When: Saturday, September 1st @ 1:30 PM MST

Where: Laramie, WY – War Memorial Stadium (CAP. 29,181)

TV: CBS Sports Network

Radio: Cowboy Sports Network

Spread: Wyoming +1

Wyoming (1-0) are coming off a dominant road win over New Mexico State. They defeated the Aggies by a score of 29-7. Their running game was hitting on all cylinders, as they ran for more than 300 yards as a team. On the flip side, the defense lived up to their expectations and allowed -9 yards on the ground.  They now turn their attention to their home opener where they will host Washington State. This will be Washington State’s season opener. They are coming off of a 9-4 season that ended with a loss to Michigan State in the Holiday Bowl.

The Standings:

 

Straight Up

Against the Spread

Robert Gagliardi

1-01-0

Brandon Foster

1-00-1
Brad Reed1-0

1-0

Chad Smith

1-0

1-0

Connor Cunningham1-0

1-0

Wyoming Cowboys1-0

1-0

 

Robert Gagliardi, Wyosports.net

What are your thoughts on last weeks game @ New Mexico State?

A dominant defensive effort, which wasn’t a total surprise but I thought New Mexico State would be able to move the ball better than it did. The biggest surprise was the run game — not just Nico Evans’ 190 yards and two touchdowns, but the play of the offensive line with three redshirt freshmen starters. Also was nice to see the special teams be solid.

Who was last week’s MVP? RB Nico Evans

Hard not to go with Evans. He set the tone early and often. Not bad for a guy who had 108 total rushing yards in his career coming into this game.

This week’s Poke Pick: Wyoming’s corner backs

They weren’t tested much against New Mexico State, but Washington State’s “Air Raid” attack will pose a much bigger test. Whether it is Antonio Hull, C.J. Coldon, Keyon Blankenbaker or Jalani Ellison, these guys need to hold their own. Granted, if the defensive line gets a big push it takes some pressure off these guys, but the corners will be tested and this will be a big step in their progression

Wyoming wins if…

The defense can get a good push up front and be disruptive, the offense can be balanced and run the ball and the Cowboys win the turnover battle.

Game Prediction

Earlier in the preseason I predicted Washington State would win a close one. Not trying to be a homer, but I will flip that prediction this week. Wyoming 24, Washington State 21

 

Brandon Foster, Casper Star-Tribune

What are your thoughts on last weeks game @ New Mexico State?

The Cowboys pretty much dominated in every which way against New Mexico State. The Aggies might end up being worse than we gave them credit for heading into the game, but in terms of style and pure dominance, that felt like the kind of win Bohl has been building to for years.

Who was last week’s MVP? RB Nico Evans

This award should almost definitely go to a defensive player, but the Cowboys got off the field so quick that no one really had all that impressive of a stat line. In light of that, I’ve got to give it to Evans. The guy was quite simply a revelation, and even if he doesn’t post 200-yard games every week, he could really be a game-changer for this team.

This week’s Poke Pick: QB Tyler Vander Waal

Picking the QB always feels obvious, but after performing admirably in a conservative capacity last week, he might get tested a little more Saturday.

Wyoming wins if…

it wins the turnover battle. The Pokes showed last week that they don’t need turnover luck to kick a team’s butt anymore, but they could probably use a little bit of it if they want to earn their first Power Five win under Bohl. There’s more to it than just that, obviously, but I think winning the turnover battle will go a long way.

Game Prediction

This was actually my upset pick headed into the year, but it’s not all that hot of a take at this point; some betting lines actually went in Wyoming’s favor before drifting back to Wazzu. I’m going to say Wyoming 20 Washington State 14

 

Brad Reed, Wyonation.com

What are your thoughts on last weeks game @ New Mexico State?

Last week was a great defensive performance for the Cowboys. The defensive front seven kept New Mexico State’s offense off balance and held them in check for a good part of the game. The Aggies were one of the top offenses in FBS last season and after four quarters with the Cowboys they looked like a shell of what they were. The Cowboy offense did what they were supposed to do, not turn the ball over and keep the Aggie defense on the field. The Cowboys held the ball a little over forty minutes. The Aggies only score of the game came against the Cowboy second and third string defense late in the game. Encouraging that Tyler Vander Waal started 7/7.  Nice game to ease him into college football.

Who was last week’s MVP? RB Nico Evans

What a game for the senior! He’s been patient for the entirety of his Cowboy career and it finally paid off with nearly 200 yards on the ground and two touchdowns. With any luck this will be a trend that continues for Nico.

This week’s Poke Pick: S Andrew Wingard

Going to be a busy day in the air at War Memorial. The Cougars will throw the ball around and the defense is going to be mightily tested this week. Andrew Wingard is going to be needed in a big way if the Cowboys are going to contain the Cougar offense. Keeping the ball in front and not missing tackles are the only way to prevent big plays.

Wyoming wins if…

They don’t turn the ball over and prevent any big plays from Washington State. The Cougars will be breaking in a new quarterback this season. If the defensive line can get to him early and often the Cowboy defense has potential for a big day against Washington State. Winning this game at home would be a big opportunity for Craig Bohl and his team.

Game Prediction

Wyoming 24 Washington State 21

 

Chad Smith, Wyonation.com

What are your thoughts on last weeks game @ New Mexico State?

That’s about as impressive as a season opener can get. Early start in week zero with a redshirt freshman QB against a program on the road coming off their first bowl appearance in over 50 years. Winning the game going away with the only opposition score coming in garbage time should put a smile on everyone’s faces.

Who was last week’s MVP? RB Nico Evans

No explanation as to why is needed.

This week’s Poke Pick: Wyoming Defensive Line

The defensive line with Granderson and Ghaifan played about as well as a defensive line could play last week and behind Evans were the most impressive group for the Pokes. They were causing so much chaos up front that there were to tackles valuable for Wilson or Wingard. I will pick the hot hand and say the defensive line will perform almost as well against Pac-12 opposition.

Wyoming wins if…

They put together the same type of performance as they did last week on the road against New Mexico State. With a focus on running the ball, playing smothering defense and converting key 3rd down with Vander Waal’s arm.

A defensive score would also help as well.

Game Prediction

Wyoming has a slight advantage in playing last week while Wazzu must also travel to Laramie and deal with the altitude with or without beet juice. Eastern Carolina transfer Gardner Minshew is almost certain to start for the Cougars at QB and his experience as a grad transfer will be the difference. Wyoming 20 Washington State 23

 

Connor Cunningham, Wyonation.com

What are your thoughts on last weeks game @ New Mexico State?

It was a dominant performance from Wyoming’s running game and their defense. It was exactly what the doctor ordered for a redshirt freshman’s first career start. The Cowboys did not need to rely on Tyler Vander Waal to make plays and that allowed him to play relaxed and make plays when needed. It was certainly a positive sign going forward and probably should’ve been a bigger winning margain but the secondary dropped some interceptions that would’ve led to points.

Who was last week’s MVP? Wyoming’s Defensive Line

Obviously Nico Evans deserves some love, he had a monster night… but this defense, led by the d-line, allowed a total of -9 yards on the ground. That kind of dominance makes a football team awfully one dimensional and allowed the defense to have their way all night.

This week’s Poke Pick: Running backs Nico Evans, Xazivian Valladay, and Jevon Bigelow

I think we know what the Cowboys are going to get out of their defense. It is a group that is proven, but the key to the game is to keep them off the field. The running backs need to get it going, as well as the offensive line. If they can get some momentum it will open a lot up and allow the defense to get the necessary rest. If the offense can’t move the ball and get first downs I am afraid the defense will be on the field too much and they could tire out as the game goes on.

Wyoming wins if…

Don’t beat themselves. What I mean by this is that the Cowboys can’t afford momentum killing penalties or to lose the turnover battle. If they limit their penalties and play disciplined football and Tyler Vander Waal takes care of the football they should have a solid chance.

Game Prediction

I think Craig Bohl is do for a P5 win. I think the Cowboys ride the energy provided by War Memorial Stadium and take an early lead and the defense does their thing. Wyoming 27 Washington State 17

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