UW-New Mexico quotes

Here are some quotes that didn’t make it to the print or online platforms this week for Saturday’s Wyoming-New Mexico football game in Laramie:

— “We’ve faced other bigger backs, but he brings it. He might be undersized, but he cuts hard, falls forward, is physical and can juke you. You have to strap it on when you play against him.” — UW sophomore defensive end Eddie Yarbrough on New Mexico senior running back Kasey Carrier, who is ninth in the nation with an average of 137 yards per game.

— “We are tired of hearing it, but numbers don’t lie. We want to improve the numbers on our side of the ball so we can prove to other people (we are better) and stop hearing it. This is a good opportunity for all of us. We’ve got to go out and execute the best we can no matter what everyone says.” — UW junior safety Darrenn White on the Cowboys’ rushing defense that allows 236.2 yards per game.

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UW-New Mexico Q&A

WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi did a question-and-answer session with Rick Wright, who covers New Mexico football for the Albuquerque Journal about Saturday’s game with the University of Wyoming in Laramie.

Follow Wright on Twitter: @Burquerick.

Look for Q&As with beat writers that cover UW football opponents every week throughout the season.

New Mexico has the best rushing offense in the nation right now. What makes it click and what in particular has made it work so well?

I’d say it’s a blend of scheme, skill and experience. Bob Davie wanted an offensive scheme that would to some extent compensate for lack of talent and/or depth, and he has that in offensive coordinator Bob

DeBesse’s triple option-based attack out of pistol formation. In Kasey Carrier, Davie and DeBesse inherited a running back who’s well suited for the scheme. And they lured Cole Gautsche, a terrific option quarterback, away from his original commitment to New Mexico State. Gautsche and Carrier function behind an experienced, battle-tested offensive line. It doesn’t hurt, of course, that New Mexico as faced three of the weakest run defenses in the nation (UTEP, UNLV, New Mexico State).

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UW’s scout team being tested this week

Wyoming football coach Dave Christensen liked the the effort from his players during Tuesday morning’s practice inside Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium.

UW hosts New Mexico Saturday, as well as the Lobos’ top-ranked rushing offense in the nation. The Lobos run a lot of different looks out of its pistol formation, and also run some triple-option.

What is interesting with games like this is how UW’s scout team simulates the opposition’s offense, and who does what.

Junior receiver and former quarterback Sam Stratton has been the option quarterback of New Mexico on the scout team. Senior Colby Kirkegaard has been the throwing quarterback. New Mexico could play two quarterbacks Saturday.

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UW-New Mexico Q&A

WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi did a question-and-answer session with Rick Wright, who covers New Mexico football for the Albuquerque Journal.

Look for Q&As with writers who cover the opponents of the University of Wyoming football program every Friday.

How surprised are you that New Mexico has won four games this season after only three the previous three years, and what has been the biggest changes or differences in the program with first-year coach Bob Davie?

Going in, I thought four wins would be the absolute ceiling for this team. For all I know, that still might prove to be the case. But for this team to have won four of its first seven was quite an accomplishment. Offensive coordinator Bob DeBesse’s pistol-formation, option-based offense has been a major reason for the turnaround, but the tougher, more disciplined mindset instilled by Bob Davie has been the biggest factor, in my opinion.

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MW football power ratings

WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi rates all 10 Mountain West football and why. Look for his ratings on a weekly basis as the season continues.

1. Boise State (6-1 overall, 3-0 MW): The Broncos are No. 21 in the country and remain a solid No. 1 this week in the rankings. Boise State continues to be far and away the best defensive team in the MW. It’s tops in scoring defense (13.6 ppg), pass defense (158.7 ypg), total defense (316.9 ypg), turnover margin (+11) and pass efficiency defense (95.6). The offense isn’t bad by any means, but the defense outstanding.

2. Fresno State (5-3, 3-1): I said last week the Bulldogs are the most complete team in the league, and I stand by that. They’re second to Boise State in most defensive categories, and their spread offense can hurt you via the run and pass. This may be the most athletic and talented team in the league.

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Youngsters get some work

Wyoming continued its preparations Wednesday for Saturday’s game at New Mexico. But at the end of practice, as will be the case the rest of the season, the younger players scrimmaged for about 15 plays.

“We evaluate the video as a staff to look at guys and project for the future,” coach Dave Christensen said. “We’ll probably have about 90 live plays from now until the end of the season.”

Some notable things from those youngsters Wednesday:

–True freshman Emory Miller was the quarterback on every play. Sam Stratton, another true freshman quarterback, played receiver.

–True freshman receiver Drew Martinez of Green River had a nice catch-and-run for a big gain.

–The two junior college defensive tackles from New Mexico Military Institute — B.J. Sumter and Kurt Taufa’asau — were tough to block for the offensive line.

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Here are some quotes from Christensen after practice:

On if it’s difficult to prepare for New Mexico not knowing who its starting quarterback will be: “We’ll know once they drag their first team out on the field. We have a system and a scheme, and we believe in it. It’s not going to make a difference what players are playing.”

On if he expects New Mexico to try some play-action based on UW’s struggles last week with that against San Diego State:”If I were them I would.”

On the differences in New Mexico’s two running backs it lists on its depth chart — junior James Wright (5-11, 227) and sophomore Kasey Carrier (5-9, 185): “We’re going to tackle the ball they hand the ball to, that’s what we’re going to try and do.”

An interesting note on Wright, he originally committed to UW out of South Oak Cliff High in Dallas when Joe Glenn was UW’s coach. He changed his mind and signed with New Mexico. Wright leads the Lobos this season with 176 yards and has started four of the eight games he’s played in. He’s averaged 5.1 yards per carry in his career and scored four touchdowns.

Speaking of running backs, UW sophomore Alvester Alexander will wear Ruben Narcisse’s No. 12 jersey this week. He is the second Cowboys’ offensive player to do so, the other was sophomore quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels.

Narcisse died in a automobile accident early on Labor Day morning south of Laramie in Colorado. He was a true freshman linebacker from Miami.

Join me at 3 p.m. Thursday for my weekly live chat on UW sports. We can talk about football, UW hoops and the broken elbow to junior-college transfer Luke Martinez, and anything else UW sports related. Here is the link: http://wyomingcowboysblog.com/2010/11/02/u-of-w-live-chat-thursday-nov-4th-3pm/