September 1, 2012; Berkeley, CA, USA; Nevada Wolf Pack quarterback Cody Fajardo (17) runs with the ball against California Golden Bears defensive back Alex Logan (6) during the first quarter at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE
Week one is in the books and there was plenty of excitement for the Mountain West schools. Overall the conference finished with a 5-5 record which is better then I predicted. There were a couple close losses that would have put the league above .500. Let's take a look out how this first weekend played out.
The Falcons had no problem with the Idaho State Bungles. Air Force rolled up 626 yards of offense in their 49-21 dismantling of one of the worst FCS teams. Cody Getz ran for the first three scores in the game. Things should get tougher next week with a road trip to the Big House in Ann Arbor. That will certainly a bigger challenge then the Pocatello Tigers.
Life without Kellen Moore and Doug Martin did not get off to a great start. The Bronco defense scored more touchdowns (1) then the offense managed. When was the last time Boise State had their starting QB finish a game with a completion percentage lower then 50%? It is at least 2006, perhaps even longer. 37 rushing yards is not a great recipe for success. At least they'll have two weeks to prepare for Miami of Ohio. Still wouldn't count this team out entirely.
The Rams won the Rocky Mountain Showdown as an underdog. Congrats on the victory over their big in-state rival. It was not the prettiest game to watch. Here is what one message board poster compared this game to. Neither team was able to break yard 300 yards of offense. FCS North Dakota State comes to Fort Collins next week. The Bison will present a bigger challenge then the PAC 12 Buffaloes.
The Bulldogs offense looked good in their 37-10 victory over Weber State. Derek Carr nearly cracked 300 yards passing while Robbie Rouse ran for 123 yards. The challenge in week two may be slightly tougher with a trip to Eugene to face the Oregon. Can high powered Bulldogs offense do much against the Ducks? That game will tell us a ton about this Frenso State team is capable of this year.
It took till the third quarter but Hawaii finally scored on USC. Everyone was expecting a blowout and it happened. Only a handful of teams can hang with the Trojans this year. Don't read much into this loss. Norm Chow should find things much easier after a bye week to prepare for the mighty Lamar Cardinals.
Big props to the Wolf Pack for helping the Mountain knockoff two PAC 12 teams on Saturday. Cal opened up their brand new stadium and Nevada ruined their party. The Pack started off with a 14 point lead but the Bears fought back. Cody Fajardo engineered the final drive and Stefon Jefferson won the game with his third rushing touchdown.
Who cares if it was against Southern, the Lobos kicked some major butt on Saturday. Bob Davie and his crew should enjoy their 66-21 victory in which they forced five Jaguar turnovers. It has been a long time since the New Mexico could celebrate a huge victory. Hope the really enjoyed that one. Don't expect the Lobos winning streak to continue, they face Texas next week and are the latest victim of the Longhorn Network.
San Diego State
Rocky Long is making headlines for his questionable decision making already. His choice of going for two point conversions (and failing) and then going for it on 4th and 6 instead of kicking an easily field goal was a head scratcher. He's certainly not the offensive genius that Brady Hoke was. Losing Ronnie Hillman and Ryan Lindsey didn't seem to help things much.
This was a torturous game for most college football fans to watch. Two inept offenses trying to out duel each other. At the end of regulation there was a 13-13 tie. Then all hell broke loose with each team scoring easily. The teams traded off touchdowns in the first two overtimes. The Rebels finally faltered in the third OT and Minnesota ended up winning 30-27. There is the always hilarious moment in UNLV games when the OVER is broken and half the crowd cheers while the other half cusses.
The Cowboys went to Texas and tangled with the Longhorns. They didn't get the W but they held their own. Now Wyoming returns to Laramie for some MACTION with the Toledo Rockets.
Future Mountain West Schools
San Jose State
The Spartans put quite a scare in Stanford. After three quarters the score was tied at 17. In the fourth quarter the San Jose offense went stale and the Cardinal escaped with a 20-17 victory.
The Aggies beat up on little brother Southern Utah 34-3. Chuckie Keeton looks to be back and finally the dangerous QB that helped kick the crud out of Wyoming last year. Can they now repeat the same type of performance against big brother Utah?