Photo credit Michael Smith/UW

Photo credit Michael Smith/UW

Wyoming comes into week 6 0-5 (0-1) and will head to Colorado Springs to play their first conference road game of the season at Air Force. Air Force is 2-2 (1-0) having lost two straight.

Wyoming was a heavy underdog last week at App State, but managed to cover the spread for the second time all season, both of which were on the road. This week Wyoming is 24-point dog.

The standings are as follows:

 

Straight Up

Against the Spread

Robert Gagliardi

2-32-3

Ryan Holmgren

2-3

3-2

Brad Reed

2-3

2-3

Chad Smith

3-2

2-3

Connor Cunningham2-3

2-3

 

Robert Gagliardi, Wyosports.net

Thoughts on last week’s game?

Sounding like a broken record here, but a poor start once again put Wyoming in an early hole and it couldn’t recover. Defense allowed too many big plays, especially early, and the offense couldn’t finish drives with points. Penalties hurt, as did some special teams gaffs. 

Pokes Pick: Andrew Wingard and Marcus Epps

The two freshmen safeties must play well against Air Force’s triple-option attack. All of Wyoming’s defenders must, but Wingard and Epps, especially. Whether it is making open-field tackles or not biting on play action and getting burned deep on the pass, these two must play well if the Cowboys have any chance of winning.

The Cowboys win if…

It gets off to a somewhat decent start, the defense eliminates the big play and the offense can finish drives with touchdowns. 

Game Prediction:

Wyoming will remain winless, but it will not lose by double-digits like it has over its first five games. Air Force 27, Wyoming 20

 

Ryan Holmgren, Casper Star-Tribune

 

Thoughts on last week’s game?

I’d argue that the final 55 minutes and 55 seconds of last week’s game — after the long Appalachian State touchdown run and Cameron Coffman’s pick-six — is the best extended stretch Wyoming has played all year. During that time, it stopped Appalachian State on all seven third-down conversion attempts and totally controlled the ball. One problem: Wyoming couldn’t score once it reached the red zone, and that resulted in another loss.

Pokes pick: Brian Hill

Who else? The guy is an animal, and he showed that again last week, rushing for 208 yards against one of the nation’s top rush defenses. Hill will receive the vast majority of Wyoming’s carries this week, and he’ll need to be terrific again.
The Cowboys win if…

Wyoming wins if it converts red-zone opportunities. Last week, the Pokes had a great recipe for success, keeping the ball away from Appalachian State by churning out productive drives. After the big run and pick-six, the Mountaineers scored just 17 points — with one touchdown coming one play after a fake field goal. If the Pokes play like they did for most of last week and score once they reach the red zone, they should have a chance to win.
Game Prediction:

Wyoming seems to play well against the Falcons, and it will once again. Just not well enough to pick up its first victory of the season. Air Force 35 Wyoming 28

 

Brad Reed, Wyonation.com

 Thoughts on last week’s game?

A game of several missed opportunities. Has this happened yet this year? Two good shots in the redzone netted exactly zero points. Convert those two opportunities into touchdowns and we have a 27-24 game in favor of the Pokes. The Cowboy defense gave up a couple of big plays that really hurt them, but I feel like they made Appalachian State punt the ball a lot, which is encouraging. Penalties once again killed Cowboy drives. Third and short became third and long way too often. Can’t keep hindering your own progress and expect to win. The conditions weren’t ideal but both teams had to play in it. One team just happened to play better. The kicking game is becoming a very real concern. Points were left off the board this last weekend because the kicker isn’t yet trusted (and hasn’t) to make a field goal. Instead of taking three points the team went for it on 4th down and failed at least once. Tristan Bailey I’m sure would love to knock the rust off, make his first field goal, and get rolling.. but he just seems to be lacking the confidence to accomplish that. He also missed an extra point this past weekend, also not ideal. Lots of room to improve.

Pokes Pick: Andrew Wingard

Not because I think he’s going to make the difference in the game, but with his nose for the football and the fact that Air Force is going to try to run it down our throats I suspect he’s going to be in on A LOT of tackles. Hopefully he can make good, clean contact and wrap up tacklers to keep them from picking up unnecessary yardage. Fundamentals are key to beating AFA.

The Cowboys win if…

They don’t allow the big play on defense and get off the field on 3rd down. To beat Air Force you have to play very good gap assignment football. Don’t let them get the edge. The offense needs to play solid this weekend. Convert a red zone opportunity or two. Let Cam Coffman do his thing getting the ball out to Gentry and Maulhardt and let Brian Hill grind the clock down. Wyoming and Air Force typically play pretty close and intense games, I hope it doesn’t come down to a field goal.

Game Prediction:

Wyoming is a 24-point dog in this game; I think they’ll cover the spread again this week. I’m not so sure if they’re going to win, but if there’s an opportunity for a road win this weekend, it’s this game. That said, I don’t think we’ll probably see a win. Mostly, I just hope the defensive line’s knees are in tact after the game, Air Force doesn’t exactly block opposing lineman in a traditional way. Air Force 30 Wyoming 24

 

Chad Smith, Wyonation.com

 Thoughts on last week’s game?

Last week went as expected, a long road trip to the east coast ended badly for the Pokes. There were plenty of opportunities to stay or even win the game but the Pokes failed to execute in the red zone as I detailed earlier in the week before the game. The most disappointing aspect to me is the fact that Wyoming was able to establish the running game (netting over 200 yards) and dominated time of possession but could not find a way to score enough points.

Pokes Pick: Brian Hill and Andrew Wingard

At this point in time Wyoming has only two reliable players who put up tangible stats that you can measure in a box score (removing the offensive and defensive lineman from consideration). Running back Brian Hill on offense and Andrew Wingard at safety, look for both of them to produce. The question is who else will step up to provide them support in order to win the game?

The Cowboys win if…

They play sixty minutes of Wyoming football, something they haven’t been able to do through the first five games.

Game Prediction:

Wyoming struggled to slow down New Mexico’s option attack at home and although this is not a vintage Air Force attack, I’m expecting Wyoming to struggle again with assignments leading to multiple game changing big plays by the Falcons on the road. Air Force 45 Wyoming 17

 

Connor Cunningham, Wyonation.com

Thoughts on last week’s game?

Last Saturday was the closest Wyoming has come to playing a complete game. Outside the first two drives of the football game, Wyoming played a solid ball game on both sides of the ball. Was this because of the weather? Maybe, but Wyoming has shown signs of improvement in every game, which is what you would hope. My biggest take away though is that Wyoming still has not been able to prevent the big play and I don’t think they can win a game until they can do that.

Poke Pick: Cam Coffman

Coffman has been good for almost the whole season, but he has had some costly turnovers and sacks. Coffman will need to play his best game of the season in order for Wyoming to pull of the upset. This means he needs to get rid of the ball and make smart decisions all night. If he has a turnover free game, Wyoming will be right there in the fight.

 Wyoming wins if…

They don’t give up the big play. They need to play bend but not break type defense all night and come up with a turnover or two. On the other side of the ball, Coffman needs to play his best game of the season.

Game Prediction:

Wyoming will continue to show signs of improvement, but it won’t be enough to get the W. I think they give up a couple heartbreaking big plays, in typical Wyoming fashion. Wyoming will cover, because well, that’s what they do on the road. Air Force 31 Wyoming 21

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