The MWC Week 4 Review

Brett RichinsSenior Analyst ISeptember 27, 2009

As we are moving more and more towards in-conference games things are starting to become a little more clear in the Mountain West.  We are now 4 games into the season and good or bad, it is becoming harder for teams to hide who they really are.  So without further ado, let’s take a look at this weekend’s action.

Air Force 26 (3-1, 2-0) – San Diego State 14

It appeared to be another beautiful day in Colorado Springs (my favorite road game by far as a player) and the Falcons took it to the Aztecs in a surprisingly lop-sided game.  If you watched the game then you know that the score does not indicate how dominate AFA was over SDSU.  The Falcon defense was flying around (no pun intended) and really taking it to Lindley and Co.  The SDSU offense never got off the ground.  Dietz, the AFA QB who played in place of an injured Jefferson, proved that he may be the next Carney which would be a great thing for Air Force down the road.  Don’t expect him to take the reins from Jefferson just yet though.  The downside of the Falcons this week was their inability to finish drives in the end zone.

#20 BYU 42 (3-1, 1-0) – Colorado State 23

It appeared as though this week was our Offenses turn to take the week off.  I guess they figured since the D didn’t show up last week, they deserved a little break.  They moved the ball well enough, but not like they have against far superior defenses.  We finished with 132 rushing yards which is very average for a BYU v CSU game.  In the last 5 years we usually just run it down their throat and then kill ‘em with the play action passes.

What I liked about the game?  Coach Anae’s play goal at the goal line with Max rolling out on a naked boot play and just walking in.  I also like the fact that although Max threw 2 picks, they finally were not his fault and he wasn’t making stupid throws.  The safety made a great play on the on that was thrown low and outside.  And on the second pick Harvey settled instead of running the out.

What I didn’t like about the game?  We came our so fired up and high on emotion (see Oklahoma and Tulane) and then we really tapered off midway 2nd quarter (see FSU).  We need to sustain our emotion throughout the entire game.

Colorado State 23 (3-1, 0-1) – #20 BYU 42

The Rams were going for their first 4-0 start in like 20 years, but someone forgot to alert the press that the game was being played in LES!  What was good for the Rams was that their offense, unfortunately, moved the ball with ease for a lot of the game.  BYU went back to being physical and the ball just kind of kept popping into our hands.  CSU definitely looked like an improved team which will probably spark some more debate as to where they should be ranked.

New Mexico 17 (0-4, 0-1)- New Mexico State 20

The legacy of the Lobos continues to head south in what seems to be an unstoppable course charted for disappointment.  New Mexico had the lead until a TD with 39 seconds left sealed their fate of starting 0-4 on the season.  The New Mexico offenses seemed to roll at times and Porterie had one of his better games, throwing for 206 yards.  But with the absence of Rocky Long, the Lobos seem to be a lost cause.

San Diego State 14 (1-3, 0-1) – Air Force 26

San Diego State is struggling and it really does not look good for Aztecs this year.  Getting pushed around all day by an undersized, under-talented AFA squad further proved that the Aztecs will be waiting at least one more season until they get back in the mix of things int he MWC.  Good news for them is that they still get to play New Mexico and Wyoming this season.

What really surprised me about this game is the fact that a Rocky Long defense could not stop the Falcons.  Historically Rocky and Bronco stifle the Falcon attack with ease.  You know there are problems in San Diego when Rocky Long has no answers against the Falcons.

#15 TCU 14 (3-0, 0-0) – Clemson 10

TCU did what BYU and Utah could not last week.  They beat a very good BCS school.  Not only that, they did it in Death Valley (where I served my mission) in a pretty tough stadium to play in and Clemson is no slouch of a football team.  What is most impressive about TCU this year is the same as every year…they have a stifling defense that stopped 2 Clemson drives inside the 20.

The highlight of the week for me was Gary Patterson (who I hate 99% of the time) responding to talk of TCU being a BCS buster…”I am not drinking that Kool-Aid.”  I have to admire him for keeping his team on point and not letting the media detract them from winning games.  They want to stay under the radar and just win week in and week out.

UNLV 27 (2-2, 0-1) – Wyoming 30

Unbelievable.  Just when I thought that UNLV was not becoming the cellar-dweller of old they go out and lose to Wyoming.  What has to be killing the confidence in Vegas right now is that the loss in Laramie was UNLV’s 20th consecutive road loss!  That is a long time without winning on the road.

This game was a shootout between two less than impressive teams and it was turnovers that lost it for the Rebels down the stretch.

Utah 30 (3-1, 0-0) – Louisville 14

This Louisville squad is not the Louisville squad of the last few years, but Utah took care of a BCS school and did it early.  After stalling on their first possession the Utes scored quickly on their second drive.  Then on the first play for Louisville Misi forced a fumble and 18 seconds later Utah was back on the board!  They ran away early and let Louisville score two late TDs in the 3rd and 4th quarters.

Cain improved slightly, but he is still a very inaccurate passer which really makes him one dimensional and that is something that BYU can stop.

Wyoming 30 (2-2, 1-0) – UNLV 27

The best news of the day for the Pokes is that true freshman QB Carta-Samuels may be the best thing that has happened to them since the week before they got beat 58-8 by the Cougars in 2006.  The kid was almost perfect on the day and led the Pokes on two key TD drives late in the game to secure the victory in front of the home town crowd.  Out of the cellar and into the middle of the pack for the Pokes.

Week 4 Rankings
1. TCU
2. BYU
3. Air Force
4. Utah
5. Wyoming
6. Colorado State
9. New Mexico

-Markell Staffieri


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