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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Boise State 24, Wyoming 14 – postgame thoughts

Boise State’s Blue Turf has been a house of horrors for Wyoming, and Saturday night’s 24-14 loss added to those bad memories.

But this was a game the Cowboys had a chance to win, which makes the outcome sting even more.

Before I go on, here is fourth-year UW coach Craig Bohl after the game:

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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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