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Mountain West Coaches Talk Anonymously About Conference Foes for 2019


It's not easy getting college football coaches to honestly comment on another coach, player or team. Most coaches don't want to give opposing teams bulletin board material, which is why there is a lot of coach speak or overused cliches used during the year.

In order to get an accurate assessment of teams heading into 2019, Athlon asked coaches in the Mountain West to talk anonymously about their opponents.

Note: These scouting reports come directly from coaching staffs and do not necessarily reflect the views of Athlon's editorial staff.

Mountain West Coaches Talk Anonymously About Conference Foes for 2019

Air Force

"The kids there don’t back off ever, and they seem to play better against the best teams in the league."

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"They make you play on their terms.”

"They’ve been a little bit down these last years but they still make you work really, really hard."

"Their system still works extremely well against our teams. They’re a little bit more creative with their triple as a base than the other academies."


"It’s really all about the quarterback here."

College Football Top 25 Rankings: Boise State

"(Brett) Rypien’s gone, and they don’t have anyone with real game experience.”

"They’ve turned over some defensive coaches, but that’s the better side of the ball right now for them and most of those positions are locked."

"They’re still very talented all over, they still have a great offensive line."

"The backfield is a big question all the way, so they could start slow but they’re still Boise."

Related: Ranking All 130 College Football Teams for 2019

Colorado State

"They were starting to click before (Mike Bobo) got sick. They could be a surprise team if he is healthy."

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"They have solid depth.”

"This could be the surprise team of the conference. We think that because you can see clear as day on film when Bobo went out with that sickness deal how much the team reflected that. So if he’s OK they’re going to be good."

"That team right now has no attention, more depth than a team of their record, and Bobo can get them to that level."

Fresno State

"They play hard."

College Football Rankings: Fresno State

"They can do a lot of different things with their defense, and they got the California recruiting back in shape.”

"This is the team until someone knocks them off. They’re just past Boise now. Both of those teams have really pushed each other, Fresno has been more physical."

"(Jeff) Tedford has done a great job, he’s really done a good job bringing in some concepts from Washington and his time there." 

Related: College Football Bowl Projections for 2019-20


"They’re getting that swagger back that June Jones’ teams had."

College Football Rankings: Hawaii

"Nick (Rolovich) has that attitude that you need there.”

"We love their QB. He’s an absolute gunslinger. From the tape we’ve seen this offseason, if that kid’s on it’s going to be a long day for a lot of us this year." 

"They’re successful when they’re aggressive and going controlled chaos."

"Defensively, they’re still thin. They’re not like they were in the WAC days."

Related: Ranking All 130 College Football QBs for 2019


"They can be very scary on offense. They’ve really grown into that new system."

College Football Rankings: Nevada

"Jay (Norvell) has done a good job with their culture.”

"If they get the right quarterback hot, they can be really good. They need to find a legit QB."

"They play really hard, they’re really bought in."

"Defensively they’re not there yet."

New Mexico

"They're one of the fastest teams in the country, believe it or not."

College Football Rankings: New Mexico

"At skill positions, for two years they’ve put the fastest kids in the league out there.”

"What are they really wanting to do offensively?"

"They’re one of the biggest question mark teams in the conference. They’re about the same year in and out now, you’ll see one or two stand out guys on each side of the ball but no depth."

"We’ve heard the team chemistry has been really bad, and the culture on the field shows it."

San Diego State

"They’re gonna be pissed off about how they finished the season."

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"Rocky (Long) is a hard-nosed dude. They are always so tough on defense.”

"Defensively they can beat you; they can win a game with their defense. Not a lot of our teams can say that. They scheme really well."

"They need a QB, and that fullback they lost to the ACL hurt them. They need to get downfield passing going, though, to help that run game."

Related: College Football's Top 25 Breakout QBs for 2019

San Jose State

"(Brent) Brennan is a really great coach, but they’re not supporting him."

College Football Rankings: San Jose State

"They have some talent, but they are a long way from being a threat.”

"They’re really struggling right now, and it’s because it’s a really hard place to keep a program consistent."

"I think there’s some decent talent, they’ll produce one or two all-league type of players on the skill side because they’re in the area where you can pull those kids." 


"They always look good, and they’ve been beating the best teams in the league for talent. They just can’t seem to assemble them the right way.”

College football rankings: UNLV

"I don’t know. It just hasn’t clicked yet."

"The good news is that they’re stacking the roster with some dudes. They’re recruiting better than they have, they just have to manage the chemistry."

"There’s a lot of pressure building on that staff."

Utah State

"Defensively they’re returning a lot of what they had last year, and Gary (Andersen) will make them significantly better.”

College Football Rankings: Utah State

"Combine the best quarterback in the league with Boise’s former coordinator [Mike Sanford] and the guy who really built their modern identity, and they’re clicking."

"I think they’re a challenger to knock off Fresno right away."

"Defensively they’re returning a lot of what they had last year, and Gary will make them significantly better. Also the best special teams we’ve seen in the conference."

Related: Mountain West 2019 Predictions


"Craig Bohl teams aren’t going to stay down for long. He’s uniquely qualified to coach up the gaps in recruiting at a place like that.”