Wyoming vs. Boise State football: key to the game, notes and quotes

WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi’s key to the game for Wyoming in its home-finale against Boise State. Kickoff is at 8:15 p.m. MT at Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium:

Possess and finish: Wyoming’s offense must win the time of possession battle, and more importantly, finish drives with points. That may be the Cowboys’ best defense against Boise State’s league-leading scoring offense (37.7 points per game). UW did a decent job two weeks ago against Utah State of possessing the ball, but must do a better job of finishing and eliminate penalties and turnovers.

What do you think, folks? Yay or nay?

Here is Gagliardi and WyoSports editor Scott Nulph’s weekly video blog about the game:


Here are some notes and quotes from both UW and Boise State from this week:

Blair Burns

Blair Burns

–UW has never defeated Boise State (0-8) and has lost by a combined score of 148-43 in the four games played in Laramie. The Cowboys have scored no more than 17 points against the Broncos. But that doesn’t mean UW is intimidated by Boise State: “Boise State is a great team, but I wouldn’t say we are intimidated. We played at Oregon and Michigan State and we weren’t intimidated against those teams. Getting a win would be great. Why not now?” — UW senior cornerback Blair Burns.

–When asked what he thinks of first when talking about Boise State, senior receiver Jalen Claiborne jokingly said: “Just the blue turf.” In case you live under a rock, Boise State’s home field is a blue artificial surface.

Craig Bohl

Craig Bohl

–UW coach Craig Bohl said a lot of players did a lot of up-downs last week because of a season-high 10 penalties in the 20-3 home loss to Utah State on Nov. 7. Bohl also said the team worked on being better in the red zone. Bohl also said for UW to win it must be “plus in the turnover margin and eliminate those penalties.”

Bohl on UW’s seniors: “We’ve been pleased with all of them, and especially our senior captains. I think the fruits of their labor have had an impact on our younger guys. That will need to come into play Saturday night.”

–Boise State has allowed 62 points in the first half in each of its last two games, but only 16 in the second half. The Broncos won those games, but here’s what coach Bryan Harsin said about the difference between the first and second halves the last two games: “We need to tackle better, which we do in the second half. The last two weeks we’ve faced some good running backs and they’ve run the ball well, it’s going to happen this week again. We need to have a better understanding defensively.”

Dominic Rufran

Dominic Rufran

–A catch by UW senior receiver Dominic Rufran will have him one in 48 straight games, which will be a new school record and mark every game of his career. It also will remain as the nation’s longest active streak. Rufran also needs 26 yards to move into sixth place in career receiving yards. He currently has 2,386.

Claiborne can move into a tie for seventh with his next touchdown catch, which would give him 14. Two more and he would tie Rufran for sixth with 15.

–Junior defensive end Eddie Yarbrough needs 2.5 tackles for loss to tie John Fletcher (2008-11) for second place at UW with 31 in a career. Yarbrough had 12 tackles for loss last season, which is the sixth-most for a single-season in school history. He needs only 1.5 against Boise State to tie that mark.

Shaun Wick

Shaun Wick

–I saw junior running back Shaun Wick in the football complex Monday. He still has a cast on his broken hand, and had the pins in that hand at the time. Wick said he hopes to play in the season-finale next Saturday at New Mexico. But true freshman Brian Hill has been amazing in Wick’s and sophomore D.J. May’s (knee) absence with 524 yards on 76 carries in the last three games.

It’s a busy day in Laramie with UW men’s basketball vs. Colorado at 4 p.m. followed by football at 8:15. See the Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and log on to wyosports.net for complete coverage.