Week One: Around the Mountain West Conference
* Mountain West Conference press release
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., -- Here is this week's Around the Mountain West as 11 of the 12 league teams are in action, including Colorado State at No. 8 Michigan and Utah State traveling to top-ranked Alabama:
- Dating back to the 2019 season, the Mountain West has won 18 games against autonomous-5 opponents, including 15 against the Pac-12. This is the most wins in that time span amongst all non-autonomous-5 conferences.
- In the past 18 years, the Mountain West has been the top non-autonomous-5 conference 10 times and second five times.
- The Mountain West produced the first non-automatic-qualifying FBS team into a BCS bowl game (Utah - 2005 Fiesta Bowl) and into the College Football Playoff (Boise State - 2014 Fiesta Bowl).
- Five Mountain West programs are receiving votes in the preseason AFCA Coaches Poll, including San Diego State (25), Fresno State (21), Air Force (12), Utah State (12) and Boise State (10). This is the largest number of MW teams receiving votes in a preseason poll since 2004, when seven MW programs earned votes in the coaches poll.
- The Mountain West has had at least two teams nationally ranked in each of the last six seasons.
- Wyoming hosts Tulsa on Saturday, Sept. 3, as the Cowboys look to improve the MW’s record against opponents from the AAC (15-11).
- Air Force, which opens the season on Sept. 3 vs. Northern Iowa, will enter 2022 riding a four-game win streak, which is tied as the fifth-longest active streak nationally.
- Utah State, the defending Mountain West champions, enter the season with a seven-game road win streak, tied for the third-longest active road win streak in FBS. The Aggies will put its road win streak on the line when it travels to nationally-ranked Alabama on Sept. 3. USU has not dropped a road game since Nov. 5, 2020 (at Nevada).
- Fresno State senior QB Jake Haener, who was named 2022 MW Preseason Offensive Player of the Year, has thrown at least one touchdown pass in 19 consecutive games, beginning on Oct. 24, 2019. This is the fourth-longest stretch in Conference history. Carson Strong (Nevada) and Derek Carr (Fresno State) hold the league record with a touchdown pass in 26 straight games, while Andy Dalton (TCU) sits in third place (21).
- Air Force senior running back Brad Roberts, who earned first-team All-MW preseason recognition in July, is the nation’s active leader in rushing yards per game, averaging 106.6 yards per contest.
UNLV sophomore quarterback Doug Brumfield has been tabbed the Mountain West Offensive Player of the Week, while Nevada senior cornerback Isaiah Essissima was named MW Defensive Player of the Week. Wolf Pack senior place-kicker Brandon Talton earned MW Special Teams Player of the Week honors, while Utah State running back Robert Briggs was selected as MW Freshman of the Week.
It is the seventh career MW weekly honor for Talton and first for Brumfield, Essissima and Briggs.
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
DOUG BRUMFIELD, UNLV
Sophomore, Quarterback, Inglewood, California / J Serra HS
- Led UNLV to a 52-21 victory over Idaho State, the most points scored by the Rebels in a single game since Aug. 31, 2019 (56 points vs. Southern Utah).
- Recorded the second-most efficient game by a quarterback in program history, completing 21-of-25 passes for 356 yards and four touchdowns.
- The 84.0 completion percentage is second-best in single-game school history among QBs with at least 20 pass attempts.
- Engineered scoring drives on all seven first-half possessions.
- The 356 passing yards were the most nationally in Week Zero.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
ISAIAH ESSISSIMA, NEVADA
Senior, Cornerback, Houston, Texas / Wake Forest
- Helped Nevada secure a 23-12 road victory at New Mexico State, intercepting two passes and registering two solo stops.
- Led a Wolf Pack defense which recorded five takeaways (four interceptions, one fumble recovery) in the win, Nevada’s first five-takeaway game since Aug. 31, 2019, against Purdue.
- First interception stopped an Aggie drive in scoring position, as he intercepted a pass in the end zone. His second pick came in the second quarter, pulling down a deflected pass at the Nevada 48-yard line, leading to a Wolf Pack field goal.
SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK
BRANDON TALTON, NEVADA
Senior, Place-Kicker, Vacaville, California / Vacaville HS
- Was a perfect three-for-three on field goals in Nevada's 23-12 road win at New Mexico State, connecting from 28, 34, and 38 yards.
- Also connected on both point-after-attempts.
- Eighth-career game with at least three made field goals.
FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK
ROBERT BRIGGS, UTAH STATE
True Freshman, Running Back, Bellville, Texas / Bellville HS
- Made his collegiate debut in Utah State's 31-20 season-opening win over UConn, rushing 10 times for 85 yards and one touchdown.
- The 85 rushing yards are the most in program history in a debut game by a true freshman.
- Scored his first-career touchdown on a 23-yard rush in the second quarter to tie the game at 14.
- Also caught his first-career pass for 16 yards.