UW-Nevada Q&A swap

Robert Gagliardi, WyoSports’ senior editor, did a question-and-answer session with Chris Murray, who covers Nevada for the Reno Gazette-Journal.

The first set are questions Gagliardi asked Murray. The second are questions from Murray.

Look for Q&As with writers who cover the opponents of the University of Wyoming every Friday.

Nevada’s pistol offense has been one of the best in the nation. What has made it so effective so far this season and what, if anything, have teams been able to do to slow it down at times?

The scheme is so unique that teams facing it for the first time struggle to stop it. I think that’s a big advantage for Nevada in its first swing through the Mountain West. The biggest issue teams have is the misdirection. The Pistol can hit a defense in a number of areas and with the pre-snap motion and read-option element. That creates defensive hesitation, and when you create that, you have a major advantage. Throw talented players into the scheme, like quarterback Cody Fajardo, running back Stefphon Jefferson, receiver Brandon Wimberly and tight end Zach Sudfeld, and it’s a nightmare for the opposition. Making it tougher to stop is Fajardo’s ability to throw, which Colin Kaepernick often struggled with. The only times Nevada has been slowed down is when it has turned the ball over or had too many penalties. Nevada is going to move the ball, but defenses have to be sturdy in the red zone and forced field goals rather than touchdowns.

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UW-Idaho postgame thoughts

Wow, how about that game?

Wyoming beat Idaho 40-37 in overtime as sophomore starting quarterback Brett Smith threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to sophomore receiver Jalen Claiborne for the game-winning score.

So many different twists and turns in the game. It reminded me a lot of last season in terms of how UW won.

The game was close.

The defense was gashed and bad at times, but forced turnovers (three in this game) and made enough plays to win.

Smith was special.

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UW-Idaho Q&A swap

Robert Gagliardi, WyoSports’ senior editor, did a question-and-answer session with Ben Handel, who covers Idaho for the Moscow-Pullman Daily News.
Look for Q&As with writers who cover the opponents of the University of Wyoming plays every Friday. The first series is questions Gagliardi asked Handel about Idaho, and the second is Handel’s questions about Wyoming.
Idaho and Wyoming are similar in the fact they’re 0-3 with losses to a nationally ranked team, a Mid-American Conference team and to a FCS team. What has been the Vandals’ biggest struggles so far and also some of their strengths?
So far this season the Vandals have really struggled getting any kind of rushing attack going. They have run the ball 74 times for 148 yards in their three games, good for a 2.0 average per carry.
One of their strengths has been their defensive line. In the last two games, the defense has recorded six sacks and pressured the quarterback consistently.

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McNeill can relate to Smith’s injury

Wyoming doesn’t know if sophomore starting quarterback Brett Smith will play Saturday against Cal Poly after the hit to the head he took late in the Cowboys’ 34-31 loss to Toledo last Saturday.

More will be known later this week, but coach Dave Christensen said Smith’s day-to-day and doubtful at this point.

If there’s a player on the UW roster that can relate to what Smith is going through now and may looking ahead, it’s senior receiver Chris McNeill.

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