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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Wyoming 42, New Mexico 3 – postgame thoughts

I don’t know about you, but I didn’t see that coming.

I thought Wyoming had a chance to beat New Mexico, but figured if it happened it would be a close game.

Nope.

UW forced a school-record seven turnovers, including five interceptions, in a 42-3 victory in front of an okay crowd of 18,249 at Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium Saturday night.

The turnovers came in droves, including five in the first half. UW’s average starting field position in the game was its own 42-yard line, and New Mexico’s 47 in the second quarter where the Cowboys scored 35 points.

Here is UW junior strong safety Andrew Wingard after the game about UW getting some redemption against New Mexico, after three straight losses to the Lobos, including a 56-35 loss there last season. Wingard had two interceptions in the game.

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Wyoming vs. New Mexico football pregame primer

It is homecoming for Wyoming football this weekend, and it returns home for the first time in about a month to play New Mexico at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium. The game is televised on ESPNU.

UW is 45-44-3 in 92 homecoming games in school history.

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

Play keep away: This was my No. 1 key for the Oregon game, and it didn’t work out well for the Cowboys in a 49-13 loss Sept. 16. But Wyoming stands a lot better chance to beat New Mexico if its offense can go on sustained drives, finish with points and keep the Lobos’ offense off the field. UW has shown at times this season that it can do this, but it hasn’t done it nearly enough. Today would be a great time be more consistent in this area.

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Boise State 24, Wyoming 14 – postgame thoughts

Boise State’s Blue Turf has been a house of horrors for Wyoming, and Saturday night’s 24-14 loss added to those bad memories.

But this was a game the Cowboys had a chance to win, which makes the outcome sting even more.

Before I go on, here is fourth-year UW coach Craig Bohl after the game:

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Wyoming at Boise State pregame primer

Wyoming looks to snap a five-game losing streak at Boise State when it plays the Broncos at 8:15 p.m. Saturday night at Albertsons Stadium. Don’t be surprised if the kickoff is closer to 8:30 p.m. The game is televised on ESPN2.

Both teams enter the game 4-2 overall and 2-0 in the Mountain West.

As for my No. 1 key in the game for the Cowboys:

Alexander Mattison

Get defensive: Wyoming must continue to ride its defense, which is third among all Football Bowl Subdivision teams in turnover margin at plus-11, and has forced a Mountain West-high 17 turnovers. At very least, the Cowboys must win the turnover battle and keep their offensive turnovers to a minimum. UW also must do a good job of stopping the run. A big reason for Boise State’s improved play is the running game with sophomore running back Alexander Mattison. If he gets going, Boise State’s offense becomes more balanced and a lot harder to stop.

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Wyoming at Utah State football – pregame primer

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:

https://www.facebook.com/StadiumCollegeFootball/videos/1935926140063335/

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Wyoming vs. Texas State – pregame primer

The last of four consecutive home games for Wyoming kicks off at 2 p.m. Saturday against  Texas State of the Sun Belt Conference.

The game will be carried digitally by Facebook Live. Here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/StadiumCollegeFootball/videos/1928850377437578/

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

More offense, less defense: Meaning Wyoming’s offense must do a better job of sustaining drives and finishing with points, which will keep the defense fresher and better equipped to make plays. The defense was on the field for two-thirds of the game last week against Hawaii, and 97 plays two weeks ago against Oregon. Even though the defense has played well for the most part, it can’t be on the field that long game after game. Yes, the defense can help itself by making more plays to get off the field sooner, but it needs more help from the offense.

I feel like I’m sounding like a broken record about this No. 1 key the last few weeks.

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Oregon 49, Wyoming 13 – postgame thoughts

Well, that wasn’t pleasant.

Wyoming’s 49-13 loss to Oregon this past Saturday continued to show the Cowboys’ shortcomings — no running game, little to no pass protection, overall inconsistencies in the pass game and struggles on third down.

That’s just of the offense. The defense had few answers for Oregon’s speed and skill. But it also was on the field too much — 57 plays in the first half and 95 for the game. You can go back to the offensive struggles for that, and also the fact Oregon was pretty good. The Ducks cracked into the AP top 25 this week at No. 24.

Here’s fourth-year UW coach Craig Bohl after the game:

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Wyoming vs. Gardner-Webb pregame primer

As always, let’s start with my No. 1 key for Wyoming in Saturday’s home-opener, which kicks off at 2 p.m. MT at Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium and will be televised on AT&T SportsNet.

Be good up front: Wyoming needs to win the battle along the line of scrimmage offensively and defensively. You can say this in any game, but it’s critical for the Cowboys today. The offensive line must open holes for the run game that gained only 59 yards last week at Iowa. It also must keep junior quarterback Josh Allen upright and prevent him from being hit. Defensively, the line must be disruptive and not allow Gardner-Webb to get its run game going. The Runnin’ Bulldogs want to run the ball to open things up for its play-action pass and for dual-threat senior quarterback Tyrell Maxwell to run or throw.

More keys and info on the game, see Saturday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and log on to wyosports.net

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Wyoming at Iowa pregame primer

Finally, a game to talk about.

Wyoming plays at Iowa at 10 a.m. MT Saturday in the season-opener for both squads. The game will be televised on the Big Ten Network.

To follow with tradition, here is my No. 1 key for UW in the game:

Josh Allen

Balancing act: Despite the skills and abilities of junior quarterback Josh Allen, UW can’t be one-dimensional offensively. It has to run the ball, or at least run it well at critical times. That will be a tall task against a big and experienced Iowa front seven. Still, the Cowboys can’t make it easy for Iowa’s defense to come after Allen so some semblance of a running game is a must.

Agree, disagree?

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