Cowboys move on from UNLV loss as No. 24 San Diego State awaits

Based on the reaction from many fans the last two days, you would have thought Wyoming was 1-9 instead of 7-3.

Wyoming was 1-9 after 10 games last season, and despite the 69-66 triple-overtime loss at UNLV last Saturday, the Cowboys are 7-3 and still control their own destiny in terms of winning the Mountain West’s Mountain Division and overall conference title.

The road to do that is going to be more difficult, which starts with a win Saturday at home over No. 24 San Diego State.

First, here is the depth chart for the San Diego State game, which doesn’t any changes from last week:
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Wyoming at UNLV football pregame primer

A little pregame reading for you for Saturday’s Wyoming at UNLV football game. Kickoff is at 1:30 p.m., and the game is televised on ROOT Sports.

As I normally do, here is my No. 1 key for the Cowboys to get the win:

Complete game: Wyoming’s done a lot right during its five-game winning streak, but despite the wins there have been lulls in its play at times. The Cowboys need to start strong, but also play well for four quarters. That may mean a close game, but it’s time for UW to play well from start to finish.

There are more, but do you agree or disagree? What are your biggest keys. For more of mine, and an update on former UW player Xavier Lewis, who is now helping coach the Cowboys, see Saturday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang and log on to wyosports.net.

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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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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 primer

Some pregame reading for Saturday’s Wyoming-Boise State game. Kickoff is at 5 p.m. MT at Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium.

First, my No. 1 key to the game for the Cowboys. There are more, but this was what I choose as my top one:

Play keep away: Meaning Wyoming needs to win the time of possession game, and obviously, finish drives with points. Boise State has one of the most powerful offenses in the Mountain West, and the best way to slow them down is to keep it on the sideline.

Now for some other notes and quotes:

Jeremy McNichols

Jeremy McNichols

— Junior running back Brian Hill needs one rushing touchdown to tie for sixth place on UW’s career list, and two to tie for fourth. Hill currently has 24 rushing touchdowns. Hill, the reigning Mountain West Offensive Player of the Week, is second in the nation with 144.3 yards per game. Hill’s count part today, Boise State junior Jeremy McNichols, averages 130.7 yards per game. He has 16 touchdowns this season (12 rushing, four receiving), which is tied for the national lead with Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson. McNichols has 42 touchdowns since the start of the 2015 season, which is the most in the Football Bowl Subdivision.

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Boise State coach Bryan Harsin talks about Wyoming

Boise State football coach Bryan Harsin spent about 10 minutes talking with media members that cover Wyoming football Tuesday. Boise State doesn’t allow media that

Bryan Harsin

Bryan Harsin

covers opposing teams to talk to its players, so this was our only access to anything Boise State related this week.

Here are a few things that Harsin said Monday.

On Wyoming: “They’re bigger, strong and running the football, which is what (UW coach Craig Bohl) wants to do. They’re stopping the run by playing aggressive on the defensive side. They’re trying to make you put the ball in the air. I think turnover-wise they’re plus-4, and turnovers win games. I think they’re playing very sound, winning football and they’re doing it consistently.”

On Wyoming’s defense, which is third in the Mountain West in rushing defense (139.4 ypg) but last in passing defense (299.4 ypg): “You have to pick your poison sometimes, and that’s stopping the run game for Wyoming, which puts a challenge on you to throw it good enough. Wyoming’s also pressuring you, too. It’s not like they sitting back and letting you throw the ball. They’re smart with what they do.”

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Battle of two of the MW’s best when Wyoming hosts Boise State Saturday

Mondays are busy days for the media that covers Wyoming football as that is the day players and coaches are available for interviews.

The best news from Monday was third-year coach Craig Bohl said senior nose tackle Chase Appleby should play Saturday when UW (5-2 overall, 3-0 MW) hosts No. 13 Boise State (7-0, 3-0). Appleby left UW’s 42-34 win at Nevada in the first half with a head injury and didn’t return. Appleby’s been going through concussion protocol, but did interviews with the media Monday,  was in good spirits and expects to play Saturday and practice as the week progresses.

Here is UW’s depth chart for this week:

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Wyoming at Nevada football primer

Some news and notes prior to Wyoming’s game at Nevada, which kicks off at 8:30 p.m. MT Saturday at Mackay Stadium in Reno.

Per normal, here is my No. 1 key to the game for the Cowboys:

James Butler

James Butler

The Butler didn’t do it: Wyoming’s defense must slow down Nevada junior running back James Butler, who is fourth in the Mountain West in rushing (117.4 yards per game) and third in all-purpose yards (149.3 ypg). UW did a good job against Butler last season as he had 10 carries for 51 yards, but that was due in large part to it leading 28-7 late in the third quarter. If Butler gets going, that opens other things up for Nevada’s offense.

Do you agree or disagree? For more keys to the game, and also a story on Butler, see Saturday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and log on to wyosports.net.

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Wyoming 38, Colorado State 17 – postgame thoughts

After being down 14-3 early, I won’t lie, I thought Wyoming may suffer another blow out loss to Colorado State. UW lost the previous three games by a combined score of 123-60 and this game had the makings of that.

But then it all changed.

Some great running by junior running back Brian Hill and senior Shaun Wick, some timely passes (and good play calls) by redshirt sophomore quarterback Josh Allen and some good defensive play led UW to what turned to be an easy victory.

And the result afterwards:

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Border War football primer

Some pre-game reading prior to Saturday’s 108th Border War between Wyoming and Colorado State. Kick off is at 8:15 p.m. MT.

First, my No. 1 key to the game for UW:

Run the ball effectively: When Wyoming runs the ball for more than 200 yards, it wins. When it doesn’t, it loses. Simple as that. The Cowboys need to be better running

Craig Bohl

Craig Bohl

between the tackles. If Colorado State shuts that down, UW must find other ways to generate rushing yards so it doesn’t put too much pressure on redshirt sophomore quarterback Josh Allen and the passing game.

UW was dominated along both lines of scrimmage in last year’s 26-7 loss at home to Colorado State. Being more physical along both lines of scrimmage is a big key today (although you can say that about any football game).

“To have a chance to win we’ve got to be physical along the line of scrimmage. That will be our big test. We feel better about the progress we’ve made, but come Saturday night we’re going to find out,” third-year UW coach Craig Bohl said.

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