Bowl season is here and the Mountain West couldn’t be off to a better start with wins in the New Mexico Bowl and the Los Angeles Bowl. Both games were competitive and entertaining. Let’s take a look at the good, bad, and ugly performances from the opening weekend of bowl season.
I’m done doubting Blake Anderson and the Aggies. They completely dominated the Beavers in the trenches. Oregon State’s offensive line kept their quarterback clean for much of the season, but the Aggies were able to get consistent pressure on Beaver quarterback Chance Nolan. Utah State was also able to overcome an early injury to Logan Bonner; Cooper Legas came in and filled in nicely completing 11 of 20 passes for 171 yards and two touchdowns. Calvin Tyler Jr. rushed for over 100 yards and Deven Thompkins had more than 100 yards receiving, a recipe for success. The bowl win caps off a magical season for Utah State. The Aggies may have done enough to make themselves preseason favorites in the Mountain West.
It wasn’t the dominating performance that many of us expected from the Bulldogs, but they left New Mexico with a bowl victory over a scrappy UTEP squad. The Bulldog offense was well-rounded in Kirby Moore’s first game as offensive coordinator. Jordan Mims rushed for 165 yards and Jake Haener passed for 286 yards. A late UTEP fumble allowed Fresno State to walk out with the 31-24 victory.
The Miners were one of the best stories in college football this year. They were a perennial doormat and became a bowl team. UTEP was in this game from the beginning to the end. They had over 300 yards passing, but didn’t have the defense to hold Fresno State. The Miners may not have gotten the result that they wanted, but they look like a program on the rise.
The Beavers won the yardage battle, but constant mistakes in Aggie territory killed their chances at a victory. Oregon State was able to move the ball well for the majority of the game, finishing with more than 400 yards of offense. While Chance Nolan was efficient for much of the game, he was under constant duress leading to many long down and distances for the Beaver offense.
That’s it for this edition of “The Good, the Bad, the Ugly.” There are still five games left for Mountain West teams. Which game are you looking forward to most? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.