UW-New Mexico postgame thoughts

It wasn’t pretty. In fact, it was ugly at times.

But the bottom line is that Wyoming is now 4-2 overall and 2-0 in the Mountain West after its 38-31 homecoming win over New Mexico Saturday in Laramie in front of a season-best crowd of 22,853 at Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium.

There were times the offense and defense looked good … and times both struggled.

But in the end the defense forced three turnovers. The final one — an interception by junior safety Jesse Sampson in his first-ever game at UW — led to a 48-yard touchdown run by junior quarterback Brett Smith.

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VIDEO: Brett Smith

Wyoming junior quarterback Brett Smith talks about the Cowboys’ bye week, the offense’s struggles in its last game at Texas State and about Wyoming’s next game on Saturday at home against New Mexico for homecoming during this interview on Monday, Oct. 7, 2013 in Laramie Wyo.


See today’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang for more on the game, and also log on to wyosports.net. Join WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi for his live chat during the game starting at 1 p.m. Links to the chat are on this blog and at wyosports.net.

UW-New Mexico quotes

Here are some quotes that didn’t make it to the print or online platforms this week for Saturday’s Wyoming-New Mexico football game in Laramie:

— “We’ve faced other bigger backs, but he brings it. He might be undersized, but he cuts hard, falls forward, is physical and can juke you. You have to strap it on when you play against him.” — UW sophomore defensive end Eddie Yarbrough on New Mexico senior running back Kasey Carrier, who is ninth in the nation with an average of 137 yards per game.

— “We are tired of hearing it, but numbers don’t lie. We want to improve the numbers on our side of the ball so we can prove to other people (we are better) and stop hearing it. This is a good opportunity for all of us. We’ve got to go out and execute the best we can no matter what everyone says.” — UW junior safety Darrenn White on the Cowboys’ rushing defense that allows 236.2 yards per game.

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UW-New Mexico Q&A

WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi did a question-and-answer session with Rick Wright, who covers New Mexico football for the Albuquerque Journal about Saturday’s game with the University of Wyoming in Laramie.

Follow Wright on Twitter: @Burquerick.

Look for Q&As with beat writers that cover UW football opponents every week throughout the season.

New Mexico has the best rushing offense in the nation right now. What makes it click and what in particular has made it work so well?

I’d say it’s a blend of scheme, skill and experience. Bob Davie wanted an offensive scheme that would to some extent compensate for lack of talent and/or depth, and he has that in offensive coordinator Bob

DeBesse’s triple option-based attack out of pistol formation. In Kasey Carrier, Davie and DeBesse inherited a running back who’s well suited for the scheme. And they lured Cole Gautsche, a terrific option quarterback, away from his original commitment to New Mexico State. Gautsche and Carrier function behind an experienced, battle-tested offensive line. It doesn’t hurt, of course, that New Mexico as faced three of the weakest run defenses in the nation (UTEP, UNLV, New Mexico State).

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Pokes finally home again

Hard to believe it has been four weeks — or a month — since the Wyoming football team played a home game.

The Cowboys (3-2 overall, 1-0 Mountain West) host New Mexico (2-3, 0-1) for homecoming Saturday at Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium.

“We’re excited to get back to the War, play in front of our home crowd and continue our winning streak at the War,” junior receiver Dominic Rufran said. “We are excited to play to show what exactly we can do.”

We all know what UW needs to do against New Mexico: Contain the Lobos’ top-ranked rushing offense, and be better on offense itself.

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Backups take center stage for Cowboys

Tuesday’s Wyoming football practice started with about 50 minutes of work for the Cowboys’ veterans, which included some early instillation of the game plan for their Oct. 12 homecoming game with New Mexico.

The rest of it was for the backups. While the starters went in for about an hour of rehab and prehab work on their bodies with the medical and strength staffs, the No. 2 and No. 3 players got more work with the coaching staff in individual and team periods.

“It’s important because there are a lot of guys that are playing that are still getting better,” coach Dave Christensen said. “Now we get a chance to coach those guys and give them a lot of individual attention. It also gives guys down the road a chance to get developmental work in. It was a good practice. We got a lot of work done.”

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Unbalanced offense not good for UW

For the first time this season Wyoming’s offense was not balanced, and the results showed in a 42-21 loss at Texas State last Saturday.

There were other factors on defense that led to the loss, too, but I will address those later.

UW had a season-low 64 yards rushing, compared to 292 yards passing. It also ran 29 run plays and 48 pass plays.

Texas State’s defense had a lot to do with that, and also the fact UW trailed by double-digits much of the second half and needed to throw the ball to try and get back into the game.

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UW-Texas State postgame thoughts

OK, the power just went out here in the press box at Bobcat Stadium at 2:30 in the morning. It took more than six hours from start to finish in Wyoming’s 42-21 loss here to Texas State.

This was as bad as UW has looked this season. Yes, it gave up 300-plus yards rushing to Nebraska and Air Force. But the 256 it gave up to Texas State seemed worse.

The 64 yards rushing the Cowboys had was a season-low. The tackling was bad.

This seemed like a game it lost last season time and time again.

My column online at wyosports.net hits on that topic.

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UW-Texas State Q&A

WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi did a question-and-answer session with Tyler Mayforth, who covers Texas State football for the San Marcos Daily Record in San Marcos, Texas, about Saturday night’s game with the University of Wyoming.

Look for Q&As with beat writers that cover UW football opponents every week throughout the season.

At 2-1 how would you assess Texas State at this point of the season? What has been its strengths and weaknesses?

Texas State is just about where most people thought it would be at this stage of the season. Nobody truly expected the Bobcats to be 3-0, but they played Texas Tech tougher than anybody thought they would. The strength easily has to be the defense, especially the linebackers. Weakness is the entire offense at this stage. Something needs to change for that unit soon. Texas State had two chances with first-and-goal from the Red Raider 1-yard line last game and didn’t score both times. That’s laughable.

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