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2007 Midseason Report - Mountain West
UNLV LB Beau Bell
UNLV LB Beau Bell
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Oct 17, 2007


The best Mountain West players, coaches, surprises of the midseason and more. Scroll down for predictions for every team and every game.



Midseason Reports Midseason All-America Teams
- ACC | Big East | Big 12 | Big Ten | C-USA
- MAC | Pac 10 | SEC | Sun Belt | WAC
- 2006 CFN Midseason All-America Teams
 
Offensive Player of the Midseason

Rodney Ferguson, RB New Mexico

Defensive Player of the Midseason
Beau Bell, LB UNLV

Ten best Mountain West players in the first half of the season
1. Beau Bell, LB UNLV
2. Chase Ortiz, Sr. TCU
3. Rodney Ferguson, RB New Mexico
4. Darrell Mack, RB Utah
5. Chad Hall, WR/RB Air Force
6. Marcus Smith, WR New Mexico
7. Shaun Carney, QB Air Force
8. Max Hall, QB. BYU
9. Drew Fowler, LB Air Force
10. Louie Sakoda, P/K Utah

Biggest Surprise – Air Force
Head coach Troy Calhoun has tweaked things just enough to incorporate the old school Falcon offense, while making things work a bit crisper. Most importantly, the team got through the brutal early part of the schedule and are still alive. While they need BYU to lose twice, finishing second in the race wouldn't be bad at all.

Biggest Disappointment – TCU 
Colorado State should be here, but TCU was supposed to be a killer in the BCS hunt. It hasn't happened. Injuries, inconsistencies on offense, and stunning losses to Air Force and Wyoming have made the Horned Frogs and also-ran.

The Mountain West Champion will be ... BYU
Sort of by default, BYU will win its second straight title thanks to an early win over Air Force. Utah has the potential to make some noise, and TCU should bounce back, but the Mountain West is BYU's world and everyone else is just taking up space.

Best Game of the First Half 
Tulsa 55 ... BYU 47, Sept. 15
In a wild shootout with the two teams combining for 1,027 passing yards, it was two false start penalties to ruin a final BYU chance, and Tulsa's defense snuffing out long drives with four takeaways. Paul Smith threw five touchdown passes with three to Charles Clay, but BYU always had an answer in the see-saw game. Max Hall threw for 547 yards and four touchdowns, and Manase Tonga ran for two touchdowns. Tulsa's defense got in the big play act with a 49-yard interception return for a score from Ray Roberts, but this was all about the haymakers. In one tremendous second quarter sequence, Hall his Austin Collie for a 45-yard touchdown, and Smith answered ten second later by connecting with Brennan Marion for a 75-yard touchdown pass. BYU responded in four plays with a 13-yard Dennis Pitta scoring grab, and the scoring went on and one, with the two teams combining for 44 points in the quarter. In all the two teams cranked out 1,289 yards of total offense and 59 first downs
.

Second Best Game
Wyoming 34 ... at Ohio 33, Sept. 22
Third Best Game
Colorado 31 ... Colorado State 28 OT, Sept. 1

Worst Game of the First Half 
New Mexico 58 ... Sacramento State 0
In a game even uglier than the final score, New Mexico held Sacramento State to 104 yards of total offense, including 27 passing yards, and got four rushing touchdown from Rodney Ferguson to go along with a 24-yard Travis Brown scoring grab. John Sullivan added field goals from 36, 30 and 37 yards. Lobo backup Bryan Clampitt came in and completed all six of his passes for 38 yards with a touchdown pass to Jonathan Brooks.

Coach of the Midseason – Troy Calhoun, Air Force
Everyone forgets that this is the United States Air Force. There are recruiting restrictions, as former head man Fisher DeBerry so painfully pointed out a few years ago. No one believed the Falcons could get through the first half of the season 5-2.

Player who'll step up in the second half – Kevin O'Connell, QB San Diego State
More and more, the Aztec offense is relying on its senior signal caller. He's been the main man all season long, but without enough help from his running game, or anyone else, he's going to run even more, and try pushing the ball deep more often to get the offense moving.

Best performance so far -
UNLV RB Frank Summers ran 29 times for 190 yards and two touchdowns, and caught a pass for a 29-yard score in the 27-0 win over Utah.

Top Freshman – Harvey Unga, RB BYU
Unga has had more and more of the offense heaped on his shoulders with 21 carries or more in four straight games. A strong receiver, along with his workhorse rushing skills, he's quickly growing into the focal point of the attack.

Coach who needs to have a big second half – Colorado State's Sonny Lubick
0-6. A 13-game losing streak. No run defense. Too many turnovers. Colorado State has been close at times this year, but losses are losses. Lubick's team desperately needs to clean up the mess and get hot on the road, with three away games in the next four. If the Rams don't beat UNLV, they'll likely go 0-10 before getting Georgia Southern.

Player who needs to have a big second half – BYU QB Max Hall.
The Cougars have the Mountain West won if they just hold serve. Hall has to limit his interceptions, and that's been a problem with eight in a five game span, including three against UNLV. He doesn't have to bomb away for BYU to win, but he just can't screw up.

Best remaining conference game – Utah at BYU, Nov. 24
The Cougars might have everything wrapped up by the end of the regular season, but they're not going to take the rivalry game lightly. If this is half as good as last year's last second classic BYU win, it'll be one of the must-see games of the second half of the year.

Team Mid-Season MVPs & Predictions   
Air Force – WR/RB Chad Hall
predicted wins: Wyoming, Army, at Notre Dame, San Diego State
predicted losses: at New Mexico
predicted record: 9-3

BYU – RB Harvey Unga
predicted wins: Eastern Washington, at San Diego State, Colorado State, TCU, Utah
predicted losses: at Wyoming
predicted record: 9-3

Colorado State – LB Jeff Horinek
predicted wins: Georgia Southern, Wyoming
predicted losses: at UNLV, Utah, at BYU, at New Mexico
predicted record: 2-10
 
New Mexico – RB Rodney Ferguson
predicted wins: at San Diego State, Air Force, Colorado State, UNLV
predicted losses: at TCU, at Utah
predicted record: 8-4

San Diego State – QB Kevin O'Connell
predicted wins: None
predicted losses: New Mexico, BYU, Wyoming, at UNLV, at Air Force, TCU
predicted record: 2-10

TCU – DE Chase Ortiz
predicted wins: Utah, New Mexico, UNLV, at San Diego State
predicted losses: at BYU
predicted record: 8-4

UNLV – LB Beau Bell
predicted wins: Colorado State, San Diego State
predicted losses: at Wyoming, at TCU, at New Mexico
predicted record: 4-8
 
Utah – P/K Louie Sakoda
predicted wins: at Colorado State, Wyoming, New Mexico
predicted losses: at TCU, at BYU
predicted record: 7-5

Wyoming – RBs Devin Moore & Wynel Seldon
predicted wins: UNLV, at San Diego State, BYU
predicted losses: at Air Force, at Utah, at Colorado State
predicted record: 7-5