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:
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.’ ”
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.