Early predictions for UW and Mountain West football

Wyoming is less than 100 days from kickoff to the 2015 season when it opens the season at home against North Dakota on Sept. 5.

We are about two months before the start of fall camp. Yet, several college football preview magazines recently hit the newsstands predicting what will happen this season.

Here are a few notes regarding UW and the Mountain West.

–The Cowboys were picked to finish fifth in the Mountain Division by Lindy’s and Athlon, while The Sporting News picked them fourth.

Eddie Yarbrough

Eddie Yarbrough

–The only First Team All-MW player for UW by all three publications was senior defensive end Eddie Yarbrough. Lindy’s ranked Yarbrough as the third-best NFL prospect in the MW behind Colorado State wide receiver Rashard Higgins and San Diego State running back Donnel Pumphrey — both juniors.

–Junior offensive lineman Chase Roullier was a first team pick by The Sporting News, and was a second team choice by the other two. Senior running back Shaun Wick was a second team pick by Athlon.

–Lindy’s chose UW senior quarterback Cameron Coffman as the MW’s Newcomer of the Year.

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Mountain West football power rankings and picks – Week 2

WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi with his weekly installment of his Mountain West football power rankings and picks for Week 2 of the college football season. Look for this every week during the football season, and as always, your feedback is welcome.

1. Colorado State (1-0, 0-0 MW): A big jump for the Rams, but they earned it as they had the most impressive win — not sure if it was good or bad — in the league last week with a 31-17 win over Colorado in Denver. We will see how good CSU  is when it plays at Boise State Saturday. This week: at Boise State, 8:15 p.m. MT Saturday, (ESPN2).The Rams will be good this season, but they are not good enough to win in Boise. Boise State 27, CSU 21.

2. San Diego State (1-0, 0-0): One of four teams to beat Big Sky teams last week. The Aztecs should contend for the West Division title, but they get a much bigger test this week. But for now, SDSU makes a significant move up. This week: at No. 21 North Carolina, 6 p.m, MT Saturday (ESPNews). The MW needs a win over a team from a Power 5 conference foe. The Aztecs have the best chance. It will be close, but they fall short. North Carolina 28, San Diego State 17.

3. Boise State (0-1, 0-0): Yes, the Broncos got soundly beat 35-13 against Ole Miss last week in Atlanta. But it was a one-point game early in the fourth quarter before the Broncos succumbed to Ole Miss’ size and athleticism. Quarterback Grant Hedrick can’t throw four interceptions like he did against Ole Miss. This week: vs. Colorado State, 8:15 p.m. MT Saturday (ESPN2). Boise State may not be a dominant team this season, but it is still good and will bounce back this week. Boise State 27, Colorado State 21.

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UW-Air Force football Q&A

WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi did a question-and-answer session with Brent Briggeman, who covers Air Force football for The Gazette newspaper in Colorado Springs, Colorado, about Saturday’s game with the University of Wyoming in Laramie.

Brent Briggeman

Brent Briggeman

Follow on Twitter: @BrentBriggeman

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

What impressions — good or bad — did you get from this Air Force team in its 44-16 win over Nicholls last week?

It’s hard to make any definitive conclusions in what proved to be a mismatch, particularly when Nicholls seemed to tire in the thin Colorado Springs air. Also, it’s a safe bet that Air Force kept the offensive play-calling very close to the vest in advance of a huge matchup this weekend. What I did see was a team that was able to execute the option behind quarterback Kale Pearson and a defense that was willing to be aggressive in bringing blitzes from all over the field.

As usual, Air Force showed can run the ball with 539 yards against Nicholls. What kind of running back is sophomore Jacobi Owens, who had 233 yards, and was he expected to have that big of an impact right away?

He looks like a good one. He had broken out with two long touchdown runs in the spring game. He runs tough at 5-foot-10, 190 pounds and has great speed. We haven’t seen him do anything against a legitimate defense yet, but against the defenses he’s seen in practice and last week’s opener he’s been phenomenal.

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