Wyoming vs. Boise St. pregame reading

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.

Craig Bohl

— “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.”

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MW football power rankings return

For the first time on this platform this season, where are my Mountain West football power rankings heading into this week’s games. The rankings have been running in our four-page wrap that goes around the Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang for every Wyoming game. With no game this week for the Cowboys, there is no wrap. But from now  on I will post these rankings on the blog — along with my picks for the week.

Here we go.

1. Boise State (2-1 overall, 0-0 MW): The Broncos came back to earth, and fell out of the national rankings, with their 44-21 loss at now 15th-ranked Oklahoma State. Special teams were their demise with two blocked punts. Boise State still has a shot at New Year’s 6 bowl game, but for a team not used to losing, this had to have been a humbling blow.

2. San Diego State (2-1, 0-0): The Aztecs vault back up to near the top of these rankings after their 28-21 home victory over then No. 23 Arizona State. They did it with their typical style — a strong running game and good defense. They also did it with a backup quarterback.

3. Fresno State (2-1, 0-0): The Bulldogs did what they were supposed to do last week — go on the road and easily beat an undermanned UCLA team from the Pac-12. Senior Marcus McMaryion showed why he’s one of the better quarterbacks in the league. All seems right with San Diego State and Fresno State after both lost the previous week.

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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 live chat replay

Here the replay from my live chat from the University of Wyoming’s 24-14 loss at Boise State in front of 35,565 at Albertsons Stadium Saturday night in Boise, Idaho.

UW fell to 4-3 overall and 2-1 in the Mountain West. Boise State improved to 5-2, 3-0, and  outscored the Cowboys 21-7 in the second half.

With the late kickoff, all of the coverage from Saturday’s game will be online at wyosports.net.

Live Blog Wyoming at Boise State football live chat

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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Lieberman becoming pesky problem for opposing teams

If someone calls you “a pest” you wouldn’t think it’s a compliment.

It is if you’re Wyoming junior point guard Jeremy Lieberman.

Jeremy Lieberman

Jeremy Lieberman

Over his last six games, the 6-foot-1 Lieberman has averaged nearly five points per game, and his assist-to-turnover-ratio is 2-to-1. Those numbers aren’t eye-popping, but isn’t the only thing first-year coach Allen Edwards has seen from Lieberman.

“He’s embraced the defensive part of it, and he’s taken it upon himself to be a pest on the ball,” Edwards said. “I thought he was really good at San Jose State (an 80-70 UW win where Lieberman had nine points on Jan. 18), and has been really good since with him taking on that role.”

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Allen has a new favorite throw; other UW football notes

Last week, Wyoming redshirt sophomore quarterback Josh Allen’s 27-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Tanner Gentry in the fourth quarter against then No. 13 Boise

Josh Allen

Josh Allen

State was his most memorable throw. In fact, Allen told me Monday that at the time, that throw was “the best I’ve made in my life.”

Fast-forward to a week later and Allen has new one.

Allen said the 46-yard touchdown pass he threw to Gentry late in the first half of the Cowboys’ 52-28 win over Utah State moved to the top of his list. Allen scrambled to his left, and the right-hander threw a dart to Gentry who was able to drag his feet in bounds.

“That was a tough throw to make. Maybe nine times out of 10 I don’t make it, but it only needed to be made once,” Allen said.

Allen threw four touchdown passes and ran for a fifth against Utah State. He was named the Mountain West Offensive Player of the Week for the second time this season. Redshirt freshman outside linebacker Logan Wilson was named the MW Defensive Player of the Week. It is the second straight week UW has had the MW Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week. Last week it was senior tight end Jacob Hollister and senior nose tackle Chase Appleby.

It also is the third consecutive week UW has had the MW Offensive Player of the Week. On Oct. 24 junior running back Brian Hill got it.

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Wyoming football notes, and some Halloween fun

Another Monday, another round of interviews with Wyoming football coaches and players — not to mention a handful of conference and national honors/recognition.

The Cowboys were named the National Team of the Week by the Football Writers Association of American for their 30-28 win last Saturday over previously No. 13 Boise State (now No. 24). Senior Ethan Wood was  named the Ray Guy Award Punter of the Week in the country. Tight end Jacob Hollister and nose tackle Chase Appleby were the Mountain West Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week, respectively.

Here is this week’s depth chart heading into Saturday’s game with Utah State:

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Postgame thoughts of Wyoming’s 30-28 win over Boise State

Too bad the month of October has to end, because the Wyoming football team has been on a roll.

The Cowboys won their fourth straight game — all in October — with their 30-28 home win over No. 13 Boise State, which fell to No. 24 in the AP poll that was released Sunday.

A lot of late-game dramatics Saturday night at War Memorial Stadium. Here are some of the highlights, which include UW’s game-tying two-point conversion (I just got off the press box elevator when the touchdown was scored), along with the famous safety by senior nose tackle Chase Appleby.

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Wyoming vs. Boise State football live chat replay

Here’s the replay of WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi’s live chat from the University of Wyoming’s 30-28 win over No. 13 Boise State in front of 24,023 at Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium Saturday night.

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

Live Blog Wyoming vs. Boise State football live chat