Week 7 - Mountain West Fearless Predictions

Posted Oct 12, 2012

Week 7 - Mountain West Fearless Predictions & Game Previews

Nevada (5-1) at UNLV (1-5) Oct. 13, 3:00

Here's The Deal: The Wolf Pack keep on rolling with four wins in a row and a 2-0 Mountain West start, however, it took overtime to get past a bad Wyoming team and star quarterback Cody Fajardo is banged up with a back problem. If needed Devin Combs can play – as he showed against the Cowboys with 217 yards and two scores – but all of a sudden, the running game is starting to be a bit mediocre considering it needs to be stellar to overcome the defense. Even so, there's no one on the slate that should be able to beat this team if everything is going the right way.

UNLV is improving under head coach Bobby Hauck, but the only win this year came on a late comeback/total collapse against Air Force. The defense has allowed 35 points or more in four of the last five games, and the offense hasn't been able to keep up the pace. With three of the next four and four of the final six games on the road, the Rebels desperately need to break a seven game losing streak against Nevada to try to kickstart the season.

What Will Happen: The Rebels came up with a decent few games on defense before falling off the rails. The run D won't have any prayer against the Wolf Pack attack with no pressure behind the line and not enough of a production from the linebackers. Nevada's pass defense will give up yads, butnot enough.

CFN Prediction: Nevada 38 … UNLV 27
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) Nevada -9.5 O/U: 52.5
Must Watch Rating (5 – Argo, 1 – Pitch Perfect): 2

Fresno State (4-2) at Boise State (4-1) Oct. 13, 3:30, Big Ten Network

Here's The Deal: Can the rivalry that turned into the WAC game of the year time after time – at least in theory, considering Boise State dominated the series – become the big date on the Mountain West slate? Fresno State has been fantastic so far, giving Oregon a bit of a push and with the other loss coming by one point at Tulsa. 2-0 in Mountain West play, the team is rolling up big offensive numbers through the air while ripping up attacks with an aggressive and strong defensive front. There's still a date at Nevada to deal with, but this is it. This is the whale. Other than the 27-7 win in 2005, the Bulldogs haven't had much fun in the series getting obliterated 108 to 7 over the last two seasons.

Boise State hasn't been Boise State so far this season. It might be 5-1, and it ramped things up against Southern Miss in a 40-14 win, but the offense has been shockingly stagnant and the defense hasn't been up to its normal snuff. Even with the problems and the issues, everything is still in place to potentially come up with a strong year as long as the Broncos can get by this week. UNLV, Wyoming, San Diego State, Hawaii and Colorado State can't beat Boise, so a win this week will likely mean a 10-1 start before going to Nevada. To get this win, though, the secondary will have to be outstanding and winning the turnover margin against a team that has forced 18 turnovers is a must, but it's going to take a better performance than anything it has come up with so far.

What Will Happen: Can the Boise State magic at home be enough to overcome the problems? Fresno State's pass rush should be enough to give a mediocre Joe Southwick a long day, while the offense and Robbie Rouse should have no problems running through a defense that's giving up 182 yards per game on the ground. This is where Fresno State makes a big, big statement under head coach Jim McElwain.

CFN Prediction: Fresno State 34 … Boise State 31
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) Boise state -7 O/U: 57
Must Watch Rating (5 – Argo, 1 – Pitch Perfect): 4

Colorado State (1-5) at San Diego State (3-3) Oct. 13, 3:30

Here's The Deal: San Diego State hasn't been able to find enough consistency on defense and can't come up with a passing game that puts up enough yards, but it's coming off a blasting of Hawaii and is still in the Mountain West title chance despite a loss to Fresno State. The pass rush is decent, but the secondary can't stop anyone. The offensive line can't pass protect, but it's good at opening up holes. The Aztecs have enough young talent to get by, but with road dates at Nevada and Boise State over the next few weeks, it can't blow the layup.

Colorado State started out well with a win over Colorado, and everything slowly started to slip away with a running game that's getting stuffed throughout the year and with a pass rush that's not hanging around the backfield. The Rams lost their last five games all by double digits, and with an offense that's not build to keep up the pace in a shootout, the key will be getting up early and staying there however possible. That might be a problem with a running game that's averaging fewer than 100 yards per game.

What Will Happen: It will be a slow, methodical drip. San Diego State will rumble on the ground without a problem, keeping the pass plays to a minimum, and then the Ram mistakes will come. The Aztecs will be +3 in turnover margin turning a close battle into a blowout.

CFN Prediction: San Diego State 40 … Colorado State 20
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) San Diego State -22 O/U: 56
Must Watch Rating (5 – Argo, 1 – Pitch Perfect): 2

Air Force (2-3) at Wyoming (1-4) Oct. 13, 7:00, ROOT

Here's The Deal: It's panic time for both teams. Air Force gagged away a winnable game against UNLV and blew it last week in overtime against Navy, and while there are several easy dates left and there's plenty of time to get bowl eligible, it's going to take a much better effort from an awful defensive front and a much more explosive, consistent performance from the offense to turn the season around. Only Army is running the ball better, and while the passing game is efficient, it's not doing much to add any sort of balance. The line has yet to allow a sack and the special teams have been great, but that hasn't been enough to make much of a difference for a team that should be 4-1.

Wyoming hasn't been able to capitalize on the momentum from a breakthrough 2011, but it has been really, really fun. After losing to Texas to open things up, the Cowboys have been this close time and again losing to Toledo, Cal Poly by a total of five points and losing last week to Nevada in overtime. The defense has been abysmal, but Brett Smith, who's back after getting banged up, has been fantastic and the offense has worked well enough to stay in games. With Fresno State and Boise state coming up next, getting by the Falcons at home is a must.

What Will Happen: The Wyoming run defense is too lousy to hold down the high-powered Air Force ground attack, but Smith will be Smith and Wyoming will be Wyoming making this a close, wild battle … and then losing. The Cowboys can't win the close ones.

CFN Prediction: Air Force 38 … Wyoming 34
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) Air Force -3 O/U: 60
Must Watch Rating (5 – Argo, 1 – Pitch Perfect): 2.5

New Mexico (3-3) at Hawaii (1-4) Oct. 14, 12:00

Here's The Deal: How good has Bob Davie been for the New Mexico program? A laughing stock, the Lobos have quickly turned around with a nice start to the season putting up a great fight in a 32-29 loss to Boise State while beating New Mexico State and Texas State over the last two weeks. It's not like the big wins are coming against the top teams, but all of a sudden, New Mexico football is relevant with a great running game and a decent run defense that's second in the Mountain West. Can it get by the big road trip to beat a struggling Hawaii team? If it can, a bowl bid might still be in play.

Hawaii has been a disaster. New head coach Norm Chow was supposed to breathe life into the passing game, but instead the offense is the third worst in college football and the defense is the second worst in points allowed. On the plus side, the Warriors are finally back home again, but considering they haven't come close to beating an FBS team and with Fresno State and Boise state still to deal with in the next few weeks, there has to be a sign of life. If the Hawaii passing game can't produce against the miserable Lobo secondary that's giving up 281 yards per game, it's never going to happen this year.

What Will Happen: New Mexico should be able to keep the bad Hawaii offense off the field with long drives and a few key takeaways. Hawaii can't hang on to the ball giving it up 12 times so far, and the Lobos will take advantage.

CFN Prediction: New Mexico 34 … Hawaii 27
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) New Mexico -3 O/U: 60.5
Must Watch Rating (5 – Argo, 1 – Pitch Perfect): 2