Predictions for the Mountain West Conference following a historic weekend for the Conference...
It was a huge week for the Mountain West Conference last weekend. The Mountain West swept the games they had against the PAC-10. Including BYU crushing UCLA at home. I also came out on top over Scott in the prediction last week:
Mark[Last Week 7-5(.583) 21-13(.617) Head-to-Head 1-1-1]
Scott[Last Week 6-6(.500) 21-13(.617) Head-to-Head 1-1-1]
BYU starts conference play this weekend, Utah has a big conference road against Air Force, and Utah State has a crucial game against the Idaho Vandals. Plus, the rest of the conference tries to continue the success of the last week in more non-conference games. Here are this weeks predictions:
Wyoming @ #14 BYU 1PM MT The Mtn.
After having a chance to re-watch BYU's blowout victory against UCLA...WOW!!! The offense was just picking apart the Bruin's defense. The Wyoming defense has had trouble stopping Ohio, Air Force, and North Dakota State. This game is going to be ugly for the pokes.
BYU 52 Wyoming 3
BYU=Very good Wyoming=Very bad.
BYU 42 Wyoming 10
Houston @ Colorado State 1:30PM MT
Houston can really rack up the yardage! The Cougars are averaging 405 yards through the air a game. The problem is Houston's defense is awful. The Cougars couldn't stop the Falcons running game giving up 380 yards on the ground, and they also gave up 699 yards of total offence to Oklahoma State. Colorado State is rebuilding this season, but home field will be the difference in this game.
Colorado State 28 Houston 24
Houston put up 500+ yards offense last week against a better than expected Air Force team. CSU is still going through some growing pains. If CSU can control the game on the ground and keep the ball away from Houston’s offense, then the game may be closer than most people expect.
Houston 31 Colorado State 20
#20 Utah @ Air Force 2PM MT
This is the week that Air Force will be exposed. Utah is the better team, and the defense will be able to take away the running attack of the Falcons. Air Force gave up yardage against Houston, something they won't be able to afford against the Utes.
Utah 42 Air Force 13
Air Force always plays Utah tough and knows how to keep the ball away from a high-powered offense by running the ball. Air Force has a chance to pull the upset if they pressure Johnson and force turnovers. Last week they failed to complete a pass. If that happens again this week, look for a blowout in Utah’s favor. Utah has looked very good in their three games, and at times, their offense has looked unstoppable. Air Force’s D won’t stop the Utes, so it comes down to whether or not Utah’s D can stop Air Force’s rushing attack.
Utah 35 Air Force 31
New Mexico @ Tulsa 5:05PM MT
This is the first real challenge for Tulsa. Having started the season playing UAB, and North Texas. The Lobos are riding the momentum of beating Arizona. Tulsa's quarterback David Johnson has been great. Johnson had 7 total touchdowns against North Texas. Donovan Porterie, New Mexico's starting quarterback, has yet to throw a touchdown in three games. Turnovers has been the key for the Lobos. The Lobos had three turnovers in their game against TCU, and four against Texas A&M. In their only win the Lobos only had one turnover, and took the ball away from Arizona five times. If a team can't handle the ball at home, then they normally have issues with turnovers on the road.
Tulsa 38 New Mexico 28
Major props to the Lobos for not rolling over and playing dead for the third week in a row. New Mexico’s D was up to the challenge last week against a “*good” offense. *(Haven’t we been hearing that for a few years now from Arizona???). They face another very good offense this week. Tulsa is averaging about 50 points per game this year (UAB and North Texas). How much of last weeks victory will carry over into this game? I expect New Mexico to put up a fight.
Tulsa 28 New Mexico 24
TCU @ SMU 6PM MT CBSC
Texas Tech isn't known for their defense, and SMU only score seven points against Texas Tech's defense. TCU's defense are going to be going for the shut out. Big win for the Horned Frogs.
TCU 35 SMU 0
TCU’s top ranked defense goes up against June Jone’s vaunted spread attack. Ok, so SMU isn’t Hawaii (2007) and this game really shouldn’t be close. TCU’s defense is near the top in every category and their offense has looked impressive so far. The real storyline of the game is whether or not TCU will look past SMU to next week’s showdown with #2 Oklahoma.
TCU 27 SMU 14
Iowa State @ UNLV 7PM MT
Anyone who saw the end of the Arizona State vs UNLV game knows that it took a miracle catch in the end zone to force overtime, and a pass in overtime that hit multiple Arizona State defenders in the hands before somehow finding the hands of a UNLV receiver. UNLV rose up and knocked off a team that was looking forward to a game against a top ranked Georgia team this weekend. It is hard to judge just how good the Rebels are this season. Yet, Iowa State has two wins over poor competition, and only scored five points against Iowa. UNLV has never been able to carry any momentum in the past from victories. This is the change year in Vegas.
UNLV 24 Iowa State 14
First, my apologies to UNLV. That was an impressive win on the road against the #2 Pac 10 team. Apparently they aren’t who we though they were…or are they? Last year UNLV showed great promise when they beat Utah, but then failed to build on that victory. Will UNLV follow that same path this year? Iowa State comes in only scoring 5 points against an ok Iowa team. Just like a few years ago, I see Mike Sanford refusing to leave the field again after ISU scores late to win the game (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SCpcAum2BSM) and then promptly trips over the grass.
Iowa State 17 UNLV 13
#6 LSU @ #10 Auburn 5:45 PM MT ESPN
LSU has played nobody. Appalachian State is only a challenge if your Michigan. North Texas also didn't prove to be much of a challenge. This is the first real game LSU is playing this season. Auburn hung on against Mississippi State on the road to win 3-2(yes that was really the score). Mississippi State had chances to win that game, and Auburn had troubles moving the ball. It is hard to win on the road in the SEC, and while Auburn's win wasn't pretty it gave them experience that will lead to the win over the Tigers
Auburn 17 LSU 10
Auburn and LSU always have great defenses. How will both young QBs handle the pressure of their first big-time SEC game? Not very many people can roll into Auburn and come away with a victory. I just think that LSU has a more complete team. Auburn’s D can only keep them in the game for so long against the defending national champs.
LSU 24 Auburn 17
#3 Georgia @ Arizona State 6PM MT ABC
Arizona State was overrated going into the season. They were exposed at home against UNLV. The players are embarrassed, and they have the #3 Georgia Bulldogs coming to town. Yet, nobody is talking about how Georgia barely hung on to beat South Carolina on the road last week. The Bulldogs look comfortable and Arizona State is looking for redemption. Look for the Sun Devils to find redemption this weekend.
Arizona State 28 Georgia 14
How does ASU bounce back after losing last week to UNLV at home? ASU has had this game circled on the calendar for a long time now, and they have something to prove. The only problem is that so does Georgia. Georgia has fallen in the rankings and would love to make a statement on a nationally televised night game, just like USC did last week.
Georgia 31 Arizona State 17
Notre Dame @ Michigan State 1:30 PM MT ABC
Michigan State isn't going to turn over the ball six times like Michigan did last weekend. Sorry Charlie your ACL won't be the only thing hurting after this weekend, your butt is going to also be sore.
Michigan State 49 Notre Dame 7
Michigan State’s recent dominance against ND coupled with ND’s football incompetence means a long day for the Irish. Sure, the Irish are 2-0, but the film doesn’t lie…they are slightly improved over last year’s 3-9 debacle. Clawson is improving and they do have a very good deep threat in Tate, but they are still too young to go on the road and win against a quality team. Michigan State’s Ringer rushed for nearly 300 yards last week and looks to carry the load again this week.
Michigan State 31 Notre Dame 13
#18 Wake Forrest @ #24 Florida State 5PM MT ESPN2
It is hard to go to Florida State and get a win. Wake Forest doesn't have the team to get it done.
Florida State 28 Wake Forest 14
Does Florida State finally have an offense to go with their D? Wake Forrest is a solid football team. They don’t do anything great, yet they find a way to win football games. FSU has looked good against lesser opponents (go figure) and this game will be very telling for both teams.
Florida State 24 Wake Forest 21
Idaho @ Utah State 2PM MT ESPN360
This is the game in the season that Utah State must win. While the Aggies have looked bad the last two weeks they have been playing tough opponents. Utah State says Borel will be the starter this weekend. That is a move in the right direction to turn the season around. Utah State wins at home.
Utah State 28 Idaho 17
UNLV looked to be a winnable game for USU, but they were on the road. USU finally gets a game at home that they should win. There aren’t very many games on USU’s schedule that they will be favored to win (the line is 4.5) and they need to take care of business. If the win this game and get some confidence they have a chance at putting together a pretty good season (winning as many games this year as they have in the past three years combined). Their best football is in front of them. Their conference season begins on Saturday and that is what is most important.
Utah State 20 Idaho 17
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Predictions for the Mountain West Conference following a historic weekend for the Conference...