What We Learned From Week Four in the Mountain West Conference

Nevada’s defense might have some issues

Yes, it’s true, they have a very dynamic quarterback in Ty Gangi who can make things happen, and the Wolfpack aren’t necessarily afraid to get into a shootout.

That being said, it’s not always the best situation to have no choice but to get involved in one. Yet, that’s where the Nevada defense is leaving this team

So far, in three games against FBS opponents, the best UNR has done was to limit Oregon State’s offense to “only” 357 yards and five touchdowns. They gave up five touchdowns and two field goals to Vanderbilt, plus seven offensive touchdowns (and two other touchdowns) against Toledo.

Giving up an average of 428 yards in that span isn’t the end of the world, but only if you’re playing a bend-don’t-break defense. Nevada appears to be going for “just go ahead and break right away” instead.

It doesn’t get easier either. Their next month features road games at Air Force and Hawai’i and home games against Fresno State and Boise State. All of these offenses are as good as or better than Nevada’s, and only Hawai’i’s defense is in the same conversation in terms of being porous.

As good as the offense has been, if the defense doesn’t start to shape up the Wolfpack have an outside shot at not winning another game.

Colorado State is an absolute mess

As rough as things are for Nevada, at least they aren’t Colorado State.

The Rams hosted FCS Illinois State on Saturday and were all over the place in a 35-19 loss.

The offense only got inside the 40-yard line three times, while the defense allowed Illinois State’s starting running back to trounce them for 184 yards and two touchdowns on only 22 carries.

At this point I have no idea how this team beat Arkansas, nor am I confident that they can do so much as beat San Jose State in a couple of weeks, let alone win any of their other remaining games.

I remain concerned about head coach Mike Bobo, who looks exhausted on the sidelines, and the team is not getting better as the weeks go on. This could be a long year in Fort Collins.

San Diego State is not winning the division

Plain and simple. Sure, they’re 3-1 heading into conference play, but nothing about this team instills confidence in me that this will be a good year for them taking the crown.

  • In the season opener against Stanford, the Aztecs had two scoring drives and no other success on offense, and their only turnover on defense was taken right back by Stanford before the play was over.
  • Against FCS Sacramento State, SDSU won 28-14, but they didn’t take the lead for good until the last four minutes of the game – their last two drives accounted for half their points and just under half their yards.
  • Against Arizona State, they looked good and controlled the entire second half but still flirted with blowing a two-score lead in the last four minutes.
  • Against Eastern Michigan, the Aztecs did blow a two-score lead, but got the game to overtime and won thanks in part to having the better kicking game

This team will win plenty more games, but whether they can stay healthy on offense (Juwan Washington, Christian Chapman, etc) may have an impact on which games they win. Despite the bye week to prepare I don’t think Boise will be one of those wins; I’d be shocked if they beat Fresno on the road either.

It’s nice to be in a position where 6-8 wins is a down year, but so it is for San Diego State this season, I think.

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