Week 5 CFN Fearless Predictions – M-West

Posted Sep 28, 2012

Week 5 CFN Fearless Predictions & Game Previews – Mountain West

Nevada (3-1) at Texas State (2-1) Sept. 29, 2:00, Longhorn Network

Here's The Deal: It has been a fun ride so far for both teams with Texas State starting out 2-1 with a great rushing day against Houston and a big-time passing attack against Stephen F. Austin, but now Dennis Franchione's club is in for a real test. Can it hold on to the ball and can it keep up the pace better than it did in a blowout loss to Texas Tech? The Bobcats are feeling their way through life in the big leagues, and while this might be the toughest game left on the schedule, that doesn't mean they can't make it interesting. Nevada, however, is coming off a bombing of Hawaii rolling up 355 yards of rushing offense in a 69-24 win. Stefphon Jefferson ran for 170 yards and six touchdowns and caught three passes for 76 yards and a score, and now the nation's leading rusher will try to keep the momentum going in the high-octane Wolf Pack Pistol attack.

What Will Happen: More of the same. Pack quarterback Cody Fajardo has quietly come up with a strong season so far, and now he's going to take away some of the workload from Jefferson. Texas State has had problems with the secondary over the last few weeks after shocking Houston, and Fajardo will take advantage.

CFN Prediction: Nevada 52 … Texas State 20
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) Nevada -20 O/U: 64.5
Must Watch Rating (5 – Ryder Cup 2012, 1 – SNL Thursday Weekend Update): 2

Colorado State (1-3) at Air Force (1-2) Sept. 29, 2:00

Here's The Deal: It's not a total shocker that Colorado State has lost its last three games, the program is supposed to undergo a rebuilding job, but Air Force? It was just one game, and actually, a rough half, but now the Falcons are in a panic after losing to UNLV to be 0-1 in Mountain West play and no more room for missing. Colorado State needs to be a layup for a team that has the running game working, but is dying on defense and not generating any semblance of a pass rush. The Rams aren't getting much on offense, but the defense hasn't been a disaster. However, both lines have to be far stronger and far more consistent to be able to get by a motivated Falcon team.

What Will Happen: Getting back running back Donnell Alexander should help the Ram attack, but it won't be enough to overcome a potentially huge game from the Falcon ground game. The Falcons don't have a pass rush and are vulnerable to decent passing games, but the Rams don't have one.

CFN Prediction: Air Force 42 … Colorado State 24
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) Air Force -15 O/U: 56
Must Watch Rating (5 – Ryder Cup 2012, 1 – SNL Thursday Weekend Update): 2

Boise State (2-1) at New Mexico (2-2) Sept. 29, 6:00

Here's The Deal: For all the Boise State fans mad that their team hasn't received enough respect over the last decade-plus, being ranked at the moment should make up for it a little bit. The Broncos are awful so far offensively and are only in the top 25 on brand name, but they're still 2-1 and the remaining schedule doesn't appear to be all that bad. However, the offense has to be far, far better than it was in a 7-6 win over BYU, and it has to do more than just show up against an improved New Mexico team. The Lobos might be second-to-last in college football in passing, but they also came up with a good road win over New Mexico State. It's not time to start thinking Bob Davie's club will make a run in the Mountain West race, but the bar is set low going into this week. New Mexico is 0-3 against the Broncos and was embarrassed last year 45-0. Just keeping this interesting would be a step forward.

What Will Happen: The Lobos don't have the offense to keep up any sort of pace, but Boise State is sputtering enough and coughing enough to prevent this from being a brutal blowout. New Mexico is dead last in the nation in pass efficiency, while Boise State is 16th in the nation in pass efficiency defense. The Broncos aren't going to be amazing, but they'll be effective.

CFN Prediction: Boise State 45 … New Mexico 6
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) Boise State -26.5 O/U: 51.5
Must Watch Rating (5 – Ryder Cup 2012, 1 – SNL Thursday Weekend Update): 2

UNLV (1-3) at Utah State (3-1) Sept. 29, 8:00, ESPN3

Here's The Deal: All of a sudden, UNLV might not be that bad. The Rebels three-overtime loss to a still unbeaten Minnesota looks far better and far stronger now, and after close losses to Northern Arizona and Washington State, a shocking win over Air Force might have turned the Bobby Hauck era around. There's still a lot of work to be done, and the next Mountain West game doesn't come up until mid-October against Nevada, but at the very least the team appears to be far better. This starts a run of four road games in the next five, while this is a home oasis for a Utah State team that goes back on the road for two straight games and three of the next four after dealing with Wisconsin and Colorado State away from Romney. The Aggie offense might not be as strong as it was last season, but the defense has been fantastic.

What Will Happen: UNLV won't come crashing back to earth, but it's going to struggle against a Utah State defense that's dominating on the front seven. The Rebel passing game isn't efficient and it's going to struggle to find is footing early on.

CFN Prediction: Utah State 35 … UNLV 13
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) Utah State -17.5 O/U: 52.5
Must Watch Rating (5 – Ryder Cup 2012, 1 – SNL Thursday Weekend Update): 2

San Diego State (2-2) at Fresno State (2-2) Sept. 29, 10:00,

Here's The Deal: Will the real San Diego State step up? After pushing Washington early and rolling offensively against Army and North Dakota, the defense struggled against the San Jose State passing game in a tough loss. The offensive line is paving the way for Adam Muema and a strong running game, but the pass protection as been a problem. With home games against Hawaii and Colorado State up next, there's a chance to go on a big run before going to Nevada. Meanwhile, Fresno State is coming off a tough loss to Tulsa after ripping apart Colorado 69-14. The offense has been terrific and the defense strong, but now it's time to start putting it all together. It's the team's first Mountain West game, and with road trips to Colorado State and Boise State up next, coming up with an impressive win would could be a must.

What Will Happen: Fresno State will get enough offensive balance and enough out of the pass rush to pull away late. The Aztec ground game will hold on to the ball and control the clock and the game for stretches, but the Bulldogs will be too much with Robbie Rouse coming up with a strong 100-yard rushing day.

CFN Prediction: Fresno State 38 … San Diego State 28
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) Fresno State -7.5 O/U: 59.5
Must Watch Rating (5 – Ryder Cup 2012, 1 – SNL Thursday Weekend Update): 2.5