Brian Hill has been the clear cut team MVP halfway through the season. Photo credit Michael Smith/UW

Brian Hill has been the clear cut team MVP halfway through the season.
Photo credit Michael Smith/UW

Wyoming comes into week 7 0-6 (0-2) and will host Nevada (3-3 1-1) in their 2015 homecoming game. Wyoming turned in another disappointing performance last week in a loss @ Air Force and Nevada is coming off of a 35-17 win against New Mexico.

Wyoming was a heavy underdog last week at Air Force, and managed to cover the spread for the 3rd time this season, both of which were on the road. This week Wyoming is 7-point dog at home.

The standings are as follows:

 

Straight Up

Against the Spread

Robert Gagliardi

3-33-3

Ryan Holmgren

3-3

4-2

Brad Reed

3-3

3-3

Chad Smith

4-2

2-4

Connor Cunningham3-3

3-3

 

Robert Gagliardi, Wyosports.net

Thoughts on last week’s game?

Best half of football Wyoming has played defensively this season, but injuries to three starters took its toll. One of the poorer offensive efforts with a season-high four turnovers — two each by the offense’s best players in sophomore running back Brian Hill and senior quarterback Cameron Coffman. I would be more encouraged by the defense if the injury situation wasn’t so up in the air. The offense, to me, has a lot of work to do. Projection isn’t great, red zone woes are still there and now there could be turnover issues.

Half way through the season who is the Pokes MVP and LVP?

MVP is sophomore running back Brian Hill. LVP, and Least Valuable Player, would be middle linebacker Eric Nzeocha. The team’s experiment to move him from tight end to linebacker hasn’t worked well. Perhaps it will down the road, but he hasn’t had the impact once hoped, and forced some moving around of other guys at all three linebacker spots.

Pokes Pick:

Running back Brian Hill and senior quarterback Cameron Coffman. How do they bounce back after rough outings last week?

The Cowboys win if…

It eliminates turnovers, can move the ball and score in the redzone and the defense plays with the same or similar edge as it did in the first half against Air Force. Not sure if that is possible with the injury situation.

Game Prediction:

Going with Nevada and its run game, along with a dual-threat quarterback. Its defense will make enough plays. Nevada 28, Wyoming 21

 

Ryan Holmgren, Casper Star-Tribune

Thoughts on last week’s game?

I’m home in Minnesota for a family wedding, so I apologize for keeping things short this week. But last week, Wyoming played markedly better on defense until Lucas Wacha, Siaosi Hala’api’api and Robert Priester left the game with concussions. 

Half way through the season who is the Pokes MVP and LVP?

Pokes MVP is Brian Hill, who is on pace to set UW’s single-season rushing record. LVP is Shaun Wick, who has yet to amass 100 rushing yards on the season.

Pokes pick: 

Eric Nzeocha, who could see huge playing time if Wacha is held out. He’ll need to play well for the defense to play well.
The Cowboys win if…

It scores in the red zone and eliminates big plays defensively. Same as just about every week.
Game Prediction:

Nevada 35 Wyoming 24

 

Brad Reed, Wyonation.com

Thoughts on last week’s game?

The first half looked like a real offensive struggle for both teams. Both teams forced a lot of punts on each other. However, Wyoming’s woes in the redzone and turnovers definitely killed them in this game. Cam Coffman had a pair of picks, and Brian Hill uncharacteristically had two fumbles, one of them occurring inside the ten yard line. AFA went on from that turnover to march 97 yards and score a touchdown. Those kinds of mistakes are just killing the Pokes, and putting them out of football games without giving anyone a chance to make a play and get them back into it. A lot of the same mistakes are being made week after week. The defense did a nice job of keeping the Cowboys close with Air Force in the first half but injuries started to mount. The concussion to Lucas Wacha was a back-breaker.

Half way through the season who is the Pokes MVP and LVP?

Brian Hill is the Pokes MVP so far. Top 10 in the country in rushing yards, and yards per game. On the flip side I’d have to say Shaun Wick is the LVP. I realize he’s been injured pretty much the entire season, but hopes were high for him and Hill to be a deadly 1-2 punch out of the backfield. So far injuries have prevented him from doing any real damage.  

Pokes Pick:

Brian Hill, I’m guessing he’ll run for a lot of yards at home against Nevada. And why shouldn’t he, he runs for a lot of yards on everyone.

The Cowboys win if…

They finally put together all of the pieces at once. Sustain a drive or two consecutively and convert redzone opportunities into scores. Don’t turn the ball over. Don’t get flagged 8 times for 95 yards. Basically, the copy/paste of every week. Plus it’s homecoming, good time to pick up the first W of the season. Also, rush defense needs to be on high alert this week, the Wolfpack has two backs capable of a lot of yards. Should be well versed in stopping the run, they did it for the first half vs. Air Force.

Game Prediction:

We finally convert some redzone opportunities. Homecoming in Laramie. The Pokes have been good about covering the spread lately, so maybe the trend will continue this week. Nevada 31 Wyoming 28

 

Chad Smith, Wyonation.com

Thoughts on last week’s game?

The defense held up for one half but then fell apart in the second half. The offense is continuing to put up good individual numbers with Coffman, Hill and Gentry but for another game, that did not translate into points as the Pokes only scored 17 their fourth effort of the season under the 20 point mark.

Half way through the season who is the Pokes MVP and LVP?

Football is the ultimate team sport and with an 0-6 record I refuse to label any one Cowboy player as most valuable and especially least valuable considering these are college kids we are talking about. You win and lose as a team and right now Wyoming is losing (and badly) and every coach/player must fight as hard as they can to make sure Wyoming can win a game or two in the second half of the season. 

Pokes Pick:

Brian Hill, the Nevada defense allows 177 rushing yards per game. On a sunny October day in Laramie the sophomore running back will rack up more yards as he looks to top the Mountain West this season in rushing yards. He currently trails Tyler Ervin of SJSU by 77 yards.

The Cowboys win if…

Nevada stays in the mountains this weekend looking at fall foliage.

Game Prediction:

It’s another sad homecoming weekend, Nevada 28 – Wyoming 19

 

Connor Cunningham, Wyonation.com

Thoughts on last week’s game?

Last week was much of the same, unfortunately. The defense played arguably their best game of the season, but still let up the big plays. On offense missed opportunities and turnovers were the theme. Wyoming’s play week in and week out has been a broken record, big play on D and inability to convert opportunities on offense.

Half way through the season who is the Pokes MVP and LVP?

I think that the clear MVP has been Brian Hill. He is among the nations leaders in rushing yards and has been one of the few bright spots for a struggling football team. The LVP to me is the coaching staff. Don’t get me wrong, because I still fully support this staff and their vision, but we are no longer losing games strictly because we have lesser talent. The play calling has not been good at times, the team has a lot of penalties due to lack of discipline, and we haven’t been good in the red zone. The coaching staff needs to be better going forward.

Poke Pick:

I am going to go with Eddie Yarbrough. He has been quiet for the first half, mainly because he draws a lot of special attention. All it takes is that one play to turn the game around and on the defensive side; Yarbrough is the best bet to make that play.

Wyoming wins if…

They don’t have any turnovers and cause multiple turnovers. I don’t like UW’s chances this week, they just haven’t shown me why I should think they can win.

Game Prediction:

Like I said before, UW has not shown me any reason to believe they are going to make this week the week they get their first win. They can’t stop the big play and the offensive scoring woes continues to hunt the Cowboys. Nevada 35 Wyoming 21

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