Some notes and quotes for Saturday’s homecoming game for Wyoming against the Air Force Academy. Kickoff is at 1:30 p.m., and the game will be televised on ROOT Sports.
First, my No. 1 key for UW today:
Making plays through the air: Wyoming wants and needs to run the football, and it will try. However, Air Force allows just 53 rushing yards per game. On paper, it looks like UW redshirt sophomore quarterback Josh Allen is going to have to make some plays in the passing game. How much remains to be seen, but there will be times when Allen must do that. Allen needs to be sharp and efficient today.
— As far as homecoming games go, UW is 44-44-3 all-time. At War Memorial Stadium, the Cowboys are 39-25-2.
— One quick note from last week’s 38-17 win at Colorado State. As most of you know the Cowboys’ defense didn’t allow any points in the second half. They also gave up just 134 yards of total offense, including two rushing yards.
— “There is some tension between us every season. We play each other hard. I would call it a rivalry.” — Air Force senior defensive back Jesse Washington.
— UW senior wide receiver Tanner Gentry has a chance to move into UW’s top 10 list in career receiving yards. He needs 59 yards to tie for 10th, 62 for ninth and 75 for eighth. Gentry also needs 12 catches to become 10th on UW’s career list. Gentry enters the game with 140 catches for 1,968 yards for his career. His 6.4 catches per game is first in the Mountain West, and his 95.8 receiving yards per game is second.
— “The quarterback is further along at this point age-wise than Carson Wentz was at the same point in his career.” — Air Force coach Troy Calhoun on Allen.
— “I think its going to be a rocking atmosphere. We’ll come ready to play.” — UW senior nose tackle Chase Appleby. UW is expecting a crowd of around 26,000 for the game.
— Air Force’s 4-0 start is the best in the 10 seasons Calhoun has been its coach. Although the Falcons have an impressive 27-20 road conference win against Utah State, they were the only Mountain West team not to play a team from a Power 5 league in their nonconference schedule. Air Force has nonconference home wins over Abilene Christian, Georgia State and Navy.
— One thing to watch today is special teams. Air Force has blocked at least one kick very season since 2007. Its 13 blocked kicks since 2013 is the fourth-most in the country. The Falcons also have the nation’s top kick returner in junior Tim McVey.
— “He’s big enough to come in and block any where on the field. He’s a tight-split wide receiver, but is big enough to block like a tight end. The quarterback can just get the ball in the air and he can go over top of you. He’s a very good looking young man on film.” — UW defensive coordinator Steve Stanard on Air Force senior wide receiver Jalen Robinette, who 6-4, 215 pounds and is second in the nation with 25.9 yards per catch entering this week.
— “One of our younger defensive coaches asked ‘coach, was this how it was? And I said, yeah. This is what you did.’ I think sometimes we’ve ruined the game of football. Back in the 70s almost everybody ran the wish bone. They have a huge advantage because no one wants to be disciplined enough to execute that offense. I get excited for these games.” — UW coach Craig Bohl on facing Air Force’s option-oriented offense.
— “We’re an emerging football team, and we’re a long ways away to our vision of what our football team can be. (Last) Saturday’s performance was an indication that the arrow is pointing up.” — Bohl
See Saturday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and long on to wyosports.net for more UW-Air Force football coverage. Also, I will be hosting a live chat for the game starting at 1:15 p.m. Saturday. Links will be on this blog and at wyosports.net.