Wyoming vs. Utah St. – pregame reading

Some notes and quotes leading up to Saturday’s homecoming game for the University of Wyoming. The Cowboys host Utah State at 12:30 p.m. MT at Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium — their first home game since Sept. 29. The game will be televised on AT&T SportsNet.

Craig Bohl

“I think we need to look at personnel changes. There will be some schematic things that we need do. There’s times we’ve run the ball fairly effectively, and then what will occur is we’ve got to be more consistent as far as not shooting ourselves in the foot with a untimely penalty or something like that. There’s some things we can do to generate some competitive situations. There’s things we need to do to stay on the field on third down and we’re working hard on that. We have a real problem right now offensively extending drives because our third-down percentage conversion is so poor. A lot of times it’s not third down and long, it’s third down and makeables. We’re going to look at it all.” — Fifth-year UW coach Craig Bohl

Here is the rifle the Wyoming and Utah State teams will be playing for each year.

— UW and Utah State play for the 69th time today. The series goes back to 1903, and it is the fifth-longest series for the Cowboys, behind Colorado State, Utah, Brigham Young and New Mexico. When Utah State joined the Mountain West, officials at both schools dubbed the game “Bridger’s Battle” and they play for Bridger’s Rifle as a traveling trophy. I think this is a great series for both schools, especially for UW fans in the western part of Wyoming. Not sure I would classify this as a “rivalry” yet, but it is getting there. What do you think?

— “We’re a little deflated. I don’t think confidence is the issue. We all know we can get the job done. Mental focus, execution and consistency are the keys. We have five games left and five more opportunities left to show what we can do.” — UW redshirt freshman quarterback Tyler Vander Waal

— UW senior strong safety Andrew Wingard could move up the career tackles list in the conference with a big game against Utah State. Wingard is third with 422 tackles, and needs 11 to tie UNLV’s Adam Seward (2001-04) for second place. Wingard needs 18 tackles to tie for second place in UW history.

— “They’ve been able to play from ahead a lot, which helps a defense and the aggressivness you can take toward an opponent. They always come at you with multiple fronts. They are sound and not afraid to get after you, and they can cover you. — UW associate head coach/offensive coordinator Brent Vigen on Utah State’s defense

— There have been some bright spots on special teams for UW so far this season. Junior kicker Cooper Rothe remains perfect on field goals and extra points. The Cowboys are ninth in the country in kickoff return yardage allowed with an average of 15.71, and second in the MW and 34th in the country at 5.29 yards allowed per punt return. Got to find the positives where you can.

Check out Saturday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and log on to wyosports.net for a cool and different story about what homecoming at UW means to fans, players and even coaches. Also, find out why Utah State sophomore quarterback Jordan Love is playing so well this season after a rough start to his college career in 2017.

One last shameless plug: For those of you who will be in Laramie for the game, I will be signing books at the UW bookstore in the student union from 9 a.m.-noon. In case you didn’t know, myself and Ryan Thorburn co-authored “The Border War,” which depicts the long history of the UW-Colorado State football rivalry. The book has been out for about a month-and-a-half. It is a great read and a must-read for any UW and CSU football fan. Would love to sign a copy for you Saturday. You can also get the book online at Amazon and Kindle, at both Brown & Gold Outlet locations in Cheyenne and Laramie, The Second Story and Night Heron Books and Coffeehouse in downtown Laramie and Phoenix Books and Music in downtown Cheyenne.

This year’s Border War game is next week — Friday, Oct. 26 — under the lights at CSU.