The Mountain West Power Rankings are a glance at where things stand at this point of the season. It is a quiet week in the Mountain West with only five teams in action this week. The top game is Boise State hosting Air Force, coming off of two straight tough losses. The league’s only winless team, New Mexico, travels to TCU while Colorado State has a non-conference tilt at UTEP.
1. Boise State Broncos (6-0)
Last Game: Beat Colorado State 63-13; Next Game- vs Air Force October 22nd
The Broncos picked up in the Mountain West right where they left off in the Western Athletic Conference by blasting Colorado State 63-13, serving notice to the rest of the league that they are indeed the class of the conference. The offense exploded for a school record 742 yards of total offense and the defense allowed only 231 yards, holding the Rams to just one 3rd down conversion. Kellen Moore threw for 338 yards and four touchdowns, hitting on his first 18 attempts. Tyler Shoemaker was the recipient of 180 of those yards and added two long touchdowns. Doug Martin continued to improve the Bronco rushing attack as he ran 20 times for 200 yards and three scores. The Broncos jumped out to a 35-point lead in the 2nd quarter and after the Rams closed to within 35-13, put the game away with four quick touchdowns in a seven minute span of the 3rd quarter. They get a new challenge this week when Air Force brings their triple-option rushing attack to Boise.
2. TCU (4-2)
Last Game: Beat San Diego State 27-14 October 8th; Next Game- vs New Mexico October 22nd
The Horned Frogs had the week off after a nice win over San Diego State. TCU has struggled with slow starts all season but shouldn’t have any trouble jumping quickly on their opponent this week. New Mexico has the 110th ranked offense in the country and 119th ranked defense. Casey Pachall figures to get the passing game going and the Horned Frogs’ stable of backs should be able to move the ball easily on the Lobos. Following the New Mexico game, TCU hosts BYU before going on the road to Wyoming and then Boise State. That game should settle the conference championship as well.
3. San Diego State Aztecs (4-2)
Last Game: Beat Air Force 41-27 October 13th; Next Game- vs Wyoming October 29th
After a strong 3-0 start, the Aztecs stumbled in back to back losses to Michigan and TCU with the offensive struggles the primary culprit. The offense got back on track against Air Force in a tough Thursday night game. Trailing 20-17 late in the 3rd quarter, the Aztecs rattled off 24 consecutive points to take control and finish off the Falcons. Ryan Lindley was an efficient 15-21 for 209 yards and two touchdowns and Ronnie Hillman bounced back after a pair of subpar games to rush for 172 yards and two scores. The Aztecs out-gained the Falcons on the ground and the defense forced three turnovers. Brandon Davis added a 95-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the 2nd quarter. Air Force came out and threw the ball 37 times, more than any other game this season, and the Aztec defense responded.
4. Wyoming (4-2)
Last Game: Beat UNLV 41-14 October 15th; Next Game- @ San Diego State October 29th
It was a rollercoaster in Laramie last week as Wyoming jumped out to a 20-0 1st quarter lead, let UNLV back into the game, then put them away with a 21 point run in the 2nd half. Brett Smith threw two touchdown passes and caught one as well and the Cowboys struggled their way to 41 points on only 355 yards of offense. Chris McNeill threw the touchdown pass to Smith on a trick play and added an earlier punt return for a touchdown. Smith threw for just 96 yards but had two 1st quarter touchdown passes to give Wyoming the early 20-0 lead. The defense surrendered two Tim Cornett rushing touchdowns in the 2nd quarter before McNeill and Smith gave the Cowboys more breathing room in the 3rd quarter. Wyoming now has the week off before they travel to San Diego State.
5. Air Force (3-3)
Last Game: Lost to San Diego State 41-27 October 13th; Next Game- @ Boise State October 22nd
The Falcons lost their second straight tough game as they couldn’t keep up with San Diego State on the short week. Just five days after giving up 59 points to Notre Dame in South Bend, the Falcons came back to contend with the Aztecs and talented running back Ronnie Hillman. The sophomore ran for 172 yards and iced the game with two 4th quarter touchdowns. Tim Jefferson threw the ball a career-high 36 times for 224 yards and two touchdowns, both to Jonathan Warzeka. Air Force scored on a fake field goal in the 2nd quarter to take the lead but gave up a kick return for touchdown on the next play. Parker Herrington’s field goal with no time remaining in the half left the game tied at 17 before the Aztecs pulled away in the 2nd half. Air Force now travels to Boise State for the first time and tries to avoid becoming the 3rd consecutive team to lose by 50 points to the Broncos.
6. Colorado State (3-3)
Last Game: Lost to Boise State 63-13 October 15th; Next Game- @ UTEP October 22nd
Not much went right for Colorado State as they welcomed Boise State to the Mountain West by rolling out the blue carpet. The Broncos came out and punched the Rams in the mouth, jumping out to a 35-0 lead before two trick plays got the Rams briefly back into the game. Tight end Crockett Gillmore took a lateral pass in the flat and then lofted a 27-yard touchdown to fullback Joe Brown. On the next possession, the Rams used a wide receiver end-around to score again with Charles Lockett finding Matt Yemm all alone for a 20-yard strike. The momentum going into halftime would not last long as the Broncos reeled off 28 points in less than seven minutes to put the game away in the 3rd quarter. The Rams yielded 742 yards while compiling only 231 yards of their own. They converted 1-12 3rd down attempts and had just 84 yards rushing to Boise State’s 393. The Rams travel to El Paso to take on UTEP this week followed by a trip to UNLV.
7. UNLV (1-5)
Last Game: Lost to Wyoming 41-14 October 15th; Next Game- vs Colorado State October 29th
The Rebels put up a fight, briefly, but ultimately could not get past Wyoming in a sloppy game last Saturday. After spotting the Cowboys a 20-point 1st quarter lead, UNLV fought back with Tim Cornett scoring twice in the 2nd quarter to cut the lead to 20-14 at the half. The Rebels’ special teams gave up a punt return for a touchdown and were later tricked on a wide receiver pass as Wyoming quarterback Brett Smith was wide open for a 28-yard touchdown early in the 4th quarter. Dionza Bradford rushed for 104 yards to lead the Rebels offensively but they managed just 104 yards passing as well and turned the ball over twice. UNLV has a bye this week before returning home to face Colorado State and Boise State.
8. New Mexico (0-6)
Last Game: Lost to Nevada 49-7 October 15th; Next Game- @ TCU October 22nd
The Lobos fell behind 49-0 against the Wolf Pack before Tarean Austin scored on a 17-yard run in the 4th quarter to prevent the shutout. Nevada piled up 598 yards of offense including 338 yards and six touchdowns on the ground. Lampford Mark scored three times for Nevada and quarterback Cody Fajardo added two more touchdowns on the ground. Deon Long’s fumble was returned by Marlon Johnson in the 1st quarter to give Nevada a 21-0 lead, more than enough to finish off the Lobos. New Mexico is now 2-32 in their last 34 games, winning just once each of the past two seasons by a total of five points. They visit TCU this week and figure to run their active losing streak to 10 games. Air Force and San Diego State follow with a home game against UNLV the best chance to break the run of futility.
Future Mountain West Conference team updates:
Nevada had no trouble with woeful New Mexico, scoring the first 49 points of the game en route to the easy 49-7 win, evening their record at 3-3. Cody Fajardo was 20-25 for 203 yards passing and also added 86 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. Stefphon Jefferson led the Wolf Pack with 108 yards rushing and a score while Lampford Mark scored touchdowns on three of his nine carries. The defense allowed just 257 yards and Marlon Johnson returned a fumble 25 yards for a touchdown. The WAC title may be decided by the end of the night on Saturday as Nevada travels to Fresno State.
Fresno State broke their two-game losing streak by knocking off Utah State 31-21 behind Derek Carr’s 248 yards passing and two touchdowns. Robbie Rouse added 140 yard on the ground and a score as the Bulldogs fought back from 21-14 deficit to pitch a 2nd half shutout and send the Aggies to another fall-from-ahead loss. Carr’s touchdown pass to Jalen Saunders with 11:54 remaining gave the Bulldogs the lead and Rouse iced the game minutes later with his 9-yard touchdown run. The Bulldogs host Nevada this week in a game that could decide the WAC championship. They are the only two teams that have yet to suffer a conference loss.
Hawaii lost a frustrating game to San Jose State that saw both teams turn the ball over six times. Bryant Moniz threw for 303 yards and two touchdowns but also threw three interceptions. Joey Iosefa rushed for 81 yards on seven carries and scored two touchdowns. His 4th quarter run put Hawaii up 27-20 but the PAT was blocked and Duke Ihenacho returned it the other direction for two points. Matt Faulkner then found Chandler Jones on a 37-yard scoring strike with :36 remaining to give San Jose State the lead and the win. Faulkner finished with 366 yards passing and the score but also threw three interceptions, two of which led directly to Hawaii touchdowns. Noel Grigsby led San Jose State with 12 catches for 126 yards and Jones caught two touchdown passes and returned a fumbled kickoff for another. Hawaii allowed 20 2nd quarter points to fall behind 20-7 at the break before rallying to take the lead.
Week One Power Rankings
Week Two Power Rankings
Week Three Power Rankings
Week Four Power Rankings
Week Five Power Rankings
Week Six Power Rankings
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