M-West Pre-Spring Preview - What Needs Work?
Colorado State DE Nordly Capi
Colorado State DE Nordly Capi
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Feb 10, 2012


2012 Mountain West Pre-Spring Preview - What Every Mountain West Team Needs To Work On.

2012 Pre-Spring Preview   

What To Work On - M-West


Air Force | Boise State | Colorado State | Fresno State | Hawaii
New Mexico | Nevada | San Diego State | UNLV | Wyoming

2012 Mountain West Pre-Spring Preview
- Mountain West Pre-Spring Rankings
- Why Every Team Should Be Excited
- Why Every Team Should Be Grouchy
- What Every Team Needs To Work On 
- 2012 Mountain West Recruiting Rankings

Air Force

The Falcons have to be far, far better against the run. The formula only works if the Air Force defense gets off the field, and that didn’t happen last year with too many problems on third downs and no key stops against decent ground games. There wasn’t any pass rush and there wasn’t any pressure into the backfield, and it showed with the defense finishing 115th in the nation in third down conversions. The offense has to own the time of possession. There weren’t problems moving the ball, but the attack didn’t control enough games.

Boise State

The defense has to do even more now that the offense is almost certainly going to take a slight step back. The line did a great job against the run, and it wasn’t bad at being disruptive, but the pass rush was mediocre. Boise State will still be solid offensively, and the team really was more than just Kellen Moore, but it’s asking a lot to get the same magic on a regular basis. The running game will have to do more to balance out the attack considering the passing game isn’t going to be as efficient.

Colorado State

Jim McElwain needs his offensive line to be stronger in pass protection and his defensive line has to hold up better against the run. Former head man Steve Fairchild demanded that his Rams push people around, and it didn’t happen. For the offense to work like McElwain will want, the offensive line can’t finish 106th in the nation in sacks allowed. The defense got a huge year out of Nordly Capi, but the rest of the line wasn’t active enough and the linebackers didn’t do enough to clean things up. Too many plays were made five yards down the field.

Fresno State

Tim DeRuyter’s first job is to figure out how to get his defense to take the ball away. The Bulldogs came up with just five picks and four fumble recoveries on the way to finishing 116th in the nation in turnover margin. The defense has to do a better job of generating a consistent pass rush to help out a struggling secondary. The defense couldn’t stop New Mexico State or San Jose State, much less Boise State and Nevada. Overall, DeRuyter has to bring back the swagger the program had when it was scaring the big BCS programs. After losing four games by a touchdown or less, it might not take much to quickly turn things around.

Hawaii

Owning home field advantage is a must after going just 4-3 last year. To do that, Norm Chow has to make the passing game a killer again. The yards were there, but the turnover at receiver was a problem and the attack wasn’t efficient. The defense was able to get to the quarterback on a regular basis, but it didn’t translate into enough takeaways to turn games around. The secondary has to take advantage of the pass rush and has to be able to hold up with everyone trying to bomb away to keep up the pace.

Nevada

The defensive front has to start making more plays behind the line. The Wolf Pack defense has been hit-or-miss under Chris Ault, and while it wasn’t all that bad last season, the tackles for loss weren’t there and the pass rush was inconsistent. Offensively, the running game was great, as always, but it wasn’t quite as unstoppable as it needed to be. 13 of the team’s 29 rushing scores came in two wins over New Mexico and New Mexico State. The penalties have to slow down after committing 90 on the year and close to seven per game.

New Mexico

Points, points, points. Bob Davie might be a defensive coach by nature, but his offense has to find something that works after finishing dead last in the nation in scoring and 113th in yards. The Lobos scored 10 points or fewer in eight games and went on a four came stretch scoring just 14 points. Defensively, his line has to get into the backfield. With no pressure on the quarterback, the defense got ripped apart finishing 119th in the nation against the run and 119th in points allowed.

San Diego State

The offensive backfield needs to replace the key players, and that means the defense and special teams have to be stronger. The D was fine, and it was aggressive, but it was mediocre against the run and got shoved around a bit too much. The punting game was special, and now Brian Stahovich has to be replaced. Kicker Abelardo Perez is also gone, but he only hit 6-of-15 field goals; the Aztecs can’t afford to not have a consistent kicker. The punt return game has to be far better after averaging just 5.23 yards per try.

UNLV

The offense has to finally start doing something. Coach Bobby Hauck has been around long enough to have the pieces in place he needs, and now his team has to be as physical as he wanted it to be when he first took over the job. The ground game was solid, but it wasn’t nearly enough to keep up the pace with a passing game that didn’t go anywhere and a defense that couldn’t stop anyone. The defensive line has to get to the quarterback and the offensive line has to give the quarterback time to work.

Wyoming
The run defense has to be far better. The 2011 season wasn’t a mirage, but the Cowboys were exposed by Temple in the bowl loss with no answers on the defensive front against Bernard Pierce and the Owl ground attack. On the year, UW gave up 232 yards per game and didn’t do anything behind the line. The offense got a breakout season from QB Brett Smith, and now it’s time to get a step forward. He has to be more efficient, and that starts with finding a reliable downfield target. A steady running back needs to step forward to take the pressure off of Smith.

Air Force | Boise State | Colorado State | Fresno State | Hawaii
New Mexico | Nevada | San Diego State | UNLV | Wyoming

2012 Mountain West Pre-Spring Preview
- Mountain West Pre-Spring Rankings
- Why Every Team Should Be Excited
- Why Every Team Should Be Grouchy
- What Every Team Needs To Work On 
- 2012 Mountain West Recruiting Rankings