The last week of the regular season in the Mountain West is behind us. It was full of injuries, cancelled games, and surprise performances. The Mountain West Championship is set with a match up between San Jose State and Boise State, a game that was taken from us earlier in the year because of COVID issues within the Boise State football program. Before we dive into the championship game, let’s take a look at the good, bad, and ugly moments of week eight.
San Jose State
Brent Brennan has pulled off one of the most impressive coaching performances that I have seen. He has turned a perennial doormat into a physical team that can compete with anyone in the conference. The Spartans showed a ton of resilience in the second half, and believe it or not, the Spartans won the game with big plays in the running game. The Spartans will have a chance against the Broncos on Saturday.
It wasn’t pretty, but the Broncos put in a really solid performance against a scrappy Wyoming team. The Broncos held the Cowboys to 140 yards, and the offense was able to move the ball at teams. There were some instances where they struggled to execute in Wyoming territory, and that made the game more competitive than it should have been. The Broncos are still very shorthanded. If they can manage to come away with a win in the championship game, that would be quite a feat for Coach Harsin and his staff.
Props to the Lobos. They looked dead in the water on Thanksgiving night in Logan. Since then, they have played with a ton of heart and easily had their best offensive showing of the year against Fresno State. I really think they have the right staff in place to grow as a program, and they could have an outside shot of being a bowl team in 2021.
It wasn’t always pretty, but it was a solid win by the Rainbow Warriors to finish the season 4-4. While a bowl game probably isn’t in the cards, Hawaii played better football than I expected this year. I think Chevan Cordeiro has an excellent shot to be in the running for conference player of the year next year.
I thought about putting the Wolf Pack in the “Ugly” category, but they were an absolute force in the first half. The wind was kind of taken out of their sails after missing a field goal at the end of the first half, allowing a kick return touchdown to start the second half and a fumble on the one yard line. There were some questionable calls that seemed to have a mental impact on the Wolf Pack. This could be a dangerous team next season.
San Diego State
The Aztecs came out on fire! It really looked like they were going to give BYU a run for their money. They were up 14 to 7 when a bad interception really changed the momentum of the game. The Aztecs were kind of disappointing this season; they really have a lot to figure out on the offensive side of the ball.
Their game with Boise State was not as close as the final score indicated. If it wasn’t for a poor call on a blocked punt and mistakes by the clock operator at the end of the first half, the Broncos win this one running away. Wyoming had everything they needed to come away with the upset (bad weather, run heavy game) and only managed 140 yards and never made it into the end zone.
The Fresno State offense has grown under the leadership of Haener at quarterback, but boy does this defense have issues. Giving up 49 points is rough. Giving up 49 points to New Mexico is a whole different level of bad. I think the Bulldogs made some strides this season, but they still have a ways to go.
It wasn’t an awful effort by this squad, but this team has a long way to go. While Arroyo is proving to be a great recruiter, there was a reason that many Oregon fans were okay with him leaving. He has made some questionable in-game decisions. For now, I will give him a pass, but he needs to grow as a head coach.
That’s it for this edition of “The Good, the Bad, the Ugly.” What were some moments from week eight that stood out to you. Leave your thoughts in the comments below.