MWest Pre-Spring Preview - Why To Be Fired Up
Fresno State QB Derek Carr
Fresno State QB Derek Carr
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Feb 10, 2012


2012 Mountain West Pre-Spring Preview - Why Every Mountain West Team Should Be Fired Up

2012 Pre-Spring Preview   

Why To Be Excited - 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 always seem able to reload. There’s major personnel turnover on both sides of the ball, but the running backs will be in place to keep the machine going with Mike DeWitt a good, powerful back and Wes Cobb a veteran who should shine with more work. Linebacker Alex Means should be one of the Mountain West’s leading tacklers, and kicker Parker Herrington has the potential to be an all-star.

Boise State

The receiving corps that was such a huge question mark going into last season could turn out to be one of the team’s biggest strengths. Matt Miller is coming off a terrific freshman season and should blossom even more as a No. 1 target, while Mitch Burroughs and tight end Gabe Linehan know what they’re doing and should ease the transition from the Kellen Moore era. The loss of running back Doug Martin won’t hurt as much with D.J. Harper ready to take on a bigger workload.

Colorado State

New coach Jim McElwain knows how to get an offense moving and was a great get for the Rams. QB Pete Thomas might have taken off, and seven starters are back for the former Alabama offensive coordinator to work with. The defense might need plenty of work, but nine starters are back as is punter Pete Koutodiakos, who finished 20th in the nation in net punting. There’s a chance for a hot start if CSU can get by Colorado to kick things off with winnable games against North Dakota State, San Jose State, and Utah State to follow.

Fresno State

The offense worked last season, but it didn’t do enough to keep up in shootouts and it couldn’t make up for a mediocre defense. The key parts are back including QB Derek Carr, receivers Jalen Saunders and Rashad Evans, and workhorse running back Robbie Rouse. With three good starters back on the line, the attack should be explosive and more productive. New coach Tim DeRuyter inherits a veteran pair of ends in Matt Akers and Nat Harrison along with six defensive starters in the back seven. Three of the top four tacklers also return.

Hawaii

While he hasn’t exactly set the world on fire lately, first-time head coach Norm Chow is a brilliant offensive mind who should be the perfect fit for the program. The passing game was undergoing a bit of an overhaul last year, and this year the receiving corps should be far more consistent and far more productive. While QB David Graves might need a little bit of time, he’s good enough to make a big push for the starting job. Seven starters return to an attack that should explode again with a little bit of tweaking. Chow is the type of coach who can make all the difference.

Nevada

The Wolf Pack offense had to undergo a bit of a transition after losing Colin Kaepernick and most of the stars from the terrific 2010 team, but the running game still wasn’t all that bad. Now the backfield should be set with QB Cody Fajardo a year older and a stockpile of good running backs ready to break out. The line gets three starters back and should be a wall on the left side. The secondary that made good strides last year returns three starters.

New Mexico

New Mexico, your nightmare might be over. If nothing else, Bob Davie will restore the dignity and the integrity of the program, and in time, the football team should come around, too. Things can’t be any worse than they’ve been over the last few years, and there’s no chance the offense will be as pathetic as it’s been. Nine starters are back on offense including an interesting young backfield with Demarcus Rogers and Crusoe Gongbay to work the offense around. B.R. Holbrook has the potential to be solid, and Davie will make sure his quarterback will get the time to work.

San Diego State

The secondary should be the best in the Mountain West. The corners might have had problems with Louisiana-Lafayette in the bowl game, but Leon McFadden was an all-star who’ll be among the league’s top shutdown corners. Safeties Gabe Lemon and Nat Berhe will be all over the field and should be come up with plenty of stats. The receiving corps gets everyone of note back including leading wideouts Colin Lockett and Dylan Denso and pass catching tight end Gavin Escobar. Some big replacements need to be made, but the depth has been as good as it’s been in years.

UNLV

Coach Bobby Hauck said all the right things early on being able to win at UNLV, but part of doing that mean blowing things up and starting from scratch. Now is when most of the work should pay off with several young players from the last few years ready to make a splash. The offensive line started three redshirt freshmen last year, and now all five starters are back. The defense started two sophomores at tackles and now there should be a good rotation. The team should be far improved from 2011.

Wyoming

No one saw 2011 coming. The Cowboys had nothing to count on, were young in too many key areas and were rebuilding from scratch in some units. Now the team is loaded with veterans from a team that found ways to earn to eight wins and a bowl game. Eight starters are back on offense including high-rising quarterback Brett Smith and four other former underclassmen who got their feet wet last year. Depending on the alignment, seven starters return on defense. Wyoming had one of the best punt return games in America, and all of the top options are back.

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