Post-Mortems: Mt. West – Wk. 1

American | ACC | Big Ten | Big 12 | C-USA
Indy | MAC | Mt. West | Pac-12 | SEC | SBC

My high-volume approach to making picks requires me to watch as many games as possible. Picture-in-picture works overtime and tablets get worn out.

Not every game gets seen as it unfolds, but I have to go back and take a look at what stood out in games I didn’t catch.

This is my post-mortem for Week 1. I can’t divulge all my secrets, so you only get a few lines per game. They’re listed in chronological order (as listed on the board):

Utah State at Michigan State (-23.4/52.5): The Spartans didn’t play to their potential and Brian Lewerke looked shaky but the Aggies looked fantastic. There’s no way Michigan State expected to be punched in the mouth the way it was. To think, USU’s Jordan Love didn’t even throw a touchdown pass. Credit Sparty for surviving and expect Utah State to be a factor in the Mountain West since this didn’t appear to be a fluke Result: Michigan State 38-31. ATS: Underdog/Over

Colorado (-7/65.5) vs. Colorado State: Buffs QB Steven Montez was sharper than that knife you have to make sure the kids can’t get to. Although the Rams defense has opened the season in a cooperative mood, it’s impossible to ignore that Virginia Tech transfer Travon McMillan gives them a look even the productive Philip Lindsey (he made the Broncos) couldn’t or that sophomore Laviska Shenault might emerge as a force. For the Rams, Mike Bobo’s unfortunate nerve issue came at an awful time and his team appears ill-prepared. This was such an uncompetitive blowout that ‘over’ bettors caught a rough beat with just three fourth-quarter points scored. Result: Colorado 45-13. ATS: Favorite/Over

San Diego State at Stanford (-14/49): The Aztecs just couldn’t cover JJ Arcega-Whiteside, so credit the Cardinal for not getting too cute or too proud to keep going back to the mismatch. KJ Costello passed his first test and Bryce Love’s Heisman campaign didn’t suffer an early death. He’ll have plenty of chances to bounce back from his slow start so long as Stanford keeps winning. San Diego State should be fine too. Juwan Washington showed quickly why they had him under bubble wrap in practices, knowing he’d put in work to replace Rashaad Penny. Result: Stanford 31-10. ATS: Favorite/Under

Boise State (-8.5/48.5) at Troy: The Broncos got sacked on their first play from scrimmage and then put on a clinic, showing off their depth at wide receiver, which was a concern with Cedrick Wilson no longer an option. Tyler Horton returned a pair of fumbles for touchdowns to lead a strong defensive effort and a game that was expected to be more competitive became a blowout. The Trojans were overwhelmed and will get only one more chance to punch above their weight class when they travel to Nebraska on Sept. 15. New QB Kaleb Barker won a tight battle with Sawyer Smith and fared decently considering he spent most of the day running for his life. Result: Boise State 56-20. ATS: Favorite/Over

UNLV at USC (-24.5/60): It’s too early to call the Trojans mediocre since so many of their playmakers are so young. It is fair to write that things may be trending that way since freshman kids like QB JT Daniels, WR Amon-Ra St. Brown and sophomore RBs Stephen Carr and Vavae Malepai probably won’t be consistent enough to survive a challenging schedule where there aren’t really any weeks off and that garnet and gold puts a target on their backs. The Rebels hung around and showed off the program’s continued improvement under Tony Sanchez but QB Armani Rogers still has a lot of development to do as a passer for this group to be bowl-bound. Result: USC 43-21. ATS: Underdog/Over

Washington State (-3/45) at Wyoming: This looked like it would come down to the final minutes as a grinder unfolded in the opening half. Instead, new QB Gardner Minshew settled in nicely for the Cougs and the defense feasted on an offense that had no chance as it wore down over the course of four quarters. Redshirt freshman Tyler Vander Waal won his debut as Josh Allen’s replacement but has his work cut out for him against the tougher defenses he’ll run into this season. Craig Bohl’s ceiling is reaching a third consecutive bowl with this group, but the Cowboys can’t afford another home loss if that’s going to happen. Their schedule is too tough. Mike Leach is looking to reach his fourth straight bowl with Washington State, which again looks like it will be relying on a stingy defense to maximize its potential with veteran Tracy Claeys taking over for new Ohio State co-coordinator Alex Grinch. Result: Washington State 41-19. ATS: Favorite/Over

Navy (-13.5/61.5) at Hawai’i: The Rainbow Warriors have dominated a pair of double-digit favorites after this conquest, surviving the 60 minutes they knew they were going to get from Ken Niumatalolo’s Midshipmen by scoring as often as they could. The aggressive play-calling produced six touchdown passes from Cole McDonald, who combined with top receivers John Ursua, JoJo Ward and Cedric Byrd 27 times for 418 yards. He was doing video game things out there against a helpless Navy secondary, while QB Malcolm Brown was only able to break off a few big plays as he took over full-time duties after opening last season as a slotback. It was interesting to see Zach Abey back out there under center around the goal-line, so he won’t disappear entirely into a receiving role. Result: Hawai’I 59-41. ATS: Underdog/Over

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