Wyoming vs. No. 24 San Diego State – Pregame primer

Some pregame reading for Wyoming’s home-finale Saturday vs. No. 24-ranked San Diego State. Kickoff is at 1:30 p.m., and the game is televised on CBS Sports Network.

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

Offense is the best defense: Wyoming faces one of the nation’s best defenses today, and over the last 17 Mountain West games San Diego State has allowed an average of about 10 points per game. Still, the Cowboys must find a way to win the time of possession battle, finish drives with points and most importantly, keep its defense fresh so it’s not on the field for 97 plays like it was last week at UNLV.

For more keys, see Saturday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and log on to wyosports.net.

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Cowboys move on from UNLV loss as No. 24 San Diego State awaits

Based on the reaction from many fans the last two days, you would have thought Wyoming was 1-9 instead of 7-3.

Wyoming was 1-9 after 10 games last season, and despite the 69-66 triple-overtime loss at UNLV last Saturday, the Cowboys are 7-3 and still control their own destiny in terms of winning the Mountain West’s Mountain Division and overall conference title.

The road to do that is going to be more difficult, which starts with a win Saturday at home over No. 24 San Diego State.

First, here is the depth chart for the San Diego State game, which doesn’t any changes from last week:
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UNLV 69, Wyoming 66 3OT – postgame thoughts

No, this isn’t a post about UW basketball losing — this was a football score — and one of the oddest games I’ve seen in 20 years of covering college football.

On paper, the Cowboys should have won this game. But games aren’t played on paper, and the areas of the game they did well that enabled them to go 7-2 and 5-0 in the Mountain West failed them — stopping or slowing down the run, winning the turnover battle and possessing the football on offense.

UNLV ran for 401 yards. UW committed four turnovers and forced only one, and its defense was on the field for for just over 38 minutes (not including the overtimes).

Here is coach Craig Bohl after the game:

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A couple of statistics to mull over for Wyoming football

In doing some research for Saturday’s Wyoming football game with UNLV, I came across two statistics I want to share with you, and get your opinion/feedback on.

Josh Allen

Josh Allen

In the Cowboys’ first six games they were 28 of 81 on third down, or 34.6 percent. In their last three games they were 28 of 45, 62.2 percent.

“Some of it is we’ve not been in as many un-makeable situations, and (redshirt sophomore quarterback) Josh Allen has made some plays,” third-year UW coach Craig Bohl said. We’ve protected him, and our receivers have made a ton of plays.”

Makes sense. Half of UW’s third downs in last week’s win over Utah State were six yards or less. However, the 46-yard touchdown pass from Allen to senior wide receiver Tanner Gentry right before halftime was on a third-and-12 play.

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Allen has a new favorite throw; other UW football notes

Last week, Wyoming redshirt sophomore quarterback Josh Allen’s 27-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Tanner Gentry in the fourth quarter against then No. 13 Boise

Josh Allen

Josh Allen

State was his most memorable throw. In fact, Allen told me Monday that at the time, that throw was “the best I’ve made in my life.”

Fast-forward to a week later and Allen has new one.

Allen said the 46-yard touchdown pass he threw to Gentry late in the first half of the Cowboys’ 52-28 win over Utah State moved to the top of his list. Allen scrambled to his left, and the right-hander threw a dart to Gentry who was able to drag his feet in bounds.

“That was a tough throw to make. Maybe nine times out of 10 I don’t make it, but it only needed to be made once,” Allen said.

Allen threw four touchdown passes and ran for a fifth against Utah State. He was named the Mountain West Offensive Player of the Week for the second time this season. Redshirt freshman outside linebacker Logan Wilson was named the MW Defensive Player of the Week. It is the second straight week UW has had the MW Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week. Last week it was senior tight end Jacob Hollister and senior nose tackle Chase Appleby.

It also is the third consecutive week UW has had the MW Offensive Player of the Week. On Oct. 24 junior running back Brian Hill got it.

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Wyoming 52, Utah State 28 – postgame thoughts

The first half and fourth quarter were impressive. The third quarter: not so much.

But in the end, Wyoming’s 52-28 home win over Utah State in front of a solid crowd of 17,837 for the late-night kickoff was a good win. The Cowboys won their fifth straight game, improve to 7-2 overall and remain in first place in the Mountain Division of the MW at 5-0.

Here is third-year coach Craig Bohl after the game:

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Postgame thoughts of Wyoming’s 30-28 win over Boise State

Too bad the month of October has to end, because the Wyoming football team has been on a roll.

The Cowboys won their fourth straight game — all in October — with their 30-28 home win over No. 13 Boise State, which fell to No. 24 in the AP poll that was released Sunday.

A lot of late-game dramatics Saturday night at War Memorial Stadium. Here are some of the highlights, which include UW’s game-tying two-point conversion (I just got off the press box elevator when the touchdown was scored), along with the famous safety by senior nose tackle Chase Appleby.

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Wyoming vs. Boise State football primer

Some pregame reading for Saturday’s Wyoming-Boise State game. Kickoff is at 5 p.m. MT at Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium.

First, my No. 1 key to the game for the Cowboys. There are more, but this was what I choose as my top one:

Play keep away: Meaning Wyoming needs to win the time of possession game, and obviously, finish drives with points. Boise State has one of the most powerful offenses in the Mountain West, and the best way to slow them down is to keep it on the sideline.

Now for some other notes and quotes:

Jeremy McNichols

Jeremy McNichols

— Junior running back Brian Hill needs one rushing touchdown to tie for sixth place on UW’s career list, and two to tie for fourth. Hill currently has 24 rushing touchdowns. Hill, the reigning Mountain West Offensive Player of the Week, is second in the nation with 144.3 yards per game. Hill’s count part today, Boise State junior Jeremy McNichols, averages 130.7 yards per game. He has 16 touchdowns this season (12 rushing, four receiving), which is tied for the national lead with Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson. McNichols has 42 touchdowns since the start of the 2015 season, which is the most in the Football Bowl Subdivision.

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Boise State coach Bryan Harsin talks about Wyoming

Boise State football coach Bryan Harsin spent about 10 minutes talking with media members that cover Wyoming football Tuesday. Boise State doesn’t allow media that

Bryan Harsin

Bryan Harsin

covers opposing teams to talk to its players, so this was our only access to anything Boise State related this week.

Here are a few things that Harsin said Monday.

On Wyoming: “They’re bigger, strong and running the football, which is what (UW coach Craig Bohl) wants to do. They’re stopping the run by playing aggressive on the defensive side. They’re trying to make you put the ball in the air. I think turnover-wise they’re plus-4, and turnovers win games. I think they’re playing very sound, winning football and they’re doing it consistently.”

On Wyoming’s defense, which is third in the Mountain West in rushing defense (139.4 ypg) but last in passing defense (299.4 ypg): “You have to pick your poison sometimes, and that’s stopping the run game for Wyoming, which puts a challenge on you to throw it good enough. Wyoming’s also pressuring you, too. It’s not like they sitting back and letting you throw the ball. They’re smart with what they do.”

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Battle of two of the MW’s best when Wyoming hosts Boise State Saturday

Mondays are busy days for the media that covers Wyoming football as that is the day players and coaches are available for interviews.

The best news from Monday was third-year coach Craig Bohl said senior nose tackle Chase Appleby should play Saturday when UW (5-2 overall, 3-0 MW) hosts No. 13 Boise State (7-0, 3-0). Appleby left UW’s 42-34 win at Nevada in the first half with a head injury and didn’t return. Appleby’s been going through concussion protocol, but did interviews with the media Monday,  was in good spirits and expects to play Saturday and practice as the week progresses.

Here is UW’s depth chart for this week:

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