What We Learned About the Mountain West Conferencein Week Three

Boise might not have been ready for the big time just yet

If nothing else, we can certainly agree that they need to figure some things out on special teams before it completely torpedoes their entire season.

The Broncos had a punt blocked in the first half that gave the Cowboys the ball first and goal at the seven-yard line.

No big deal, right? That’s a bad flub, but fixable.

Except they didn’t really fix it, and the second time it happened it put the game out of reach.

Add onto that the missed chip-shot field goal (a 27-yarder) on Boise’s second offensive possession, and you could argue that special teams miscues cost them the game. If the Broncos simply manage to successfully execute all of their punts and their one easy field goal attempt, this is probably a 37-24 loss and maybe even 30-24.

While a loss is a loss to some extent, the game announcers discussed how most teams get their punts off in under two seconds. Boise’s first blocked punt took them 2.36 seconds from snap to kick, and the second block was better but still took two seconds flat.

This was something Oklahoma State figured out in pregame warmups, and the rest of Boise’s opponents now have a blueprint unless they start figuring out how to address it.

Don’t let this be your undoing, Boise.

Fresno State and San Diego State were ready to pick up the slack against the Pac 12

Sure, it may be the case that such wins mean a lot less as the season goes on and we find out that UCLA and Arizona State are actually a hot mess.

But even if this season’s iterations are a shambles, it’s no small feat for Fresno State to go on the road to UCLA and win 38-14 in a game where Marcus McMaryion played most of the second half visibly injured; nor is it a small feat for San Diego State to hold on for a victory against a Sun Devils team that came into the game ranked.

Juwan Washington and Chase Jasmin (his injury replacement) combined to rush for 250 yards and two touchdowns and generally had their way, while the SDSU defense didn’t allow Arizona State to cross their own 30-yard line in the second half until the frantic final five minutes.

Rocky Long’s overly passive prevent defense almost frittered the game away, but they’ve now helped erase some of the bad taste from that Stanford loss. Fresno State did the same with the Minnesota loss and will hope McMaryion is healthy enough to keep this momentum rolling.

The conference as a whole is perhaps deeper than we thought

The top of the conference continues to shine, as Boise, Hawai’i, Fresno State, Utah State and SDSU are a combined 11-5.

In fact, the entire conference outside of Colorado State and San Jose State is a combined 18-11 as those two teams are the only ones that have yet to post multiple wins through three weeks.

Sure there are some teams that have looked better than others. Wyoming might be 2-2, but has definitely looked like a team that is not coming out clean with the murderer’s row they’re about to face.

Nevada has a winning record, but they’ve been a bit uneven defensively even for a Mountain West team.

Next week will have some interesting G5 matchups that should give us more insight, as San Diego State stays at home to host Eastern Michigan and UNLV and Nevada will hit the road against Arkansas State and Toledo respectively. This should give is a better idea of just how deep the Mountain West is compared to the other G5 conferences.

We’ll also learn the answer to the question “is Colorado State so bad they can’t even beat Illinois State?” Because this is a realistic possibility.

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