GAMEDAY: UW-New Mexico football notes, quotes and video

Wyoming plays its season-finale today at New Mexico with a 1 p.m. kickoff at University Stadium in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The Cowboys are 4-7 overall and 2-5 in the Mountain West. The Lobos are 3-8, 1-6 and will be looking for their first home win of the season.

Here is WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi and editor Scott Nulph previewing the game:


UW and New Mexico will play for the 67th time. That is the fourth-longest series for the Cowboys, and second-longest active series — second only to the Border War with Colorado State (106 games).

Dominic Rufran

Dominic Rufran

Senior receiver Dominic Rufran needs two catches to become only the fifth player in school history to record 200 career catches. He also needs seven receiving yards to pass Malcom Floyd (2000-03) for sixth in career receiving yards. If Rufran catches one pass, he will end his career with a catch in 49 straight games, which is a school record and the longest active streak in the nation.

The two teams have five common opponents — Air Force, Boise State, Colorado State, Fresno State an Utah State. UW is 2-3 in those games with wins over Air Force and Fresno State. New Mexico is 0-5, but four of the five losses were by 11 points or less.

Continue reading

A day of extremes for Cowboys

It was a day-night doubleheader of men’s basketball and football in Laramie Saturday for Wyoming, and the outcome of both was like a night-and-day contrast.

Let’s start with the good.

The Cowboys were impressive in a 56-33 victory over Colorado in hoops. UW (3-0) held Colorado (2-1) to nine second-half points and to only two baskets. The offense was unselfish, and I don’t think I’ve ever covered a game where there were assists on all 22 baskets.

And, this wasn’t against some no-name team. Colorado was ranked 27th in the AP poll last week and was picked to finish third in the Pac-12.

And, the lob pass junior guard Josh Adams threw to senior forward Larry Nance Jr. was pretty cool, and earned the top play on ESPN SportCenter’s top 10 plays Saturday night.

“Sigh of relief. It was awesome and it felt great just to be back up there,” Nance said of the dunk.

Here’ what the players and coach Larry Shyatt said after the game:



Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Hill continues to draw high praise

No game for Wyoming football this week, but the praise continues for true freshman running back Brian Hill.

Brian Hill

Brian Hill

Hill had his third consecutive 100-yard game with 122 yards on 25 carries in the Cowboys’ 20-3 home loss to Utah State last Friday. Hill didn’t lose any yards, and his long run was 18 yards against a Utah State defense that allowed 90 rushing yards per game entering the contest.

“I think what we learned from Friday night is it’s going to take more than one guy to get him down,” offensive coordinator Brent Vigen said. “He had some easier opportunities against Fresno State (Hill had 281 yards in that game on Nov. 1), but against Utah State he didn’t have a lot of big runs — just one of 15-plus yards. It took two to three guys to consistently get him to the ground.

“For a guy that has played mostly in the last three games (this season) and to have more than 500 yards rushing in a variety of different ways — tough inside runs and big runs to the outside where he showed his speed — he’s going to have a chance to be real dynamic here. He already has been.”

Hill has 574 yards and an average of six yards per carry this season. He is second on the team with four rushing touchdowns.”

Continue reading

UW-Utah State key to the game; other notes and quotes

Here is WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi’s key to the game for Wyoming for its home game today against Utah State. Kickoff is at 6 p.m. MT at Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium.

Match the Aggies: Wyoming coach Craig Bohl and offensive coordinator Brent Vigen both said Utah State plays the hardest of any team the Cowboys have faced in the Mountain West to this point. Whether it is on offense or defense UW has to match that — or surpass that — to have a chance to win.

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

Here is Gagliardi and WyoSports editor Scott Nulph’s video preview of today’s game:


A few notes on today’s game:

Bridger's Battle

Bridger’s Battle

–The two teams meet for the 65th time and the series dates back to 1903, and is the fifth-longest series in UW history. Last year, a new twist was added to the series with it being called “Bridger’s Battle.” Last year, the two teams played for a “Bridger Rifle,” a .50-caliber Rocky Mountain Hawken rifle that was popular among the mountain men of the 1800s, and was the rifle carried by legendary mountain Man Jim Bridger.

Here is the rifle the Wyoming and Utah State teams will be playing for each year.

Here is the rifle the Wyoming and Utah State teams will be playing for each year.

–With one catch, UW senior receiver Dominic Rufran will tie Jovon Bouknight’s (2002-05) school record with a catch in 47 consecutive games. Bouknight is the pass game coordinator and receivers coach at Utah State. Rufran also needs 50 receiving yards to move past  Malcom Floyd (2000-03) into sixth place in career receiving yards. Rufran has 2,362.

–This is Utah State’s first game at UW as a member of the Mountain West, and first game in Laramie since 2007.

–Utah State has won 12 straight games in November, ad 16 of the last 18 dating back to 2010. The Aggies also have won 12 of their last 13 conference road games, including a 5-1 mark in MW road games.

Continue reading

UW-Frenso State key to the game; other notes and quotes

Here is WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi’s top key for the Wyoming football team in tonight’s game at Fresno State, which kicks off at 8:45 p.m. MT at Bulldog Stadium in Fresno, California.

Better middle quarters: Wyoming has been outscored 151-62 in the second and third quarters this season. The Cowboys need to play a complete game to have a chance tonight, but they must do a better job in the middle two quarters offensively and defensively.

What do you think, folks? For more keys and more on today’s game, see today’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and log on to wyosports.net.

Gagliardi and WyoSports editor Scott Nulph preview with their weekly video blog on tonight’s game:


Continue reading

Border War key to the game; along with notes, quotes and video

Here is WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi’s top key to the game for the Wyoming Cowboys in their Border War game against Colorado State, which kicks off at 5 p.m. today at Hughes Stadium in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Communication: Talking about Wyoming’s defense. With two of its most important starters out with injuries — free safety Darrenn White and outside linebacker Mark Nzeocha — and possibly two other starters (senior defensive end Sonny Puletasi and senior cornerback DeAndre Jones). It is vital the Cowboys know what they are doing against a high-powered Colorado State offense that will use a lot of shifts and motions at the line of scrimmage to set up mismatches.

Gagliardi and WyoSports editor Scott Nulph preview today’s game on their weekly video blog:

This game over the years always has featured players and coaches with ties to both schools.

UW lists 20 players from Colorado on its roster, and 13 have starting experience. Many of them know CSU players going back to when they were in high school. Some were recruited by both schools, others were shunned by Colorado State.

UW senior defensive end Riley Lange, who is from Parker, Colorado, talks about that this week:

Continue reading

Rufran humble about reception streak

Wyoming senior receiver Dominic Rufran is one of the most humble players on the team, and has been one of the more humble guys in the program the last four years.

Dominic Rufran

Dominic Rufran

With a catch in Saturday’s 106th Border War game at Colorado State, Rufran will be the nation’s leader among active players with a catch in 45 consecutive games. For Rufran, that would mark every game of his Cowboys’ career.

“As of now in the middle of the season, it doesn’t mean a whole lot to me,” Rufran said. “At the end of the season it may be more important to me at that time, and something to look back on and be proud of.”

Rufran will pass Boise State senior receiver Matt Miller if he catches a pass against Colorado State. Miller had been ahead of Rufran all season before being sidelined with a season-ending ankle injuries a couple of weeks ago.

There is a little irony here. If Rufran continues to catch passes in games, he will break Jovon Bouknight’s school-record of 47 straight games with at least one catch on Nov. 22 at home against Boise State.

During his current streak, Rufran has caught only one pass in five games, and three of those were as a true freshman in 2011. His two catches in last week’s 27-20 overtime loss to San Jose State was a season-low. Rufran has caught four or more passes in 16 of his last 19 games dating back to last season.

Continue reading

UW-San Jose State football key to the game; other notes and quotes

Here is WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi’s top key to the game for the Wyoming Cowboys in their homecoming game at 2 p.m. today against San Jose State at Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium:

Possess the ball — and finish: Wyoming wants to wear teams down in the fourth quarter. To do that, it must possess the ball and finish drives. Even when the Cowboys can’t do that, they need to avoid a lot of three-and-outs and flip field position in the punt game. UW has a slight edge in time of possession this season at 30 minutes, 50 seconds, but it needs that figure to be around 34 or 35 minutes.

Yes, no? What do you think about this one?

Here is Gagliardi and WyoSports editor Scott Nulph’s preview for today’s game.


Continue reading

Numbers aren’t pretty for Cowboys at midway point of season

For those who stayed up and watched Wyoming’s 38-28 loss at Hawaii, I commend you.

For all the coverage from the game, go to wyosports.net.

No need to rehash a lot of the bad from that game, which saw the Cowboys give up 513 yards of total offense and be outscored 28-7 in the second half.

At the midway point of the season, UW is 3-3 overall and 1-1 in the Mountain West. If certain numbers don’t improve, the Cowboys will be hard-pressed to win many more games in the second half of the season.

The Cowboys are tied for 120th in sacks with four in six games. San Jose State, Kent State and Navy are the only teams with fewer sacks than UW. Three of UW’s four sacks are by its linebackers. One is by a defensive lineman — senior defensive tackle Patrick Mertens — and none by the defensive ends.

UW also allows 31 points, 202.3 rushing yards and 421.3 total yards per game, and teams have converted 49.5 percent of their third downs. All areas that need to improve, but will they? First-year coach Craig Bohl said after the Hawaii game there is plenty to improve upon, but can the Cowboys do it?

Offensively, UW needed to play its sixth game to score more than 20 points in a game, and one of its four touchdowns against Hawaii was scored by the defense. Its 18.3 points per game is 116th in the country.

Continue reading