Week two was a forgettable one for the Mountain West. In my previous prediction article I had the conference going 5-3, but instead, the final record was an ugly 1-7. My record in week two was 4-4 picking winners. Nevada, Wyoming, UNLV, and Colorado State all failed to protect their home field.
Here are my week three predictions for the Mountain West:
Washington State (1-1) at UNLV (0-2) 7pm Mountain
While the Mike Leach led Cougars are still struggling to fully embrace the air raid attack, they should have enough offense to outscore the UNLV Rebels in Las Vegas. Running back Tim Cornett is the bulk of Bobby Hauk’s offense, but he’s only one man.
Prediction: Washington State 31 UNLV 13
Miami (OH) (1-1) at Boise State (0-1) 2pm Mountain
Watch out for Miami (OH) Redhawks’ receiver Andy Cruse, as he is a large target for quarterback Zac Dysert. Broncos head coach Chris Petersen has had two weeks to prepare for the Hawks and it will show. Joe Southwick won’t have to win with his arm alone, as I expect the Broncos to play physical with their experienced offensive line.
Prediction: Miami (OH) 17 Boise State 30
Cal Poly (1-0) at Wyoming (0-2) 4pm Mountain
The Cowboys will likely be without quarterback Brett Smith who suffered a concussion in the loss to the Toledo Rockets last week. Even without their star QB the Pokes should be able to handle the FCS Cal Poly Mustangs. Kolby Kirkegaard should be an adequate presence under center for Wyoming.
Prediction: Cal Poly 20 Wyoming 38
New Mexico (1-1) at Texas Tech (2-0) 4pm Mountain
It’s fairly unbelievable, but in week three, the Red Raiders could be facing their toughest test yet in the New Mexico Lobos at home. Quarterback B.R. Holbrook is listed as “highly probable” to play this weekend. Bob Davie will run option football with some success but UNM will not keep up with Seth Doege and Raiders passing attack.
Prediction: New Mexico 14 Texas Tech 40
Northwestern State (1-1) at Nevada (1-1) 4:05pm Mountain
This game should be a yawner. Cody Fajardo is a stud at operating the Nevada pistol offense, and should find plenty of holes in the Devils defense. The Wolf Pack have a propensity to give up the big play, which will hurt later in the Mountain West schedule, not this Saturday.
Prediction: Northwestern State 9 Nevada 50
North Dakota (2-0) at San Diego State (1-1) 6pm Mountain
No longer the Fighting Sioux, the team with no official nickname from North Dakota will tangle with the Aztecs in San Diego. While UND is a viable opponent from the FCS ranks, Ryan Katz and the SDSU offense should put plenty of points on the board. Head coach Rocky Long has the Aztecs playing sound defense as well.
Prediction: North Dakota 17 San Diego State 40
Lamar (1-1) at Hawaii (0-1) 10pm Mountain
Norm Chow has two weeks to prepare for a school that should give the Warriors little challenge in the Lamar Cardinals. Look for Sean Schroeder to have a big game for Hawaii throwing the football to a bevy of talented pass-catchers.
Prediction: Lamar 3 Hawaii 55
James Gomez is a Pac-12 and Mountain West columnist for Rant Sports and member of the Football Writers Association of America
You can follow James on Twitter as well.