Bowl season is over for the Mountain West. While there were a couple of cancellations (Hawaii and Arizona Bowls), the bowl season was a huge success for the Mountain West. The conference finished with a 5-1 record that includes two victories over Power 5 opponents. Let’s look at the last couple of bowl games that the Mountain West participated in. Here are the good, bad, and ugly moments from the Quick Lane and First Responder Bowls
When you watch Air Force play, you expect them to impose their will against their opponent and dominate in the run game. Louisville frequently put 11 in the box and were able to hold the Falcons to three yards per carry. This opened up the opportunistic passing game of Air Force, and quarterback Haaziq Daniels completed 9 of 10 passes for 252 yards and two touchdowns. The Falcon defense did just enough for them to leave Texas with a 31-28 victory over an ACC opponent.
The Broncos of Western Michigan were facing a shell of the Nevada squad that put up huge offensive numbers. Western Michigan dominated this game for four quarters running for 352 yards on their way to a 52-24 victory.
It was almost like the Cardinal coaching staff didn’t watch any film heading into the First Responder Bowl. They were determined to stop the run, and did so for the most part, but Air Force has proven throughout the year that they aren’t afraid to throw the ball when the opportunity presents itself. They sold out on the run and it may have cost them the victory.
I feel for the Wolf Pack and have a lot of respect for what this program did heading into this game. They very easily could have stayed home and had plenty of good reasons to do so. Their top offensive weapons, Carson Strong and Romeo Doubs, sat out the bowl game in preparation for the NFL draft. A number of other players entered the transfer portal, many following former head coach Mike Norvell to Colorado State. But the Wolf Pack traveled all the way to Detroit and put their best effort forth. Ultimately, they did not have the roster they needed to compete in this game.
That is it for this edition of “The Good, the Bad, the Ugly.” Which moments from the bowl season stood out to you?