Wyoming 29, New Mexico State 7 – postgame thoughts

It was an impressive first game for the Wyoming Cowboys with a 29-7 victory at New Mexico State Saturday night.

The defense held New Mexico State to 135 yards and minus-9 yards rushing. It was the fewest yards since allowing 100 against Virginia in the 2007 season opener. UW’s school record for fewest rushing yards allowed is -104 yards vs. Utah State on Sept. 21, 1968, in a 48-3 win in Laramie. Virginia had -7 yards rushing in the 2007 game.

The Cowboys scored a safety against New Mexico State after senior defensive end Carl Granderson tackled New Mexico State junior running back Jason Huntley in the end zone in the first quarter. UW didn’t force a turnover, but perhaps that is being a bit knit-picky.

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UW at New Mexico State – pregame reading

Football is back!!

Wyoming opens the 2018 season tonight at 8 p.m. MT at New Mexico State in a nationally televised game on ESPN2.

Here are some notes, quotes and links to some of the coverage during the week on wyosports.net leading up to the game.

— This is the earliest UW has ever started a season. It also is the last of four games to be played in college football’s “zero week.” The Cowboys’ earliest season-opener prior to this year was on Aug. 28, 1997 when it lost 24-10 at Ohio State in the inaugural Eddie Robinson Classic. That also was the last time I missed a UW season-opening game — home or away. I won’t get into the reasons why I am not at New Mexico State, but needless to say, I’m not happy about it.

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Cowboys high on what they will get from Aka Gorski

One of the more highly-anticipated debuts for the Wyoming men’s basketball team came Wednesday night when true freshman guard Alexander Aka Gorski saw his first playing time since he fractured the tip of his finger on his left and non-shooting hand in preseason practice.

Alexander Aka Gorski

Alexander Aka Gorski

Despite a large splint on that middle finger, Aka Gorski played eight minutes and finished with four points three rebounds and two turnovers. His lone basket was a 3-pointer.

“It was just nice to get out there in front of the crowd, make my first bucket and be part of the team,” Aka Gorski said. “It’s hard to grab the ball (with the split) and bounce the ball with my left hand, but it didn’t hurt too bad tonight so I’m really excited moving forward, now.”

Aka Gorski, who turns 20 on Dec. 5, is from Lund, Sweden and played last season for Sunrise Christian Academy in Wichita, Kansas. He’s also played 45 games for the Swedish national team at several levels. At Sunrise Academy, he averaged 14 points, four rebounds and four assists per game playing point guard. Aka Gorski also shot 44 percent from 3-point range.

At 6-foot-5 and 210 pounds, Aka Gorski gives UW what it has needed for a while — a big wing player. That size should help the Cowboys (5-0) in their next game when they host New Mexico State (3-3) at 4:30 p.m. Saturday at the Arena-Auditorium. New Mexico State averages close to 40 rebounds per game, and had 62 in an 88-68 win over Stetson earlier in the week.

“He’s a smart player, is a good shooter, makes the right passes and knows where to be,” UW senior forward Larry Nance Jr. said. “He played a lot older than he is, and we appreciate that for sure.”

For more UW men’s basketball and sports coverage, see the Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and log on to wyosports.net.

Brandon leaves UW for New Mexico State

By now most of you know or heard that Wyoming offensive coordinator Gregg Brandon was hired for a similar position at New Mexico State Friday.

He gave two reasons.

1) His previous relationship with current New Mexico State coach Doug Martin. Both were head coaches in the Mid-American conference back in the 2000s. Brandon said he has known Martin for 10 to 12 years.

2) Brandon received a two-year deal worth $180,000 a year. He was to make $160,000 at UW this year and his contract was up at the end of the year. Brandon told me that the multi-year deal and the salary was too good to pass up. This is Brandon’s 32nd year as a college coach, and said he “isn’t going to do this forever.”

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