The race for a division title and a spot in the Mountain West Championship is heating up. Each Mountain West team played in a conference game for the first time this season. With that, we are getting an idea of who the real contenders are. Here are the good, bad, and ugly performances from week six.
San Jose State
In a game with major stakes, the Spartans brought it. They dominated UNLV in every aspect of the game en route to a dominating 40-7 victory. As we approach the halfway point of the season, the Spartans are looking like the top team in the conference. The additions of transfers Chevan Cordeiro and Elijah Cooks have been all the difference for this offense.
Where has this team been? The Aggie offense was efficient in moving the ball against one of the top defenses in the league in Air Force. Air Force had a difficult time containing Aggie quarterback Cooper Legas. Legas’ ability to extend plays with his feet made the difference in this game. Will this win be enough to get the Aggies back on track?
For the second straight week, the Broncos were dominant in the second half. The two-headed monster of running backs George Holani and Ashton Jeanty each carried the rock for over 100 yards, and the Bronco offense carried the ball for over 300 yards for the second consecutive week.
This game was tighter than the final score indicates. But the Cowboys were able to march down to New Mexico and leave with a victory, keeping their hopes of a Mountain Division Championship alive. The Cowboy offense wasn’t great, but it was good enough. The Wyoming defense came up huge, shutting the Lobos out in the second half.
The Rams may have won, but this game just felt downright dirty. Nevada’s fans, players, and coaches all showed major animosity toward former coach Jay Norvell. The Rams offense was inept for the majority of this contest. Their only two touchdowns came on the defensive side of the ball, and the game winning kick came after a running into the kicker penalty. I’m sure Colorado State fans are happy to get in the win column, but this team proved nothing this past weekend.
San Diego State
Sure, the Aztecs won, but they had a tough time with the worst team in the conference. In happy news, the Aztecs may have solved their quarterback problem. Jalen Mayden moved from safety to quarterback and threw for 322 yards. But this team’s identity is running the ball, and they managed only 2.7 yards per carry. The Aztecs won’t win many more games if they can’t be more effective running the ball.
The Bulldogs were a motivated squad in the first half. They were efficient at runningthe ball and able to control the clock for the most part. Things changed in the second half. The Boise State running game wore the Fresno State defense down, and once the Broncos went up two scores, the Bulldgos were forced to air it out and were largely ineffective.
They were so close! Hawaii’s defense had one of their best games of the year, holding the Aztecs to 16 points. But they fell short after allowing a field goal. This team showed growth, that is really all the fans can ask for at this point.
The Lobos have a second half problem. In nearly all of their losses, the offense has been completely ineffective in the second half and it has worn the defense down. If New Mexico can ever figure out how to make adjustments, they are going to surprise some teams on their schedule.
Another head scratching conference loss for the Falcons. One of the favorites for the conference championship has already suffered two losses and is in major trouble if they don’t figure things out soon. This was probably the worst performance of the year for the Falcon defense. The offense didn’t do the defense any favors either with some untimely turnovers. The Falcons have a tough go the next two weeks (UNLV and Boise State). They will need to win both of these games, or their hopes of a conference championship will disappear.
The Wolf Pack played with a lot of heart, but turnovers were too much to overcome. Nevada has to figure out how to move the ball more effectively if they have any hope at getting in the win column again this season.
The Rebels laid an egg in San Jose State. The early injury to starting quarterback Doug Brumfield and the defense’s inability to slow down the run game left them with no chance against a talented San Jose State squad. If this team can’t figure out how to slow down a running quarterback, it could be a rough go against Air Force.
Which performances from this past weekend stood out to you? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.