My top key for Wyoming in its football game Saturday night at Air Force:
Convert scoring chances: Wyoming hasn’t had a problem moving the ball offensively at 396.4 yards per game. But it has had trouble scoring at 19.4 points per game. The Cowboys are last among 127 Football Bowl Subdivision teams in red zone offense as they’ve scored 10 of 19 times. Negative plays (penalties or plays that lose yardage) and turnovers all have been factors in UW’s futility. It must be cleaned up if it hopes to win this game — or any game the rest of the season.
Of course, there are several other things UW must do well in this game. For more of those, see Saturday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang and log on to wyosports.net
I delve into some of those other keys in my video preview of the game:
Here are a few notes and quotes on the game:
— “They’re not trowing the ball as much. Against us last year they moved the ball through the air pretty effectively (226 yards). They’re relying more on the run game, but will throw the football. It’s a lot of the same schemes. They know who they are and are effective in what they do. They’re operating at a high level.” — UW coach Craig Bohl on Air Force’s triple-option offense.
— “Anybody can be happy, chipper and excited if your 5-0, It takes a different kind of guy to do that when you’re 0-5. It’s hard. But we’ve shown to have to have great leadership and a great mentality. It’s about how much do you live playing football. It’s about what’s inside you. You can’t keep a good pup down, you just got to keep it going. — UW senior defensive end Eddie Yarbrough.
— UW hopes to avoid its first 0-6 start since 1939. That team lost its first seven games and tied its season-finale to finish 0-7-1. The Cowboys’ longest losing streak within a single season in the modern era is eight. They lost their final eight games in 2000 and 2001.
— “I think we will be ready this week. I think we’ve been ready every week. It’s just about getting the right things to go together at the right time.” — UW junior nose tackle Chase Appleby.
— UW has eight players on its roster who are from the Colorado Springs area. Air Force is located just north of Colorado Springs. Some of the more notable Cowboys from that area include junior punter Ethan Wood, junior fullback Jordan Ellis and true freshman walk-on kicker Tristan Bailey.
— “To come flying in as fast as I can trying to blow stuff up, I think it will be fun. My high school was similar to Air Force’s, and we will be running the same defense as we did against New Mexico (a 38-28 UW loss on Sept. 26). “We need to trust each other more.” — UW true freshman safety Andrew Wingard.
— UW sophomore running back Brian Hill has three-career 200-yard rushing games.
Only Myron Hardeman in the 1970s has done that in UW history. “(Hill) is a superb player. What is impressive about him is his size. He’s a rare combination of power, quickness and speed. Once he breaks, he goes. Other times you think he’s getting hit for a gain of two, but he moves a pile.” — Air Force coach Troy Calhoun.
— “The last five games we’ve seen our team get better, even if the scoreboard doesn’t tell it. We’ve seen it ourselves. We’re trying to encourage the guys to stay positive. We’re getting there, and have to keep pushing. One point we’re going to break through and the train will be moving from there on.” — UW senior defensive end Siaosi Hala’api’api.
— Air Force has done a great job over the years in blocking kicks. It has 28 since 2007 and 11 since 2013. Senior defensive end Alex Hansen has five blocked kicks in his career. Something to keep an eye on in this game.
— My game advance in Saturday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle, Laramie Boomerang and on wyosports.net focuses around the rivalry between UW and Air Force. UW players consider this game a rivalry. Air Force didn’t seem to think so. What’s your take on the UW-Air Force series? Rivalry or not?
Here is UW sophomore offensive tackle Ryan Cummings on that, and more: