The college football season has come and gone faster than we all expected or wanted. The Mountain West had seven teams qualify for bowl games and all seven of those games have been played. In the last two editions of “The Good, the Bad, the Ugly,” we covered the first five games of the bowl season: LA Bowl, Potato Bowl, New Mexico Bowl, Hawaii Bowl, Armed Forces Bowl. This week, we will be looking at the Guaranteed Rate Bowl and the Arizona Bowl. Without further ado, here are the Good, Bad, and Ugly performances from the final week of bowl season.
In Craig Bohl’s final game before his retirement, the Cowboys were able to send the legendary coach out on a high note with a game winning field goal as time expired. This win marked the ninth win of the season for the Cowboys, one of the best in the history of the program. While Bohl may not have been able to win the big game as Wyoming’s head coach, he helped the team come away with some of the biggest wins in program history and elevated the football team to a consistent bowl contender that would occasionally contend for a conference championship. Craig Bohl always did things the right way and will be missed.
The Jayhawks put on quite a performance in Phoenix. Kansas’ potent passing attack was too much for UNLV to overcome. Jayhawk quarterback Jason Bean was able to overcome a series of early interceptions to have a career day to end the season. Bean finished the game completing 19 of 28 passing for 449 yards and six touchdowns. Kansas had nearly 600 yards of total offense in their 49-36 victory over UNLV.
The Rockets went into the fourth quarter with a 15-6 lead over a Wyoming team that was struggling on the offensive side of the ball. However, the physical play of the Cowboys eventually wore down the Rockets who were playing with star quarterback DeQuan Finn who entered the transfer portal. While Toledo’s defense played well for the majority of the game, they couldn’t get a stop when it mattered and ultimately fell short.
The Rebels historic season ended on a sour note with UNLV, losing their third consecutive game to end the season. The last three games of the season exposed the Rebel defense who had inflated numbers against poor competition to start the season. The Rebels had absolutely no answer for the Jayhawks’ vertical passing attack, surrendering 449 yards through the air. UNLV quarterback Jayden Maiava continued his string of inconsistent performances. Maiava made some wonderful throws but showed a certain stubbornness when he needed to get rid of the ball which resulted in some unnecessary turnovers. While the season did not end how the Rebels would have liked, it certainly looks like this team could have a big 2024 season.
Which Mountain West team had the best bowl performance? Did the conference meet your expectations? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.