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The Good, the Bad, the Ugly: Week One

Upsets and disappointing showings highlight the opening weekend of the season

NCAA Football: Texas Tech at Wyoming Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

The Mountain West had a respectable showing in the first weekend of the season. The weekend featured some exciting wins over Power Five programs and a disappointing showing from one of the conference’s premier programs. Let’s take a look at the good, bad, and ugly performances from the opening weekend.

The Good

Fresno State

The Bulldog offense didn’t miss a beat with UCF transfer quarterback Mikey Keene at the helm. Keene was able to make some really impressive throws and kept his composure despite taking a few brutal hits. The Bulldogs also have a clear number one receiver in Erik Brooks. I’m a little concerned about the defense and special teams play of the Bulldogs; both units struggled at times despite high expectations for both units heading into the season.


The Cowboys were able to overcome a miserable start on both sides of the ball to come from behind and come away with their biggest win in recent memory over a solid Texas Tech squad. It was the best Andrew Peasley has looked since coming to Laramie, and the Cowboys were also able to display their impressive depth at running back. This team looked like a legitimate contender.

Air Force

It is hard to take away much from this kind of game. But, Air Force did what they needed to do and came away with a convincing victory over FCS foe Robert Morris. New quarterback Zac Larrier looked like a legitimate dual threat and the Falcons were able to get a lot of their young players some significant playing time. It might be a few more weeks before we learn what this Air Force team is truly made of, as they take on Sam Houston this weekend.


Similar to the Falcons, we didn’t learn a whole lot about the Rebels this weekend, as they took on FCS foe Bryant. Doug Brumfield struggled in the passing game, but it looked like the Rebels were playing with a pretty basic playbook and didn’t want to show off a whole lot before taking on Michigan this next weekend.

The Bad

Utah State

The Aggies put up a respectable battle against a solid Hawkeye team, but there are some major concerns on the offensive side of the ball for Utah State. Cooper Legas doesn’t look like one of the top quarterbacks in the Mountain West, and the skill talent that the Aggies have had in previoius seasons isn’t there this fall. This team will need to develop a consistent running game and rely on their defense to win games this season.


I was pleasantly surprised by the play of transfer quarterback Brandon Lewis. Lewis started the game strong and made some really nice plays in the passing game. I’m going to withhold too much judgement on the Wolf Pack defense. USC is by far the best offense they will face. Wolf Pack fans will likely hate the final score, but there were some positives to take away from the opening weekend.

New Mexico

The final score may not have shown it, but I did see some improvements from this Lobo squad. Dylan Hopkins is an upgrade at the quarterback position, but he will still need to play better if this team is going to win many games this fall. This team still has a long way to go, but they have a good chance in each of their next three games to build some confidence and get in the win column.


It feels like this team might be on the verge of having a respectable season. But there has been a lot of inconsistency for this team on both sides of the ball. Stanford and Vanderbilt are both bad football teams. The Rainbow Warriors probably needed to win one of these games if they were hoping to contend for a bowl game this season.

San Diego State

The Aztecs might have the most concerned fan base of any 2-0 program in the nation. Through two games, this team has looked disjointed on both sides of the ball and were forced to rely on the legs of their quarterback to beat a bad FCS team. Mayden is going to have to be better through the air if San Diego State is going to contend for a conference championship, and the defense will need to do a better job of stopping opposing quarterbacks. The Aztec’s schedule gets much tougher starting next week when they take on UCLA.

The Ugly

Boise State

I don’t care if Washington has one of the best conferences in the country. This kind of performance is unacceptable for a program that was built on great performances over Power Five programs. The Broncos were clearly outmatched on both sides of the ball and failed to utilize the one advantage they had in the running game. The performance of the secondary is a major red flag moving forward. The Broncos will need more out of that unit moving through the season, and it starts this weekend against a solid UCF squad.

Colorado State

The final score was more respectable than it really was. Colorado State’s problems from last season seem like they are still present this fall. They struggled to make plays downfield in the passing game, and their rushing attack was subpar as well. Quarterback Clay Millen went down with an injury and backup Brayden Fowler-Nicolosi came in and provided a spark for their offense. Is there a quarterback controversy brewing in Fort Collins?

San Jose State

After a tough game against USC, the Spartans showed flashes of potential. This week’s game against Oregon State looked like they were headed in the wrong direction. The offense struggled mightily and the Spartans managed only 56 yards on the ground. Cordeiro looked rattled and was not as accurate or composed as he seemed against the Trojans. The potential is there with the offense, but the defense has a long way to go.

Which performances from this past weekend stood out to you? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.