Mountain West Football: MWwire’s Players Of The Month For August/September
Our staff makes its picks for the Mountain West’s top performers in the first month of the 2022 season.
A cut above the rest.
Special Teams Player of August and September
5. Christian Washington, New Mexico (21 points)
The true freshman from San Diego generated a lot of buzz throughout fall camp and he’s brought that onto the field as part of the Lobos’ running back committee and as a kick returner. He averaged 37.4 yards per kick return in four games and returned one from his own end zone for a touchdown against Boise State.
4. Terrell Vaughn, Utah State (23 points)
Vaughn has started to make more noise as a pass catcher in recent weeks, but his biggest contribution to the Aggies in this early season was on special teams. Like Washington, he also hit the afterburners for a long touchdown against Weber State in Week 2 and averaged 35.4 yards on five total returns.
3. Aaron Rodriguez, New Mexico (29 points)
Still among the busiest punters in the country, Rodriguez has taken a step forward with that big workload. He currently ranks first in the Mountain West and 11th among FBS punters with an average of 46 yards per punt, including ten kicks of 50 or more yards and eight which were dropped inside the opponent’s 20-yard line.
2. John Hoyland, Wyoming (37 points)
Hoyland has put last year’s disappointing campaign behind him and, incredibly, connected on more field goals in the first five games of this season than he had in all of 2021. His 12 field goals on 13 tries are three more than any other kicker in the country and that includes a critical 55-yarder against Tulsa.
1. Jordan Byrd, San Diego State (40 points)
Our staff’s preseason pick to be the conference’s special teams player of the year hasn’t let us down and he certainly hasn’t let Aztecs fans down so far in 2022. Byrd had a punt return touchdown against Idaho State in Week 2 and averaged 24 yards per kick return on seven opportunities, doing a lot of heavy lifting to help San Diego State maintain the field position advantage which made last year so successful.
Defensive Player of August and September
5. Mohamed Kamara, Colorado State (23 points)
Kamara has been the answer to Colorado State’s pass rush questions through the first month of the season, accounting for 3.5 of the Rams’ nine team sacks through four games. He’s also made ten total tackles and forced a fumble against Middle Tennessee State back in Week 2.
4. Jack Howell, Colorado State (26 points)
Where Kamara has been productive in the trenches for the Rams, the freshman All-American Howell has been busy on the back end. He’s paced the Mountain West to this point with 45 total tackles, but he forced a fumble against Sacramento State in Week 4 and had an interception in three straight games, as well.
3. Dom Peterson, Nevada (32 points)
The defensive leader of the Wolf Pack has been as disruptive as ever in the team’s first five contests. He opened the season by forcing a fumble against New Mexico State in Week 0, picked up four sacks and 5.5 tackles for loss from there, and even blocked a field goal attempt against Incarnate Word in Week 2 for good measure.
2. Camby Goff, Air Force (34 points)
The permanent move to safety hasn’t made Goff against less dangerous on the Falcons defense. In the team’s first four games, Goff has accrued 17 total tackles, six pass breakups (tied for the most in the Mountain West), and two interceptions.
1. Bentlee Sanders, Nevada (35 points)
Nevada’s defense may have come back to earth a bit in recent weeks, but there’s little doubt that Sanders’s hot start made a big impact on the Wolf Pack notching two early wins against New Mexico State and Texas State. He still leads the conference with four interceptions, all of which were snagged in the team’s first three games, and he also had a forced fumble and two sacks against Texas State in Week 1.
Offensive Player of August and September
5. Tory Horton, Colorado State (18 points)
The Rams have gotten off to a very rough start in 2022, but don’t try pinning that on Horton. He emerged as Clay Millen’s number one target and has already racked up 23 catches for 427 yards and five receiving touchdowns, all of which either lead the Mountain West or tie for the lead. His seven receptions of 20 or more yards also leads the conference, so the green and gold faithful have at least one thing they can hang their hat on.
4. Jordan Mims, Fresno State (19 points)
So far in 2022, Mims has made replacing Ronnie Rivers look fairly easy. He currently ranks third in the Mountain West with an average of 120.3 all-purpose yards per game, which includes back-to-back 100-yard rushing performances against Oregon State and USC, and has tallied five total touchdowns in three contests to date.
3. Aidan Robbins, UNLV (29 points)
The imposing Louisville transfer has been exactly what the Rebels hoped for in replacing Charles Williams. He currently leads the Mountain West with eight total touchdowns, but his biggest contribution has been as a bruising runner who’s difficult to take down: Robbins also leads the conference with 20.25 carries per game so far, and he’s posted 427 yards on the ground to date.
2. Doug Brumfield, UNLV (40 points)
You have to think that, at this point, Brumfield is glad he didn’t enter the transfer portal after all. He hasn’t made anyone regret his winning the starting quarterback job through four games, completeing 69.1% of his 116 attempts for 990 yards and eight touchdowns with a miniscule interception rate of 0.8%. He’s also gotten it done with his legs when the occasion calls for it, most notably with a 100-yard rushing performance against North Texas in Week 3, as he’s accounted for four rushing touchdowns in the Mountain West’s highest-scoring offense to date.
1. Brad Roberts, Air Force (44 points)
The Mountain West’s defending rushing champion has picked up where he left off at the end of 2021, plowing through defensive lines to once again pace the field after four weeks. Though his overall workload has declined slightly to 17 carries per game, Roberts has averaged 6.84 yards per carry and scored seven touchdowns, the latter of which is tied with Robbins for first in the conference.