Around The MTN: Zero-Week Games Await Three Conference Teams
* Mountain West Conference press release
LARAMIE -- Wyoming won't take the field for 12 more days.
Same can't be said for Mountain West foes San Jose State, San Diego State and Hawaii, which will all take part in college football's Zero Week.
- The 25th season of Mountain West football begins on Saturday, Aug. 26, as three teams open the 2023 campaign in zero week. San José State visits No. 6 USC, San Diego State hosts Ohio and Hawai‘i opens against Vanderbilt for the season straight year, heading east for the return visit against the Commodores. The season’s full composite schedule can be found on page 12.
- Three Mountain West programs are receiving votes in the preseason AFCA Coaches Poll, including Fresno State (19 points), Boise State (18) and Air Force (6). Boise State (17) is also receiving votes in the Associated Press Top 25.
- Mountain West squads have a total of 11 games scheduled against teams ranked in the preseason AFCA and/or AP top-25 polls, all but one on the road. Wyoming has the lone home contest against a preseason ranked squad, as it entertains Texas Tech, No. 24 in the AFCA poll, on Sept. 2. The Cowboys and San José State both face a pair of ranked foes, as Wyoming also takes on No. 12/11 Texas (Sept. 16) and the Spartans face No. 18/18 Oregon State (Sept. 3).
- Boise State is the preseason favorite to win the Mountain West in 2023, marking the 16th straight season that the Broncos have been picked to claim either a conference or division crown, including every year since joining the MW in 2011. The Broncos earned 28 of 37 first-place votes to top the preseason poll with 433 points.
- Defending MW champion Fresno State has won nine consecutive games, the third-longest active win streak nationally. The Bulldogs’ last loss came on Oct. 8, 2022, at Boise State. This is the longest win streak by a MW team since San José State won nine straight from 2019 to 2020. Fresno State puts its streak on the line when it opens the season at Purdue on Sept. 2.
- Wyoming junior placekicker John Hoyland earned preseason second-team All-America honors from the Associated Press. He was the lone member of either the first or second team not from the autonomous-5.
- In addition to being the preseason MW Offensive Player of the Year, San José State quarterback Chevan Cordeiro is on the preseason watch lists for several national awards, including: the Maxwell Award (player of the year), Walter Camp Award (most outstanding player), Davey O’Brien Award (best quarterback), Manning Award (best quarterback) and Polynesian College Football Player of the Year.
- Boise State has two of the four MW players on the watch list for the Maxwell Award in quarterback Taylen Green and running back George Holani. Green, the 2022 MW Freshman of the Year, is also on the watch lists for the Walter Camp, Davey O’Brien and Earl Campbell Tyler Rose awards, while Holani is on the watch lists for the Doak Walker Award (best running back), Paul Hornung Award (most versatile player) and the Polynesian College Football Player of the Year Award.
- Joining Green, Holani and Cordeiro on the Maxwell Award watch list is Colorado State wide receiver Tory Horton.
- Wyoming linebacker Easton Gibbs, the MW Preseason Defensive Player of the Year, is on the preseason watch lists for the Bronko Nagurski (outstanding defensive player), Bednarik (defensive player of the year) and Butkus (best linebacker) awards.
- In addition to Gibbs, Air Force safety Trey Taylor, Boise State linebacker DJ Schramm, Colorado State safety Jack Howell and Fresno State linebacker Levelle Bailey are on both the Bronko Nagurski and Bednarik watch lists. San Diego State linebacker Cody Moon joins them on the Nagurski watch list.
- The Mountain West leads all 10 FBS conferences with six of the 30 selections to the watch list for the Lou Groza Award, which honors the nation’s top placekicker. The MW’s nominees include: Air Force’s Matthew Dapore, Boise State’s Jonah Dalmas, Hawai’i’s Matthew Shipley, Nevada’s Brandon Talton, San Diego State’s Jack Browning and Wyoming’s Hoyland.
- Nevada senior place-kicker Talton enters his fifth season as the Mountain West’s career leader in field goals made with 68. He needs five more to become the Wolf Pack’s career leader.
- UNLV appointed Barry Odom as its new head coach on Dec. 6, 2022. Odom joined UNLV after three seasons as associate head coach and defensive coordinator at Arkansas. Before his time with the Razorbacks, Odom spent four seasons as head coach at the University of Missouri. He took two of his teams to bowl games and finished .500 or better three times en route to an overall record of 25-25 from 2016-19. The 2018 Tigers finished the regular season ranked 23rd in the College Football Playoff poll. He is the only first-year coach in the Mountain West this season.
- The Mountain West concluded the 2022 season with three 10-win teams, the third-most among all FBS conferences and the most among the non-autonomous 5.
- Dating back to the 2019 season, the Mountain West has won 21 games against autonomous-5 opponents, including 17 against the Pac-12. This is the most wins in that time span amongst all non-autonomous-5 conferences.
- Air Force and Fresno State each defeated an autonomous-5 opponent in a 2022 bowl game by at least 15 points, as the Falcons defeated Baylor by 15 and the Bulldogs beat Washington State by 23. This is the first bowl season a non-autonomous 5 conference has recorded multiple 15-point victories against autonomous-5 teams since 2011 (C-USA).
- The Mountain West produced the first non-automatic-qualifying FBS team into a BCS bowl game (Utah - 2005 Fiesta Bowl) and into the College Football Playoff (Boise State - 2014 Fiesta Bowl).
MORE UW FOOTBALL NEWS VIA 7220SPORTS:
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