Just like that we are seven weeks into the 2012 Mountain West Conference football season. With the next slate of games just hours away, it is time for the weekly winner and loser predictions. Last week my prognosticating was a less than stellar 3-2. I truly believed the Fresno State Bulldogs could win on the blue turf. How wrong I was.
Enjoy the games! All times Mountain.
UNLV Rebels (1-6) (1-1) at 22 Boise State Broncos (5-1) (2-0) 1:30pm
Assuming the Boise State Broncos aren’t stuck on a hangover after beating the Bulldogs, my guess is UNLV is in for a long day. As ugly as the Rebels record is, they are improved, with the development of Nick Sherry at quarterback and the running of Tim Cornett.
Who doesn’t like the running back tandem of D.J. Harper and Jay Ajayi? This combo will keep plenty of Broncos drives alive and eventually wear down the Rebs D.
Prediction: UNLV 13 Boise State 36
New Mexico Lobos (4-3) (1-1) at Air Force Falcons (3-3) (2-1) 5pm
It has been just over five years since the Lobos were above .500. As incredible as that is, Bob Davie still has plenty of work ahead if they expect to make a bowl game. Saturday two of the top three running teams in the Mountain West meet in Colorado Springs.
An advantage for UNM is on the defensive side of the ball. Air Force has been horrid at making plays in the backfield where the Lobos have a respectable 14 sacks. This game could go either way, but something has me leaning toward Davie and his group.
Prediction: New Mexico 27 Air Force 24
Wyoming Cowboys (1-5) (0-2) at Fresno State Bulldogs (4-3) (2-1) 8:30pm
The only question that should be on the minds of Cowboys fans is the status of quarterback Brett Smith. Coach Dave Christensen didn’t reveal his star signal-caller would be out until the final moments before last week’s kickoff. Without Smith the Pokes stand little chance of winning at Fresno.
For the Dogs, Wyoming provides a solid opportunity for the offense to get some confidence back after an ugly performance in Idaho. Watch Robbie Rouse have a 100 plus yard rushing performance against a highly suspect Cowboys run defense.
Prediction: Wyoming 28 Fresno State 45
San Diego State Aztecs (4-3) (2-1) at Nevada Wolf Pack (6-1) (3-0) 8:35pm
This is the marquee game for the conference in week eight. Although the Aztecs have looked average at times, they are clearly one of the better teams in the conference with Ryan Katz at quarterback and a running game led by back Adam Muema. Defensively the Aztecs have the 29th best run defense in the country which matches up well against Nevada.
It’s hard to find a better offense than Chris Ault’s 2012 Wolf Pack. The ability to both run and pass the ball keeps opposing defenders off balance all four quarters. With Cody Fajardo expected to play Saturday, and the game being in Reno, I’ll give the edge to the Pack.
Prediction: San Diego State 28 Nevada 35