Wyoming turned in what ended up being another disappointing loss last week, falling to New Mexico 38-28. The 0-4 (0-1) Cowboys dug themselves a hole early, and couldn’t overcome an early 28-7 deficit. This week Wyoming travels east to take on the Sun Belt’s Appalachian State Mountaineers. The Mountaineers are 2-1, with their lone loss coming at Clemson. App State comes in as heavy favorites and could quite possibly be Wyoming’s toughest test to date. Here are some players to watch for this weekend:
Offense: Brian Hill, RB
Brian Hill’s season has been a tale of two different players so far this season. Hill has 461 yards and 2 TD’s through the first 4 games but in 2 of those games Hill has rushed for less than 50 yards. Wyoming desperately needs Hill to come out ready to play on Saturday for Wyoming to have a chance on the road. Wyoming is a run first football team and they go as their run game goes. We are yet to see a performance where both the passing and running game are playing well together, maybe WSU but they missed some scoring chances. Wyoming will need to get the running game going and finish scoring drives to have a chance this weekend.
Defense: Eddie Yarbrough, DE
Eddie Yarbrough has a tough task, he is the focal point of any opponents’ game plan, Yarbrough constantly sees double and triple teams. With that said, Wyoming needs Eddie Yarbrough to play his best game of the season in order to pull off the upset. Yarbrough has 16 tackles, 3 sacks, and 4.5 TFL this season and they are going to need multiple sacks and constant QB pressure. Wyoming will need to force multiple turnovers and Yarbrough will likely have to cause at least one of those.
Wyoming’s secondary is very young, out of the 9 DB’s listed on the depth chart, 7 are freshman, 1 is a sophomore, and one is a senior. They have been improving, but also have struggled making tackles, stopping the big play, and miss some assignments. They are going to be the x-factor this week, as they are facing a talented quarterback and a good football team. A couple interceptions or big plays will go a long way in keeping the game close.
Appalachian State Mountaineers
Offense: Taylor Lamb, QB
Wyoming’s defense has a number of holes and is susceptible to the big play, stopping the play will be the key to the Pokes coming back to Laramie with their first win. The offense always starts with the quarterback and sophomore Taylor Lamb is a good one. The 2014 Sun Belt freshman of the year is coming off his best game of the season, Lamb threw for 4 TD’s on 11-15 passing in a 49-0 over Old Dominion. Wyoming will need to get to Lamb and pressure him into some wild throws to have a chance at an upset.
Defense: Latrell Gibbs, CB
Gibbs, who is also a sophomore, is off to a great start in 2015. Gibbs has 10 total tackles and 3 interceptions, one in each game. His 3 interceptions are good for T-4th in the country. Wyoming quarterback and receivers Tanner Gentry and Jake Maulhardt have been a bright spot to the Cowboys season thus far, but Coffman will want to steer clear of Gibbs or at least be cognizant of his whereabouts at all times.
X-Factor: John Law, LB
Law, who was a 2nd team all conference last year and is off to a good start this year. Law has 21 tackles, 1 sack, 2 interceptions, and 3 tackles for a loss through 3 games. Law is a do it all kind of player and has the potential to make a game changing play at any moment. Keeping Law in check should be a focal point for the Wyoming offense.
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