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The Good, the Bad, the Ugly: Week 1

A week of ups and downs for the conference

NCAA Football: Utah State at Washington State James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Week one of the college football season is behind us. It is now time for us to exaggerate the opening week performances. Some teams surprised and others left us scratching our heads. Here are the good, bad, and ugly performances of week one.

The Good:

Nevada

It wasn’t always pretty, but the Wolf Pack took care of business after falling behind early. Carson Strong was able to overcome a slow start. Nevada received a ton of hype heading into the season; this was a game they had to win and they were up for the challenge. Great start for the Wolf Pack.

Utah State

I have to eat a little bit of crow. I didn’t think Utah State had any chance in this game. The team played with a ton of heart and seemed to find their quarterback in Logan Bonner after alternating quarterbacks early in the game. The Aggies will host FCS foe North Dakota this week and hope to improve to 2-0 before opening league play against Air Force.

New Mexico

This is a tough one to evaluate. The Lobos had an inconsistent performance against an FCS, but they came away with the victory. This team has an excellent chance of starting the year 2-0 as they head to a rivalry game with New Mexico State.

Hawaii

This was kind of a weird game. Hawaii definitely took their foot off the pedal and made this game more interesting than it needed to be. The Rainbow Warriors will always be dangerous on the road, but the defense will need to improve before league play.

Air Force

It was kind of an up and down performance for the Falcons and these FCS games are hard to evaluate. The defense looks improved over the 2020 version, and the offense has a lot more weapons. This Falcon squad will be dangerous. Let’s see how they stack up against rival Navy this weekend.

Fresno State

It feels a little weird to put a team that lost in this column. But the Bulldogs put up a valiant effort and even had a lead going into the fourth quarter against an Oregon team that is expected to win the PAC 12. Jake Haener is looking like a potential offensive player of the year, and the Bulldog defense has improved significantly.

The Bad:

San Jose State

The Spartans put up a valiant battle for most of the first three quarters. The size and power of the USC defense really wore the Spartans down and some mistakes by quarterback Nick Starkell proved costly. But this performance showed that this team was not a one hit wonder and will continue to be dangerous as the season progresses.

Boise State

This was a crazy game. Boise State was without their starting running back, their best offensive lineman went out in the second quarter, their starting center was out, and their best receiver was limited to 20 snaps because of an injury. Somehow, Boise State still jumped out to a 21-0 start. A dropped interception and a worn down defense were ultimately too much to overcome for the Broncos who lost to UCF 36-31.

Wyoming

The Cowboys were lucky to come away with the win in this one. They were expected to have a dominant defense and a great running game; both of those units struggled in the opener. But Coach Craig Bohl and Wyoming love their close games and they were on the right end of the outcome in this one.

San Diego State

The Aztecs were down 10-0 against a New Mexico State squad they were favored to beat by 31 points. Luckily, Greg Bell and the Aztec running game found their rhythm in the second half resulting in a 28-10 victory. However, if I were an Aztec fan, I would be a little concerned about my secondary and passing attack.

The Ugly:

UNLV

The Rebels opening game was against one of the most consistent FCS teams in Eastern Washington. They hung tough but fell short in two overtimes. It’s hard to know if there is anything good to take away when you lose to an FCS squad, regardless of how good that FCS team is. It won’t get any easier for UNLV as they travel to take on Arizona State this weekend.

Colorado State

South Dakota State is good, but this performance was embarrassing for Steve Addazio and the Rams. They were dominated on both sides of the ball and the Jackrabbits of South Dakota State looked more like a Mountain West squad than Colorado State.

That’s it for this edition of “The Good, the Bad, the Ugly.” What moments from week one stood out to you?