Another Look into the Mountain West Conference: Week Eight Updates

Just like that, another week has come and gone in college football world. There many hot stories coming as the AP Polls Top 10 took a dramatic turn this weekend for many teams. However, there is plenty of talented teams to check up on in the Mountain West conference. With that being said, let’s get right into it.

Utah State (5-1; 2-0 Conf.): This Utah State team is a group that is starting to show true potential as a threat to every other team within the MWC. This weekend the Aggies matched up against a 2-3 UNLV team that were at the mercy of Utah State’s starting QB, Jordan Love. Love threw for 322 yards with five touchdowns and wasn’t even needed on the field for the back end of the game. At no point during this game did UNLV look in control, as the Aggies rolled the Rebels in a 59-28 homecoming game victory. The Aggies offense is the most effective and dangerous in the entire conference. They are second in the nation in scoring, only behind Alabama’s Rolltide. Utah State will head east next week, where they will face a struggling Wyoming team. Expect another blowout win for the Aggies, along with more positive movement in the AP polls.

San Diego State (5-1; 2-0 Conf.): The Aztec’s home game this weekend against Air Force proved the old saying, “defense wins games” still stands true. San Diego State won this matchup in a nail-biting fashion, with a final score of 21-17. The day was saved by a late fourth-quarter touchdown pass to TE Parker Houston, which put the Aztec’s up by 4 late in the 4th. However, this should not be the highlighted story in San Diego. Their defense’s ability to keep Air Force to only seventeen points was game changing, and the reason for this win. San Diego’s defense has been the story all season long, as this defensive unit has allowed an average of only 19.3 points per game. This 5-1 team can stop the football; Yet, moving forward I would like to see more offensive production from this team. San Diego State has proven their ability on the defensive side of the football, and I expect this team to absolutely shut down San Jose State next week at home.

Fresno State (5-1; 2-0 Conf.): The Bulldogs have provided Fresno State fans with a season that could be their best since the late 1980’s. Fresno State has begun their season with only a single loss to the University of Minnesota, which was a game that came down to the wire (Final 21-14). Currently 5-1, the Bulldogs have proven to one the best teams in the MWC. They have outscored their opponents this season 235 to 74 and have only allowed 6 points over the last two games. This is a team that is absolutely stacked with talent. Marcus McMaryion (QB), Jordan Mims (RB), and KeeSean Johnson (WR) have all had amazing season thus far and show no signs of slowing down. The Mountain West is currently on a crash course that will lead to an all-out war between Fresno State and San Diego State on November 17th. But for now, the future looks promising for Fresno State as the Bulldogs will head to New Mexico next week to face a 3-3 Lobos team.

Boise State (4-2; 2-1 Conf.): The Broncos were lucky to survive this past weekend’s game against Nevada’s Wolfpack. Quarterback Brett Rypien continued to struggle, as he threw for 299 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions. This offensive unit is one that has struggled all season and should be grateful that they are currently 4-2. The offensive line has been sloppy, which in turn is one of the reasons for Rypien’s large amounts of interceptions this season. The Broncos are currently hanging onto their 2nd place spot in the MWC and should be threatened by Colorado State and New Mexico. I personally do like this Boise State team. I believe that if they can fix their offensive problems and reduce the number of turnovers, they can return to their usual spots on top of the MWC. This Broncos team will host a 3-4 Colorado State unit next weekend. This game should be fun to watch and has the potential to completely change the standings within the MWC.

Hawaii (6-2; 3-0 Conf.): Hawaii’s hot start to the 2018 season took a turn for the worse this past weekend during their visit to Provo, UT. Hawaii matched up against a 3-3 BYU team, and got absolutely crushed. The final score of this game was 49-23, but to anybody whom watched this game knows that Hawaii was lucky to score at all. BYU went into halftime leading 28-3 and had the hometown crowd excited all game long. Hawaii looked tired, embarrassed, and were frankly just outplayed. However, the Rainbow Warriors do have the ability to keep their winning record in the MWC alive. This team is very exciting to watch. Hawaii has a talented quarterback with Cole McDonald, and a solid wide receiving core lead by John Ursua and Cedric Byrd. Hawaii (like Boise State), is a team that has more to prove than almost anybody else in the MW. Next weekend they will host Nevada’s Wolfpack, and will need to be firing on all cylinders to comeback from last week’s road loss.

COLLINSTUHL’S WEEK EIGHT POWER RANKINGS:
1. San Diego State (Previously: 1st)
2. Utah State (Previously: 2nd)
3. Fresno State (Previously: 3rd)
4. Boise State (Previously: 5th)
5. Hawaii (Previously: 4th)
6. Nevada (Previously: 7th)
7. Colorado State (Previously: 10th)
8. New Mexico (Previously: 6th)
9. Air Force (Previously: 8th)
10. Wyoming (Previously: 9th)
11. UNLV (Previously: 11th)
12. San Jose State (Previously 12th)

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