Mountain West football media day – West Division notes

Here are some news and notes from Tuesday’s first day of Mountain West football media day activities here in Las Vegas. Tuesday featured teams from the West Division. Players and coaches from the Mountain Division get their turn Wednesday.

–Nevada coach Brian Polian isn’t one to hold back his opinions, and he wasn’t happy that this season’s rivalry game with UNLV is not at the end of the season,

Brian Polian

Brian Polian

like many rivalry games are around the nation, or during the weekend of Nevada Day, which celebrates when Nevada became a state back in 1864. Nevada Day is Friday, Oct. 30 this year.

This year’s game is Oct. 3 at UNLV.

This reminds me of the Border War with Wyoming and Colorado State. There was a decent stretch when that game was played at the end of the season with other rivalry games. However, that usually came during the weekend of Thanksgiving, and attendance in Laramie or Fort Collins were poor with students not around, and usually one of the two teams not being very good.

I’ve written in the past that the Border War should be played more toward the middle of the season. The weather is better and there is more fan interest. Attendance figures at both schools back that up. Not sure what to say about the Nevada-UNLV game, but one thing is certain, Polian doesn’t like the set up this year.

–Two years ago, there were some big-time quarterbacks at this event. Derek Carr of Fresno State, David Fales of San Jose State, Cody Fajardo of Nevada and Brett Smith of Wyoming.

“All of those guys were big-time game-changes,” San Jose State coach Ron Caragher said.

This season is a much different scenario. Just about every team in the 12-team conference either has a new quarterback, or is uncertain about the position going into fall camp. Ironically, the two teams picked to finish last in both divisions — UNLV and New Mexico — return quarterbacks who started a lot of games last season.

For more on that, see Wednesday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and log on to

–Not sure how much success first-year UNLV coach Tony Sanchez will have, but one thing is certain, he’s one upbeat and positive guy.

Tony Sanchez

Tony Sanchez

The former high school coach at Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas, Sanchez takes great pride that he led Gorman to a national title this past season, and led it to a perennial national power. He’s proud of the city he lives in, and tries to sell that to his current players and potential recruits. He mentioned Tuesday how special youth sports is here, ranging from Little League Baseball to the number of No. 1 draft picks in Major League Baseball have come out of Vegas — Bryce Harper and Kris Bryant are two of the latest.

“There’s a lot of stuff we have to get better at here at UNLV, but it’s exciting and fun. Where right were we need to be this time of year,” Sanchez said.

Will post more from the Mountain Division teams Wednesday. Do you have a question you’d like me to ask UW coach Craig Bohl, running back Shaun Wick or defensive end Eddie Yarbrough? Let me know and I will try and ask it for you.

2 thoughts on “Mountain West football media day – West Division notes

  1. What are the objectives in year 2 for Coach Bohl, other than wins and losses? How do we go about raising the bar for both on & off field performance for the program, university, and noterity in attracting the right recruits and players?

    • Good question, JT.

      Other than wins and losses, the objectives are to continue to establish the identity of this program as tough and physical — on both sides of the ball. They also need to develop and get more speed on the field, especially on defense. Off it, it goes back to what Bohl said about laser-like focus on guys who want to get a meaningful degree and want to win conference championships. Finding those guys who are the right fits for UW and Laramie. The new addition to the Rochelle Athletics Center will help the long-term welfare of the program as well.

      Hope this helped answer your questions.


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