We are officially one day away from our first Cowboys game in two weeks. The Pokes will hop on a plane today and head south for Reno, NV to visit the University of Nevada-Reno. Wyoming (4-2, 2-1) is looking for back-to-back road wins for the first time under Craig Bohl, and Nevada (3-4, 1-2) is 3-0 at home this season and has won 6 straight at home dating back to last season.

There obviously wasn’t a game last weekend so the standings are unchanged. I would like to advise that no one should seek Gagliardi’s advice if they are in Reno this weekend and trying to make a pick at the sports book. Wyoming is a rare road favorite this Saturday and the spread was -4 when the email went out to the group.

We switched the questions up this week since we did our Air Force recap in our bye week installment. If you missed that you can check it out here: http://www.wyonation.com/2016/10/wyonation-5-5-bye-week-edition/

The standings are as follows:


Straight Up

Against the Spread

Robert Gagliardi

2-4 0-5

Brandon Foster

2-4 1-4

Brad Reed

4-2 2-3
Chad Smith 4-2


Connor Cunningham 4-2


Wyoming Cowboys 4-2


Robert Gagliardi, Wyosports.net

Offensive Poke Pick: QB Josh Allen

Nevada will stack the box to stop, or slow down, junior running back Brian Hill. Allen must continue to make plays with his arm and legs to loosen up the defense and allow the Cowboys to be balanced offensively. 

Defensive Poke Pick: Defensive Line

It must disrupt Nevada’s running game and allow the back seven guys to come up and make tackles. It also must be disruptive in the pass rush to keep senior quarterback Tyler Stewart out of rhythm.

What needs to happen for Wyoming to get the win?

Balanced offense, solid defense and in particular, good tackling.

What is biggest concern for Wyoming in this game?

Keeping the momentum going from the previous two wins coming off a bye week. Nevada is 3-0 at home and a desperate team, and those types of teams are always dangerous. Also, Nevada junior running back James Butler is good and Wyoming can’t let him have a big game.


Wyoming wins close and high-scoring game. Wyoming 34, Nevada 31


Brandon Foster, Casper Star-Tribune

Offensive Poke Pick: C Chase Roullier

This should be a game where Wyoming is able to control the ball through the run game like it wants, and everything starts with the senior up front. 

Defensive Poke Pick: LB Lucas Wacha

Wacha had a huge game against Air Force, got a chance to heal his foot in the bye, and will be a key component to shutting down Nevada’s run game. 

What needs to happen for Wyoming to get the win?

Wyoming needs to play run defense like it has in every game but one this year, the exception being Eastern Michigan. James Butler is Nevada’s best threat on offense, and if he struggles against Wyoming as much as every running back not named Ian Eriksen has this season, Wyoming should be just fine.

What is biggest concern for Wyoming in this game?

Wyoming has gotten the cushion of a defensive touchdown (at least) in each of the last three games. Nevada doesn’t turn the ball over much (just four times this year), so the Cowboys will probably have to remember how to win without the defense helping out with the scoring. 


On the one hand, Nevada is undefeated at home and Wyoming hasn’t won a road game that required a plane trip in quite some time. On the other, Nevada’s home wins have been anything but overwhelming: an overtime win against FCS Cal Poly, an easy win against Buffalo, and a win that almost wasn’t against conference cellar-dweller Fresno State. Wyoming is better than all three of those teams and should be able to cover the spread. Wyoming 31, Nevada 21


Brad Reed, Wyonation.com 

Offensive Poke Pick: RBs Brian Hill and Shaun Wick
Nevada ranks 126th in total rushing yards, this could be a big day for the Cowboy backfield.

Defensive Poke Pick: LB Lucas Wacha

Wacha is due for a big game. Nevada’s going to run the ball at you and the linebackers need to be in place to make those stops.

What needs to happen for Wyoming to get the win?

Run the ball and do it over and over again. Chew the clock and punish Nevada on both sides of the ball. Wyoming has shown that they are a very physical football team. They will need to punish Nevada and keep their talented offense off of the field.

What is biggest concern for Wyoming in this game?

Momentum was rolling for the Cowboys headed into the bye week. Bye weeks are always welcomed for the players to heal up and coaches to do some recruiting. However, did that week off break the momentum the team had going into that week? Wyoming will need to come out firing on all cylinders to beat Nevada, with any luck that momentum will continue.


This has trap game written all over it. The Cowboys need to be aware of the situation they’re in and capitalize on it. I think the Cowboys win a close one, but it’s going to be a fight. Wyoming 31, Nevada 30


Chad Smith, Wyonation.com

Offensive Poke Pick: RB Brian Hill
Hill is Wyoming’s all-time leading rusher and Nevada ranks 11th in the Mountain West in rushing yards allowed giving up 250 yards per game. You do the math. 

Defensive Poke Pick: LB Lucas Wacha
Andrew Wingard has been solid in pretty much every Wyoming game this season. In the games Wyoming has won a second player has stepped up with a big play and my pick for that role this week is senior linebacker Lucas Wacha. Look for him to be responsible for a turnover on Saturday night.

What needs to happen for Wyoming to get the win?
As mentioned above the Nevada rushing defense is very poor. Wyoming wants to hang their hat on the running game and they will need to get Brain Hill going to get a win in Reno. Establishing the running game will allow Josh Allen to utilize play action to make big plays down the field that will help Wyoming get to the 25 to 30 points needed to win this game. 

What is biggest concern for Wyoming in this game?

Wyoming is a young team who hasn’t had much success the past few years. They are coming off two big wins against local rivals and now they take to the road to play Nevada a school that Wyoming doesn’t have much of a history with. My concern is this team doesn’t know how to handle success yet and this road game could be where the Cowboys get tripped up.


Nevada is undefeated at home this year (3-0) and this will be a tough game for the Pokes. With a big game from Brian Hill and more turnovers forced by the defense, Wyoming wins a close one. Wyoming 28, Nevada 24


Connor Cunningham, Wyonation.com

Offensive Poke Pick: QB Josh Allen

I talked in my blog yesterday about Brian Hill and I think he will have a monster game. Nevada’s run defense has not been good to this point. With that being said, I think Allen is the Poke Pick because he needs to feed off of that and have a big game and protect the ball. If Hill gets going like I think he will, the play action pass and QB runs will be there for the taking. Allen has been really good all season, but missed some big throws against AFA that would have put the game away. He needs to hit those this week. 

Defensive Poke Pick: Defensive Ends

Carl Granderson was having a break out season before his season ended with an ACL injury against Air Force. Granderson had 4 sacks and was getting consistent pressure on opposing quarterbacks. His production will need to be made up from a rotation of guys, including freshman Shiloh Windsor who hasn’t taken a collegiate snap yet. The bye week came at a good time in this aspect, allowing the guys to get the reps they need to get ready.

What needs to happen for Wyoming to get the win?

The defense needs to slow down the run best possible, James Butler is one the best in the country and he will get break off some good runs. Wear him down and keep pressure on the quarterback and not allow him to get in rhythm and cause multiple turnovers. On offense, stay balanced, hit the big play when it is there and don’t turn it over. 

What is biggest concern for Wyoming in this game?

Reno has proven to be a difficult place to play and the Wolfpack has a 6 game home winning streak and the Pokes have only 2 road wins under Craig Bohl. This is a young team and they are still learning to win, a night road game in Reno could prove to be troublesome. I am glad they had the bye week to put together a strong game plan and get the players’ minds right.


Craig Bohl has the Cowboys on a roll, and I don’t see Nevada slowing them down this week. Wyoming 34, Nevada 24