With Spring football concluded and the season only four months away, it is time that we turn our attention to previewing the 2023 football season. Early projections are making it look like Mountain West football might be in for a down year. As we have learned, quarterback play goes a long way toward dictating which teams will represent the conference in December. With that being said, let’s take a look at the good, bad, and ugly of the quarterback position heading into the 2023 season.
Boise State (Taylen Green)
Taylen Green showcased why he is such a special talent over the course of the 2022 season. In the span of ten games, he went from being a dangerous runner with a suspect arm to a competent passer. There is still a ton of room for Green to grow as a passer, but if he takes the expected steps forward, the rest of the conference should be scared.
San Jose State (Chevan Cordiero)
San Jose State is probably more comfortable than any team in the conference with their starting quarterback. Cordeiro is a dual threat quarterback and a proven winner. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was the preseason offensive player of the year.
UNLV (Doug Brumfield)
Brumfield dealt with injuries over the course of the 2022 season, but UNLV showed that they can be a winner when he is under center. It will be interesting to see how Brumfield does in a new scheme, but I expect him to have a big 2023 football season.
Air Force (TBD)
Maybe there is a little blind faith involved here, but I feel like Troy Calhoun and his staff have earned the right to be trusted. The Falcons have a few options at the quarterback position. I would imagine they go with a run-first quarterback over a more traditional passer; they have some options but not a ton of playing experience. It wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect the offense to take a step back this season.
Fresno State (TBD)
Keane, Fife, or Henderson. I would be shocked if UCF transfer Mikey Keane did not win the starting spot. This might cause a ripple effect with transfers. Jaylen Henderson winning the job might be in the best interest of the program long term, but Keane gives this team its best chance to win now. He has proven that he can win games on a big stage. I like Keane and think he gives the Bulldogs the best chance to repeat as champions.
Colorado State (Clay Millen)
Millen led the conference in completion percentage last year, but don’t let those numbers fool you. He was Captain Checkdown. Millen is young and has a lot of room for growth, but he might have more upside than any quarterback in the conference. It will be interesting to see if Millen can get the Rams on track.
Wyoming (Andrew Peasley)
Peasley is what he is at this point - a decent passer and an average runner. I would like to see the Cowboys give one of their younger quarterbacks a chance this season, but early indications are that Peasley is going to be the guy. If that is the case, Cowboy fans need to expect another six- or seven-win season.
San Diego State (Jaylen Mayden)
The former Mississippi State transfer moved from safety back to the quarterback position and saved the Aztecs’ season. You may be wondering why I put the Aztecs in the “Bad” category. Mayden is a fine quarterback, but he is wildly inconsistent and has a lot of room for improvement.
New Mexico (Dylan Hopkins)
Hopkins is going to be an upgrade over what the Lobos had in 2022, but his performance in the spring game is cause for concern. If Hopkins can find a way to replicate his success at UAB and take a step forward, it should result in more wins. But Hopkins is nowhere near the top tier of quarterbacks in the conference.
Utah State (Cooper Legas)
Legas had mixed results after taking over as the starting quarterback for the Aggies. Legas is also injury prone and sometimes struggles to make anticipatory throws. If Legas is going to be successful, the Aggie offensive line will need to be elite. He will also need to avoid taking hits when he decides to run the ball.
Hawaii (Brayden Schager)
Schager struggled mightily in 2022. He could not get the Rainbow Warrior offense going. It will be interesting to see if he can take a step forward, as Hawaii is expected to return to a more traditional Air Raid Offense.
The Wolf Pack offense has a plethora of issues and the quarterback position is definitely one of them. It will be interesting to see if one of the transfer quarterbacks can step in and fill the void. The Wolf Pack need improved play from the quarterback position.
How do you feel about the quarterback position for your team? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.