2008 Spring Game Reviews - Mountain West

Posted May 5, 2008

What happened in the Mountain West spring games? John Harris reviews the final scrimmages of the spring season.

Spring Preview 2008

Mountain West Spring Game Reviews

Spring Game Reviews

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By John Harris

Air Force 



The BYU final spring practice featured a little old and a little new.  Well, old isn’t the right term, but let’s just say experienced.  After the “two deep” roster got some 7-on-7 and team work done, younger players, deeper on the depth chart, were able to get on the field and prove their wares.  Running back J.J DiLuigi had a strong day, accounting for 55 yards total offense and quarterback Kurt McEuen completed 70% of his throws for 70 yards.  The coaches liked what they saw throughout the day, including the work of true freshman receiver Spencer Hafoka.

Colorado State 

Defense wins championships.  Well, it does.  And, spring games too.  At least in Fort Collins, that is.  In the first spring game under the watch of new head coach Steve Fairchild, the defense picked off the offense four times on its way to a 49-35 win over the offense.  Ty Whittier, Nick Oppenneer, Gary Stecklein and Matt Wright all came away with interceptions against the team’s quarterbacks to help lead the way in the spring game victory.  The offense finished the spring behind the defense, but Fairchild likes the progress he saw in his team this spring.

New Mexico 

In the annual Cherry-Silver spring game, the Cherry dominated the Silver 35-7.  Many of the team’s projected starters wore Cherry, including receiver Jermaine McQueen who made many forget about former star Marcus Smith who was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens.  McQueen piled up 138 yards receiving, including a 79 yard touchdown, while star running back Rodney Ferguson returned to rush for 58 yards and a score.  The Cherry defense gave up only 109 yards to the Silver, 77 of those yards on one play.

San Diego State   

Offensive troubles and fine defensive play highlighted the team’s annual Red-Black spring game.  The Aztec offense was only able to generate a field goal and a late touchdown against the defense, as the quarterbacks struggled to replace NFL draftee Kevin O’Connell.  Juco star, and expected starter, Ryan Lindley threw for the only touchdown on the day, but completed only one other pass to finish the day two of seven with the touchdown and a pick.  Linebacker Miles Burris led the defense with three tackles for a loss and a sack.


For years in spring practice, the first team defense has dominated the first team offense, often holding them scoreless in the process.  That being said, the offense scored a huge moral victory by putting one in the end zone during the annual spring game.  Sophomore quarterback Andy Dalton hit tight end Shae Reagan for a 20 yard touchdown for the offense, putting a smile on head coach Gary Patterson’s face as spring practice concluded in Fort Worth.


The Rebels beat UNLV 21-3 in the team’s annual spring game.  The Rebels consisted of the first team offense and defense, while UNLV consisted of the second team units.  The Rebel defense kept UNLV out of the end zone, playing aggressively under the leadership of new defensive coordinator Dennis Therrell.  On the offensive side of the ball, the quarterbacks vying for starting honors played well.  Omar Clayton hit nine of eleven throws for 108 yards and two touchdowns, while Travis Dixon completed an 89 yard touchdown throw.


The annual Red-White game didn’t have much of the panache of previous years with plenty of starters ‘resting’, but it was entertaining nonetheless.  The White beat the Red 18-10 behind the performance by Chad Manis.  The quarterback threw for one touchdown and ran for a pair of touchdowns as well, accounting for all the Red points on the night.  The defensive star of the game was Lisiate Leota who stuffed the stat sheet – four tackles, two for a loss and an interception.


The ones dominated the twos throughout the annual Wyoming spring game.  The number one offense ran roughshod over the number two defense, while the number one defense shut down the number two offense.  On offense, running back Devin Moore ran for 72 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries.  Overall, the defense racked up ten tackles for loss and four sacks on the day, giving up only two scores in eight drives.