It is back to football for Wyoming as it plays at Utah State at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Maverik Stadium in Logan, Utah. Here is my top key to the game for the Cowboys:
Follow your rival: Wyoming’s biggest rival, Colorado State, provided the perfect plan on how to defeat Utah State in its 27-14 victory in Logan last Saturday. The Rams jumped out to a 24-0 first-half lead, and didn’t allow the Aggies to get anything going offensively until it was too late. If UW can get off to a similar start, and ride that momentum throughout the game, there’s a good chance it comes away with the victory.
Agree or disagree?
Saturday’s game will be carried online on Facebook Live — like the Sept. 30 home game against Texas State. Here is the direct link to watch it:
Now for some notes and quotes on Saturday’s game:
— This is Wyoming’s first road game since the opener at Iowa Sept. 2. UW played four straight home games after that, and was off last week. When asked if it may be a problem going back on the road again, and perhaps getting too comfortable playing at home for the last month, UW sophomore wide receiver Austin Conway said: “I don’t think so. It is football at the end of the day for us. You feel more comfortable playing at home, and it makes a huge difference, but it is still football. We just have to adapt, and we will be okay.”
— Sophomore cornerback Tyler Hall is one of six players in the Football Bowl Subdivision with two kickoff returns for touchdowns, and his 44-yard-per-return average leads all FBS players. And, UW leads the country with an average kickoff return of 35.11 yards.
— “It is different for each person, but I get excited to think we get to go there and beat them in their own house. I like traveling to different places and and different areas. Some get nervous or hate traveling. I like it.” — UW senior guard Ryan Cummings on going to Utah State and trying to beat the Aggies there for the first time since 2003, which is a span of only three games.
— Since World War II, or what is dubbed the “modern era” of college football, UW is 28-20-1 coming off a bye week, including a 17-14-1 mark on the road. The Cowboys’ all-time record coming off a bye week is 43-48-2.
— “They show a lot of different stuff. They are tricky where they’re coming from and that’s what they want to do. They play good coverage in the backfield. The key for us to get our run game going early, run some play-action stuff and get guys some easy targets. They’re not a team that gives you much easy, but we need to find our yards up front early and fast.” — UW junior quarterback Josh Allen on Utah State’s defense.
— Junior strong safety Andrew Wingard needs five tackles to reach 300 in his career. He is 29 tackles shy of tying for 10th place on UW’s career tackles list with linebacker Mike Schenbeck (1985-88).
— UW and Utah State play for the 68th time Saturday. That is the fifth-longest series in UW history, and fourth longest in Utah State history. Utah State holds a 38-25-4 lead in the series, and those 38 wins are the most the Aggies have against any opponent.
— “This is a team that is starting to really build its program and culture. They’re a bunch of tough, hard-nosed guys on both sides of the ball, and the staff coaches them that way. This program has a lot of respect for Wyoming.” — Utah State coach Matt Wells.
Got some good stuff coming in Saturday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and online at wyosports.net. The main feature story is on UW’s pipeline to Overland High in Aurora, Colorado, which includes current players in Conway, junior defensive end Kevin Prosser and sophomore safety Alijah Halliburton. Another Overland player, safety Cameron Murray, is committed to UWs 2018 recruiting class.
There’s also a story on Utah State senior cornerback Jalen Davis, who is tied for the national lead with five interceptions. I will have my other keys to this game and there will be more on the rest of the MW slate of games Saturday.
Also, check back here for my weekly MW football power rankings (which can be seen every Saturday in the WTE and Laramie Boomerang. And, I will live chat the game from Logan and links to that can be found on this blog and at wyosports.net.