The season is coming to an end, and some teams have asserted themselves as legitimate contenders. Week eleven featured some key matchups across the conference. We now have an idea of who will be representing each division during the first week of December. Let’s take a look at the good, bad, and ugly performances from this past weekend.
The Falcons did exactly what they should have done and dominated a bad football team. A big part of the New Mexico game plan was to force Haaziq Daniels to run the ball and he did just that, rushing for more than 100 yards. Brad Roberts was his usual self, rushing for 163 yards on 29 attempts.
It wasn’t the best defensive performance for the Bulldogs, but the offense continued their frantic pace since Jake Haener has returned. The Bulldogs were able to come away with a 37-30 victory in one of the more entertaining Mountain West games this season. Haener had another magnificent game, finishing with 313 yards and three touchdowns.
It wasn’t pretty; it seemed like there was an injured player nearly every play. But somehow, someway, the Cowboys pulled it off. Starting quarterback Andrew Peasley left the game early with an injury, but the backup quarterback, Jayden Clemmons, came in and played admirably. The Cowboys were outgained by 136 yards but still managed to come away with the victory. Next week’s matchup with Boise State is the biggest game of the Moutnain West season.
The Broncos braved the elements of a snowy Reno and were able to leave with a convincing victory. The Broncos used a balanced attack to carve up a Nevada defense that had no answer for the Broncos’ multi-faceted attack. Taylen Green continued to show growth, and George Holani had a magnificent showing despite having limited carries.
San Diego State
It is probably too late for this season, but it appears that the Aztecs are finally figuring things out on the offensive side of the ball. After a slow start, the Aztec offense dominated the Spartans by putting up 43 points. The development of Mayden at quarterback is huge, as it is looking like he will be coming back for his super senior season.
Placing the Aggies was a bit tough this week. Their offense put up an impressive showing, but the defense struggled to stop a Hawaii offense that has looked inept for the majority of the season. This win keeps the Aggies’ bowl hopes alive, but they will need to upset either San Jose State or Boise State to extend their season.
The Rebels had one of their best offensive showings of the year, and we saw how electric this team can be when Doug Brumfield is under center. The UNLV rushing attack found a lot of success, but their inability to stop the Bulldog offense ultimately caused them to fall short. The Bulldogs were able to move the ball with relative ease for the majority of the game.
The Rams had one of their best offensive performances of the season, but the same problems continue to plague them. Despite outgaining Wyoming by a significant margin, the Rams did not manage to score a touchdown on offense. Poor clock management, a missed field goal, and their inability to finish drives cost them the game.
This was arguably Hawaii’s most impressive showing on the offensive side of the ball this season. The Rainbow Warriors scored 34 points and gained more than 500 yards. Unfortunately, they dug themselves into a hole late in the second half and their comeback ultimately fell short.
I feel like a broken record, but the Lobos continue to look worse as the season progresses. Through the first couple of weeks they looked like a potential bowl team, but now they look like a team that doesn’t even want to be on the field. I doubt the school moves on from Gonzales, but they are going to have to do some real soul searching this offseason.
The Wolf Pack are a shell of themselves; this team has significant holes on both sides of the ball. I will say this, the Wolf Pack play very hard under new head coach Ken Wilson. This is a significant rebuild, but I think Nevada may have found their answer at quarterback and have a determined head coach in Wilson.
San Jose State
The Spartans looked overmatched against San Diego State. The offense was inconsistent and the defense had no answer for Mayden. The Spartans hope of an appearance in the Mountain West Championship are now all but gone. Can they finish the season strong and use this momentum to become contenders in 2023?
That’s it for this edition of “The Good, the Bad, the Ugly.” Which moments from this past weekend stood out to you? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.