UW-New Mexico postgame thoughts

Got to hand it to true freshman quarterback Brett Smith, again.

Two rushing touchdowns, one passing, 140 rushing yards, 352 total yards and a 31-10 UW victory. Both of Smith’s touchdown runs came in the fourth quarter to put the game away. His 69-yarder was the longest offensive play of the season for the Cowboys.

See my column in Sunday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang for more on Smith.

I thought UW should have put this game away early. It left too many opportunities on the field. A fake field goal, a missed field goal, a fumble by Alvester Alexander. Too many mistakes.

The defense was better in the second half. No points allowed and New Mexico was 1 of 8 on third down. Defense wasn’t that good in the first half as New Mexico was 3 of 6 on third down and it’s two scoring drives were 12 and eight plays.

UW finished 5-1 at home this season, its best mark since 2004. UW hasn’t won seven regular-season games since 1999.

Despite the fumble, I liked how Alexander ran with a season-high 93 yards. For two straight weeks, Alexander has hit a season-high. Good to see that.

Good thing Tashaun Gipson isn’t a receiver because he dropped two interceptions in the first half. Got one on the first play of the third quarter. Speaking of drops, saw way too many from a handful of receivers today. Gipson also tackled well with a team-high 10.

Liked how junior receiver Brandon Miller played. After a couple of dropped passes the last two weeks, he caught a 26-yard touchdown pass (where he ran most of the way on a screen) and had six catcehs for 77 yards.

Cowboys will finish with a winning conference record for the first time since 2006. Could finish second and shouldn’t finish lower than third. Bowl tickets can be requested online or done via telephone through UW’s ticket office, although the team doesn’t know where it will play yet.

It wasn’t pretty at times, and the weather kept the crowd at bay. Very small and disappointing to see, but that’s winter/late fall in Wyoming.

Would love to hear your comments, and be sure to check out the video interviews I posted with Smith and coach Dave Christensen.

13 thoughts on “UW-New Mexico postgame thoughts

  1. disappointed with the small crowd today too, sure it was bad up North and I understand that, but what was the excuse for the Cheyenne faithful? I left at 9 and yeah it was great but took my time and made it with plenty of time to spare. Didn’t think the students would show up but they proved me wrong and filled up that side pretty well. Overall, lots of drops, but say no more Brett Smith is truly a Stud and fun to watch, gives me lots of faith in the future for Cowboy football, to pull away from that secondary “impressive”. Now we should go bowling somewhere and I know I’ll do my best to make it. Would be nice to see us pull the upset next week but they are currently up big on SDSU. Today was cold, but still fun and glad we took care of the business at hand. Keep er up Pokes!!

  2. Absolutely horrible crowd from our “fans” considering the success the team is having. I would expect that crowd for a 3-7 team, not a 7-3 team. I thought Wyoming people were “Cowboy Tough.” I guess fans only show up for name teams and 70 degree weather?

  3. I was really surprised to see the numbers for the crowd and the video. Makes me really sad to see that staff and those kids work so hard and no one shows up. If I wasn’t in North Dakota working I would be there.

  4. I sure hope that the combination of weather and the fact that New Mexico should (and was) a ‘W’, probably kept fans away. Can we expect a better showing in Fort Collins? I sure hope so, I’ll be there with my family cheering on the Pokes for at least an 8-4 finish.

    What are the chances of a win next Saturday? I would look at the Boise game as Nebraska round II. I believe the Pokes are much better now than when we played Nebraska. It would be awesome to see the Pokes play truely inspired for 4 quarters of Football on BOTH offense and defense.

    • I think it will be tough for UW to go up there and win, but this team also is much better than the one that got trucked by Boise 51-6 last year in Laramie. It will take four quarters of inspired football for UW to have a chance up there. Sounded like Boise bounced back pretty well from the TCU loss at San Diego yesterday. With all the shake up with other teams, BCS stuff is now back in the picture for them as well.

      RG

      • Robert,
        The BCS is a messed up system and if the BCS gets rid of AQ conference spots in favor of the top 8 get BCS bowls, then what does that say about the schools trying to leave the MW? Air Force leaving = $$, Boise leaving = ?? TCU leaving = ‘Better alignment with region’.

        What are the chances of TCU getting a BCS Bowl berth over Boise?

        For Wyoming, I would like the best bowl game for the fans as possible and that is either New Mexico or Vegas. Vegas is not likely, but given that Wyoming is the best of those schools that are staying in the MW, then we do deserve Vegas. No disrespect to New Mexico and I believe that’s where Wyoming goes. New Mexico bowl was a great atmosphere and really puts on a great ‘Western Bowl’ in 2009. Looking forward to some awesome green chile!

        • Even if the BCS changes or not, the bottom line for most of the teams that have left or may leave the MW is TV money and exposure, BCS access factors in there, too, but not as much as the TV part of this.

          I see your point about the Vegas Bowl, but bowl officials don’t concern themselves with who is leaving or staying in conferences. They want the best teams and matchups they can get no matter what.

          I’m still leaning toward the Independence and New Mexico bowls for UW at this point.

          Thanks, Brian.

          RG

      • This is so true, my thoughts are that LSU and Alabama aren’t that good offensively. I think they will get a defeat in a bowl game, neither team can move the ball effectively against a quality opponent. The likes of a Boise State, that dominated the other SEC champion Georgia- proves that a playoff system is the only way to determine true national champions and not a rating panel or spreadsheet matrix. Any given Saturday, as proven yesterday and Friday night….expect the unexpected. Boise State, is a force and the Pokes will need flawless perfection, which isn’t a practical thought this early in the retooling process. We have turned heads and hearts this year, but we must play ball for 4 quarters and bring our “A” game. The next two ball games will test our character and development in the bowl selection process. Proud of these Pokes, RG. No doubt, lets finish the season strong.

        • I will say I am more curious and intrigued by UW playing at Boise State now than I was when the season started.

          RG

  5. Sure the roads were bad & 25 was closed for awhile 80 was no better, But we made it to Laramie from Den. Co. So there was no reason the people in Laramie should not have been at this game .I think this is a piss poor showing support for our football team. Or any sports for that matter,

    I am 75 years old & i know there is some older that were at the game, So where is all the young blood at.

    Very poor showing for Wyoming,

  6. The bowl assignment picture for the MWC remains quite cloudy after SAT 19 NOV. The best projections seem to be for conference champ TCU to be headed to the Las Vegas Bowl; Boise State either going to the Poinsettia or Potato Bowl; Wyoming headed to the Independence or New Mexico Bowl; San Diego St going to the Poinsettia or New Mexico Bowl; and Air Force to whichever bowl slot remains, be it a MWC bowl or another elsewhere where a slot cannot be filled by the conference holding the contract. Included in these possibilities are the Military Bowl. We have two weeks until things get finalized.
    I hope Wyoming goes to the Independence Bowl so they can face a BCS school which could be North Carolina, North Carolina St, Wake Forest, or Miami FL. A victory over one of those schools would rank as about the best bowl wins in school history, akin to the wins over Texas Tech, Florida St, and U C L A.

    • We can rule out Miami FL as a possible opponent as the Hurricane administration just announced the program will not be going to a bowl game due to the ongoing NCAA corruption investigation as well as other reasons.

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