The Mountain West was, hands down, the best G5 conference in 2021. Four teams (Utah State, Air Force, San Diego State, and Fresno State) reached double digit wins. Utah State captivated everyone’s attention with their “worst to first” run, capping it with a bowl win over Oregon State.

San Diego State, led by a ferocious defense, won the West Division, rolling to an 11-1 record, including a win over eventual PAC-12 champ Utah. Their only stumble along the way was to Fresno State. The Aztecs were overwhelmed by Utah State in the MWC Championship, but rebounded to win one of the better bowl matchups of 2021 over CUSA Champ UT San Antonio.

Air Force leveraged the leading rushing attack in FBS to post a 10-3 season, including a thrilling 31-28 victory over Louisville in the First Responder Bowl. Brad Roberts led the Falcon rushing attack, which kept them in every game. Their three losses were all one score margins. Fresno State, led by QB Jake Haener, made some noise throughout the season. a narrow loss to Oregon was followed by a win over UCLA. An inexplicable stumble at Hawaii was followed by impressive wins over Nevada and San Diego State, before the Bulldogs were beaten badly by Boise State. They closed with three wins, including their bowl win over UTEP.

Nevada Led by QB Carson Strong started 5-1 with wins over Cal and Boise State. However, dreams of a MWC West crown were undone by 2 point losses to Fresno State, San Diego State, and Air Force. With Strong opting out, the Wolfpack dropped their bowl game to Western Michigan.

2021 was a difficult year by Boise State’s lofty standards. The Broncos lost 5 games for the first time since 2013, marking only the second time in the past 23 years they have lost that many games in a season. To top things off, COVID-19 hit the team, causing cancellation of their bowl game.

Wyoming’s offense was hot-and-cold all season long. When the Cowboys were on, they were impressive. However, too often, the offense simple couldn’t produce. They did end the season on an up-note, winning the Famous Potato bowl behind 400 yards of rushing.

2021 Mountain West Final Standings
2021 Final Standings MWC
Division/TeamConferenceAll Games
MountainWLPctPointsAgainstWLPctPointsAgainst
Utah State620.7502572221130.786456342
Air Force620.7502691841030.769403257
Boise State530.625219141750.583350228
Wyoming260.250140177760.538330308
Colorado State260.250204243390.250284339
New Mexico170.12572245390.250146341
WestWLPctPointsAgainstWLPctPointsAgainst
San Diego State710.8751851311220.857383277
Fresno State620.7502311651030.769434267
Nevada530.625297200850.615464345
Hawaii350.375199229670.462374408
San Jose State350.375148220570.417240318
Nevada-Las Vegas260.2501862502100.167249394
2021 Mountain West Conference Season Awards
PlayerTeamAward
Carson StrongNevadaOffensive Player of the Year
Cameron ThomasSan Diego StateDefensive Player of the Year
Matt AraizaSan Diego StateSpecial Teams Player of the Year
Cameron FrielUNLVFreshman of the Year
Brady HokeSan Diego StateCoach of the Year
2021 Mountain West Conference Team Statistical Leaders
Click to Scroll. G5 Leader is highlighted in green.
StatisticTeamMetric
Team Scoring Offense and Defense
Points Scored Per Game-TotalNevada            35.7
Average Game Margin-TotalFresno State            12.8
Points Scored Per Game-ConfNevada            37.1
Average Game Margin – ConfNevada            12.1
Passing Offense
Pass Attempts Per GameNevada43.9
Pass Completions Per GameNevada30.4
Completion PercentageNevada69.2
Passing Yards Per GameNevada347
Passing TDs Per GameNevada2.9
Rushing Offense
Rushing Attempts Per GameAir Force63.9
Rushing Yards Per GameAir Force328.6
Average Yards Per CarryAir Force5.1
Rushing TDs Per GameAir Force3.4
Total Offense
Plays Per GameUtah State76.1
Total Yards Per GameFresno State464.1
Average Yards Per PlayFresno State6.4
Penalties
Penalties Per Game (Fewest)Air Force4.2
Penalty Yards Per Game (Fewest)UNLV37.9
Offense Turnovers
Fumbles Per Game (Fewest)Nevada0.2
Interceptions Per Game (Fewest)Air Force0.3
Total Turnovers Per Game (Fewest)Air Force0.7
Team Scoring Defense
Points Allowed Per Game-TotalBoise State19.0
Points Allowed Per Game-ConfSan Diego State16.4
Passing Defense
Completions Allowed Per GameAir Force14.7
Passing Yards Allowed Per GameWyoming189.8
Passing Completion % Per GameFresno State52.3
Passing TDs Allowed Per GameBoise State1
Rushing Defense
Rushing Yards Allowed Per GameSan Diego State80.5
Rushing Yards Per Carry AllowedSan Diego State2.7
Rushing TDs Allowed Per GameSan Diego State0.5
Total Defense
Yards Allowed Per GameAir Force297.3
Total Yards Allowed Per PlaySan Diego State4.7
Turnovers
Interceptions Per Game (Most)San Diego State1.2
Fumbles Recovered Per Game (Most)Hawaii1
Total turnovers Forced Per GameHawaii2.1
2021 Mountain West Conference Individual Statistical Leaders
Click to scroll. G5 Leader is highlighted in green.
StatisticPlayerTeamMetric
Passing
CompletionsCarson StrongNevada367
Completion %Carson StrongNevada70.20%
Passing YardsCarson StrongNevada4,186
Passing Yards Per AttLogan BonnerUtah State8.4
Passing TDsCarson Strong, Logan BonnerNevada, Utah State36
Passer EfficiencyCarson StrongNevada157.1
Rushing
Rushing AttemptsBrad RobertsAir Force299
Rushing YardageBrad RobertsAir Force1356
Rush Yards Per AttDae Dae HunterHawaii6.4
Rushing TDsCharles WilliamsNevada Las-Vegas15
Receiving
ReceptionsDevin ThompkinsUtah State102
Receiving YardsDevin ThompkinsUtah State1,704
Yards Per ReceptionIsaiah NeyorWyoming20
Receiving TDsIsaiah NeyorWyoming12
Total Offense
Yards From ScrimmageDevin ThompkinsUtah State1,731
Total YardsJake HaenerFresno State4,099
Total Yards Per PlayLogan BonnerUtah State7.4
TouchdownsCharles WilliamsUNLV15
TDs Responsible ForCarson Strong, Logan Bonner, Jake HaenerNevada, Utah State, Fresno State36
Kicking
Extra Points MadeBrandon TaltonNevada52
Field Goals MadeJonah DalmasBoise State26
Field Goal PctJonah DalmasBoise State92.90%
Avg. Punt YardsMatt AraizaSan Diego State51.2
Defense
Solo TacklesChad MumaWyoming83
Total TacklesChad MumaWyoming142
Tackles for LossCameron Thomas, Nick HeningerWyoming, Utah State21
SacksScott PatchanColorado State11.5
InterceptionsKhoury BethleyHawaii5
Passes DefendedCortez DavisHawaii18
Fumbles ForcedArron MosbyFresno State6