Week 3 is here and Cowboys return to War Memorial Stadium 0-3 after losing to Washington State last week 31-14.The Pokes looked much improved in their first road game, but couldn’t convert a number of opportunities to get it done.

The Cowboys were a heavy underdog last week on the road and were able to cover the spread for the first time this season. They are now 1-2 ATS and come into this weeks game as a 3 point underdog at home.

The standings are as follows:

 

Straight Up

Against the Spread

Robert Gagliardi

1-21-2
Ryan Holmgren1-2

3-0

Brad Reed

1-2

1-2

Chad Smith

1-2

2-1

Connor Cunningham1-2

1-2

Robert Gagliardi, Wyosports.net

Thoughts on last week’s game?

Some improvements made defensively in terms of a pass rush (three sacks), better angles to the ball and more gang tackling. Gave up two scoring plays of 30-plus yards, and UW now has allowed nine plays of 30 yards or more, with six of those going for touchdowns. After a solid first half offensively, the offense bogged down in the second half. Had some great opportunities to tie or even take the lead in the second half with the ball in Washington State territory, but came up empty. Need more consistency from the offense from start to finish.

We are 3 games (1/4 of the season) into the season, what has been your biggest take away from the Cowboys thus far?

That its margin of error is razor thin. Teams will continue to move the ball and score on this defense, but it needs to eliminate allowing the big play and get off the field on third down when it can. It also must produce more turnovers. One in three games won’t cut it. The offense, as stated earlier, must do a better job of possessing the ball and finishing drives. And, when opposing defenses make adjustments to what is working for the Cowboys, they in turn have to also adjust and find something else that works. As far as special teams, the place-kicking situation with true freshman walk-on Tristan Bailey has to be a huge concern. No field goals in three attempts. The rest of the special teams have been solid

Pokes Pick: Defensive back 7

I will go with Wyoming’s back seven on defense. They face a totally different offense this week in New Mexico’s run game that will feature some triple option, pistol and other variations. This group needs to be assignment sound, because one mistake will likely mean a big play and a touchdown for the Lobos.

The Cowboys win if…

The defense gets enough key stops, avoids the big plays and generates at least two turnovers. Also, the offense must do its part by being more consistent in terms of possessing the ball and finishing drives with points.

Game Prediction:

Despite being a 3-point underdog, I will go with Wyoming in a high-scoring game. Wyoming 38 New Mexico 30

 

Ryan Holmgren, Casper Star-Tribune

Thoughts on last week’s game?

Wyoming made strides both offensively and defensively last week, but simply couldn’t put the ball in the end zone. The Cowboys did themselves in by not scoring on those three straight drives with prime field position in the third quarter. That said, UW looked markedly better than it did in the first two games.

We are 3 games (1/4 of the season) into the season, what has been your biggest take away from the Cowboys thus far?

My biggest takeaway is simply youth. Wyoming is even younger than I thought it’d be, and partly due to guys like Tavita Faaiu and Seth Edeen leaving the program. Nineteen freshmen are on the Cowboys’ two-deep, which is way too many to win with, but should bode well for the future.

Pokes pick: Brian Hill, RB

Brian Hill, yet again. The sophomore running back continues to impress. Considering that he didn’t even amass 40 rushing yards against North Dakota, it’s incredible that he’s in the top 10 nationally in that category for the season. I expect another big game from him.
The Cowboys win if…

Wyoming wins if it limits big plays. The Cowboys have allowed six touchdowns of 35 yards or more. One big play like that per game can swing the momentum, but two or more can change the outcome. The Pokes’ 0-3 record can be partly attributed to their inability to cut down on big plays.
Game Prediction:

I’ve got an odd gut feeling that Wyoming ends its six-game losing streak dating back to last season. Wyoming 31 New Mexico 28

 

Brad Reed, Wyonation.com

Thoughts on last week’s game?

I thought the Pokes came out and played reasonably well. Their first offensive possession resulted in a touchdown after holding Washington State to a three and out. The offensive line did a good job of opening up holes for Brian Hill. Shaun Wick hasn’t gotten going yet, I can’t imagine it’ll be too much longer before he does. Cam Coffman did a good job of throwing the ball around the field. He threw for nearly 300 yards and two scores. His turnover wasn’t pretty, but by no means was back-breaking. The Pokes need to learn to play with a lead and hold it. They had too many costly penalties that likely took some points off the board. Specifically, they had a 4th and 46 with the original line of scrimmage being at the Washington State 10 yard line. Can’t be making mistakes like that and take points off the board. The defense played reasonably well considering the offense they were up against. Luke Falk had a good day, but by no means blew the doors off with his performance. The Cowboys actually outgained the Cougars in total yards, so that’s encouraging from both sides of the ball.

We are 3 games (1/4 of the season) into the season, what has been your biggest take away from the Cowboys thus far?

My biggest takeaway from the Cowboys so far has been inconsistency. In the first two games the offense really didn’t get moving until after the half, against Washington State they didn’t get moving after halftime. They have to figure out a way to cut down the costly penalties that kill drives. They need to find a way to get Shaun Wick going. The passing game is good, but the offensive line still has a few protection issues they need to iron out. The defensive side of the ball seems to be improving every week. Getting Eddie Yarbrough into the backfield more often is going to help out the young secondary. The Cowboys need to generate more pressure, maybe look to blitzes a little more rather than relying on a four man front so often.

Pokes Pick: Cam Coffman, QB

Coffman had a good day against Washington State. The Lobos are allowing 228 yards per game against the pass; I would think the Cowboys will throw for more than that. Jake Mulhardt had a career day in receiving yards and receptions against the Cougars. No reason that momentum can’t keep going.

The Cowboys win if…

They stop beating themselves. Stop the drive killing penalties. Play gap assignment football. Control the line of scrimmage. Eliminate the turnovers. Score more points. Easy, right?

Game Prediction:

Cowboys win this one in Laramie. They make their first field goal of the season. They get the first win of the season. The season won’t be lost in Laramie! Wyoming 38 New Mexico 24

 

Chad Smith, Wyonation.com

Thoughts on last week’s game?

The Pokes certainly played better against WSU than in their first two games but as Craig Bohl said it was still a loss and Wyoming needs to find a way to get on the winning path. The defense performed at a much higher level than I thought against the Washington State passing attack and I’m hoping this is a building block for the rest of the season.

We are 3 games (1/4 of the season) into the season, what has been your biggest take away from the Cowboys thus far?

Wyoming is very young. There will be ups and there will be downs fans will have to be patient and trust in the fact Bohl will coach these kids up and in 2 or 3 years Wyoming will have an experienced and talented team capable of winning 7 games or more.

Pokes Pick: Cam Coffman, QB

New Mexico will more than likely look to corral the Cowboy running game. This should allow Cameron Coffman to have favorable passing situations and I think the senior is in line to have a good afternoon.

The Cowboys win if…

They play sound assignment based football on defense. This is a must do, to stop the Lobos option based attack and with so many young players on defense this may be a challenge for Bohl and his staff.

Game Prediction:

This game is going to come down to a missed Wyoming field goal kick or extra point and the Pokes will loose a heart breaker. New Mexico 27 Wyoming 26

 

Connor Cunningham, Wyonation.com

Thoughts on last week’s game?

I thought the Pokes turned in their best game of the season; unfortunately it wasn’t enough to get their first win. The defense made enough plays to keep them in the game, but the offense was unable to convert some opportunities that could have really turned the game around. I was hopeful Wyoming could play decent and keep the game respectable, because this is one that really could have gotten away from them. They did just that, but in the end it wasn’t enough.

We are 3 games (1/4 of the season) into the season, what has been your biggest take away from the Cowboys thus far?

That this team is younger than I thought and they are experiencing some major growing pains. 25 freshman is an extremely high number and almost unheard of. The way Wyoming recruits and the caliber of player they bring in isn’t built to play 25 of them, for most of their recruits they need a couple years to develop and this year and probably next they are going to get thrown into the fire and have to survive and adapt. Does it bode well for the future of the program? I think so. I think it is something to look forward to, but I feel like we say that a lot. Another thing I will say about this team is that they play hard and that is good to see, it would be easy to give up.

Poke Pick: Lucas Wacha, LB

I think we have a good idea of what we are going to get from the offense, Brian Hill is outstanding, hopefully Wick can get going, and Coffman is very solid. This team can only be as good as their defense is. UNM provides a challenge this week, they are a run heavy team that mixes in a lot of formations, including the option. Wacha is going to need to lead the way for the back 7, he has seen the option multiple times in his career and his speed and athleticism has allowed him to have success. With the young DB’s and inexperienced LB outside Wacha, his role is huge and he needs to make plays.

Wyoming wins if…

They limit the big play and score points in the first half. I think if Wyoming is able to limit the big play and force UNM into 2nd and 3rd and long they will win the game, this is a big if considering where the defense is and the young guys not seeing a lot of the option.

Game Prediction:

I never thought I would see the day that Wyoming was an underdog at home to New Mexico, but they are. With that said, I don’t think Wyoming drops this one, they are well coached, hungry for a win, and play extremely hard. The offense is going to score early and the defense will do just enough. Wyoming 34 New Mexico 31

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