Happy post-Thanksgiving everyone. Hope you got your fill of food and family.
Wyoming wraps up its regular season Saturday at San Jose State at 3 p.m. MT. The game will be carried online on ESPN3.
Here is my No. 1 key for the Cowboys:
Nameless opponent: Wyoming will play another game — a bowl game — no matter the outcome of today’s contest. San Jose State has struggled mightily all season. This has all the makings of a letdown for the Cowboys, unless they come out and play well from the start. Nothing takes the air out of the sails of a struggling team than building an early lead and not letting up. The longer UW lets San Jose State think it can win this game, the more dangerous things get. The Cowboys need to ignore the record and numbers of their opponent and come out like this was a nameless opponent and execute well in all three phases.
Now for some notes and quotes:
— UW has held its last four opponents to 14 points or less. The last time that happened was in 1969. In 1975 and 1987, the Cowboys held four consecutive foes to 16 points for less, and in 2006 they held three straight teams to 16 points or fewer.
— “It is cool, and the weather will be warmer. I will try to put on a show for family and friends, although I try my best every game.” — UW sophomore linebacker Cassh Maluia, one of 18 players from California on the roster.
— UW sophomore cornerback/return specialist Tyler Hall is from Hawthorne, California, which is just north of San Diego. Hall was high school teammates with San Jose State junior running back Malike Roberson and freshman linebacker Tysyn Parker. Spartans freshman wide receiver Tre Walker went to a rival high school. “There may be a little chatter between us, but I’m just focused on coming out with a win and finishing strong,” Hall said.
— Junior safety Andrew Wingard became the third player in UW history to record 100 or more tackles in three seasons. Wingard has 101 this season, and had 131 in 2016 and 122 in 2015. The others who have done it are safety John Salley (1980-82) and linebacker Jim Talich (1995-97).
— “He’s taken move the from the WILL to the MIKE, and that was a smart move on our part. It puts him more sdleline to sideline. He has a better understanding of our defense and he’s a much more physical player.” — UW coach Craig Bohl on sophomore middle linebacker Logan Wilson of Casper, who played outside linebacker last season. Wilson leads UW with 105 tackles this season.
— UW leads the Mountain West in both red zone offense and defense. The Cowboys have scored in the red zone 27 of 28 times, including 19 touchdowns. UW foes have scored on 24 of 32 red zone chances. The offensive and defensive marks are fourth and 15 in the nation, respectively.
— The Cowboys also lead the nation in kickoff returns with a 29.58 yard average. However, they only have 19 returns.
— “Our team is 100 percent confident in Nick, no questions asked. His play (last week) was solid. We had some turnovers we normally don’t have, and all of us as an offensive unit has to finish drives.” — UW junior tight end Austin Fort on junior quarterback Nick Smith. Junior quarterback Josh Allen remains day-to-day and will be a game-time decision on whether he plays against San Jose State. My gut tells me Allen won’t play.
See Saturday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and log on to wyosports.net as I delve into UW’s recruiting in California and how that has come along since Bohl and Co. arrived in Laramie. Also have a cool story on San Jose State junior linebacker Frank Ginda, who is a tackling machine.
Also, I will have a live chat for the game, which will begin at 3 p.m. MT. Links to the chat will be on this blog and at wyosports.net.