Been doing this all season, so why stop now.
First, my No. 1 key for Wyoming to win Saturday night’s game at New Mexico:
Play keep away: Meaning it’s in UW’s best interest to possess the ball, and obviously score points, to keep New Mexico’s high-powered yet time-consuming triple-option offense off the field. The Cowboys did a good job of this last week against San Diego State. Not saying UW’s defense isn’t capable of stopping or slowing down New Mexico, but it is dangerously thin depth-wise up front and the fewer plays it can be on the field, the more fresh it can stay.
Yes, no? For more keys, along with a cool story on some players on the Cowboys’ last divisional title team from 1996 and their take on this year’s squad, see Saturday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and log on to wyosports.net.
With Boise State’s 27-20 loss at Air Force Friday, UW clinched the Mountain Division of the Mountain West. A win Saturday at New Mexico should ensure the Cowboys host the MW Championship Game Saturday, Dec. 3 against San Diego State. A loss could mean UW plays the championship game in San Diego. It would help UW a lot — win or lose — if San Diego State loses at home Saturday against Colorado State.
Now for some notes and quotes:
“After last year, obviously it was disappointing to finish 2-10, but in the locker room the feeling I had with these guys was special, like their desire to win games. Come spring ball, the summer time and then fall camp and summer time that feeling kept growing. It’s someting that’s kind of hard to expelain what I saw, or felt. It’s like a collective agreement that’s not really talked about in the room. There’s a lot of love from each other. It truly is a brotherhood. It’s a great time to be part of this team.” — UW redshirt sophomore quarterback Josh Allen after I asked him why he felt this team would be special, which is something he’s said numerous times throughout the season.
— Here is an interesting tidbit from New Mexico’s game notes: For only the second time since 1955 — which was the season Air Force began to play college football — all five FBS teams along the Front Range had winning records as of games played last week. The only other year it happened was after games played Nov. 2, 1996. This note was courtesy of Dave Plati from the University of Colorado. Just in case you were wondering, the five teams are: Air Force, Colorado, Colorado State, New Mexico and Wyoming.
— “He’s got my vote for coach of the year (in the Mountain West).” — New Mexico coach Bob Davie. UW was picked to finish last in the Mountain Division of the MW. New Mexico, despite winning seven games last season, was picked second-to-last.
— As far as UW players to watch moving up in the school’s record books, junior running back Brian Hill needs 84 yards to break his own single-season record set last season. Hill enters Saturday’s game with 1,548 yards. Hill needs three rushing touchdowns to tie the career record of 34, set by Eddie Talboom (1948-50). Hill also has had five straight 100-yard rushing games. Hill also needs just 25 yards to become the third player in MW history to rush for 4,000 yards in a career. Senior wide receiver Tanner Gentry needs two receiving touchdowns to tie for fifth all-time with 19. Senior middle linebacker Lucas Wacha needs 10 tackles to move into eighth place by himself in career tackles. Wacha currently has 325.
— “Any time you’ve got a real sense of focus and purpose and you feel like you’re the underdog there’s a certain level of drive and energy that’s kind of an X factor. But we’re really looking at what we can do to improve from last week. There is some sense that we were picked unanimously last, I believe, on our side of the division, so some of our players want to show some people that we’re better than last. Chips, up and down, we’re playing against a really good football team and we have to play well to have a chance to win.” — UW coach Craig Bohl.
— UW and New Mexico play for the 69th time in football Saturday. UW leads the series 36-32 and 18-17 in Albuquerque, but trails since both became MW members 11-6. The Cowboys have lost two straight in the series.
— The Cowboys had 10 penalties for 98 yards, and allowed two 100-yard rushers in last season’s 38-28 home loss to New Mexico. UW has been one of the least penalized teams in the country this season. Safe to say, 10 penalties Saturday won’t bode well for the Cowboys.
— “We got to figure out how to get to 1-0. We haven’t beaten this team the last two years and last year this game was done early. We got our hands full and our players recognize that. We got a big challenge to get to 1-0.” — Bohl.
With the late start of Saturday’s game, log on to wyosports.net Sunday for complete coverage.