Wyoming vs. Fresno State football – pregame primer

The final home game for Wyoming is at noon Saturday at Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium against Fresno State. The game will be televised by AT&T SportsNet (used to be ROOT Sports).

Here is my No. 1 key to the game for the Cowboys:

Josh Allen

Be diverse offensively: On paper, Wyoming is going up against one of the best defenses in the country in Fresno State. The Cowboys need to be creative in what they do offensively. That doesn’t mean come out with a lot of trick plays, or get away from its identity offensively. But depending on the health status of junior quarterback Josh Allen, offensive coordinator Brent Vigen needs to come up with a plan that keeps Fresno State’s defense on its heels. Establishing the run would be a good start, which is key for any game UW plays. Even if Allen plays, limiting the hits he takes is crucial. If junior backup Nick Smith starts or plays, he must be put in situations where he can be successful. Ultimately, UW’s other play-makers, whether that be receivers, running backs or tight ends, must make more plays. Would a trick play or two, or even some different looks or formations work? Perhaps, but the Cowboys also can’t completely reinvent the wheel. There needs to be a balance between the two.

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UW sports live chat replay

Here’s the replay of my weekly live chat on University of Wyoming sports on Thursday, Nov. 16.

A lot of talk about UW football, and the health status of junior quarterback Josh Allen, as the Cowboys play their final home regular-season game Saturday against Fresno State. There also was a good amount of UW men’s basketball conversation as the 2-0 Cowboys prepare to play in the Cayman Islands Classic Monday through Wednesday of next week.

For more UW sports coverage, see the Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and log on to wyosports.net.

Live Blog University of Wyoming sports live chat

MW football power rankings – Week 12

Here are my Mountain West football power rankings heading into this week’s games.

1. Boise State (8-2 overall, 6-0 MW): The Broncos were down big and gave up 35 first-half points at Colorado State, but found a way to rally for an overtime victory in one of the more entertaining games in the country this year. The winning streak is now six, and Boise State is pretty much a lock to be the Mountain Division champs.

2. San Diego State (8-2, 4-2): No game for the Aztecs last week, and its finishes up the regular-season with two home games, starting Saturday against two-win Nevada. One has to wonder what could have been had it not been for back-to-back home losses to Boise State and Fresno State last month.

3. Wyoming (7-3, 5-1): It was a little difficult putting the Cowboys this high after junior quarterback Josh Allen left last week’s Air Force game with some sort of right arm injury. Not knowing Allen’s status moving forward makes the Cowboys a different team, but the defense continues to shine — now with 27 turnovers forced.

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Wyoming 28, Air Force 14 – postgame thoughts

A road conference win over a rival, solidifying a spot in this year’s bowl picture and keeping hopes alive for a division title within the conference.

Wyoming accomplished all that with its 28-14 victory at Air Force Saturday night. But the loss of junior starting quarterback Josh Allen to some sort of right arm injury, which occurred late in the first half, put a damper on all that.

That was the topic of my column from there game, which you can click on here:

http://www.wyosports.net/university_of_wyoming/football/gagliardi-column-big-win-harder-to-enjoy-with-allen-injury/article_58253440-c785-11e7-b990-47896471f0f2.html

Fourth-year UW coach Craig Bohl said he would know more after Sunday, and hopefully Monday on Allen’s injury when he meets with the media again. Bohl didn’t say much after the game, but here is what he did say.

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Wyoming at Air Force football live chat replay

Here’s the replay of my live chat from the University of Wyoming’s 28-14 victory over Air Force in front of an announced crowd of 24,257 at Falcon Stadium Saturday night.

UW improved to 7-3 overall and 5-1 in the Mountain West. Air Force fell to 4-6, 3-3.

For more coverage from this game, log on to wyosports.net.

Live Blog Wyoming at Air Force football live chat

Wyoming at Air Force – pregame primer

Wyoming plays its fifth consecutive and final Mountain Division game of the season at Air Force Saturday night. Kick off is at 8:15 p.m. MT at Falcon Stadium. The game will be televised on ESPNU.

Here is my top key for the Cowboys in the game:

Play keep away: An oldie but a goodie this season for Wyoming, but one that best fits this game. The Cowboys stand a lot better chance of winning if their offense can go on sustained drives, finish with points and keep the Falcons’ triple-option offense off the field. This is what Air Force wants to do, and has done most of the season as it leads the Mountain West in scoring at 34 points per game, and is 10th nationally in time of possession at 33 minutes, 29 seconds per contest. The longer Air Force has the ball, the more UW’s defense can wear down and be susceptible to giving up big plays.

Yes, no or am I completely off my rocker?

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UW sports live chat replay

Here’s the replay of my weekly live chat on University of Wyoming sports Thursday.

Lots of talk about UW football and its road game Saturday at Air Force. There also was some UW men’s basketball conversations. The Cowboys open the regular-season Friday at home against Chattanooga.

For more UW sports coverage, see the Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and log on to wyosports.net.

Live Blog University of Wyoming sports live chat

MW football power rankings – Week 11

Here are my Mountain West football power rankings heading into this week’s games.

  1. Boise State (7-2 overall, 5-0 MW): The Broncos keep rolling and have the conference’s longest current winning streak at five. There are not a lot of weaknesses in how this team is playing right now.

2. San Diego State (8-2, 4-2): Ran for a school-record 554 yards last week at San Jose State. The Aztecs look to be back more to the form where it started the season 6-0 and nationally ranked. The team has a bye week, then finishes with two home games. Hard to think this team loses again in the regular season.

3. Wyoming (6-3, 4-1): A memorable win in the snow over Border War rival Colorado State last week. The Cowboys play great defense and usually get just enough offense to win games. The toughness and competitiveness of this team is impressive.

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Wyoming 16, Colorado State 13 – postgame thoughts

It may not have been a work of art or win any style points, but Wyoming’s 16-13 victory over Border War rival Colorado State be talked about for a long time as one of the classic games in this 109-game rivalry.

It will be remembered as the “Snow Game,” and that’s what I wrote about in my Sunday column in the Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang. Here is the link on wyosports.net. It is free to those who don’t have an online subscription (but I highly recommend you get one).

http://www.wyosports.net/university_of_wyoming/gagliardi-column-wyoming-tops-csu-in-memorable-border-war/article_f42b7e3c-c1ed-11e7-a778-f34187ddf460.html

Here is footage of the Cowboys coming to grab the Bronze Boot traveling trophy after the game, in which I nearly got trampled.

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Border War: Wyoming vs. Colorado State pregame primer

For the 109th time, and 50th since the Bronze Boot traveling trophy was introduced, Wyoming and Colorado State play a football game Saturday. Kickoff is at 5 p.m. at Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium, and the game is televised nationally on CBS Sports Network.

Here is my top key to the game for the Cowboys.

Nick Stevens

Keep it up: Meaning Wyoming’s defense must continue to do what it has done over the first eight games — force a nation’s best 24 turnovers and hold teams to 19.2 points per game. The Cowboys, at very least, need to win the turnover battle. The lone game this season where they didn’t force a turnover they lost at Boise State. Colorado State leads the Mountain West in passing offense, total offense and is second in scoring offense, and also is fourth in the nation in converting third downs into first downs. UW won’t completely shut down this offense, but when the opportunities are there, it must get off the field and create some turnovers. A good start will be to pressure Rams senior quarterback Nick Stevens and not allow him to get into a rhythm.

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