Mountain West rankings: First (Boise State) meets worst (UNLV); first is still first
For the Nevada Appeal
The top team in the Nevada Appeal Mountain West football rankings met the bottom team this past Saturday night.
And there were no surprises.
The No. 1 Boise State Broncos trounced the No. 12 UNLV Rebels, 38-13, in Las Vegas. Boise State, now 5-0, 2-0, remains on top of the rankings for the sixth week in a row. This is the third consecutive week that UNLV has been ranked No. 12.
“Our execution could have been better,” Boise State coach Bryan Harsin said. “Penalties, not finishing at the end.”
The Broncos, though, jumped out to a 24-0 lead and coasted to the victory. Boise State also outgained the Rebels 507-331 despite controlling the ball on offense for just over 25 minutes.
But, as Harsin said, it wasn’t a perfect effort for the Broncos. Boise State also was just 2-of-13 on third down and was called for 10 penalties.
“It wasn’t pretty but we got the job done,” Boise State sophomore wide receiver Khalil Shakir said.
UNLV lost for the fourth consecutive time and continues to have quarterback problems. Freshman quarterback Kenyon Oblad started for the first time in his career and completed 24-of-55 passes for 262 yards and two touchdowns. UNLV coach Tony Sanchez said that regular starter Armani Rogers is also still in the mix for playing time.
“There’s going to be a game when you see both of them,” Sanchez said.
The Rebels are still searching for answers.
“There are some hard conversations we’re going to have in the (coaching) staff room about some of the things we’re going to do,” Sanchez said.
Hawaii (4-1, 1-0) is ranked No. 2 this week after a bye while San Diego State (4-1, 1-1) moved up a spot to No. 3 after beating No. 10 Colorado State, 24-10.
San Diego State cornerback Luq Barcoo had three interceptions on three consecutive Colorado State passes. Barcoo now leads the Mountain West with four interceptions. Aztecs’ quarterback Ryan Agnew tossed three touchdown passes, two of them to Kobe Smith.
San Diego State, held the ball for 35:44 and now leads the Mountain West in time of possession at 34:25. The Aztecs, though, are also last in the conference in total offense at 323.6 yards a game.
The game, though, saw both offenses struggle most of the game. San Diego State rushed for just 91 yards on 43 carries while Colorado State (1-5, 0-2) rushed for just 18 yards on 25 carries. San Diego State had slightly more first downs (14-12) and yards (238-235).
“We have zero identity right now as an offense,” Colorado State coach Mike Bobo said.
Utah State (3-2, 2-0) dropped two spots to No. 4 after a 42-6 loss to LSU on the road. The Aggies were outscored 21-0 in the second half. LSU also held the ball on offense for 41 minutes.
Utah State quarterback Jordan Love was just 15-of-30 for 130 yards and three interceptions. The Aggies also ran for just 19 yards on 22 carries.
“We looked like a LSU defense today,” LSU coach Ed Orgeron said.
“It was very frustrating to see where we were on offense against a very talented defense,” Utah State coach Gary Andersen said. “We have to challenge ourselves and everybody in the program to find a way to get better.”
LSU outgained Utah State 601-159 and had three times as many (32-10) first downs.
“We’ve got to be the alpha dogs,” LSU linebacker Jacob Phillips said. “We can’t be the back-seaters to this team (Utah State). We’ve got to be the drivers.”
Air Force (3-2, 1-1) fell a spot to No. 6 after a 34-25 loss to Navy. Navy held Air Force to 108 yards rushing on 45 carries and also ran the ball for 214 yards and four touchdowns on 50 carries themselves. Air Force, though, still leads the Mountain West in rushing at 287 yards a game.
Air Force quarterback Donald Hammond rushed for 77 yards and a touchdown and passed for 205 yards.
The No. 7 Fresno State Bulldogs (2-2, 0-0) and No. 8 Nevada Wolf Pack (3-2, 0-1) were both idle last week.
San Jose State (3-2, 1-1) jumped up two spots to No. 9 with a 32-21 win over No. 11 New Mexico (2-3, 0-1). The Spartans, which were ranked No. 12 for the first three weeks of the rankings, forced six turnovers (four interceptions, two fumble recoveries) in the victory. San Jose State now leads the Mountain West with a plus-11 turnover margin.
“This was an awesome win for our football team,” San Jose State coach Brent Brennan said. “We have to celebrate wins even when they are not as pretty as you would like them to be because we haven’t had enough of that around here.”
San Jose State’s Matt Mercurio kicked four field goals (he had just three all season going into the game) and quarterback Josh Love threw for 405 yards and two touchdowns. The Spartans, which come to Mackay Stadium to meet the Wolf Pack this Saturday, led 26-7 at halftime.
New Mexico ran for 238 yards on 41 carries but Lobo quarterbacks Sheriron Jones and Tevaka Tuioti were just 11-of-26 for 161 yards with four interceptions combined.
The Nevada Appeal Mountain West football rankings for week of Oct. 7-13:
1. BOISE STATE (5-0, 2-0): This week: Hawaii at Boise State, Saturday.
2. HAWAII (4-1, 1-0): This week: Hawaii at Boise State, Saturday.
3. SAN DIEGO STATE (4-1, 1-1): This week: Wyoming at San Diego State, Saturday.
4. UTAH STATE (3-2, 2-0): This week: Bye.
5. WYOMING (4-1, 1-0): This week: Wyoming at San Diego State, Saturday.
6. AIR FORCE (3-2, 1-1): This week: Fresno State at Air Force, Saturday.
7. FRESNO STATE (2-2, 0-0): This week: Fresno State at Air Force, Saturday.
8. NEVADA (3-2, 0-1): This week: San Jose State at Nevada, Saturday.
9. SAN JOSE STATE (3-2, 1-1): This week: San Jose State at Nevada, Saturday.
10. COLORADO STATE (1-5, 0-2): This week: Colorado State at New Mexico, Friday.
11. NEW MEXICO (2-3, 0-1): This week: Colorado State at New Mexico, Friday.
12. UNLV (1-4, 0-2): This week: UNLV at Vanderbilt, Saturday.