San Jose State 20, Wyoming 17 – postgame thoughts

The performance on the field wasn’t good, and the reaction from many fans was even worse.

Wyoming’s 20-17 road loss at San Jose State was far and away the lowest point of the season for the Cowboys as they lost to a team that came into the game with one win (against a FCS foe) and losers of 10 straight. During that losing streak, the Spartans’ closest margin of loss was 11 points.

The offense was poor, although it did move the ball well in the second half with 255 yards after just 102 in the first half. The defense was solid — for the most part. Pretty much a microcosm of the season.

Here is coach Craig Bohl after the game:

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Wyoming football at San Jose State – pregame primer

Happy post-Thanksgiving everyone. Hope you got your fill of food and family.

Wyoming wraps up its regular season Saturday at San Jose State at 3 p.m. MT. The game will be carried online on ESPN3.

Here is my No. 1 key for the Cowboys:

Nameless opponent: Wyoming will play another game — a bowl game — no matter the outcome of today’s contest. San Jose State has struggled mightily all season. This has all the makings of a letdown for the Cowboys, unless they come out and play well from the start. Nothing takes the air out of the sails of a struggling team than building an early lead and not letting up. The longer UW lets San Jose State think it can win this game, the more dangerous things get. The Cowboys need to ignore the record and numbers of their opponent and come out like this was a nameless opponent and execute well in all three phases.

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Fresno State 13, Wyoming 7 – postgame thoughts

A disappointing loss, and to me, kind of an odd and stale atmosphere in Wyoming’s home finale — a 13-7 setback to Fresno State.

First, the crowd of 15,440 did what it could, but with poor weather Friday and into Saturday morning that kept many fans away because of road closures.Creating any sort of atmosphere was tough. But I will credit the fans who made it.

Second, as UW introduced its seniors prior to the game, junior quarterback Josh Allen was among them. That said to me that Allen won’t come back next season and will give pro football a try. Don’t think this was surprising news to most, but it put some finality to that decision, don’t you think? Allen didn’t play due to his injured right shoulder and didn’t do any postgame interviews.

Here’s coach Craig Bohl on Allen and the game:

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Wyoming vs. Fresno State football – pregame primer

The final home game for Wyoming is at noon Saturday at Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium against Fresno State. The game will be televised by AT&T SportsNet (used to be ROOT Sports).

Here is my No. 1 key to the game for the Cowboys:

Josh Allen

Be diverse offensively: On paper, Wyoming is going up against one of the best defenses in the country in Fresno State. The Cowboys need to be creative in what they do offensively. That doesn’t mean come out with a lot of trick plays, or get away from its identity offensively. But depending on the health status of junior quarterback Josh Allen, offensive coordinator Brent Vigen needs to come up with a plan that keeps Fresno State’s defense on its heels. Establishing the run would be a good start, which is key for any game UW plays. Even if Allen plays, limiting the hits he takes is crucial. If junior backup Nick Smith starts or plays, he must be put in situations where he can be successful. Ultimately, UW’s other play-makers, whether that be receivers, running backs or tight ends, must make more plays. Would a trick play or two, or even some different looks or formations work? Perhaps, but the Cowboys also can’t completely reinvent the wheel. There needs to be a balance between the two.

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Wyoming 28, Air Force 14 – postgame thoughts

A road conference win over a rival, solidifying a spot in this year’s bowl picture and keeping hopes alive for a division title within the conference.

Wyoming accomplished all that with its 28-14 victory at Air Force Saturday night. But the loss of junior starting quarterback Josh Allen to some sort of right arm injury, which occurred late in the first half, put a damper on all that.

That was the topic of my column from there game, which you can click on here:

http://www.wyosports.net/university_of_wyoming/football/gagliardi-column-big-win-harder-to-enjoy-with-allen-injury/article_58253440-c785-11e7-b990-47896471f0f2.html

Fourth-year UW coach Craig Bohl said he would know more after Sunday, and hopefully Monday on Allen’s injury when he meets with the media again. Bohl didn’t say much after the game, but here is what he did say.

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Wyoming at Air Force – pregame primer

Wyoming plays its fifth consecutive and final Mountain Division game of the season at Air Force Saturday night. Kick off is at 8:15 p.m. MT at Falcon Stadium. The game will be televised on ESPNU.

Here is my top key for the Cowboys in the game:

Play keep away: An oldie but a goodie this season for Wyoming, but one that best fits this game. The Cowboys stand a lot better chance of winning if their offense can go on sustained drives, finish with points and keep the Falcons’ triple-option offense off the field. This is what Air Force wants to do, and has done most of the season as it leads the Mountain West in scoring at 34 points per game, and is 10th nationally in time of possession at 33 minutes, 29 seconds per contest. The longer Air Force has the ball, the more UW’s defense can wear down and be susceptible to giving up big plays.

Yes, no or am I completely off my rocker?

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Wyoming 16, Colorado State 13 – postgame thoughts

It may not have been a work of art or win any style points, but Wyoming’s 16-13 victory over Border War rival Colorado State be talked about for a long time as one of the classic games in this 109-game rivalry.

It will be remembered as the “Snow Game,” and that’s what I wrote about in my Sunday column in the Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang. Here is the link on wyosports.net. It is free to those who don’t have an online subscription (but I highly recommend you get one).

http://www.wyosports.net/university_of_wyoming/gagliardi-column-wyoming-tops-csu-in-memorable-border-war/article_f42b7e3c-c1ed-11e7-a778-f34187ddf460.html

Here is footage of the Cowboys coming to grab the Bronze Boot traveling trophy after the game, in which I nearly got trampled.

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Border War: Wyoming vs. Colorado State pregame primer

For the 109th time, and 50th since the Bronze Boot traveling trophy was introduced, Wyoming and Colorado State play a football game Saturday. Kickoff is at 5 p.m. at Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium, and the game is televised nationally on CBS Sports Network.

Here is my top key to the game for the Cowboys.

Nick Stevens

Keep it up: Meaning Wyoming’s defense must continue to do what it has done over the first eight games — force a nation’s best 24 turnovers and hold teams to 19.2 points per game. The Cowboys, at very least, need to win the turnover battle. The lone game this season where they didn’t force a turnover they lost at Boise State. Colorado State leads the Mountain West in passing offense, total offense and is second in scoring offense, and also is fourth in the nation in converting third downs into first downs. UW won’t completely shut down this offense, but when the opportunities are there, it must get off the field and create some turnovers. A good start will be to pressure Rams senior quarterback Nick Stevens and not allow him to get into a rhythm.

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Wyoming 42, New Mexico 3 – postgame thoughts

I don’t know about you, but I didn’t see that coming.

I thought Wyoming had a chance to beat New Mexico, but figured if it happened it would be a close game.

Nope.

UW forced a school-record seven turnovers, including five interceptions, in a 42-3 victory in front of an okay crowd of 18,249 at Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium Saturday night.

The turnovers came in droves, including five in the first half. UW’s average starting field position in the game was its own 42-yard line, and New Mexico’s 47 in the second quarter where the Cowboys scored 35 points.

Here is UW junior strong safety Andrew Wingard after the game about UW getting some redemption against New Mexico, after three straight losses to the Lobos, including a 56-35 loss there last season. Wingard had two interceptions in the game.

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Wyoming vs. New Mexico football pregame primer

It is homecoming for Wyoming football this weekend, and it returns home for the first time in about a month to play New Mexico at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium. The game is televised on ESPNU.

UW is 45-44-3 in 92 homecoming games in school history.

Here is my No. 1 key to the game for the Cowboys:

Play keep away: This was my No. 1 key for the Oregon game, and it didn’t work out well for the Cowboys in a 49-13 loss Sept. 16. But Wyoming stands a lot better chance to beat New Mexico if its offense can go on sustained drives, finish with points and keep the Lobos’ offense off the field. UW has shown at times this season that it can do this, but it hasn’t done it nearly enough. Today would be a great time be more consistent in this area.

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