Straight Up

Against the Spread

Robert Gagliardi

10-2

8-3

Brandon Foster

9-3

7-4

Brad Reed

9-3

6-5

Chad Smith

9-3

7-4

Connor Cunningham

9-4

6-5

Wyoming Cowboys

7-5

6-5

Robert Gagliardi, Wyosports.net

What are your thoughts on Wyoming’s bowl draw, location, and opponent?

Don’t think many fans are excited that Wyoming is playing in Boise, but it is a good matchup for Wyoming against a good team that finished the season with five straight wins. Even if Josh Allen plays, the Cowboys will have their hands full against the Chippewas. I would think covering a bowl game in Boise is a lot different than covering a Boise State game. But I have been told by numerous people and who have been to this game that Boise puts on a good show for the teams/players — and that is what is the most important thing about bowl games.

Offensive Poke Pick: Josh Allen

Got to go with Josh Allen. If he plays, and all signs indicate that he will, how does he play in what will likely be his last game of his Wyoming career. If he does not play, what will Wyoming’s offense do and be like in this game. Hope it is better than the previous two.

Defensive Poke Pick:

Going to go with Wyoming’s three First Team All-MW performers — defensive end Carl Granderson, defensive tackle Youhanna Ghaifan and safety Andrew Wingard. Those guys — and all other guys on defense — need to play at that kind of level for the Cowboys to have a chance.

What does Wyoming need to do to win?

Balanced offense and moves the ball and scores some points, continued solid play on defense, win the turnover battle and be the better team on special teams.

Game Prediction?

Josh Allen plays and leads Wyoming to a late scoring drive to win the game late. Wyoming 24, Central Michigan 21


Brandon Foster, Casper Star-Tribune

What are your thoughts on Wyoming’s bowl draw, location, and opponent?

After losing to San Jose State, I don’t think Wyoming has much room to complain about where it ended up. With Josh Allen, they’re a pretty significant draw, but no one knew whether he’d be playing or not. I think Central Michigan is a good opponent in terms of being a team that will give UW a challenge, though I would’ve preferred to see Northern Illinois, just because of the 2016 season opener. And I know Boise isn’t a glamorous venue, but at least Wyoming should have the edge in attendance, one would think.

Offensive Poke Pick: Josh Allen

Surprise, surprise. If he’s playing, you’ve got to think that his arm strength is all the way back. Otherwise, I don’t know why he’d want to risk reinjury/give scouts any tape of him with a less-than-100-percent arm. So that changes a whole lot for this team. Nick Smith’s numbers weren’t bad against Fresno State, but you could just tell that the offense lacked any sort of juice, and it showed in the three and outs. Against San Jose State, the interceptions killed Wyoming. Allen should give Wyoming a big boost.

Defensive Poke Pick: Jalen Ortiz

In the last game of 2017, let’s go with a senior. I feel like Ortiz has been an underrated component of this standout defense. Replacing D.J. May seemed like it would be a big challenge, given his athleticism, but Ortiz has slid in this year and played well as Wyoming’s defense did a 180 from a year ago.

What does Wyoming need to do to win?

Wyoming needs to win the turnover battle. These are two of the best defenses in the country at forcing turnovers, and Wyoming’s offense probably can’t afford to set itself back by giving the ball away. Getting Allen back is a big plus, but I don’t know that the offense is going to immediately click back to where it was in the first half of the Air Force game. The good news for Wyoming, though, is that under Allen the Pokes have been pretty good at protecting the football this season.

Game Prediction?

I wasn’t planning to pick Wyoming if Allen was out. Alas, he’s not. Wyoming 24, Central Michigan 17


Brad Reed, Wyonation.com

What are your thoughts on Wyoming’s bowl draw, location, and opponent?

Wyoming fans should be excited that for the first time since the 80s the Pokes are in the postseason in back to back years. The Cowboy coaching staff constantly preaches “Building something special” and I’d say this is the path to truly doing that. That said, I realize that Boise, Idaho is not an ideal spot for a bowl game. I get it, it’s cold, it’s hard to drive to, hard to fly into, and if you’re a Wyoming resident you’d rather go find some sun instead of the perpetual gray skies, wind, and snow you’ve been living in for the last two months (at least, that’s life in Western Montana). However, for Wyoming fans beggars can’t be choosers and we’re back in the postseason. Will this be the last time we see Josh Allen? Maybe, probably. He’s truly been a generational quarterback for the Cowboy program. There hasn’t been a quarterback as talented in the brown and gold in a long time. If he’s good to go for Friday’s game, enjoy watching one of the best to ever come to Laramie. It might be the last time. 

As far as Wyoming’s opponent, Central Michigan? I see nothing wrong with a little #MACtion in our lives. The two teams are very evenly matched in a lot of areas. A lot of similarities between the two teams. The appropriate opponent for the Cowboys given the way their season has gone. The athletic directors must think a great deal of each other’s program, as the two schools announced a home and home series ten years from now. Hope we’re all still alive to see it come to fruition. 

Offensive Poke Pick: Josh Allen
At the time of writing this, no starting quarterback has been named for the Cowboys. However, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Josh Allen is starting, and he’s going to finish his Cowboy career with one to remember him by. Josh has been a winner in his time in Laramie and he’s going to walk off the field on Friday a winner.. and hopefully a couple touchdown passes. 

Defensive Poke Pick: Carl Granderson

Granderson has turned in a fine season. He’s developed into the Mountain West’s dominant force on the defensive line. He spent his entire season chasing quarterbacks and running backs all over the backfield, and I think he’ll give us another show on Friday. Hell, he was even a finalist for college football’s most prestigious award, the Piesman Trophy! 

What does Wyoming need to do to win?

The exact opposite of what happened in San Jose a few weeks ago. The Cowboys -have- to avoid the three and outs, they have to run the football effectively, and they cannot afford to get behind because Central Michigan will run them out of the house. The offense has to find its way out of its funk and get some points on the board. I’m confident the defense will do its part and keep the Cowboys in the game, but the offense must be better one last time this season. 

Game Prediction?

The uncertainty of Josh Allen has me leery about the Cowboys odds of winning this game. We saw the debacle in San Jose and it wasn’t pretty. But since Robert’s got the picks trophy wrapped up, I’ll jump out on a limb and say Wyoming wins a close one. Pokes are due to break that bowl losing streak anyways. Wyoming 24, CMU 21


Chad Smith, Wyonation.com

What are your thoughts on Wyoming’s bowl draw, location, and opponent?

In terms of bowl game prestige and destination, this is bad as it gets. Nobody wants to go to Boise, Idaho in December and the ticket sales are a reflection of that. Central Michigan is an interesting opponent though and will give the Cowboys a good test.

Offensive Poke Pick: Josh Allen

With Allen, the UW offense was well below average and without him, it was borderline disastrous. Look for Allen to be a little rusty but effective in what is certain to be his last college football game. 

Defensive Poke Pick: Andrew Wingard

Central Michigan has a balanced offense and run and pass the ball equally. Wingard is the player Wyoming has who can shine against both the run and the pass and he is sure to have another strong game as the anchor of the Wyoming secondary.  

What does Wyoming need to do to win?

Win the turnover battle. Central Michigan is 0-3 when they lose the turnover battle and 8-1 when they are even or ahead in turnovers.

Game Prediction?

Josh Allen will be a spark for the offense and the defense will get a key turnover to put the Pokes on top. Wyoming 20, Central Michigan 17 


Connor Cunningham, Wyonation.com

What are your thoughts on Wyoming’s bowl draw, location, and opponent?

As a lifelong Wyoming fan, I will never complain about the Cowboys making a bowl appearance, regardless of opponent and location. I couldn’t be more excited to see the direction this program is headed and the players deserve this game.

Offensive Poke Pick: Josh Allen

It has to be Allen. Wyoming is probably 9-3 headed into their bowl game if he stays healthy. Wyoming fans should feel fortunate to have had Josh Allen in Laramie and his impact on this program will be felt for years to come. He is too competitive and too talented to not come out and play a good ball game. I have a good feeling about how he will play in this one.

Defensive Poke Pick: Rico Gafford

Gafford has been very solid for the last two seasons and this year was a second team all-conference selection. His play has been underrated a bit due to the play of Wilson, Granderson, and Wingard. I think he will play a solid ball game and it would be awesome to see the senior come away with an interception.

What does Wyoming need to do to win?

Same formula as all season. Try to get the ground game going, let Josh Allen lead you and win the turnover battle.

Game Prediction?

Wyoming 31, CMU 17

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