with a great second-half performance. Hawaii is a team to watch, but they have been plagued by inconsistencies early on.
This team appears to have figured things out on the offensive side of the ball, thanks in part to Ronnie Rivers. Rivers had a dominating performance against the Rebels Saturday afternoon. I know it didn’t look great week one, but the Bulldogs could be hosting San Jose State in two weeks with a 3-1 record.
San Diego State
The issues that have plagued the Aztecs for the last decade reared their ugly head again. When teams can slow their run game down, they struggle to compete. The Aztecs were forced to air it out more than they like to and San Jose State somehow managed to run the ball well against their defense in the second half. It seems like the Aztecs lose one of these games every year.
One thing is clear, New Mexico is going to be a far more entertaining team to watch this year. They are slinging the ball around, and their offense has been fairly impressive in the early going. However, I think it is fair to say that their defense has been a bit underwhelming under the leadership of Rocky Long. They gave Hawaii all they could handle on the islands. I like the direction this team is headed in.
I feel like this team has shown small improvements each of the past three weeks, at least on the offensive side of the ball. The defense has a long way to go. The biggest question for the Rebels might we whether or not they can come away with a win this season.
The Broncos were completely outperformed in every aspect of the game. BYU looked like the far superior team. But, to be fair, the Broncos were without their top three quarterbacks, two of their top three running backs, three of the top seven receivers, and their top pass rusher. I’m not sure if a healthy Bronco squad wins this game, but it would have at least been interesting. Boise State hosts Colorado State on Thursday night, and there are still plenty of injuries that could impact this game.
The Cowboys did not look like their typical selves. They made some really costly turnovers and some undisciplined plays on the defensive side of the ball. Like Boise State, Wyoming has had to deal with some unexpected personnel issues. Unlike the Broncos, any chance of contending for the Mountain West Championship is gone.
Gary Andersen has been fired, and the Aggies have made it through the toughest part of their schedule. They have been absolutely dominated in all three games. Can some more manageable games and a change in leadership help the Aggies? I’m not so sure, but we will see.
That’s it for this edition of “The Good, the Bad, the Ugly.” What were some performances that stood out to you?