Mountain West Football Roundup: Week 2 Scores, Rankings, Reactions

    Week 2 Mountain West football scores, rankings and reactions from the second weekend of the 2015 season.

    September 14, 2015

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    Mountain West Week 2 Roundup, Rankings, Breakdowns & Recaps

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    Scroll down for thoughts on each Mountain West team, recaps and picks

    Mountain West Player of the Week

    Air Force RB D.J. Johnson ran 21 times for 103 yards and three scores in the win over San Jose State.

    Mountain West Mountain Rankings After Week 2

    1. Boise State (1-1)
    2. Colorado State (1-1)
    3. Air Force (2-0)
    4. Utah State (1-1)
    5. New Mexico (1-1)
    6. Wyoming (0-2)

    Mountain West West Rankings After Week 2

    1. San Diego State (1-1)
    2. Nevada (1-1)
    3. Hawaii (1-1)
    4. San Jose State (1-1)
    5. Fresno State (1-1)
    6. UNLV (0-2)

    Can we just go back to Week 1?

    It was so much more fun in Week One.

    Hawaii was shocking Colorado, Boise State was beating Washington, and the Mountain West overall was on a roll with one of its best opening weekends as a conference. And then came Week 2.

    It wasn’t going to be pretty with games against Ohio State, UCLA, Ole Miss, California, Utah, Arizona and BYU, but Boise State had BYU dead, until it didn’t. Colorado State needed to come up with one stop against Minnesota at home, and it couldn’t. Outside of the Fresno State debacle against Ole Miss, the league wasn’t all that bad – and that includes Hawaii fighting the good fight against the Buckeyes, but 0-10 is 0-10. Worst of all, the BYU Hail Mary II against Boise State killed any dream of the Mountain West team getting a Mountain West team in the playoff.

    And you never, ever, ever lose to Eastern Michigan at home. The last time the Eagles have won a non-conference game on the road? 1995 vs. UNLV. Wyoming got tagged by EMU 48-29.
    But there’s hope.

    Boise State can still beat Virginia on the road in a few weeks, and if it rolls to a 12-1 record with a Mountain West title, it’ll be in a New Year’s Six Bowl. The same goes for San Diego State, who can turn everything back around if it can beat Penn State at Penn State this week, or if Air Force looks good at Michigan State and Nevada puts up a fight against Texas A&M.

    It’s redemption time for the Mountain West. This might have been a lost weekend, but a couple of big wins over the next few weeks will make Week 2 disappear.

    MOUNTAIN WEST, MOUNTAIN

    Air Force: W, San Jose State 37-16

    How was your weekend, Mountain West? Air Force was the league’s only team to come up with a win, but it helped to beat another Mountain West team. The ground game is humming, and while Nate Romine might not be throwing all that well, it doesn’t matter as long as the ground attack is rolling. This has been fun, but with Michigan State up next, every decision has to be right, there has to be a few downfield passes, and it’s going to have to be a flawless effort.

    Boise State: L, at BYU 35-24

    The offense isn’t working. Yes, Boise State should’ve beaten BYU, and yes, the defense is doing a better job than it’s shown late in the first two games, but the big concern coming into the season was that everything else was in place except for the backfield, and that’s turned out to be right so far. The ground game hasn’t been moving, and the passing game has been painfully inefficient. Welcome to Boise, Idaho State. There’s time to turn this back around with a win over Virginia in two weeks, but first the attack has to explode.

    Colorado State: L, Minnesota 23-20 OT

    The Rams lost the game to Minnesota, but it found a few players. Dalyn Dawkins ran hard and ran well, taking off for 92 yards and a score for an offense that desperately needed him. Give Colorado State credit for coming really, really close to beating a Top 25-caliber team despite not having Rashard Higgins and missing any semblance of a passing game. It was a loss, but it needs to be seen as a confidence-inspiring one.

    New Mexico: L, Tulsa 40-21

    New Mexico can’t go through another year without a run defense. The Lobos are going to try throwing a bit, but this is a running team that has to control the game and the clock on the ground. The Lobos ran for 224 yards and two scores, but gave up 279 yards on the ground with no answer for Zack Langer and D’Angelo Brewer, who each went over 100 yards for Tulsa. UNM has too much defensive coaching talent to once again have a team that gives up 600 yards to a Tulsa.

    Utah State: L, at Utah 24-14

    How is Chuckie Keeton still alive? He took a beating from Utah, showing off the biggest problem so far for the Aggies – the O line hasn’t been up to its normal snuff. So far, Utah State has allowed 12 tackles for loss, and while it’s only given up three sacks, the quarterback is getting hit way too much. The offense has been ineffective so far, and now comes a trip to Washington. The D has carried things, but Chuckie has to be Chuckie.

    Wyoming: L, Eastern Michigan 48-29

    Okay, so how does Wyoming possibly fix this disastrous start? The first step is to come up with a third down stop, getting killed by North Dakota and EMU for 16-of-29 third down chances. There’s pressure into the backfield, and there’s a lot of hitting going on, but there aren’t any plays being made whatsoever. But here’s the scariest part. Wyoming is 119th in the nation in pass efficiency defense, and Washington State is up next.

    MOUNTAIN WEST, WEST

    Fresno State: L, at Ole Miss, 73-21

    Stop … turning … the … ball … over. The Fresno State defense has been able to come up with five takeaways so far, and it’s having a few decent moments, but the offense has given it up seven times with too many interceptions and too many problems getting the ball down the field. The Bulldogs have to find a guy who can keep the offense moving. Is Ford Childress ready? Is Chason Virgil going to be the one to work around, or can Zack Greenlee step up? There’s no time to figure it out with Utah up next.

    Hawaii: L, at Ohio State 38-0

    The Hawaii secondary is starting out the season well. Ohio State might have been sluggish, but the Rainbow Warriors are doing a nice job over the first two games. That’s the No. 1 team in the nation Hawaii just faced, and that’s an NFL-caliber receiving corps it just dealt with, and how many passing touchdowns were given up? Zip. Hawaii has yet to give up a passing touchdown this year.

    Nevada: L, Arizona 44-20

    The Wolf Pack had better find a passing attack in a hurry. The offense as a whole is struggling, but there wasn’t anything down the field against Arizona, averaging under five yards per pass. Texas A&M is rolling right now, and Nevada has to be able to keep up the pace with Tyler Stewart needing to control the tempo with more splash. The identity has to return – the Wolf Pack offense needs to be more explosive.

    San Diego State: L, at Cal 35-7

    The Aztecs have the defense, and they have Donnel Pumphrey, but now the passing attack has to start working. Maxwell Smith and Christian Chapman aren’t hitting on half of their passes, and defenses are loading up to stop the ground game. It doesn’t need to be a high-flying air show, but the quarterbacks just have to complete their throws and they just need to take advantage of their easy chances. Everything is in place, and now it’s time to bomb away against South Alabama to see if the receivers can shine.

    San Jose State: L, at Air Force 37-16

    The offense that was nearly perfect against New Hampshire didn’t show up against Air Force. The Falcon ground game controlled everything, and San Jose State couldn’t answer. The passing game didn’t come up with anything interesting down the field, and the ground game that averaged 7.5 yards per carry only ran for 150 yards. It was a strange effort, and now comes the Oregon State spread. The Spartans will have to get physical.

    UNLV: L, UCLA 37-3

    It’s going to be a process and the new era might take a little while before it starts to work, but at least the Rebels are going to be aggressive. They forced three interceptions against UCLA, and they did it with pressure. There weren’t the plays in the backfield like there were against Northern Illinois, but it wasn’t a brutal blowout against a loaded Bruin team. It wasn’t an ugly performance for a 37-3 loss – the talent wasn’t there. Against Michigan, the D will have to sell out and force more mistakes – Jake Rudock will give them up.

    How are the picks so far?
    Straight Up: 14-6 ATS: 4-9-1

    at Utah 24, Utah State 14

    Line: Utah -13.5, o/u: 44, Prediction: Utah 28, Utah State 17 

    Ohio State 38, Hawaii 0

    Line: Ohio State -38, o/u: 59.5, Prediction: Ohio State 52, Hawaii 10 

    Minnesota 23, Colorado State 20 OT

    Line: Minnesota -6, o/u: 55, Prediction: Minnesota 31, Colorado State 23 

    Ole Miss 73, Fresno State 21

    Line: Ole Miss -28.5, o/u: 54, Prediction: Ole Miss 41, Fresno State 16 

    Eastern Michigan 48, Wyoming 29

    Line: Wyoming -13.5, o/u: 54.5, Prediction: Wyoming 34, Eastern Michigan 27

    California, 35, San Diego State 7

    Line: California -12, o/u: 61, Prediction: Cal 34, San Diego State 24 

    Arizona 44, Nevada 20

    Line: Arizona -11.5, o/u: 62, Prediction: Nevada 35, Arizona 31 

    Tulsa 40, at New Mexico 21

    Line: New Mexico -4, o/u: 71.5, Prediction: New Mexico 38, Tulsa 31

    BYU 35, Boise State 24

    Line: Boise State -2.5, o/u: 55, Prediction: Boise State 23, BYU 17 

    Air Force, 37, San José State 16

    Line: Air Force -6.5, o/u: 58.5, Prediction: Air Force 38, San Jose State 23 

    UCLA 37, UNLV 3

    Line: UCLA -28.5, o/u: 64, Prediction: UCLA 45, UNLV 17 

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