(AP Photo/Gary Kazanjian) (The Associated Press)

(AP Photo/Gary Kazanjian) (The Associated Press)

Wyoming dropped another game over Halloween weekend to Utah State, and unfortunately the game wasn’t as close as the score may have indicated. The final, Utah State 58 Wyoming 27. This week Wyoming hosts CSU in the annual border war. CSU comes into this game 3-5 (1-3).

Wyoming was an underdog last week and was unable to cover. They are now 5-4 ATS, and last weeks loss snapped a 3-week streak of being able to cover. This week the Cowboys are a 10.5-point underdog at home.

The standings are as follows:

 

Straight Up

Against the Spread

Robert Gagliardi

5-4

4-5

Ryan Holmgren

5-4

4-5

Brad Reed

5-4

6-3

Chad Smith

6-3

3-6

Connor Cunningham

5-4

4-5

 

 

Robert Gagliardi, Wyosports.net

Thoughts on last week’s game?

A disaster defensively. Utah State came out with a good plan and Wyoming couldn’t adjust to it. Despite that, it was still somewhat of a game until the final seconds of the first half when the Aggies scored on a blocked punt. Defense and special teams were poor. The offense was decent considering the Cowboys were without their starting quarterback and best receiver. Sophomore running back Brian Hill continues to shine, and junior wide receiver Jake Maulhardt is showing he is one of the better receivers in the MW.

Pokes Pick:

The defense. Despite a minus-14 turnover margin — the third-worst in the FBS — Colorado State has offensive weapons. Wyoming needs to stop or slow down the run to make the Rams’ play-action passing game less effective. Still, Colorado State has plenty of quality guys to throw the ball to. The guys up front must play well, and the guys in the secondary must be more sound in coverage and tackling.

The Cowboys win if…

It can run the ball offensively and doesn’t turn the ball over, and can get enough stops on defense.

Game Prediction:

A very winnable game for Wyoming, but I am going with Colorado State in a close one. CSU 35 Wyoming 27

 

Ryan Holmgren, Casper Star-Tribune

Thoughts on last week’s game?

After three weeks of progress defensively, Wyoming took a major step back against Utah State. The Pokes were helpless, very rarely forcing a third down and not forcing a punt until the game was already decided. Offensively, Nick Smith looked improved and Brian Hill is, well, Brian Hill.

Pokes Pick:

Eddie Yarbrough. The senior defensive end has had a fairly quiet season, and part of the reason for that is because he’s usually double-teams or chipped with a running back at the very least. But this is his final Border War, and if he can wreak a bit of havoc, that could make the lives of the UW secondary much easier as it deals with Rashard Higgins.

The Cowboys win if…

Wyoming can limit the Rams’ passing game. The past three weeks, the Pokes have had great trouble doing that.

Game Prediction:

With Cameron Coffman and Tanner Gentry still out, I just don’t see a UW win happening. It’s a rivalry game, so it could end up being close, though. I’ll say CSU 42 Wyoming 31

 

Brad Reed, Wyonation.com

Thoughts on last week’s game?

I didn’t see the game; I was busy checking to see if Portland had any beer (they did) and my quest to find Voodoo Donut (I did) and to see the Montana Grizzlies beat Portland State (they didn’t). From the texts I was getting from Chad, coupled with a few tweets that I read, leads me to believe that I may have dodged a bullet. And for that I should be thankful that some of the breweries we occupied while in the country’s weirdest city did not have a TV. That said, Brian Hill hit 200 yards again. He’s now second in the country in rushing yards behind Heisman favorite Leonard Fournette from LSU. I guess that’s pretty impressive. The Cowboys were a non-factor in the passing attack, and that’s pretty tough to beat a top 20 defense when you can’t throw the ball (and it’s not because of the defense). Also of note, Eddie Yarbrough had one tackle for loss; he’s now 1.5 behind John Fletcher for the all-time UW record. Hope he gets there; he’s a quality young man.

Pokes pick: 

It would be nice to say it will be someone other than Brian Hill. That seems pretty useless at this point in the season, and also kind of a cop-out. The availability of Cameron Coffman is still in the air at the time of this writing, and I’d guess he’s doubtful for this weekend. I’d like to say Tanner Gentry, but I don’t really think he’ll be playing either. It’d be fun to say Andrew Wingard, but if he’s racking up a lot of tackles then something has gone wrong. Hill is going to be the catalyst to any offense the Pokes can generate against the Sheep, hopefully we can see an Alvester Alexander-like performance (circa 2010) and win the Boot back.
The Cowboys win if…

Brian Hill plays like Alvester Alexander did in 2010. And the defense limits the amount of points on the board. They gave up 58 last week. For those keeping score at home, that’s bad. They have to play mistake free, no interceptions, and no blocked punts for touchdowns. The Sheep haven’t been much of a threat to anyone this year, and this looks like a pretty winnable Border War despite the records of both teams. The Pokes have to get something going with the passing game, 18 attempts for 80 yards just isn’t going to cut it. Good time for Justice Murphy and Jake Maulhardt to put their names in the record books.

Game Prediction:

The spread this week is something like 10 points. Not quite the high spread it has been in the last two weeks. Last week was the first week the Pokes didn’t cover the spread in about 4 games or so.. so streak broken, I guess. I think it’s probably high time to start a new streak.. this time with a win. Wyoming 27 CSU 25 #BeatTheSheep

That’s right, a hashtag.

 

Chad Smith, Wyonation.com

 

Thoughts on last week’s game?

Last week was a complete disaster defensively. The offense looked good on two drives with Nick Smith making his first college start but this program has a long ways to go to be able to compete on a weekly basis in the MW.

Pokes Pick:

Wyoming will need their defensive back seven to step up if they want to recapture the Bronze Boot. The defensive line hasn’t played bad at all but the back seven makes too many mistakes in coverage in the passing game to gove the Pokes a chance to slow the opposition down.

The Cowboys win if…

They play their most complete game of the year on both sides of the ball.

Game Prediction:

CSU is a struggling football team right now but I still expect them to score enough points on a very poor Wyoming defense to win the game. If Cameron Coffman were to start Wyoming might be able to out score their rivals but with the inexperienced Smith at the control the Cowboys face an up hill battle. CSU 27 Wyoming 16 

 

Connor Cunningham, Wyonation.com

Thoughts on last week’s game?

I thought Wyoming’s defense, which had been showing signs of improvement each and every week was very disappointing. Wyoming scored 27 points, and I know that one came in the last seconds of the game but they played a respectable game. This season has been so unbelievably depressing.  I just hope the Pokes can get the boot to salvage something.

Poke Pick:

Nick Smith. He has shown improvement in all of his appearances. I think a home start could be a good thing for him and if him and Hill get the running game going Wyoming could find themselves in it in the fourth. If that happens, it is anyone’s game.

Wyoming wins if…

They score points in the first quarter and cause multiple turnovers. Turnovers are going to be the biggest key to the game; they need them to stay in this.

Game Prediction:

Wyoming has not been good this year, we all know that, the positive is that this is a home rivalry game. I honestly think Wyoming either wins this game or does not cover the spread. Unfortunately, with a third string quarterback I am going to have to pick against the Pokes. CSU 37 Wyoming 21

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