Battle of two of the MW’s best when Wyoming hosts Boise State Saturday

Mondays are busy days for the media that covers Wyoming football as that is the day players and coaches are available for interviews.

The best news from Monday was third-year coach Craig Bohl said senior nose tackle Chase Appleby should play Saturday when UW (5-2 overall, 3-0 MW) hosts No. 13 Boise State (7-0, 3-0). Appleby left UW’s 42-34 win at Nevada in the first half with a head injury and didn’t return. Appleby’s been going through concussion protocol, but did interviews with the media Monday,  was in good spirits and expects to play Saturday and practice as the week progresses.

Here is UW’s depth chart for this week:

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UW is 0-10 all-time against Boise State, and most of them haven’t been close. Just two game have been decided by 10 points or fewer, and UW has never scored more than 17 points against the Broncos. But this year, at least on paper, one would think Saturday’s game could be closer.

UW is second in the MW with 34.3 points per game. Boise State is third (34.3 ppg). Boise State has a big edge — again on paper — on defense. It allows 20.4 points per game and teams have scored 18 touchdowns in seven games. Both marks are second-best in the MW. UW allows 30.4 points per game, which is seventh in the conference.

Bohl said Boise’s defensive front, which will give various looks throughout the game, is the best UW has faced this season.

“This is where we want to be,” Bohl said. “There’s a principal in leadership that you can’t seize it unless you see it. There were some dark days in the past and we have a ways to go here. We didn’t get here by chance and now it’s important to continue to play well. We’re certainly in a difference place than we have been and it’s not by happenstance. If you’re playing in big-time games, you’re going to have big-time players. I’d venture to say there’s some guys in Boise saying, ‘Wyoming has some good players.’ ”

Brian Hill

Brian Hill

UW has the second-leading rusher in the MW in junior running back Brian Hill (this week’s MW Offensive Player of the Week), the third-best wide receiver in terms of catches per game and yards per game in senior Tanner Gentry and the fourth-best quarterback in redshirt sophomore Josh Allen. Boise State has the third-best running back in junior Jeremy McNichols, the top quarterback in sophomore Brett Rypien and the leading receiver in senior Thomas Sperbeck.

UW has the leading tackler in the MW in sophomore free safety Andrew Wingard. Boise State has two of the top five guys in quarterback sacks.

Both teams have good players, and Saturday’s game is a battle of two of the better teams in the MW.

Bohl also said that when Boise State played at UW in 2014 in his first year, he met Broncos coach Bryan Harsin for a cup of coffee the morning of the game. Bohl said with a smile: “If it do it this time, I’m going to make him pay.”

One more statistic to keep an eye on for this game: UW is second in the MW in turnover margin at plus-4. Boise State is last at minus-8.

For more UW-Boise State football coverage throughout the week, see the Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, log on to wyosports.net and check back here to this blog.

4 thoughts on “Battle of two of the MW’s best when Wyoming hosts Boise State Saturday

  1. What is going on with these night games? I know it all has to do with money but what about the fans that travel? I think Burman needs to have a talk with the MW and ESPN about these late games especially late in the year. I have been a season ticket holder for 40 yrs and I don’t think I will be renewing them next year as I am getting older and do no travel at night. I am sure a lot of the fans feel the same way about the late games.
    I noticed that the Men’s and Women’s basketball games do not get the attendance that the afternoon games use to get. Why don’t they schedule Saturday afternoon games?

    • Mr. Smith,

      First, thank you for the comment and interest. I understand your frustrations with the late games on TV, but unfortunately that is life in this day and age of college football and TV contracts. UW and Tom Burman have no say when the games will be played. Once the MW signed its TV contract with ESPN and its networks, it is at their mercy when games are on.
      There are a couple of reasons for the late starts. One, these networks need inventory, meaning live programing. They are not going to put the MW in the prime TV windows — like early to mid-afternoon — because they have contracts with other Power 5 leagues. In other words, ESPN won’t bump a Big 10 or SEC game in a prime window for the MW.
      Two, the better UW gets the more these games will be played late.
      Yes, that hurts fan attendance to games and makes it harder for fans, like yourself, to get to the games. But although the money UW and the other MW teams get from the TV contracts pale in comparison to what the bigger leagues get, it is still a lot of money for the size of the budgets these schools have.
      As for your question with basketball, it is a lot of the same things as football. After ESPN gets its first pick of the games they want, then CBS Sports Network gets its turn, followed by ROOT Sports. Again, those networks, based on the contracts that were signed, set the game times for what’s best for them.
      It definitely isn’t fan-friendly, but it’s not like UW or Tom Burman is asking or wanting a lot of these late starts or inconvenient start times for their events.

      Don’t know if I answered your questions, and I am sure I didn’t ease your mind or frustrations. But I hope I was able to explain this a little better for you.

      Thanks again for your interest and feedback.

      RG

  2. Thank you for answering my questions. It is a shame that the fans are not being considered. I wish the MW tv station was still up and running then maybe the games would not be so late. Thanks again

  3. Also, this game vs Boise St is a 5 pm kickoff….that is Primetime on the east coast. This is the best national audience Wyoming has had the opportunity to get in many years. This elevates the program, university and even the state in a monumental way. If you had to pay for advertising in terms of getting your brand and message to millions of people it would cost you millions of dollars….instead UW is actually getting paid for it. That is a heck of a deal not to mention an extraordinary opportunity to gain national attention for recruiting. The 8:30 pm games I don’t like and don’t think there is as much value….but this week is extremely different and favors UW and the program.

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