Wyoming vs. Boise St. pregame reading

Some notes and quotes leading up to the Mountain West opener for Wyoming and Boise State Saturday. Kick off is at 5 p.m. MT at Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium. The game will be televised nationally on CBS Sports Network.

Craig Bohl

— “They’ve got a good coaching staff that positions their players well. You just don’t see any weaknesses. They’ve balanced an explosive offense with a dynamic defense.” — fifth-year UW coach Craig Bohl

— Fans for both teams likely remember the 2016 game in Laramie when UW recorded a fourth-quarter safety for the decisive points in a 30-28 victory. They also remember UW players — mostly defensive end Josiah Hall — doing his “safety dance” in the end zone as the officials decided on the call. Boise State made reference to this in its game notes this week: “Boise State will look to institute a “no-dancing” policy similar to the one in the town of Bomont in the 1984 film “Footloose.”

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FAMOUS IDAHO POTATO BOWL: Wyoming 37, Central Michigan 14 – postgame thoughts

Josh Allen returned — and later said goodbye — and the defense did what it has done best all season, and then some.

The end result was a convincing 37-14 Wyoming victory over Central Michigan in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Friday in front of an announced crowd of 16,512 at Albertsons Stadium in Boise, Idaho. Not sure if there were that many there, but the majority of the fans there were cheering for the Cowboys — and they had a lot to cheer about.

Here is part of the team celebration after the game — in the snow.

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Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: Pregame Primer

Are you ready for some football, as in Famous Idaho Potato Bowl football as Wyoming (7-5) takes on Central Michigan (8-4) at 2 p.m. Friday at Albertsons Stadium in Boise, Idaho. The game will be televised on ESPN.

As I’ve done all season with every UW game, here is my No. 1 key for the Cowboys:

Josh Allen

Be offensive: Meaning that the Cowboys must show some consistency in moving the ball and scoring points. For the most part that has lacked against quality opponents this season. This doesn’t mean perfection, but Wyoming must limit the three-and-out possessions, try to be as balanced offensively as possible and finish drives with points. Yeah, a lot depends on who plays quarterback, but whether it is Josh Allen (who will start the game) or Nick Smith, UW must have plans in place for either one — or perhaps both — to succeed. Establishing a run game would be a big-time help. The Cowboys likely will lean on their defense like they have all season, but they need to lean more on the offense in this game.

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2017 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: What’s your favorite style of potato?

We are one week away from the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl where Wyoming (7-5) takes on Central Michigan (8-4) at 2 p.m. Friday, Dec. 22 at Albertsons Stadium in Boise.

To have some fun, I asked several Wyoming players and a couple of staffers their favorite style of potato in honor of the name of this bowl game.

Senior fullback Drew Van Maanen: “Garlic mashed potatoes with a little pepper.”

Junior quarterback Josh Allen: “I am a big french fry guy, especially with a steak and put some A-1 sauce on the fires, It can’t be beat.”

UW Director of Player Personnel Justin Mesa: “When I was younger it was a big baked potato with about a pound of sour cream. Now, I’d go with sweet potato fries.”

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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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