wyonation_preview

The Cowboys are coming off an upset win over #13 Boise State, the programs biggest win in over 20 years. It was a heck of a night for the Cowboys, their program, and their fans. This week the Pokes turn their attention to Utah State (3-5, 1-4). Kickoff from War Memorial Stadium is at 8:30 and the game will be televised on ESPN 2.

The Cowboys were 13.5-point underdogs last week and obviously covered, their 4th cover in a row. They are now 5-2 ATS. This week the Cowboys are 6.5-point favorites at home.

I would like to send a special congratulations Gags for correctly picking ATS for the first time this season.

The standings are as follows:

 

Straight Up

Against the Spread

Robert Gagliardi

3-5

1-6

Brandon Foster

3-53-4

Brad Reed

5-32-5
Chad Smith5-3

3-4

Connor Cunningham5-4

4-3

Wyoming Cowboys6-2

5-2

 

Robert Gagliardi, Wyosports.net

What are your thoughts on last week?

The signature win of the Craig Bohl era. The Cowboys showed some grit to hang in there after being down 14 points two different times in the first half. They just found a way, and made some big plays at the end. The safety dance will be forever etched in the minds and memories of UW fans.

Who was last weeks MVP?

Hard not to go with senior nose tackle Chase Appleby for his game-winning safety, but I will go with redshirt sophomore quarterback Josh Allen and senior tight end Jacob Hollister as co-MVPs. After an early interception, Allen threw for three TDs. Hollister had career-highs with six catches for 144 yards and two touchdowns. 

Poke Pick: Josh Allen and Brian Hill

Going with Allen and Brian Hill. Both need to continue to play well. Hill may get his yards, but Utah State will try to stop him. Allen will need to continue to make plays with his arm and legs.

What needs to happen for Wyoming to get the win?

A balanced offense with no turnovers, and a defense that limits the Aggies’ run game and makes some plays in the pass game. 

Prediction:

Wyoming wins a pretty close and competitive game, Wyoming 31, Utah State 20

 

Brandon Foster, Casper Star-Tribune

What are your thoughts on last week?

Each week of Mountain West ola, the Cowboys seem to take a significant step forward. None were as significant as the win over No. 13 State. It might be a while before the Pokes top that win, although if they keep playing like this, maybe not.

Who was last weeks MVP?

Jacob Hollister. Wyoming has tried more and more to get the tight ends involved in the passing game. Hollister showed why against the Broncos.

Poke Pick: Brian Hill

Seems obvious but the Aggies are a team you can run against, and this is shaping up to me somewhat like the Nevada game — though I don’t know whether Utah State will be able to replicate the Wolf Pack’s success on the offensive end.

What needs to happen for Wyoming to get the win?

Wyoming needs to avoid turnovers. The Aggies have just one takeaway in conference play and are 1-4. Probably not entirely a coincidence.

Prediction:

I think Wyoming should cover. The Cowboys can score — they’re averaging 38-plus points in wins this year. It seems like a lot will fall on the defense from here on out and the D showed encouraging signs in the second half against Boise State. Wyoming 31, Utah State 21.

 

Brad Reed, Wyonation.com 

What are your thoughts on last week?

What a fun game! The Cowboys came out swinging from the get-go and didn’t stop until Boise State was fumbling the ball through the back of the endzone. I had a feeling that after Boise got up 14-0 that the boat race was on, like we’d seen during many other Wyoming/Boise State games. Credit the team for grinding out a come from behind win against a very talented Boise State team. The defense did their job in forcing turnovers, the offense did their job by playing mostly clean football and keeping the Boise offense off the field. Signature win for Craig Bohl.

Who was last weeks MVP?

Jacob Hollister and Chase Appleby. Hollister came up huge when he was asked to make plays and did so by playing the best game of his Cowboy career. Chase Appleby gets a share in this because, well, his play won the game. His play also led to the best Internet meme I’ve seen in quite sometime, the safety dance.  

Poke Pick: RB Brian Hill

I think we’re going to see a heavy dose of Hill this week against a Utah State defense that isn’t very good against rushers. Cowboys need to keep their momentum going, and a strong rushing effort from Hill will quickly demoralize the Aggie defense.

What needs to happen for Wyoming to get the win?

Same formula as every week. Take care of the football, force turnovers. Defense needs to avoid giving up big plays. Offense needs to avoid going three and out and need to keep the Utah State offense off the field. The Cowboys controlled the ball for 35 minutes against Boise State. A similar effort against Utah State will probably result in a wider margin of victory than last week. This week is important for the Cowboys.

Prediction:

Cowboys win this one, but Utah State’s always a tough out. They’ve been down on their luck this season and might be looking for a little payback from the pitfalls of their season. Cowboys can’t afford to get wrapped up in their own hype this week and need to keep that train going if they want to play in the Mountain West championship game. They may have a two game lead on Boise in that respect, however, they cannot afford to give an inch to a team nipping at their heels. Wyoming 34, Utah State 23

 

Chad Smith, Wyonation.com

What are your thoughts on last week?

Everything that could be said and can be said has been written or spoken at this point, so I will keep it short. It was a great win where the offense had a solid game plan and the defense made some key adjustments at halftime. it is without a doubt the signature win of the Bohl era.

Who was last weeks MVP?

With a win like the one over the Boise State Broncos there is no single prson that can be picked out, Game balls for everyone!

Poke Pick: QB Josh Allen

QB Josh Allen is the pick against an Aggie defense that ranks third in the Mountain West in passing and total defense. Allen will have to bring his “A” game in order for the Cowboys to keep balanced in order to score enough points to win the game which could be as high as the low thirties.  

What needs to happen for Wyoming to get the win?

The Cowboys need to not get too high on the hog. Instead of being the hunter they are now the hunted with the division title in their hands. How will they handle this situation is a question that must be asked because Wyoming football hasn’t been in this position for a long time.

Prediction:

This could be your classic trap game after a big win. I think this game will be in doubt late into the fourth quarter but Wyoming will pull it out somehow someway as Utah State is 0-3 on the road this season. Wyoming 29, Utah State 24

 

Connor Cunningham, Wyonation.com

What are your thoughts on last week?

Wow. That is my first thought. The Cowboys pulled out the biggest win of my lifetime and they did it in very exciting fashion. Everyone in brown and gold brought their A game, including the players, coaches, and fans. It is an exciting time in Cowboys country.

Who was last weeks MVP?

Gosh, how do you pick an MVP from a win like that. Rico Gafford had an interception and caused a fumble, Chase Appleby had a game winning strip sack, Josh Allen had 3 scores and made big plays all night, Jacob Hollister had 6 catches for 144 yards and two scores, and Brian Hill was Brian Hill. Surprisingly, none of the aforementioned is my MVP. My MVP goes to kickers Cooper Rothe and Ethan Wood. Rothe kept the Cowboys in the game with the 2 biggest field goals in his young career. Wood had 4 of his 5 punts end up inside the 20 and 3 of those were inside the 10, including his last one of the night to set up the game winning safety.

Poke Pick: Wyoming Defense

A year ago in Logan, UT the Cowboy defense gave up 592 yards of offense in a 58-27 defeat. The defense to this point has obviously been much better and they need to be good again. They are my Poke Pick because I think they come out for a little bit of revenge. I think they come up with a couple turnovers Saturday night and propel this team to another victory.

What needs to happen for Wyoming to get the win?

They need to win the turnover battle. To this point, that has been the most telling stat. The Cowboys have had a + turnover ratio 6 times this season, all wins. They have been – turnover ratio, both resulted in losses. The math is simple; win the turnover battle, win the game.

Prediction:

No reason to pick against the Cowboys at this point. 4 wins in a row and playing in the friendly confines of War Memorial Stadium where they’ve won 5 straight. Wyoming 35, Utah State 20