Ken Pomponio

Mountain West Power Dozen: Fajardo's Return Lifts Nevada

Created on Oct. 02, 2013 1:09 PM EST

Ranking the Mountain West Conference 1 through 12 after five weeks of action:

1. Fresno State (4-0, 2-0 MWC)

Last Week: Won at Hawaii, 42-37

This Week: at Idaho, 2 p.m. PT

Quick Take: What looked to be a runaway road win — up 42-3 in the third quarter — got way too close for comfort as the Rainbow Warriors scored 34 unanswered points during the game's final 21 minutes.

2. Boise State (3-2, 1-1)

Last Week: Walloped visiting Southern Miss, 60-7

This Week: Bye

Quick Take: There's nothing like the blue turf as the Broncos have won their three home games by a combined score of 165-41.

3. Utah State (3-2, 2-0)

Last Week:Beat host San Jose State, 40-12

This Week: vs. BYU, 6 p.m. MT (Friday)

Quick Take: One of nation's most experienced offensive lines (five returning upperclassman starters) took a hit as senior guard Kyle Whimpey suffered a season-ending knee injury in the win over SJSU.

4. Nevada (3-2, 2-0)

Last Week: Beat visiting Air Force, 45-42

This Week: at San Diego State, 6 p.m. PT (Friday)

Quick Take: Wolf Pack needed every one of Cody Fajardo's 470 yards and five TDs Saturday in the QB's stellar return from a knee injury.

5. Wyoming (3-2, 1-0)

Last Week: Lost at Texas State, 42-21

This Week: Bye

Quick Take: The Bobcats showed how to beat Brett Smith and the Pokes: Keep pounding at Wyoming's 113th-ranked run defense and keep the QB off the field.

6. San Jose State (1-3, 0-1)

Last Week: Lost to visiting Utah State, 40-12

This Week: at Hawaii, 6 p.m. HT

Quick Take: Injuries (WRs Noel Grigsby and Jabari Carr and CB Bene Benwikere) are adding to insult of Spartans' struggling start.

7. Colorado State (2-3, 0-0)

Last Week: Beat visiting UTEP, 59-42

This Week: Bye

Quick Take: Bye week actually coming at bad time for Rams who were riding momentum of two home wins and an impressive road showing in Tuscaloosa against top-ranked Alabama.

8. San Diego State (1-3, 0-0)

Last Week: Won at New Mexico State, 26-12

This Week: vs. Nevada, 6 p.m. PT (Friday)

Quick Take: What was looking like an unthinkable 0-4 start turned into a badly-needed win after the Aztecs outscored the Aggies, 21-0, in the second half.

9. UNLV (3-2, 1-0)

Last Week: Won at New Mexico, 56-42

This Week: Bye

Quick Take: Yes, this is UNLV, sitting at a game over .500 and coming off its first road win since 2009.

10. New Mexico (1-3, 0-1)

Last Week: Lost to visiting UNLV, 56-42

This Week: vs. New Mexico State, 5 p.m. MT

Quick Take: The Lobos scored 42 points, rushed for 581 yards — including a trio of 100-yard rushers — and yet still somehow lost by two touchdowns at home.

11. Air Force (1-4, 0-4)

Last Week: Lost at Nevada, 45-42

This Week: at Navy, 11:30 a.m. ET

Quick Take: A sad sign of the times: This week's Commander-in-Chief's tilt could be nixed by the federal government-shutdown debacle in D.C.

12. Hawaii (0-4, 0-2)

Last Week: Lost to visiting Fresno State, 42-37

This Week: vs. San Jose State, 6 p.m. HT

Quick Take: Norm Chow has yet to announce his starting QB this week, but it has to to be Sean Schroeder, doesn't it? Schroeder, who started 11 of Hawaii's 12 games in 2012, replaced the ineffective Ikaika Woolsey (starting for the injured Taylor Graham) in the third quarter Saturday and only almost engineered one of the biggest comebacks in NCAA history.

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