Wyoming at Boise State pregame primer

Wyoming looks to snap a five-game losing streak at Boise State when it plays the Broncos at 8:15 p.m. Saturday night at Albertsons Stadium. Don’t be surprised if the kickoff is closer to 8:30 p.m. The game is televised on ESPN2.

Both teams enter the game 4-2 overall and 2-0 in the Mountain West.

As for my No. 1 key in the game for the Cowboys:

Alexander Mattison

Get defensive: Wyoming must continue to ride its defense, which is third among all Football Bowl Subdivision teams in turnover margin at plus-11, and has forced a Mountain West-high 17 turnovers. At very least, the Cowboys must win the turnover battle and keep their offensive turnovers to a minimum. UW also must do a good job of stopping the run. A big reason for Boise State’s improved play is the running game with sophomore running back Alexander Mattison. If he gets going, Boise State’s offense becomes more balanced and a lot harder to stop.

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Wyoming 28, Utah State 23 – postgame thoughts

I know I’ve mentioned at other times this season how I was impressed with Wyoming’s toughness as a team. To me, that epitomized the Cowboys’ 28-23 win at Utah State.

UW was on the road at a place where it had lost three straight by an average of 32.5 points. It trailed for most of the game. The offense was spotty, once again. The defense was good, yet gassed for being on the field a lot.

But in the end, it found a way to win a road game. If UW wants to achieve its goals for this season, this was a game it had to win.

Here’s fourth-year UW coach Craig Bohl after the game:

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Wyoming at Utah State football – pregame primer

It is back to football for Wyoming as it plays at Utah State at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Maverik Stadium in Logan, Utah. Here is my top key to the game for the Cowboys:

Follow your rival: Wyoming’s biggest rival, Colorado State, provided the perfect plan on how to defeat Utah State in its 27-14 victory in Logan last Saturday. The Rams jumped out to a 24-0 first-half lead, and didn’t allow the Aggies to get anything going offensively until it was too late. If UW can get off to a similar start, and ride that momentum throughout the game, there’s a good chance it comes away with the victory.

Agree or disagree?

Saturday’s game will be carried online on Facebook Live — like the Sept. 30 home game against Texas State. Here is the direct link to watch it:

https://www.facebook.com/StadiumCollegeFootball/videos/1935926140063335/

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Wyoming 45, Texas State 10 – postgame thoughts

Wyoming concluded its four-game home stand with fairly impressive 45-10 victory over Texas State in front of 21,784 at Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium this past Saturday to improve to 3-2 overall. The Cowboys are off this coming week before it plays at Utah State on Oct. 14.

My column from the game was about how this was a complete team win for UW, as touchdowns were scored offensively, defensively and on special teams.

Here’s the link to it, which is currently free at wyosports.net:

http://www.wyosports.net/university_of_wyoming/football/gagliardi-column-uw-s-win-over-texas-state-epitomizes-team/article_5b41e57e-a665-11e7-8071-a3f2b75b3b89.html

Here is fourth-year UW coach Craig Bohl after the game:

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Wyoming vs. Texas State – pregame primer

The last of four consecutive home games for Wyoming kicks off at 2 p.m. Saturday against  Texas State of the Sun Belt Conference.

The game will be carried digitally by Facebook Live. Here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/StadiumCollegeFootball/videos/1928850377437578/

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

More offense, less defense: Meaning Wyoming’s offense must do a better job of sustaining drives and finishing with points, which will keep the defense fresher and better equipped to make plays. The defense was on the field for two-thirds of the game last week against Hawaii, and 97 plays two weeks ago against Oregon. Even though the defense has played well for the most part, it can’t be on the field that long game after game. Yes, the defense can help itself by making more plays to get off the field sooner, but it needs more help from the offense.

I feel like I’m sounding like a broken record about this No. 1 key the last few weeks.

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Wyoming vs. Hawaii football – pregame primer

Wyoming begins Mountain West play Saturday night versus Hawaii. The game kicks off at 8:15 p.m. MT (could be closer to 8:30 p.m.) at Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium. The game is televised nationally on ESPN2.

Television dictated the game time, not UW. And, the weather forecast calls for temperatures in the 40s at kickoff with a good chance of rain. And, don’t be surprised if there’s a little snow mixed in with that. If you go, be sure to dress warm.

Here’s my No. 1 key for UW in the game:

Get the running game going: Pretty self-explanatory. Wyoming has to do a better job running the football than a Mountain West-worst 80.3 yards per game. The Cowboys also must run the ball better early in the game and not make its offense so one-dimensional. The weather is expected to be cold and wet, which puts an even bigger emphasis on ball security. But whether it is early or late in the game, running the ball is a must.

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Oregon 49, Wyoming 13 – postgame thoughts

Well, that wasn’t pleasant.

Wyoming’s 49-13 loss to Oregon this past Saturday continued to show the Cowboys’ shortcomings — no running game, little to no pass protection, overall inconsistencies in the pass game and struggles on third down.

That’s just of the offense. The defense had few answers for Oregon’s speed and skill. But it also was on the field too much — 57 plays in the first half and 95 for the game. You can go back to the offensive struggles for that, and also the fact Oregon was pretty good. The Ducks cracked into the AP top 25 this week at No. 24.

Here’s fourth-year UW coach Craig Bohl after the game:

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Oregon at Wyoming football – pregame primer

It’s almost here!

Wyoming’s highly anticipated football game with Oregon kicks off at 5 p.m. Saturday at Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium. The game is expected to be sold out, but for those who can’t make it, it will be televised nationally on CBS Sports Network.

As I always start this out, here is my No. 1 key for the Cowboys in the game:

Play keep away: The best way to keep Oregon’s high-powered offense off the field is for Wyoming’s offense to eat up the clock with long drives, and obviously, finish those drives with points. The Cowboys must establish a run game, which has been nonexistent with just 62 yards per game. A balanced offensive attack with the run and pass could keep Oregon’s defense out of sync, and possibly cause its offense to press.

Agree or disagree?

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Wyoming 27, Gardner-Webb 0 – postgame thoughts

The first shutout of an opponent since 2010 was the biggest impression I took from Wyoming’s 27-0 victory over Gardner-Webb this past Saturday at Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium.

I liked the offense in the first half, but not so much in the second half. Gardner-Webb took the air out of the game — and the crowd — with an 18-play drive in the second half, which UW held up on. Still no running game, and that’s a red flag for the Cowboys.

Still, UW beat a FCS team like it should of — although some can make the point the it should have won more convincingly.

Here’s fourth year coach Craig Bohl after the game:

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Wyoming vs. Gardner-Webb pregame primer

As always, let’s start with my No. 1 key for Wyoming in Saturday’s home-opener, which kicks off at 2 p.m. MT at Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium and will be televised on AT&T SportsNet.

Be good up front: Wyoming needs to win the battle along the line of scrimmage offensively and defensively. You can say this in any game, but it’s critical for the Cowboys today. The offensive line must open holes for the run game that gained only 59 yards last week at Iowa. It also must keep junior quarterback Josh Allen upright and prevent him from being hit. Defensively, the line must be disruptive and not allow Gardner-Webb to get its run game going. The Runnin’ Bulldogs want to run the ball to open things up for its play-action pass and for dual-threat senior quarterback Tyrell Maxwell to run or throw.

More keys and info on the game, see Saturday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and log on to wyosports.net

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