We are nearly two-thirds of the way through the season, and teams continue to separate themselves. At this point, it seems like a four-team race for the top spot in the conference, while a few teams still have a legitimate chance. Week eight featured an awesome rivalry game and an exciting comeback victory in Las Vegas. With that being said, let’s take a look back at the good, bad, and ugly performances from week eight.
Games between the service academies are always fun to watch. No matter how good or bad each team is, they always seem to find a way to be competitive against each other. Navy managed to control Air Force’s highpowered offense for the majority of the contest, but Navy’s turnovers and inability to move the ball against the Falcon’s stout defense allowed Air Force to come away with the victory and improve to 7-0 on the season. We were also very surprised to see Zac Larrier return at quarterback for Air Force after head coach Troy Calhoun made it sound like Larrier would be missing significant time.
It wasn’t the best performance for the Rebels. They struggled to finish drives and had to settle for six field goals as a result. But freshman quarterback Jayden Maiava and the Rebel offense rose to the occasion when it mattered most, leading the team to a game-winning field goal as time expired. The win also sealed a bowl spot for a Rebel team that hasn’t had a bowl appearance in ages. Congrats to the Rebels! They have exceeded most of our expectations this season.
The Lobos had to win this game or Danny Gonzales’ seat would have been on fire. It was an impressive performance for New Mexico at home. They controlled the game with an efficient rushing attack and their passing game was very effective as well. The Lobos did an excellent job of capitalizing on Hawaii’s mistakes and making the most of the four turnovers that they forced.
It wasn’t pretty, but the Wolf Pack managed to end their sixteen game losing streak against the Aztecs. Nevada won the game 6-0 and a defense that has struggled to stop teams all season long rose to the occasion and helped the team capture their first victory. Can Ken Wilson and his staff find a way to build on this win? Or will this team continue to fall short of expectations?
San Jose State
We are used to the Spartans moving the ball down the field with an efficient passing attack, but this team used a dominating performance on the ground with 251 yards rushing to only 119 yards passing. The Spartans have looked much better in recent times. Making a bowl game will be tough, but it is possible if they can continue to improve their quality of play.
After an improbable win against Boise State, it was looking like the Rams were going to pull out an upset for the second consecutive week after kicking a go ahead field goal with less than two minutes remaining. Unfortunately, the Rams allowed the Rebels to carve their way down the field for a chip shot field goal as time expired. The good fortunes that the Rams found in the Boise State game wore off quickly; the Rams should have won this game.
This was honestly an embarrassing performance for the Aggies. San Jose State is not a great running team and they completely pushed Utah State around. The revolving door at quarterback continued as McCae Hillstead got the start and struggled mightily against a Spartan team that was able to capitalize on his mistakes.
The Lobo rushing attack wore the Rainbow Warriors down and Schager’s four turnovers ultimately doomed Hawaii. This team shows flashes of potential, but they get pushed around in the trenches and make far too many mistakes. Hawaii’s focus this offseason needs to be solidifying both sides of the line.
San Diego State
If I could create a new category for what we saw from the Aztecs, I would. This team looked completely lost on the offensive side of the ball and this was against one of the worst defenses in the country. After this game, there is no denying that Brady Hoke has the hottest seat in the conference. Can the Aztec athletic department find a way to buy Brady Hoke out of his contract?
Which team had the best performance this past weekend? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.