With camp underway and the season rapidly approaching, members of our team took the time to rank the offenses in the Mountain West. The top and bottom offense were both close to unanimous, while there was plenty of parity in between. Here are the results:
All team stats are per the Mountain West official website.
1. Boise State
2022 stats: 29.5 ppg, 196.4 rushing ypg, 190.6 ypg
The Broncos should be loaded on offense. They have the reigning Mountain West freshman of the year at quarterback in Taylen Green. They have perhaps the deepest running back room in the conference, led by dynamic due George Holani and Ashton Jeanty. The wide receiver room doesn’t have a true star, but runs at least five deep. Boise State’s offensive line, long the source of frustration for the program, now appears to be a strength with talent to go along with sudden depth. While the tight-end unit is short on past production, there is some talent. A new offensive coordinator appears to be determined to adjust the scheme to fit the personnel, so there is no excuse for this unit not to excel.
2. San Jose State
2022 stats: 27.42 ppg, 95.8 rushing ypg, 272.5 passing ypg
San Jose State boasts one of the most talented and experienced offenses in the conference. Preseason offensive player of the year Chevan Cordeiro is back for a sixth college football season and his second with this team. He is a true dual-threat who is capable of big games. Cordeiro is joined by fifth-year running back Kairee Robinson, who is coming off his best season as a lead back. Justin Lockhart seems ready to step into the #1 wide receiver role after a very productive 2022 season. There are a number of players outside of this top three who could emerge and play key roles this coming season. The offensive line returns a number of experienced starters and should keep the offense running smoothly.
3. Fresno State
2022 stats: 30.6 ppg, 132.1 rushing ypg, 270.6 passing ypg
Fresno State lost a lot of their best offensive players from last season, but the cupboard is not bare. Presumed starting quarterback Mikey Keane is a transfer from UCF and was a part-time starter who could blossom under Coach Tedford. Malik Sherrod was the second-leading rusher last season and shouldn’t have much trouble slotting into the starting role. Mac Dalena and Erik Brooks have big shoes to fill at wide receiver, but showed flashes in limited roles. True freshman receiver Jalen Moss has a chance to play right away and could provide a spark. Their offensive line should be a strength as new players around them settle in. The Bulldogs loaded up on transfers and junior college players in an attempt to reload on the fly, so look for some of those players to get a lot of snaps in the skill spots.
4. Air Force
2022 stats: 27.67 ppg, 330.90 rushing ypg, 67.80 passing ypg
Air Force is another team that is attempting to reload on offense after losing their quarterback and leading rusher from last season, not to mention two of their best offensive lineman. Fortunately, they reload year after year in their system. The new starting QB is still unknown, but they can choose from three seniors who are very experienced in running the option attack. John Eldridge III becomes the feature back and seems primed to carry the load of the offense. Another rusher or two will have to emerge, but they almost always do. The offensive line is still one of the best in the Mountain West, with seniors Adam Karas, Wesley Ndago, Thor Paglialong, and Kaleb Holcomb and once again they should pave the way for the stout rushing attack.
5. Colorado State
2022 stats: 13.17 ppg, 89 rushing ypg, 196.8 passing ypg
Things did not go according to plan for Colorado State last season, and that’s putting it lightly. They are trying to turn the page in 2023 and the pieces seem to be in place. Clay Millen was incredibly accurate last season, but the rest of his stats weren’t eye-popping. He should grow with another year in the system. Running back is a big question mark with Avery Morrow’s status unknown, but there are a few transfers and a true freshman who could play key roles. The big name here is wide receiver Tory Horton, who is undoubtedly the best wide receiver in the conference. He is flanked by Justus Ross-Simmons, Loius Brown, and Mekhi Fox. The offensive line underwent a major rebuild outside of stalwart Jacob Gardner, and shouldn’t be worse than last season.
6. San Diego State
2022 stats: 21.33 ppg, 150.8 rushing ypg, 170.9 passing ypg
San Diego State went through a mid-season change last year and it paid off almost immediately. Jaylen Maiden was playing defensive back and then moved back to quarterback, injecting much-needed life into their offense. He is back and now new offensive coordinator Ryan Lindley can build a scheme around him. The offensive line is led by guard Cade Bennet and they should pave the way for Kenan Christon and cast of running backs that lacks a true headliner for the first time in awhile, although the group is deep. The wide receiver group should be a factor, with transfer Raphael Williams Jr and Mekhi Shaw among the potential standouts. Of course, they also boast Mark Redman, one of the best tight ends in the conference. The Aztec offense should be pretty good in 2023 now that they have a threat of a passing game to go along with their run game.
7. Utah State
2022 stats: 23.25 ppg, 162.1 rushing ypg, 200.2 passing ypg
Utah State’s offense seemed to be a tale of two halves. To start 2022, they were pretty bad, but found their footing by mid-season and ended on a high note. The Aggies hope to carry that momentum into 2023 with Cooper Legas back at the helm. They have a lot to replace at the skill positions but slot receiver Terrell Vaughn will be back and will aim to be dynamic in the receiving game once again. The rest of the group will likely be newcomers as the staff is hoping magic can strike once again to ignite the offense. Players will need to step up in the running game, with Robert Briggs the likely starter at RB. There shouldn't be many holes in the offense line, which bodes well for the rest of the offense. With Coach Anderson taking over playcalling duties, look for the Aggies to continue to take their shots on quick, explosive plays.
2022 stats: 20.75 ppg, 187.8 rushing ypg, 127.8 passing ypg
It was the same old story for Wyoming in 2022 and that probably carries into 2023 as well. They have a great offensive line led by Frank Crum and Nofoafia. They set the tone and are built to run block for the likely duo of Harrison Waylee and Dawaiian McNelley. The running game should not be an issue, but the passing game was bland last year. Andrew Peasley returns at quarterback but needs to improve on his 52% completion percentage. Devin Boodie was brought in to boost the wide receiver room, where the leader had 407 receiving yards in 2022. Tight End Treyton Welch might be the biggest threat for the Cowboys as he lead the team with five receiving touchdowns last season, which accounted for nearly half of the touchdowns the entire team scored last year. Will this be the year Wyoming puts it all together?
2022 stats: 26.33 ppg, 137.4 rushing ypg, 215 passing ypg
UNLV had a great offense last year, until injuries hit. Some key players from that unit are gone, but quarterback Doug Brumfield is returning and appears to be a perfect fit in Coach Marion’s new up-tempo offense. Brumfield’s dual-threat skills should be on full display in the new offense. Wide receiver Ricky White is back to give him a true number one option in the passing game and a host of other players have transferred into the wide receiver room. Vincent Davis and Courtney Reese both seem like they will play to their highest potential in this offense, especially Reese, where his speed will be a big asset. The Rebels have attempted to retool the offensive line with transfers and in an ideal world, it will pay off with no issue. UNLV figures to be one of the most exciting offenses to watch this year, if nothing else.
2022 stats: 19.77 ppg, 137.2 rushing ypg, 205.5 passing ypg
Speaking of exciting offenses, Hawaii is returning to the run-and-shoot offense under second-year head coach Timmy Chang. Quarterback Brayden Schager figures to get a stats boost in the new offense. His arm will play, but the decision making and relationship-building with the wide receivers will be essential. Among the wide receivers will be Steven McBride and Jonah Panoke, plus a slew of other players who figure to see snaps for the Rainbow Warriors. Running back/weapon Tylan Hines should put up big numbers this year as one of the better athletes on the Hawaii team. The offense line continues to improve and is led by Solo Vaipulu, who has started 43 games in his career. Hawaii should end the year a bit higher on this list.
2022 stats: 18.83 ppg, 119.1 rushing ypg, 185.6 passing ypg
Nevada’s offense left a lot to be desired in 2022 and they are still looking to establish an identity heading into 2023. For the second year in a row, they brought in a P5 transfer at quarterback, and Brendon Lewis figures to be a bit more impactful than the players who lined up under center last year. The Wolf Pack need to replace their one-two punch at running back and they are primed to do so with Sean Dollars and Ashton Haynes entering the fold. The receiver group is led by Dalevon Campbell Jamaal Bell, who both put up modest numbers last season but figure to be featured more with more of a passing game. The offensive line has a number of veteran players with Zac Welch, Joey Capra, and Frank Poso leading the way. Time will tell if they can improve at all.
12. New Mexico
2022 stats: 13.08 ppg, 124.4 rushing ypg, 104.6 passing ypg
New Mexico had a historically bad offense in 2022, scoring a pedestrian 13 points a game. They are throwing everything out and starting over in an attempt to get things right. Their new offensive coordinator brought in his own quarterback from UAB, Dylan Hopkins, along with wide receiver Ryan Davis. Outside of local standout Luke Wyson, the wide receiver corp should look pretty new. Among the new blood is DJ Washington, who put up big numbers in junior college. Christian Washington remains a weapon at running back, although they beefed up that unit with some new players. The offensive line is made up of holdovers and newcomers and hopefully can gel with the skill players. The coaching staff is doing everything they can to improve the offense and they should emerge from among the bottom of FBS football.
Your turn: How would you rank the offenses in the Mountain West? What changes would you make? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.