Another week is in the books, as out-of-conference play is coming to a close for many MWC teams. A lot of tough results this week, and quite a few teams on byes. It all started on Friday night at Bronco Stadium….
Air Force @ Boise St.
Result: Broncos 42-20
Recap: If you had told me prior to this game that the Bronco offense would only see 8 possessions all night, I would enter Friday’s night game terrified as to the final result. Air Force did what Air Force does. They kept the ball away from the other teams offense and scored efficiently. Jay Ajayi and the offense were solid, scoring on all of their 1st half possessions. It appeared this would be a 4-quarter battle, but the defense woke up in the 2nd half thanks to great play from Demarcus Lawrence and the young but solid LB-play. Joe Southwick had a historic performance, he was essentially perfect minus the INT/Incomplete pass that were really interference’s.
Next up for the Broncos: @Fresno State, September 20th, 9 PM ET at Bulldog Stadium. Its been a running joke with Broncos fans for years: Fresno fans always believe “this year” is the year they beat Boise St. A lot of those years ended with the Broncos winning by a considerable margin. However, something feels different about this edition of the Boise-Fresno made-up rivalry. Fresno is ranked AND favored at home. Fresno’s strength is its top-tier passing game led by Derek Carr. Boise’s unquestioned biggest issue is the young and struggling secondary. That’s a big deal. Is is 2007 all over again? The Dog fans have had September 20th circled forever. It feels like the 2007 Boise-Hawaii game all over again. Hope for the best, expect the worst Broncos fans.
Next up for the Falcons: Wyoming, September 21st, 10:15 PM ET at Falcon Stadium. The Falcons are coming off of two tough loses, both in which the Utah State Aggies and Boise State Broncos had their way with the Falcon defense. It doesn’t get any easier this week with a home game against Brett Smith and the Wyoming Cowboys. This is an absolute must-win for the Falcons if they don’t want this season to go awry early.
New Mexico @ Pittsburgh
Result: Panthers 49-27
Recap: Traveling to the east coast is never an easy task for a team out west. That proved to be true again in Pittsburgh when the New Lobos came to town. Kasey Carrier never got going, in fact he was dominated by the Panthers defense. Only amounting to 22 rushing yards. Pittsburgh was simply too big and too fast for the Lobos. This one was over by halftime.
Next up for the Lobos: UNLV, September 21st, 8 PM ET at University Stadium. The game neither team can afford to drop. The Lobos and Rebels dominate in basketball, but tend to hang around the bottom of the conference in football. Loser of this game will be even more suckish than before.
Fresno St. @ Colorado
Recap: The horrific floods in Boulder, Colorado led to this game being postponed and potentially cancelled. The game is set to be played on December 6th or 7th. Big issue? Fresno is very much expected to be the representative of the West division in the MWC Championship Game: Held on December 7th. Good chance this game doesn’t get played.
Next up for the Bulldogs: Boise State, September 20th, 9 PM ET at Bulldog Stadium. Coach Tim DeRutyer says there is only one team everyone in the valley wants to beat: Boise. The stars have aligned, with Boise fielding a rebuilding team and the Dogs fielding arguably its best team ever. Fresno fans are expecting a memorable night this upcoming Friday.
Cal Poly @ Colorado St.
Result: Rams 34-17
Recap: Cal Poly came off of a solid performance @Fresno State looking to beat the Rams in Ft. Collins. The Rams were having none of that. Thanks to a brilliant performance from QB Garrett Grayson, the Rams jumped out to a 27-10 lead at halftime and coasted from there to a 34-17 win. Some fans may laugh at this result, but the Rams have struggled to put “lesser” opponents away at home in recent years. This was a good win for the Rams.
Next up for the Rams: @Alabama, September 21st, 7 PM ET at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Um, wow. What is there to be said? Don’t let too many guys get hurt Rammies.
Nevada @ Florida St.
Result: Seminoles 62-7
Recap: Believe it or not, Nevada actually kept this game fairly close early on. With Cody Fajardo sidelined, backup QB Devin Combs had some early success against the Seminoles. Then he got hurt. Nevada is now down to its 3rd-string QB AND 3rd-string RB. A 62-7 loss is the least of their worries. This game was a chaotic mess in the 2nd half, as evidenced by the score. I am glad Jameis Winston will have graduated by the time Boise State gets to play Florida State.
Next up for the Wolf Pack: Hawaii, September 21st, 8:05 PM ET at Mackay Stadium. Trap game. With so many QBs and RBs potentially out for this game, Norm Chow and his crew must smell blood in the water. This game could serve as a brutal reminder to the Pack fans that the Ault era is truly over.
Northern Colorado @ Wyoming
Result: Cowboys 35-7
Recap: Another week where the Cowboys inexplicably end the 1st quarter tied 0-0 with a crappy opponent. Last week it was Idaho, this week it was Northern Colorado, who lost to DII Colorado State-Pueblo last week. Brett Smith apparently hurt his ankle a little, but continued to play. It must have hindered him quite a bit, because the Pokes struggled almost all day. A late 14 points in the 4th quarter allowed for a core that looked more lop-sided, but the offense better thank the defense for some solid red-zone defense. The Bears had multiple opportunities to score, and didn’t.
Next up for the Cowboys: @Air Force, September 21st, 10:15 PM ET at Falcon Stadium. The hype surrounding the Cowboys as a MWC title contender simmered down not only because of their lackluster performance against the Greeley Bears, but also because Nebraska got whipped badly by UCLA, thus making the Pokes good performance in Lincoln not-as-impressive. A big game this week for the Pokes as they head to rival Air Force. Both teams desperately need to win this game. Should be interesting to see if Smith’s ankle hinders him at all this game. The Pokes enter the game as a -2.5 point favorite.
Weber St. @ Utah St.
Result: Aggies 70-6
Recap: Weber State coughed up 70 back-to-backs weeks. They are easily the worst Big Sky team around. The Aggies, who appear to the MWC’s best team right now, could have won by 100 if they wanted to. Terrible game to watch, unless you are from Logan.
Next up for the Aggies: @USC, September 21st, 3:30 PM ET at Los Angeles Coliseum. I don’t care if Lane Kiffin and the Trojans are having an awful year. A MWC team beating the Trojans in the Coliseum would be a tremendous achievement. Chuckie Keeton has been amazing, now he faces a very good and talented Trojan defense. This should be a fun game to watch….unless the Broncos have lost to Fresno, a which point none of us will even be awake yet.
Central Michigan @ UNLV
Result: Rebels 31-21
Recap: This was the very last game of the Week 3 college football schedule. I’d be willing to bet not a whole lot of people tuned in. The Chippewas jumped out to a 21-0 lead, and then proceeded to concede 31 straight points to the Rebels. That was pretty much what happened. Nick Sherry got benched! Some dude named Caleb Herring saved the day for UNLV.
Next up for the Rebels: @New Mexico, September 21st, 8 PM ET at University Stadium. The battle of the basketball schools! Neither team looks particularly great, but the game will be played! On a more random note, I can’t wait for the Broncos basketball team to spoil basketball season for these two schools.
San Diego State: Bye
Next up for the Aztecs: Oregon State, September 21st, 7:30 PM ET at Qualcomm Stadium. The Aztecs were off this weekend, as they were licking their wounds from their awful start to 2013 and looking ahead to Oregon State coming to town. The Beavers are coming off of a thrilling win in Salt Lake City over the Utes in overtime.
Next up for the Rainbow Warriors: @Nevada, September 21st, 8:05 PM ET at Mackay Stadium. The Rainbow Warriors opened 2013 with two respectable losses to USC and Oregon State. The Hawaii defense appears to be one of the best in the MWC. A prime opportunity awaits the Warriors in Reno to upset the very-much beat-up Wolf Pack.
San Jose State: Bye
Next up for the Spartans: @Minnesota, September 21st, 12 PM ET at TCF Bank Stadium. The Spartans had an off week and are now set to travel to Minnesota. How did UNLV and SJSU pull this game off? I wouldn’t mind if the Broncos got to play a Big Ten school in Minnesota. New Mexico State played there too! The Gophers are holding out on us. Anyways, David Fales needs to win this game for the Spartans to hold any respect they gained in 2012.
That’s it. Big week for the Broncos. The stars appear to be aligned for Fresno to finally beat Boise. Will it happen? Guess we’ll find out. #BleedBlue no matter what. Go Broncos!