Around The MTN: Rollin’ Rebels Now 4-1
* A Mountain West press release contributed to this report
LARAMIE -- Barry Odom has things cooking in Sin City, especially on the offensive side of the ball.
The Rebels are averaging 36 points per game, which is third in the Mountain West Conference behind only Air Force (37.6) and Utah State (38.1), which has already played six games.
UNLV's only loss came against No.2 Michigan. That was a 35-7 setback in Ann Arbor back in Week 2.
Here are some other news and notes from around the conference:
- After a Week 6 schedule that saw half the Mountain West teams on a bye, all 12 squads are back in action for league contests in Week 7, starting with Fresno State at Utah State on Friday. League leaders Air Force and Wyoming square off on Saturday with first place on the line.
- Three MW teams are receiving votes in the national polls this week. Wyoming and Air Force sit as the second and third teams out of the Associated Press and AFCA polls, and Fresno State is receiving votes in the AFCA poll after dropping out of both polls from No. 24. The Falcons are riding a 10-game winning streak, which is tied for the fourth-longest active streak in the FBS.
- Fresno State (5-1, 0-1 MW) suffered its first loss of the season and saw its 14-game winning streak come to an end with its 24-19 setback at Wyoming. The Bulldogs trailed by 17 at the half but rallied in the second frame, keeping the Cowboys off the board and pulling within five before throwing an interception at midfield in the final minute of play to squelch the rally. Sophomore quarterback Mikey Keene was 23-for-35 for 218 yards and a touchdown before departing with injury in the fourth quarter, and redshirt freshman wide receiver Jalen Moss had nine catches for 115 yards and a score. Senior linebacker Malachi Langley and senior defensive back Dean Clark shared team-high honors with eight tackles apiece.
- Utah State (3-3, 1-1) rallied from a 17-0 deficit for a win for the second straight week, scoring 37 unanswered points to drop Colorado State 44-24 just one week after stunning Connecticut 34-33 after an early three-score hole. Against the Rams, graduate quarterback Cooper Legas was 19-for-29 for 387 yards and four touchdowns, both career-bests. He completed passes to three receivers, as Terrell Vaughn (143 yards, TD), Jalen Royals (140 yards, two TDs), and Micah Davis (104 yards, TD) all had over 100 yards receiving, making the Aggies the only FBS team this century to have three 100-yard receivers and no other player with a single catch. Junior running back Davion Booth had a career-high 141 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries. Sophomore safety Ike Larsen had seven tackles and a pair of interceptions, including one in the end zone, en route to earning MW Defensive Player of the Week honors.
- Wyoming (5-1, 2-0) earned its second win over a ranked opponent this season with its 24-19 victory over then-No. 24 Fresno State, ending what had been the second-longest active winning streak in the FBS at 14 games. Graduate quarterback Andrew Peasley was 19-for-27 for 183 yards and three touchdowns and was named the MW Offensive Player of the Week in addition to being named one of the Davey O’Brien Foundation’s Great 8 for the week, earning a spot on the postseason award’s midseason watch list. Peasley became the first Cowboy QB to throw at least three TDs against a ranked opponent since Josh Allen against Boise State in 2016. Junior linebacker Shae Suiaunoa matched his career-high with 12 tackles and a sack, pacing a defense that held the Bulldogs 101 yards below their season average. Graduate nose tackle Cole Godbout had a game-sealing interception at midfield with less than a minute left.
- Air Force (5-0, 3-0) was idle last week after earning a 49-10 win over San Diego State in Week 5. Senior quarterback Zac Larrier was the MW Offensive Player of the Week and earned a spot on the Davey O’Brien Award’s Great 8 List after totaling 292 yards of total offense in the win, rushing for a career-high 103 yards on eight carries (12.9 ypc) and posting career-highs in every passing category, going 6-for-7 for 189 yards and two touchdowns and turning in a passing efficiency rating of 406.8. Senior fullback Emmanuel Michel carried 18 times for 78 yards and two TDs for the Falcons, who continue to lead the FBS with 329.8 rushing yards per game.
- Boise State (3-3, 2-0) puts its undefeated MW record on the line Saturday when it visits Colorado State (2-3, 0-1). The Broncos staged a huge rally against San José State in Week 6, overcoming a 27-7 deficit with 28 unanswered points on the way to a 35-27 win. Boise State claimed two MW weekly honors, with FBS punting leader James Ferguson-Reynolds taking MW Special Teams Player of the Week accolades after averaging 53.7 yards per punt on three kicks, including a 71-yarder that is the longest in the MW and tied for the fourth-longest in the FBS this season. Quarterback Maddux Madsen was named the MW Freshman of the Week after going 9-for-16 for 155 yards and an 83-yard touchdown pass, as well as running for 39 yards and a TD. Sophomore quarterback Taylen Green also had a big game for the Broncos, completing four passes for 75 yards and a touchdown and rushing for 40 yards and two scores.
- Boise State sophomore running back Ashton Jeanty had 24 carries for 167 yards against the Spartans, becoming the first FBS player this season to surpass 1,000 scrimmage yards. He’s the sixth MW player ever to eclipse the milestone in his team’s first six games and the first since San Diego State’s Rashaad Penny in 2017. Jeanty leads the FBS in scoring (72 points/12.0 per game) and ranks second in all-purpose yards per game (168.3) and 10th in rushing yards per game (109.3)
- Colorado State senior wide receiver Tory Horton had a 79-yard punt return for a touchdown as the Rams built their early 17-0 lead over Utah State, making him the only FBS player this season with a passing touchdown, receiving touchdown, and return touchdown. The last MW player to have all three of those in a season was CSU’s Joe Hansley in 2013. Defensively against the Aggies, senior linebacker Justin Sanchez had 14 tackles, and graduate defensive lineman Mohamed Kamara had three sacks to increase his FBS leads to 1.90 sacks per game and 2.2 tackles for loss per game.
- UNLV (4-1, 1-0) will look to remain perfect in MW play when it visits in-state rival Nevada (0-5, 0-1) on Saturday. The Rebels opened league play with a 44-20 win over Hawai‘i in Week 5, matching their season-high with 307 rushing yards en route to their third straight game with at least 40 points scored. Senior running back Courtney Reese ran for 32 yards and two scores, while senior running back Donavyn Lester rushed for a game-high 98 yards and a TD. Senior kicker Jose Pizano was 3-for-3 on field-goal attempts, including a career-long 52-yard mark, and added five extra points for a 14-point day. Redshirt freshman Jayden Maiava threw for a pair of touchdowns, and junior defensive back Johnathan Baldwin had a team-best nine tackles.
- Nevada fell 27-9 at then-No. 25 Fresno State last time out, with the Wolf Pack’s only offensive scoring coming in the form of a 19-yard touchdown pass from redshirt freshman QB AJ Bianco to senior wide receiver Spencer Curtis with 11 seconds left in the game. Senior defensive back Emany Johnson had a team-best eight tackles and a pair of interceptions in helping hold the Bulldogs to what was a season-low in points at the time.
- New Mexico (2-3, 0-1) looks to get back to .500 when it hosts San José State (1-5, 0-2) on Saturday. The Lobos dropped a 35-26 decision at Wyoming last time out, getting within a score with 1:12 left in the contest on freshman QB Devon Dampier’s 11-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver D.J. Washington before a late Cowboy field goal put the game away. Dampier finished with 41 passing yards, two TDs, and 71 rushing yards in relief of injured starter senior Dylan Hopkins, while senior running back Jacory Croskey-Merritt ran for 103 yards on 15 carries.
- San José State saw senior running back Kairee Robinson and senior quarterback Chevan Cordeiro run for 11-yard TDs in the first quarter, and junior kicker Kyler Halvorsen led off the second quarter with a 33-yard field goal as the Spartans built a 17-0 lead before Boise State rallied for the win. Cordeiro was 23-for-38 for 325 passing yards, and junior wide receiver Nick Nash finished with 99 receiving yards on just four catches. Sophomore linebacker Jordan Pollard had an interception and forced a fumble on the day.
- Hawai‘i (2-4, 0-1) and San Diego State (2-4, 0-2) are both seeking their first MW win when the Aztecs visit the Rainbow Warriors on Saturday. Hawai‘i dropped a 44-20 decision at UNLV last time out, with junior quarterback Brayden Schager going 22-for-35 for 313 yards and two TDs and senior wide receiver Steven McBride making six catches for 180 yards and a score. Sophomore Jalen Smith had 10 tackles, including 1.5 tackles for loss, in his first career start at linebacker.
- San Diego State scored all 10 of its points in the second quarter of its 49-10 loss at Air Force in Week 5. Senior quarterback Jalen Mayden capped an 80-yard drive with a 21-yard TD pass to sophomore wide receiver Joshua Nicholson for the first points of the game, and senior kicker/punter Jack Browning drilled a Mountain-West record 61-yard field goal to end the half. Browning broke a league standard that had stood for nearly 30 years, surpassing the 59-yarder made by Air Force’s Joey Ashcroft on that same field against Army on Nov. 8, 2003.
Wyoming graduate quarterback Andrew Peasley has been tabbed the Mountain West Offensive Player of the Week, while Utah State sophomore safety Ike Larsen has been named MW Defensive Player of the Week. Boise State sophomore punter James Ferguson-Reynolds earned MW Special Teams Player of the Week honors and Bronco quarterback Maddux Madsen was selected as the MW Freshman of the Week.
The weekly honor is the fourth of Larsen’s career and the first in the careers of Peasley, Ferguson-Reynolds and Madsen.
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
ANDREW PEASLEY, WYOMING
Graduate, Quarterback, LaGrande, Ore. / Utah State
- Was 19-for-27 for 183 yards and three touchdowns, leading Wyoming to a 24-19 win over No. 24 Fresno State, its second win over a top-25 program this season.
- Tied his career-high with three TD passes, with all three of them coming in the first half.
- Completed 70 percent of his passes and threw completions to eight different receivers.
- Also rushed four times for 25 yards.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
IKE LARSEN, UTAH STATE
Sophomore, Safety, Smithfield, Utah / Sky View HS
- Made seven tackles and had a pair of interceptions and a pass breakup as Utah State rallied for a 44-24 win over Colorado State, holding the Rams to just seven points after the first quarter.
- Tied his career-high with two interceptions, both of which came in the second quarter and one in the end zone.
- His second interception led to the Aggies’ game-tying touchdown with 3:50 left in the first half.
- Helped Utah State rally from a 17-0 deficit for the second straight game, matching the fourth-largest comeback in program history.
SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK
JAMES FERGUSON-REYNOLDS, BOISE STATE
Sophomore, Punter, Geelong, Australia
- Punted three times for 161 yards in Boise State’s 35-27 win over San José State, averaging 53.7 yards per punt.
- Unleashed a 71-yard punt, the longest in the Mountain West this year and tied for the fourth-longest in the FBS this season.
- Raised his seasonal average to an FBS-best 50.3 yards per punt.
- Recorded one touchback.
FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK
MADDUX MADSEN, BOISE STATE
Redshirt Freshman, Quarterback, American Fork, Utah / American Fork HS
- Helped Boise State score 28 straight points to rally from a 20-point deficit in a 35-27 win over San José State.
- Went 9-for-16 for 155 yards and a touchdown through the air and added eight carries for 39 yards and a score.
- Threw an 83-yard touchdown early in the second quarter to get the Broncos on the board. It was the second-longest pass completion in the Mountain West this season.
- Averaged 17.2 yards per completion.
University of Wyoming’s Top 50 Football Players
Gallery Credit: 7220Sports.com
- University of Wyoming’s Top 50 Football Players