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Wyoming’s 5 game winning streak was snapped in their loss at UNLV last week, their record is now 7-3 (5-1) and they still control their championship destiny. This week the Cowboys host the West divison champion San Diego State Aztecs 9-1 (6-0).

The Cowboys were favorites last week at UNLV and weren’t able to cover, also snapping their 5 game streak. They are now 6-3 ATS. This week the Cowboys are home dogs and were +9.5 when the email went out to the panel.

The standings are as follows:

 

Straight Up

Against the Spread

Robert Gagliardi

4-62-7

Brandon Foster

4-64-5

Brad Reed

6-43-6
Chad Smith6-4

3-6

Connor Cunningham6-4

5-4

Wyoming Cowboys7-3

6-3

 

Robert Gagliardi, Wyosports.net

What are your thoughts on last week?

Very disappointing on both offense and defense. Yeah, the team scored 66 points, but the offense turned the ball over three times and was inconsistent at best in sustaining drives. In a way, the offense hurt the defense with five scoring drives that were less than two minutes. The defense struggled in numerous ways, but being out there for 97 plays didn’t help. 

Who was last weeks MVP?

Senior wide receiver Tanner Gentry was spectacular with five catches for 184 yards and three touchdowns — two of which were one-handed catches.

Poke Pick:

The entire team because if it has any chance to beat San Diego State, all three facets — offense, defense and special teams — must be good. Wyoming doesn’t have to be perfect, but it has to be a lot better than it showed last week.

What needs to happen for Wyoming to get the win?

Possess the ball on offense, finish drives and avoid turnovers. The defense must tackle well and try to put San Diego State in positions where it isn’t comfortable — like second and third-and-long situations.

Prediction:

Wyoming plays better, but it doesn’t have enough to beat San Diego State: Wyoming 14, SDSU 31

 

Brandon Foster, Casper Star-Tribune

 What are your thoughts on last week?

Well, that certainly was a game, wasn’t it? Wyoming’s defense has looked iffy for much of the year and it looked flat-out exploited against UNLV. Wyoming’s offense is good enough to keep it in almost any game, I think, but even that side of the ball could use some improvement. It feels like it’s been a while since Wyoming really got to run the ball the way it would like.

Who was last weeks MVP?

Has to be Tanner Gentry. Holy cow, what a game. I feel like I take him for granted sometimes, considering just how reliable he is, but, man, he was impossible to ignore against UNLV. Truly one of the better performances you’ll see in a game from a receiver, especially considering he only had five catches.

Poke Pick: S 

Most of Wyoming’s defense struggled to tackle last week, but Wingard’s struggles seemed most noticeable. Probably because he’s typically such a dependable tackler. Wyoming’s defense will not be able to miss many tackles if it hopes to stop San Diego State, and I don’t know if that starts with Wingard, but he’s probably the easiest one to spot.

What needs to happen for Wyoming to get the win?

Wyoming needs to keep San Diego State’s run defense under 250 rushing yards. That might seem highly unlikely after the Pokes just gave up 401 to UNLV, but I think the Rebels really killed Wyoming by having the added dimension of a running quarterback. Wyoming has been solid against standard run attacks this season, and I’m not saying the Cowboys will shut down Pumphrey (and Penny and Washington) by any means, but they’ll need to at least keep him in check.

Prediction:

I think it’s going to be closer than people expect. I’m excited to see Wyoming’s offense play San Diego State’s defense. I still think SDSU covers.

 

Brad Reed, Wyonation.com

What are your thoughts on last week?

What a bummer of a game in Vegas. The Cowboys just couldn’t slow the Rebels and Kurt Palandech down. There should be no reason you score 52 points and lose a football game, but here we are. With that loss the Cowboys needs some -serious- help to get to the Mountain West title game. The normally consistent Josh Allen was inconsistent last week, completing <50% of his passes and turning the ball over twice, including in the end zone on the final overtime play for the Cowboys. The game honestly looked like an old WAC game. Hard to play those track meet games, especially when your defense is on the field for 90+ plays.  

Who was last weeks MVP?

Tanner Gentry. Averaged 36 yards a catch and three touchdowns. Pretty good day, I guess.

Poke Pick: RB Brian Hill

Brian Hill. I have a feeling that the young fella has a little motivation behind him this week after Donnel Pumphrey tweeted that San Diego State has the three best running backs in the conference. Hill didn’t seem to care for those comments. With this possibly being the last time we see Hill in War Memorial Stadium I think he may bring the thunder in this one. Cowboys have a lot on the line on Saturday, why not put the ball in the hands of your workhorse.

What needs to happen for Wyoming to get the win?

The opposite of last week. Corral the rushing attack, don’t turn the ball over, create turnovers. Donnel Pumphrey is the best running back in the nation (eat it Leonard Fournette) and keeping him at bay is going to be an incredibly difficult thing to do. He rushes for a lot of yards on everyone. The Cowboys were -3 in the turnover game last week, can’t be on the wrong side of that again and beat San Diego State. Cowboys need to create turnovers, just like they’ve been doing all season. Need to flip that field position every chance they get.

Prediction:

Tough game, but a lot on the line. San Diego State ain’t played nobody this year. Saw them play last week and I wasn’t too impressed with them. Their defense appears to be good and their offense has weapons. They’re beatable, and they’re in Laramie. It’s time for the Pokes to knock off another top 25 opponent. Wyoming 36, SDSU 34 

Chad Smith, Wyonation.com

What are your thoughts on last week?

Scoring 52 points in regulation and losing is 100% unacceptable. Yet, it is only one loss so burn the defensive film and move on.

Who was last weeks MVP?

The scoreboard operator at Sam Boyd Stadium he or she probably has carpal tunnel this week.

Poke Pick: QB Josh Allen

The Aztec defense is number one in the Mountain West in rush defense allowing just 86 yards per game. That will make for some tough sledding for Brian Hill making the performance of Josh Allen this week all that more important. Statistically, Allen had a solid game against UNLV but he was very inaccurate at times and will have to be at 100% this week for Wyoming to win.

What needs to happen for Wyoming to get the win?

Wyoming has to win the turnover battle. Wyoming has only lost one game this season when they won the turnover battle (Eastern Michigan) and is 0-2 in games when they have a negative turnover margin.

Prediction:
They say the key to playing winning football is running the ball and stopping the run. The Aztecs are number one in the Mountain West in both and they will win in Laramie on Saturday. Wyoming 24, SDSU 37

 

Connor Cunningham, Wyonation.com

What are your thoughts on last week?

I thought the game was absolutely insane and had a little bit of everything. The game tying drive was epic, but in the end the Cowboys didn’t deserve to win. They turned the ball over too many times, the defense was miserable, and UNLV seemed to want it more at times.

Who was last weeks MVP?

Tanner Gentry and Austin Conway. Gentry was fantastic and made two phenomenal touchdown catches. Conway gets a mention because he finally housed a punt return and it was also his first career touchdown. Hopefully many more to come from him in the future.

Poke Pick: Run Defense

The defense is facing its biggest test thus far. Donnel Pumphrey is currently 4th all time in rushing yards and barring injury, he will finish was the all time NCAA leader. Pumphrey isn’t alone and the Aztecs is go 3 deep at running back and they all fall in line with the SDSU tradition of having good running backs. The Wyoming defense has to be better and put SDSU in 2nd and 3rd and long situations.

What needs to happen for Wyoming to get the win?

They need to win time of possession, turnover battle, and third down on both sides of the ball… simple right?

Prediction:

There is something about this team, particularly the senior class. Saturday is senior day at the WAR, I’m taking the Cowboys. Wyoming 41, SDSU 31