Wyoming

Mountain West Week 1 Game Previews & Fearless Predictions


The Mountain West might not have too many statement games in Week 1, but it has its share of landmines to sidestep. Check out the fearless predictions and game previews for all the Week 1 Mountain West games.


Mountain West Week 1 Game Previews & Predictions

Mountain West Conference Games of the Week

Friday, September 2

Colorado vs. Colorado State Game Preview & Fearless Prediction
8:00 PM, ESPN, Sports Authority Field, Denver, CO

Northern Illinois at Wyoming Game Preview & Fearless Prediction
10:30 PM, CBSSN, War Memorial Stadium, Laramie, WY

Saturday, September 3

Boise State at Louisiana Game Preview & Fearless Prediction
12:00 PM, American Sports Network, Cajun Field, Lafayette, LA

Hawai’i at Michigan Game Preview & Fearless Prediction
12:00 PM ESPN, Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, MI

Thursday, September 1

Jackson State at UNLV

8:00 PM, Mountain West Network, Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas, NV

UNLV is growing into one of the Mountain West’s hottest programs under head coach Tony Sanchez, and it should look the part against a Jackson State team under new management in the coaching staff.
The Tigers should have a solid defense and should be okay against the Rebel running game at times, but the offense won’t have a prayer of keeping up the pace once the UNLV air show gets going. The Rebels will unleash Nebraska QB transfer Johnny Stanton on the world – he’ll be fantastic.

Fearless Prediction: UNLV 52, Jackson State 17
Line: No Line
Must See Rating: 5: Any Ryan Lochte interview – 1: Bridget Jones’s Baby … 1.5

Weber State at Utah State

10:00 PM, Mountain West Network, Romney Stadium, Logan, UT

Utah State needs to come out and look like it’s about to be a Mountain West player again. With USC coming up next, and the conference opener against Air Force kicking in a few weeks later, it’s first going to have to get past a relatively tough first test.
Weber State doesn’t have enough offense to do much if the Aggies get up quickly, but it’s got the defense and linebackers to keep this relatively tight and not let it get too far out of hand.

Can Utah State’s defense be back up to the standards it set a few years ago? For one game, yeah, but the offense will sputter a bit too much against the Wildcat run defense. Last year Utah State squeaked by Southern Utah 12-9, but it’ll have a bit more success in this year’s opener.

Fearless Prediction: Utah State 31, Weber State 14
Line: No Line
Must See Rating: 5: Any Ryan Lochte interview – 1: Bridget Jones’s Baby … 2

Friday, September 2

San José State at Tulsa

7:00 PM, CBSSN, Chapman Stadium, Tulsa, OK

It’ll be a blast of a firefight between two good offenses rolling up two mediocre defenses.

The Spartans might not have Tyler Ervin around anymore at running back, but they’ve got a dangerous passing game that should be able to keep up the pace with the game rolling up and down the field. They might not have the same weaponry Tulsa will bring, but they’ll make it fun.

Tulsa, on the other hand, knows how to crank up the attack to a whole other level, and it should put up huge numbers with Dane Evans throwing for 300 yards or more without a problem – even though San Jose State should statistically come up with one of the best pass defenses in the country. That’s not going to happen this week as Evans gets plenty of time to operate.
Line: Tulsa -4
Final Score: Tulsa 47, San Jose State 37
ATS Confidence: 5: Lock of the Century – 1: Move Along … 3
Must See Rating: 5: Any Ryan Lochte interview – 1: Bridget Jones’s Baby … 2.5

Cal Poly at Nevada

9:30 PM, Mountain West Network, Mackay Stadium, Reno, NV

Cal Poly might not be able to stop anything Nevada wants to do, but it’s going to put up more than its share of big plays and numbers with a phenomenal ground game that’ll build off last year’s juggernaut.

The Mustang running game led the nation in rushing with its funky style, which is the last thing the rebuilding Wolf Pack defensive front seven needs to deal with. It has to undergo a trial by fire with a trip to Notre Dame coming up next, and its D will be severely tested.

Fortunately for Nevada, the Mustangs won’t be close to coming up with a stop whenever the passing game tries to do anything down the field.

Yeah, Cal Poly lost seven games last year, but it gave Arizona State a nightmare of a time and lost a few other tight battles. This year’s team is better, but Nevada will be sharp from the start and force Cal Poly to try throwing to get back in the game – it’s not going to work.

Fearless Prediction: Nevada 38, Cal Poly 20
Line: No Line
Must See Rating: 5: Any Ryan Lochte interview – 1: Bridget Jones’s Baby … 2.5

Saturday, September 3

Abilene Christian at Air Force

2:00 PM, Mountain West Network, Falcon Stadium, USAF Academy, CO

It’ll be a game of heavy hearts for Air Force after the tragic loss of former quarterback Dee Dowis in an accident. They’ll do their legendary playmaker proud.

Easing into the season, the Falcons will rumble for huge, huge yards against an Abilene Christian defense that won’t have any luck coming up with a meaningful third down stop. The Air Force secondary will put the clamps down on a decent-looking ACU passing game, even though the Wildcats will bomb away in the second half.

Fearless Prediction: Air Force 55, Abilene Christian 13
Line: No Line
Must See Rating: 5: Any Ryan Lochte interview – 1: Bridget Jones’s Baby … 1.5

Fresno State at Nebraska

8:00 PM, BTN, Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, NE
Is Fresno State really ready to rise up and show that the program is about to change things around after a disastrous 2015?

The Bulldogs need a good showing, but Nebraska really, really needs to be terrific from the start and has to use this as a tune-up with Oregon coming in a few weeks. The Huskers have an iffy defensive line, and this is supposed to be the game to get the pieces in place. The Fresno State running game has to keep that from going smoothly.

The Bulldog problem is on the lines and it’s not going to generate enough of a push. Meanwhile, the Nebraska ground attack should pound away throughout the game in an emotional and fired up performance by a team that’ll get up early and relax. Fresno State will get a few late scores to make the game look better than it’ll actually be.

Fearless Prediction: Nebraska 40, Fresno State 23
Line: Nebraska -28
ATS Confidence: 5: Lock of the Century – 1: Move Along … 2
Must See Rating: 5: Any Ryan Lochte interview – 1: Bridget Jones’s Baby … 2.5

New Hampshire at San Diego State

8:30 PM, Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CA

Okay, San Diego State. You’re the defending Mountain West champion. You’ve got the defense that can shut down anyone in the country on the right day. You’ve got the schedule and the talent to come up with a truly special year, but first, you’ve got to get by another team with a terrific defense.

New Hampshire is making the 3,000-mile trip, and it’s not going to come in soft with a secondary that should be among the best in the FCS. Fortunately for the Aztecs, running the ball shouldn’t be a problem.

San Diego State won’t have to get too funky, grinding the game out with the running game and relying on the defense to shut down the mediocre Wildcat O. As long as the Aztecs don’t royally screw up, they shouldn’t have too much of a problem.

Fearless Prediction: San Diego State 38, New Hampshire 13
Line: No Line
Must See Rating: 5: Any Ryan Lochte interview – 1: Bridget Jones’s Baby … .5

South Dakota at New Mexico

9:00 PM, Root Sports, University Stadium, Albuquerque, NM

It’s always the big question mark when it comes to New Mexico – can anyone stop the ground game? When it comes to South Dakota, the short answer is maybe.

It was a strange season for the Coyotes, shocking North Dakota State on the road and looking phenomenal at times, but with the offense stunningly going bye-bye way too often. It was a wildly inconsistent team on a way to a losing campaign, and the problem with playing New Mexico is that it’s not going to be flaky.

The Lobos are going to run, they’re going to keep the chains moving, and they’re going to take teams with mediocre offenses like South Dakota’s right out of their comfort zones. The Coyotes will keep this close, but they won’t get enough opportunities to pull off the shocker.

Fearless Prediction: New Mexico 34, South Dakota 23
Line: No Line
Must See Rating: 5: Any Ryan Lochte interview – 1: Bridget Jones’s Baby … 2.5