Who took the lead and who left something to be desired in the final weekend of Mountain West football?
Some encouragements and some disappointments from the week that was.
Week 2 of the football action in Mountain West is officially behind us and many fans have plenty to feel good about since the conference went 8-3 overall. However, it was not equally fun and game everywhere, which is why we look back like this every Sunday.
Here are the Week 2 winners and losers of Mountain West football.
1. Air Force Defensive Coordinator John Rudzinski
If you beat a team so badly that they immediately fire a coach, that counts as a pretty big win in my book. Such is the case for the Falcons’ defense, which dominated the Navy midshipmen so hard from start to finish that Middies Offensive Coordinator Ivin Jasper reportedly got the axe as result. Navy put in 44 plays and earned 68 yards in total offense against the Air Force, allowing for five sacks and nine tackles for loss, a level of performance the Air Force has not assembled against an FBS opponent since at least 2000.
stop at the defense pic.twitter.com/Bp9iCqC4pc
— Air Force Soccer (@AF_Football) September 11, 2021
2. Utah State Wide Receiver Deven Thompkins
Just as we all expected two weeks into the season, the 5-foot-8 senior from Fort Myers, Florida is *checking notes* leading the Mountain West in receiving yards. Thompkins continued his hot start on Friday night against North Dakota with a groundbreaking 75-yard catch-and-run that gave the Aggies a lead he wouldn’t relinquish, finishing the day with eight catches and 172 yards on 11 goals against the Hawks fight.
There’s nothing like one-play touchdown drives
— KSL Sports (@kslsports) September 11, 2021
3. San Diego State Tight End Daniel Bellinger
We already know a lot about Trey McBride and Cole Turner, who both scored a touchdown on Saturday night, but it was Bellinger who played as the best tight end in the Mountain West this week. Though he only had three goals in the Aztecs’ victory over Arizona, he caught all three for 112 yards and a touchdown, boosting his stock as an underrated athlete who can certainly do a little bit of everything at the position.
— San Diego State Football (@AztecFB) September 12, 2021
1. Hawaii quarterback Chevan Lamb
Cordeiro had a tough game against Oregon State on Saturday night, but it seems increasingly clear that it is not entirely his fault that he ended up here today. Even though the Beavers were only allocated three sacks, it looked like Cordeiro would have to flee and that defense almost every time he fell back to pass.used to be credited with nine quarterback rushes. That largely explains why Cordeiro, despite throwing 331 yards, finished with a less than 50% completion rate (23-of-48) and threw two interceptions.
Offensive coordinator Bo Graham needs to give his quarterback some quick protection.
— Oregon State Football (@BeaverFootball) September 12, 2021
2. The Colorado State Rams
The Rams defeated the Vanderbilt Commodores on Saturday by nearly two full yards per game. They allowed zero sacks while collecting three for the defense. They also made mistakes, mistakes, mistakes on the way to another humiliating loss at home.
If it wasn’t the two missed field goals that brought them in, it might have been the undisciplined defensive play where two different players were sent off for aiming. Perhaps it was Thomas Pannunzio’s failed interception early in the second half or Todd Centeio’s poor decision that allowed Vanderbilt to equalize in the third quarter. Whatever you’re trying to pin the performance on, don’t be shocked if the Fort Collins faithful are already thinking of ways to cover Steve Addazio’s buyout when it drops after December 1.
3. UNLV’s front seven (except Jacoby Windmon)
Windmon, like Cordeiro, isn’t really here because of a direct error of his own. Like the Hawaii quarterback, UNLV’s burgeoning defensive star just desperately needs more help making the front seven.
Though he led the way with nine tackles and a half sack against Arizona State, the defense failed to hold out as the game progressed and Sun Devils quarterback Jayden Daniels came off way too many times, producing a tight 14-10. fight turned into a comfortable 37-10 ASU victory. Given that UNLV, outside of Windmon, also struggled to reach Eric Barriere in the season-opening loss against Eastern Washington, this could be a problem
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