Here is WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi’s top key for the Wyoming football team in tonight’s game at Fresno State, which kicks off at 8:45 p.m. MT at Bulldog Stadium in Fresno, California.
Better middle quarters: Wyoming has been outscored 151-62 in the second and third quarters this season. The Cowboys need to play a complete game to have a chance tonight, but they must do a better job in the middle two quarters offensively and defensively.
What do you think, folks? For more keys and more on today’s game, see today’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and log on to wyosports.net.
Gagliardi and WyoSports editor Scott Nulph preview with their weekly video blog on tonight’s game:
Here are some notes and quotes about the game:
–“I look at it as the coaching staff trusts him, so he’s the best candidate to be in the game. They will put their team in the best position to win. They wouldn’t just put anybody out there.” — UW junior defensive end Eddie Yarbrough on Fresno State giving redshirt freshman quarterback Zack Greenlee is first-ever start.
–“He’s impressive as a true freshman. That’s a tough situation. I think he did a good job (last week) and I’m excited what he’s going to do this week.” — UW senior quarterback Colby Kirkegaard on the play of true freshman running back Brian Hill against Colorado State last week, where he had 28 carries for 121 yards and two touchdowns.
–“Look at some of the teams they’ve played — Nebraska, USC and Utah. They’re a stunting defense that has all kinds of different looks and poses all kinds of different problems. There have been some shortcomings at some points, but you can attribute that more to the level of competition they’ve played.” UW coach Craig Bohl on Fresno State’s defense, that has allowed 35.8 points per game and 50-plus points in losses to Nebraska, USC and Utah this season — all top 25 teams.
–“He is a real joy to coach. You forget he has this record and lot of that is attributed to his attitude. He is a very selfless player.” — Bohl on senior receiver Dominic Rufran, who if he catches one pass tonight will extend his streak of consecutive games with at least one catch to 46 games. That will remain as the nation’s longest active streak, and one shy of the school record.
–“He’s worked hard in trying to learn the defense. He works at it and has made good strides since we got here. It’s important he keeps paying attention to detail and continues to grow, learn and mature.” — UW defensive coordinator/linebackers coach Steve Stanard on junior Jeff Lark, who will make his first start at strong-side linebacker due to injuries to senior Mark Nzeocha and junior Malkaam Muhammad.
–“I thought they did a good job of teaching their schemes on both sides of the ball. … They’re a team, like us, who believes they can get bowl-eligible. (Bohl) has those guys going in the right direction.” — Fresno State coach Tim DeRuyter on UW.
–UW is 0-4 all time at Fresno State, and lost those games by an average of 17.5 points.
–The Cowboys have lost eight straight road games dating back to last season, their longest slide since losing nine in a row between the 2002-03 season. UW also is 0-4 on the road this season with two road games left. The last time it didn’t win a road game in a season was in 2002.
–The Cowboys’ current four-game losing streak marks the 13th time since the 2000 season they’ve had a losing skid of four games or more in a single season. In 2002, UW lost four straight two different times.
–UW has not committed a turnover in its last two games, and has had three games with zero turnovers.
–The Cowboys remain one of the nation’s least penalized teams in the nation. They enter this week 15th with 4.5 penalties per game, and 38.9 penalty yards per game. However, UW has had seven penalties in each of their last two games, and an average of 62.5 penalty yards per contest.
–UW has 19 players from California on its roster.
–Rufran needs 66 receiving yards to tie Malcom Floyd (2000-03) for sixth place on UW’s career receiving yards list. Rufran has 2,345 yards.
–Senior receiver Jalen Claiborne’s next touchdown reception will give him 14 for his career, and move him into a four-way tie for seventh place in school history.
–UW remains the only FBS team in the nation — out of 125 — to not have an interception this season.
–And the “who cares” stat of the week: Tonight is UW’s third of five straight games against teams with “State” in their name. San Jose State (Oct.18), Colorado State (Oct. 25), Fresno State (tonight), Utah State (Nov. 7) and Boise State (Nov. 22).
Gagliardi will host his live game chat tonight from the game, starting at 8:30 p.m. MT. See this blog for the link, or also go to wyosports.net.