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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UW at Boise State football preview: Notes, quotes and video

As always, I start with my top key for Wyoming for its game at Boise State Saturday:

Clean and complete: Wyoming hasn’t had a large margin of error in any game this season, but that margin is razor-thin in this game. Boise State isn’t 95-4 at home since 2000 by using smoke and mirrors. It capitalizes on opponents’ mistakes. The Cowboys can’t turn the ball over, be plagued by penalties or have breakdowns defensively. They also need to force the Broncos into making mistakes. Boise State had eight turnovers last week in its 52-26 loss at Utah State. UW has forced four turnovers all season. It needs to force multiple turnovers, and score off them if they have any chance of being competitive or winning this game.

What do you think, folks? Yes, no or this guy has no idea what he’s talking about?

Here is my video preview of the game:

Now, a few notes and quotes about the game:

— “I think we’re still a ways away. I’d like to think we’re really close. But we’re playing two true freshmen offensive linemen. Developing fullback play has been a challenge, same with the tight ends. We’ve made progress, but we’re not where we want to be.” — UW coach Craig Bohl about how far his offense has progressed since he took over as coach last year.

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Wyoming vs. Boise State football: key to the game, notes and quotes

WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi’s key to the game for Wyoming in its home-finale against Boise State. Kickoff is at 8:15 p.m. MT at Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium:

Possess and finish: Wyoming’s offense must win the time of possession battle, and more importantly, finish drives with points. That may be the Cowboys’ best defense against Boise State’s league-leading scoring offense (37.7 points per game). UW did a decent job two weeks ago against Utah State of possessing the ball, but must do a better job of finishing and eliminate penalties and turnovers.

What do you think, folks? Yay or nay?

Here is Gagliardi and WyoSports editor Scott Nulph’s weekly video blog about the game:


Here are some notes and quotes from both UW and Boise State from this week:

Blair Burns

Blair Burns

–UW has never defeated Boise State (0-8) and has lost by a combined score of 148-43 in the four games played in Laramie. The Cowboys have scored no more than 17 points against the Broncos. But that doesn’t mean UW is intimidated by Boise State: “Boise State is a great team, but I wouldn’t say we are intimidated. We played at Oregon and Michigan State and we weren’t intimidated against those teams. Getting a win would be great. Why not now?” — UW senior cornerback Blair Burns.

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UW-Boise State football Q&A

WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi did a question-and-answer session with Chadd Cripe, who covers Boise State football for the Idaho Statesman, about Saturday’s game with the University of Wyoming. Kickoff is at 8:15 p.m. at Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium in Laramie.

Follow on Twitter: @IDS_BroncoBeat

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

Has this Boise State team lived up to expectations this season with a new coach in Bryan Harsin, and what are the biggest changes in the program and around the team compared with former coach Chris Petersen?

Chadd Cripe

Chadd Cripe

I’d say they’re about where people expected. The loss to Ole Miss was no surprise. The loss to Air Force was, but you have to expect a bump somewhere with a new staff. Otherwise, they’ve maybe been more inconsistent than expected but they’ve still put themselves in position to win the league. The changes are mostly cosmetic — Harsin and his staff are more promotion-oriented, using tools like Twitter and behind-the-scenes videos. In terms of the actual on-the-field product, it’s very similar, except this offense looks more like the old Boise State offense than the one Petersen installed last year.

 

Senior Grant Hedrick struggled and was benched in a loss at Air Force earlier this season, but since then has been the most accurate quarterback in the Mountain West. What changed with him, if anything, that has enabled him to be so effective?

Hedrick told me last week that he became more assertive, which helped fuel his hot streak. That said, offensive coordinator Mike Sanford has said the last two weeks weren’t his best in terms of the reads he’s been making. So there’s still some inconsistency there. Hedrick has a lot of talent — his issues have been turnovers and inconsistency in his career.

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Mountain West football power rankings and picks – Week 1

WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi with his first weekly installment of his Mountain West football power rankings and picks for the Week 1 of the college football season. Look for this every week during the football season, and as always, your feedback is welcome.

1. Utah State: The defending Mountain Division champs get senior quarterback Chuckie Keeton back from a knee injury, and it may be a stretch to put the Aggies this high not knowing how good Keeton will be. But there is a proven backup behind him and a lot of good players on defense. This week: at Tennessee, 5 p.m. MT, Sunday (SEC Network). Of all the MW teams playing big-time programs this week, Utah State may have the best chance to win. But I am still going with the Vols in a close one. Tennessee 27, Utah State 24.

2. Fresno State: Not only do the Bulldogs have to replace quarterback Derek Carr, but they also lost some really good receivers. Still, there are players in the pipeline that can fill the void. This team will still be good. This week: at USC 5:30 p.m. MT, Saturday (FOX). Even with Carr and Co., Fresno State was blown out by USC in last year’s Las Vegas Bowl. USC has a new coach and has a mess on its hands with the Josh Shaw saga, but it still has enough to win. USC 31, Fresno State 20.

3. Boise State: The Bryan Harsin era begins, and one has to wonder if the Broncos will remain among the MW’s powers. They will, thanks to Harsin’s new wrinkles and what was built by former coach Chris Petersen. There are too many good players on that roster not to. This week: vs. Ole Miss, 6 p.m. MT Thursday (ESPN). The Broncos will go to Atlanta and pick up the league’s best win over a nonconference foe. Boise State 30, Ole Miss 23.

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MW Football Media Day notes and thoughts

The 16th Mountain West Football Media Day concluded Wednesday here at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas.

Tuesday, Wyoming and the other five teams from the Mountain Division did their interviews. Wednesday were the six teams in the West Division.

First, some more notes on Wyoming after the story I wrote on senior receiver Dominic Rufran and junior defensive end Eddie Yarbrough. Here is the link to that story:

http://www.wyosports.net/university_of_wyoming/football/rufran-yarbrough-should-represent-uw-well-on-and-off-the/article_7b4ce8fc-121e-11e4-8fed-001a4bcf887a.html
–Senior defensive end Sonny Puletasi was named to the inaugural Polynesian Award watch list by ESPN Big 12. Puletasi had 47 tackles last season, and tied for second on the team in tackles for loss (10) and sacks (4.5).

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