A little pregame reading for you for Saturday’s Wyoming at UNLV football game. Kickoff is at 1:30 p.m., and the game is televised on ROOT Sports.
As I normally do, here is my No. 1 key for the Cowboys to get the win:
Complete game: Wyoming’s done a lot right during its five-game winning streak, but despite the wins there have been lulls in its play at times. The Cowboys need to start strong, but also play well for four quarters. That may mean a close game, but it’s time for UW to play well from start to finish.
There are more, but do you agree or disagree? What are your biggest keys. For more of mine, and an update on former UW player Xavier Lewis, who is now helping coach the Cowboys, see Saturday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang and log on to wyosports.net.
Now for some notes and quotes:
— The No. 12 is a good number for UW this week. The Cowboys are one of 12 teams in the FBS that are undefeated in conference play as of games entering this week. And, UW is tied for 12th in the FBS in winning percentage with its 7-2 overall record.
— “You kind of expect it a litlte bit. So much in our society is instant gratification and no so much in building. I’m sure they’re doing all the right things. Building doesn’t happen overnight in the Mountain West. Their blue print is in. Their quarterback is taking open shots down the field and their defense lines up and plays hard.” — second-year UNLV coach Tony Sanchez on the progress he sees from UW on film in coach Craig Bohl’s third season.
— Brian Hill’s single-season UW record of 1,631 rushing yards is in jeopardy — by himself. The junior running back enters the UNLV game with 1,298 yards and 144.2 yards per game. If he keeps that pace over the final three regular season games, he will beat that mark by about 100 yards. Hill has seven 200-yard game in his career, one of which came last season against UNLV where he had 232 yards.
Here’s what UNLV’s best defensive player, senior outside linebacker Tau Lotulelei said about Hill this week: “I can’t say enough good things about him. He’s a load. We have to concentrate on our reads and tackling. If we do that I think we’ll be OK, but (Hill) is a heck of a back.”
— “We have a talented football team, but what we have to remember is they’re a young football team. Going through those ups and downs, that’s why you have ‘coach’ on your shirt, to manage expectations with these players and their attention to detail and focus. I think we lost a little bit of focus in the third quarter (against Utah State last week). “An old, wise coach said ‘they remember November.’ We’re in November and each one of these games is a meaningful game and that’s why we’re 0-0 trying to do everything we can to get to 1-0.” — Bohl
— This will be the last time UW and UNLV play football against each other until 2019. Both are in different division of the Mountain West, and cross-over divisional play switches next season. The Cowboys will host Fresno State and Hawaii next season from the MW West Division, and play at San Jose State.
— UW senior middle linebacker needs 10 tackles to move into a tie for 10th place on the school’s career tackles list. Wacha enters the game with 301.
— UNLV has two players who have touchdown runs of 85-yards or longer this season. Running back Lexington Thomas had an 85-yard score at Central Michigan, and redshirt freshman quarterback Dalton Sneed had a 91-yarder against Fresno State. Sneed won’t start today. Junior Kurt Palandech gets the nod, who also is a threat to run the ball.
— “If you look at factors that allow you to win games, turnovers is one of them. And turnovers come about because guys are playing with confidence and they play with confidence because they know what they’re doing and they have more speed and explosion. Then it develops into an attitude and a frenzy. That’s why we talk about takeaways, because very rarely does an offense just give it to you.” — Bohl on his defense which has a plus-6 turnover ratio this season and forced 19 turnovers in nine games.
For more pregame and postgame coverage for UW-UNLV football, see the Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and log on to wyosports.net.