Week 1 could not have gone better for the Boise State Broncos. The results from the rest of the Mountain West Conference, however, were not as overwhelmingly positive. The conference won five of their eight games including one head-to-head matchup. Yet outside of the conference matchup between Colorado State and New Mexico the Broncos scored the only win against a FBS (formerly Division I) team.
After one week it is clear that Boise State is the class of the conference and while two other schools scored relatively easy wins, neither was as impressive as the Broncos season-opening win over Georgia.
The Power Rankings for the conference are a glance at where things stand right now. As the season moves on it will become more of a cumulative effort but with only one game in their pockets, teams don’t have much else to fall back on other than the results of their opener.
Where things stand after week 1:
1. Boise State Broncos (1-0)
Beat Georgia 35-21 in Atlanta, GA; Next Game- @ Toledo September 16th
Much has been made about the Broncos’ first ever win against a team from the SEC. While Georgia may not be the program it once was, that was a huge win for the Boise State program. Kellen Moore was spectacular and the defensive line controlled the game. Freshman receiver Matt Miller appears poised to become the next great target for the Broncos.
2. San Diego State Aztecs (1-0)
Beat Cal-Poly 49-21; Next Game- @ Army September 10th
In the first game under new Head Coach Rocky Long, the Aztecs had little trouble with the FCS Mustangs. Quarterback Ryan Lindley threw for four touchdowns and sophomore tailback Ronnie Hillman picked up right where he left off last season with 189 yards, on 28 carries, and two touchdowns. It was probably more work than Hillman should have put in against an out-manned FCS school in week one but he looked good doing it.
3. Air Force (1-0)
Beat South Dakota 37-20; Next Game- vs TCU September 10th
The Falcons host TCU in the first big conference matchup of the season this Saturday in Colorado Springs. Their offense looked unstoppable at times with quarterback Tim Jefferson leading the way. Air Force ran for an unbelievable 391 yards against the Coyotes, the most rushing yards of any team in the opening week. They will need to mix Jefferson’s arm into the game this week to hold off TCU.
4. TCU (0-1)
Lost to Baylor 50-48; Next Game- @ Air Force September 10th
The Horned Frogs were run over by sudden Heisman candidate Robert Griffin III and the Baylor offense on Friday night. Replacing 24 seniors from last season, it figured to be somewhat of a rebuilding year behind new quarterback Casey Pachall but nobody saw the defense looking this bad. In addition to the 50 points, they gave up 564 yards of offense. Only Pachall’s furious 25-point 4th quarter comeback kept them alive, only to lose on a field goal with 1:04 remaining. Now they’re tested by Air Force’s potent rushing attack.
5. Colorado State (1-0)
Beat New Mexico 14-10; Next Game- vs Northern Colorado September 10th
In the conference pillow-fight of the week, the Rams took down New Mexico in a matchup enjoyed only by the mothers of the players on each team. Sophomore quarterback Pete Thomas was an impressive 22-26 passing but for only 178 yards. The defense did force three turnovers but there was little reason for either team to come out of this game excited about their prospects for contending for the league title.
6. Wyoming (1-0)
Beat Weber State 35-32; Next Game- vs Texas State September 10th
That sigh you heard coming from southeastern Wyoming was the Cowboys team and coaching staff after narrowly holding off the FCS Wildcats. True freshman quarterback Brett Smith put up some decent numbers with a 27-41 performance for 294 yards and three touchdowns as well as a rushing TD. The defense on the other hand was not good, allowing 541 yards and nearly giving away the game. Smith’s 9-yard touchdown pass to Robert Herron with :22 remaining saved the Cowboys from an embarrassing loss.
7. New Mexico (0-1)
Lost to Colorado State 14-10; Next Game- @ Arkansas September 10th
The Lobos have the unfortunate distinction of losing the aforementioned pillow-fight of the week. New Mexico actually out-gained the Rams but fumbled the ball three times including quarterback Tarean Austin getting stripped of the ball with 23 seconds left at the Colorado State 15-yard line. The Lobos can expect to soon be 0-3 after traveling to Arkansas this week, followed by a game against Texas Tech in Albuquerque. They can take solace in the fact that this year started much better than last, when they were blasted by Oregon 72-0 in the opener.
8. UNLV (0-1)
Lost to Wisconsin 51-17; Next Game- @ Washington State September 10th
The Rebels were manhandled by Wisconsin in the season opener on Thursday and two late touchdowns were the only reason the score was as “respectable” as it appears. UNLV gave up 499 yards of offense to a group led by a new, albeit veteran, quarterback in North Carolina State transfer Russell Wilson and talented running back Montee Ball who tallied four touchdowns. Caleb Herring did throw for two late touchdowns which may give him some confidence going into next week in Pullman.
And finally, a glimpse at three future Mountain West schools:
1. Hawaii (1-0)
Beat Colorado 34-17; Next Game- @ Washington September 10th
Quarterback Bryant Moniz led the nation in total offense a year ago and picked up right where he left off this season. The Warriors were the only WAC school to record a win this weekend when they knocked off new Pac-12 member Colorado. Moniz finished with 289 total yards and four touchdowns. The defense was solid too, allowing just 240 yards of total offense and only 2-12 on 3rd down attempts. The Warriors will need to find a credible rushing attack to complement Moniz if they want to keep him healthy for a full season.
2. Nevada (0-0)
Did not play in Week 1; Next Game- @ Oregon September 10th
The Wolf Pack will be the last FBS team to kick off when they travel to Eugene to take on an angry Oregon squad, coming off an embarrassing 40-23 loss to LSU. Nevada lost five seniors who earned 1st Team All-WAC honors a year ago including co-offensive Player of the Year, and current San Francisco 49er, Colin Kaepernick. He will be replaced by senior Tyler Lantrip. Top receiver Rishard Matthews, who began his career at Oregon, returns to help with the quarterback transition. The defense will need to be rebuilt as well and faces a tough task in their season opener.
3. Fresno State (0-1)
Lost to California 36-21; Next Game- @ Nebraska September 10th
The Bulldogs put up a valiant effort but could not come up with a win in Derek Carr’s first start. The younger brother of former #1 NFL draft pick David Carr put up a respectable 21-33 passing but for only 142 yards. Robbie Rouse put the Bulldogs on the board with a touchdown less than two minutes into the game but Cal exploded for three scores before the period ended and put the game away with two more 3rd quarter touchdowns. Pat Hill’s defense needs to be better on 3rd down, where they allowed Cal to convert 7-16 attempts.
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