Border War football primer

Some pre-game reading prior to Saturday’s 108th Border War between Wyoming and Colorado State. Kick off is at 8:15 p.m. MT.

First, my No. 1 key to the game for UW:

Run the ball effectively: When Wyoming runs the ball for more than 200 yards, it wins. When it doesn’t, it loses. Simple as that. The Cowboys need to be better running

Craig Bohl

Craig Bohl

between the tackles. If Colorado State shuts that down, UW must find other ways to generate rushing yards so it doesn’t put too much pressure on redshirt sophomore quarterback Josh Allen and the passing game.

UW was dominated along both lines of scrimmage in last year’s 26-7 loss at home to Colorado State. Being more physical along both lines of scrimmage is a big key today (although you can say that about any football game).

“To have a chance to win we’ve got to be physical along the line of scrimmage. That will be our big test. We feel better about the progress we’ve made, but come Saturday night we’re going to find out,” third-year UW coach Craig Bohl said.

Some other notes and quotes leading up to the game:

Mike Bobo

Mike Bobo

— “We gang-tackled Brian Hill, and you have to because it takes more than one person to get him down. We got hats on the football, created turnovers (4) and kept them in third-and-long. Not much of that game plan (from last year) will change. We need to stop the run and then play off their play-action passing game.” — Colorado State coach Mike Bobo.

— Not only is this the 108th Border War, but the 71st consecutive year both teams have played against each other. It’s also the 49th game involving the Bronze Boot traveling trophy, which started in 1968. The series since the Bronze Boot was introduced is tied 24-24.

— The Cowboys begin their 18th season in the Mountain West. They are 8-9 in MW openers, including a 3-4 mark. This is only the third time UW has started MW play against Colorado State.

Andrew Wingard

Andrew Wingard

— “I knew about it, but it wasn’t huge. But playing last year, and losing, helped me realize it’s more of a rivalry now. A bunch of guys want to get The Boot back really bad, and losing makes us want to get it back that much more. Coming off a loss last week gives us more fire  knowing we can get a conference win and The Boot back.” — UW sophomore free safety Andrew Wingard, one of 27 players from Colorado on the Cowboys’ roster heading into this game.

— “I like the enregy of this game, not just on game day, but the time leading up to it. Walking to class you hear people come up with ‘Beat the Sheep’ chants. We know how important this game is.” — UW junior running back Brian Hill.

— Colorado State has the edge in the kicking game. Sophomore Wyatt Bryan has made his last six field goals, and is 6 of 7 on the season. Three of his makes have been fro 40 yards or longer, including a 53-yarder against Northern Colorado. UW true freshman Cooper Rothe is 5 of 10 this season, and 0 of 3 from 40-49 yards.

— “It’s in the back of our minds, but this is about the guys on the field right now. It has been a while since we’ve had The Boot. It’s a great college rivalry and were working our tail off to get it back.” — Bohl

With the late start to Saturday’s game, coverage in the Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang will be limited, complete coverage will be at wyosports.net.