UW football award winners

The Wyoming football team held annual football senior banquet the day after the win over CSU last Sunday. Here are the individual winners: 

Gabe Knapton earned the Iron Man Award for the second consecutive year as the Pokes’ top performer in the weight room.

The Brian Lee Scholar-Athlete Award went to junior strong safety Luke Ruff.

Tashaun Gipson was the Defensive Back of the Year.

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UW accepts invitation to New Mexico Bowl

Wyoming officially accepted its invitation to the New Mexico Bowl Monday in a news conference at the Wildcatter Suites at War Memorial Stadium. The Cowboys play Temple at noon on Dec. 17.

Everyone I talked to from UW said this was where it expected to play, and are happy. The Independence Bowl had the third choice from the MW, while New Mexico had the fourth. But the Independence went with Missouri and North Carolina, yet UW athletics director Tom Burman didn’t feel snubbed.

Burman said there wasn’t a big difference in the two financially. Even though the Independence has a better payout per team, its tickets are more expensive and each school’s ticket obligation is more demanding that New Mexico. Plus, being on Dec. 26, it was doubtful many UW fans would go, and travel costs to Shreveport, La., where the Independence Bowl would be higher for most UW fans.

The players also seemed to like the destination and opponent.

“This is a big deal to us to play int he postseason,” senior center Brandon Self said. “We were excited to find out who we get to play. We like playing against good defenses and Temple certainly has a good defense.”

Temple held teams to 13.3 points per game, which was third in the nation.

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Twice as nice for Smith

For the second time this season, Wyoming true freshman quarterback Brett Smith was named the Mountain West’s Offensive Player of the Week. Smith had 352 yards of total offense, ran for two touchdowns and threw for another in the Cowboys’ 31-10 win over New Mexico last Saturday.

“I don’t think anything surprises me any more,” said coach Dave Christensen during his Monday news conference about Smith. “I think we expect him to go out, compete and play well. He has every week. I think he still gets better and is still learning. I’m glad he’s our quarterback for the next three years after this one.”

For more on Smith, and what his teammates are saying, see Tuesday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang. Also, check back to the blog tomorrow morning for what offensive coordinator Gregg Brandon has to say about both Smith, and Boise State.

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UW-TCU Media Monday

Superman, a ninja, a Dallas Cowboys football player and a football playing zombie.

Those were some of the favorite Halloween costumes some of the Wyoming football players told me they wore when they were kids.

But there was plenty of football talk during UW’s weekly interview session with players and coaches. Coach Dave Christensen said Saturday’s game with TCU is the biggest home game for the program since he’s been here. Bigger than Texas and Nebraska since Saturday’s game is a battle of undefeated teams Mountain West play.

Agree or disagree? See more in Tuesday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang on this.

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Video: Brandon Self

The Wyoming senior offensive guard is in his fifth year and his first year of playing full time. Great to see him rewarded for his hard work throughout his career. Self talks about that, UW’s rotation along the offensive line and the challenges of blocking against San Diego State’s 3-3-5 defense. For more on that, see today’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang.

UW-San Diego State leftovers

Some notes and quotes that didn’t make the newspaper on the Cowboys’ football game Saturday with San Diego State.

“He’s really good, but their offensive line is playing well and they have a lot of experience coming back there. They open holes up for him — UW coach Dave Christensen on SDSU sophomore running back Ronnie Hillman.

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UW depth chart prediction

Monday afternoon Wyoming football coach Dave Christensen will speak to the media leading into Saturday’s season-opener against Weber State.

Christensen will release the depth chart for the first game. Some positions (quarterback) we know who will start. In fact, I don’t think there should be many surprises. But why wait until Monday afternoon? Here is how I think the depth chart will look. Would love to hear your thoughts.

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