It’s almost here!
Wyoming’s highly anticipated football game with Oregon kicks off at 5 p.m. Saturday at Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium. The game is expected to be sold out, but for those who can’t make it, it will be televised nationally on CBS Sports Network.
As I always start this out, here is my No. 1 key for the Cowboys in the game:
Play keep away: The best way to keep Oregon’s high-powered offense off the field is for Wyoming’s offense to eat up the clock with long drives, and obviously, finish those drives with points. The Cowboys must establish a run game, which has been nonexistent with just 62 yards per game. A balanced offensive attack with the run and pass could keep Oregon’s defense out of sync, and possibly cause its offense to press.
Agree or disagree?
Now for some notes and quotes:
— “He’s an NFL quarterback, if you ask me. You watch the kid throw the ball and he throws it so effortless. He can make a throw anywhere on the football field. When you watch him on film it’s like he’s throwing a tennis ball or baseball. He’s very impressive. He’s done a great job of working on his fundamentals. He has a bright future ahead of him. … With a guy like Mr. Allen at quarterback, anything can happen.” — Oregon coach Willie Taggart on UW junior quarterback Josh Allen.
— “He’s an excellent quarterback. He played some last year and he’s their starter now. He’s 6-foot-6 and 225 pounds, can make all the throws and he’s at about 78 percent completion percentage. He takes care of the football and he’s mobile.” — UW coach Craig Bohl on Oregon sophomore quarterback Justin Herbert.
— Wyoming’s most recent victory over Pac-12 Conference foe was in the 2004 Las Vegas Bowl — a 24-21 win over UCLA. The last time the Cowboys beat a Pac-12 foe at home was in 1980 — a 30-10 win over Oregon State.
— The Cowboys have won eight of their last nine home games, and eight straight regular-season home games going back to the 2015 season finale.
— Allen is 250 yards shy of tying for 10th place in UW history in total offense. He enters the Oregon game with 3,756 yards. Allen also needs 367 passing yards to crack into UW’s top 10 career list. And, if Allen throws four touchdown passes against the Ducks, he will tie for eighth on UW’s career list. Allen currently has 30 touchdown passes. Allen threw four touchdown passes in two games last season — at home against Utah State and at UNLV.
— “There are a bunch of people from high school who were in my league who play there. I kind of have a chip on my shoulder because I was under recruited by them. … You get more focused on someting that means more to you because this is a team from my home state. It is on TV and a bunch of people I know will be watching, When I get in I want to do the best I can.” — UW redshirt freshman tight end Sam Maughan, who is from Beavercreek, Oregon, which is near Portland. Maughan said Oregon offered him to walk-on out of high
school. Maughan, who made his UW debut last week against Gardner-Webb, said he played against Oregon sophomore linebacker La’Mar Winston Jr. — a projected starter — and redshirt freshman safety Brady Breeze in high school. Maughan also said Oregon State offered him to walk-on, but it wanted him to play safety. Maughan said his dad played at Brigham Young and his brother played at Oregon State.
— Oregon is 52-18-1 against current Mountain West teams. It also has lost its last two road-openers, but are 9-3 in its last 12 since 2005 (which includes neutral site games).
— “I’ve been here long enough, and most of the guys playing this game understand what this is about. We’ve got a focused group and we don’t care about the outside noise. Whether it’s on national television or nobody’s watching, we go out to win and play the best we can.” — Allen.
Got some good stuff in Saturday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and also online at wyosports.net, including a story on the impact a game like Oregon has on UW and elsewhere, a profile on Oregon senior running back Royce Freeman, my other two keys for the Cowboys in the game and my weekly Mountain West power rankings.
Also see the WTE, Boomerang and online at wyosports.net for complete game coverage from Saturday’s game.