Some notes and quotes leading up to the Mountain West opener for Wyoming and Boise State Saturday. Kick off is at 5 p.m. MT at Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium. The game will be televised nationally on CBS Sports Network.
— “They’ve got a good coaching staff that positions their players well. You just don’t see any weaknesses. They’ve balanced an explosive offense with a dynamic defense.” — fifth-year UW coach Craig Bohl
— Fans for both teams likely remember the 2016 game in Laramie when UW recorded a fourth-quarter safety for the decisive points in a 30-28 victory. They also remember UW players — mostly defensive end Josiah Hall — doing his “safety dance” in the end zone as the officials decided on the call. Boise State made reference to this in its game notes this week: “Boise State will look to institute a “no-dancing” policy similar to the one in the town of Bomont in the 1984 film “Footloose.”
— “They’ve got quite a few guys back (on defense) and they play fast and they communicate well and they’re a physical football team. There’s probably going to be things that we haven’t seen through the bye week that we have to be prepared for. They play hard on both sides of the football. I know Josh Allen’s gone, but they’ve got a young quarterback who I think is a good player. They’re always prepare well and that’s something we take notice of and understand what we’re getting in to.” — Boise State coach Bryan Harsin
— UW isn’t forcing turnovers at the pace it did last season (38 in 13 games). However, the Cowboys have forced six through their first four games, and committed just three. Those three turnovers are second in the Mountain West and 12th in the nation in terms of fewest turnovers committed. They are tied for first in the MW and tied for sixth in the nation with only one fumble lost.
— “He’s on his way back to where we can stress him and expect the production he had for the game-and-a-half we had him. We need that at that position. Our ability to have three backs as opposed to one or two makes them all better. All three are basically a little different, and that change of pace really matters.” — UW associate head coach/offensive coordinator Brent Vigen on the return of senior running back Nico Evans and the rest of the Cowboys’ backs.
— UW senior strong safety Andrew Wingard needs one tackle to reach 400 for his career. Assuming he gets there, he will be only the third player in school history to do it. Wingard is four tackles shy of tying for third in MW history for career tackles. And, he enters this week leading the nation among active players with 5.74 per game.
— Boise State is eyeing the number 200. A win Saturday will give it 200 going back to the year 2000. Only Oklahoma has that many wins during the same time period. And, Boise State’s winning percentage of 83.6 is the best in the all of the FBS since 2000.
Check out Saturday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and log on to wyosports.net for my feature on UW senior defensive lineman Conner Cain and his return from a gruesome injury in last year’s game at Boise State. Also, find out why Boise State senior quarterback Brett Rypien is playing so well so far this season.