The Matchup: Wyoming (4-1, 1-0)  @ San Diego State (4-1, 1-1)

When: Saturday, October 12 @ 8:30 PM MST

Where: San Diego, CA – SDCCU Stadium

TV: CBS Sports Network

Radio: Cowboy Sports Network

Spread: SDSU -4.5 O/U: 41 via OddsShark.com

The Standings:

 

Straight UpAgainst the SpreadO/U

Robert Gagliardi/Jesse Tachiquin

3-24-13-1

Cody Tucker

3-24-13-1

Brad Reed

4-13-2

3-1

Chad Smith4-12-3

3-1

Connor Cunningham3-24-1

3-1

Wyoming Cowboys4-14-1

Over: 1 Under: 3

 

Jesse Tachiquin, MWWire.com

Offensive Poke Pick:

For all of the woes in the passing game, Sean Chambers has been a dominant threat carrying the ball. He obviously needs to continue racking up yards on the ground but the determining factor in this game will depend on whether the Cowboys can pass the ball efficiently enough to continue drives. Coming off a 5 of 12 performance against UNLV, it will be interesting to see what he does against the great Aztecs defense. As Coach Bohl stated in his weekly press conference, they already have an identity and that doesn’t need to change but they need to be efficient in the passing game to continue to have success.

Defensive Poke:

Nearly half of the Cowboys 2 deep on defense are from Southern California so I’ll take a SoCal native to be my Poke Pick so I’ll take CB Azizi Hearn. Wyoming is down to 3 corners on the 2 deep and Tyler Hall still hasn’t cleared the concussion protocol as of Wednesday. The Oceanside native will see a lot of snaps on Saturday night and he will need to have a good showing to slow down the Aztecs main receiving threat, Kobe Smith, the 6’2″ sophomore wide receiver for San Diego State.

Wyoming Wins if…

Wyoming wins if they can pass the ball just enough to keep the Aztecs defense honest. There will be opportunities for Wyoming to hit big passing plays and they need to take advantage when that happens. On defense, the key will be getting San Diego State to 3rd and long situations. Much like the Pokes, the Aztecs are struggling in the passing game and the Cowboys should have great success on 3rd down if they get to unleash their pass rush.

Bold Prediction:

The Cowboys finish +2 in turnover margin and the defense gets at least 4 sacks.

Game Prediction:

Wyoming 24, San Diego State 23
The Cowboys are going to grind and find a way to get this win. In a back and forth game, Cooper Rothe will make a kick late in the 4th to put Wyoming on top for good.

Cody Tucker, 7220Sports.com

Offensive Poke Pick:

I think you have to go with a running back here. The Aztecs are the new proud owner of the best run defense in the nation. If Wyoming’s offensive game plan looks like it has through the first five games, it will have to have success on the ground. San Diego State has a violent, suffocating defense. I think young Titus Swen is built for a game like this. He is low to the ground, tough and a violent runner in his own right. Of course, the offensive line has to be at its best, but a powerful Cowboy back could be the difference. Let’s go with Swen.

Defensive Poke:

Kobe Smith is the real deal at receiver for the Aztecs. He oddly wears No. 92, but when you do the things that he does on the field, you can wear whatever number you want. Smith has 25 catches for 368 yards and four touchdowns already this season. He’s by far and away SDSU’s biggest offensive threat. So, what does that mean? A Cowboy corner needs to step up. We aren’t 100 percent if Tyler Hall is playing yet. As of Wednesday, he was still in concussion protocol. If Hall isn’t playing, this MVP needs to be a combo of Jordan Murry, Azizi Hearn and Braden Smith. If Wyoming can at least contain Smith, that severely limits what the Aztecs can do on offense. Wyoming’s secondary played well in its last outing — without Hall — against UNLV. Let’s see if they can do that again.

Wyoming Wins if…

They can rush the ball. No one has been able to do it against the Aztecs yet. Craig Bohl will definitely try to establish the run game. I think that’s a foregone conclusion at this point. Maybe not 17 straight rushes to start the game, but the Pokes will do any and everything they can do to get this Aztec front four to bend and eventually break. I don’t think they need to rush for 200 yards, but they do need to get timely first downs and control the clock. I can’t help but feel this one will come down to the right leg of Cooper Rothe. Hopefully the senior has the confidence to make the big kick.

Bold Prediction:

The Cowboys will get the run game going. This offensive line is the real deal, especially left guard Eric Abojei. Offensive line coach Bart Miller used to play for Rocky Long in college at New Mexico. I think Miller and Co. find a way to push around a really good SDSU defensive line and get some mitts on a stellar linebacking crew, which includes one of the best defenders in the country in Kyahva Tezino. I also think Chambers hits a touchdown pass — maybe two — that mirror what he did against the Rebels. SDSU has very aggressive safeties. If Wyoming finds any success on the ground, they very well could sell out to stop the run. That equals a wide open receiver.

Game Prediction:

I am really starting to believe in this Wyoming team. There is zero doubt about its collective heart, determination and will to play for each other. On paper, these teams are very comparable across the board. The one thing the Pokes have that the Aztecs don’t is a legit offensive line and two stars at the running back position. Typically SDSU — especially under Long — has a stable of dynamic backs and a physical O-line. This season, the Aztecs are going with three backs, who combine to average 3.0 yards per carry. The line has already given up 11 sacks. Ryan Agnew, SDSU’s quarterback, is zero threat to run. I think Wyoming finds a way to get it done here. I have a feeling it will be close. As I alluded to earlier, this could come down to a Rothe kick.
Wyoming 31
San Diego State 28

 

Brad Reed, WyoNation.com

Offensive Poke Pick:

My offensive player of the week this week is going to be Titus Swen. Swen is becoming a load for defenses to handle and he will be counted on this week against a tough San Diego State this week. The Cowboys’ inability to throw the football is forcing teams to load the box and try to stop the Pokes rushing attack. Granted, the rushing attack has been very effective, but the offense hasn’t shown much ability to beat anyone with the pass aside from catching a defense sleeping. Not sure that will change this week, so it’ll be easier to just run for all of the yards.

Defensive Poke:

My defensive player of the week this week is going to be Solomon Byrd. He’s a threat in the backfield on every play. I thought the Cowboys might drop off this season with the losses of Ghaifan and Granderson, but Byrd is going a terrific job of making sure that the drop off didn’t happen. Getting in the Aztecs backfield will be important this week.

Wyoming Wins if…

Going to be much of the same recipe as the last few weeks. The Cowboys will need to run the football. However, the one big hurdle in that is San Diego State is the top rushing defense in the country allowing 45 yards per game. Wyoming ranks 14th nationally in rushing offense at 245 yards per game. Something here will have to give. The Aztecs are not particularly good on offense in any area, but they can beat you to death with that defense. The Aztecs are a little worse on passing defense, coming in at 77th, so Sean Chambers will need to find a way to get the ball to his receivers. Maybe the bye week came with a magic wand to fix that glitch.

Bold Prediction:

Wyoming will throw for three touchdowns, one of them coming in the final five minutes and the Cowboys will beat San Diego State.

Game Prediction:

Wyoming 27, SDSU 24

 

Chad Smith, WyoNation.com

Offensive Poke Pick:

RB Titus Swen
This freshman is the real deal and on the road, in what should be a physical game, he has what it takes to have another impressive game.

Defensive Poke:

LB Logan Wilson
Wilson will have to step up and lead the team in tackles if Wyoming is to get a west coast win.

Wyoming Wins if…

They play their most complete game of the year. Offense, defense and special teams will all have to show out in SoCal if the Pokes are to win.

Bold Prediction:

We will see Tyler Vander Waal for the second time this season as Sean Chambers continues to struggle passing the all.

Game Prediction:

SDSU is the team Wyoming wants to be and they have access to much better athletes. Their defense ranked 8th in scoring defense and number one in the nation in rushing defense will be a significant challenge for Wyoming.
SDSU 27
Wyoming 10

 

Connor Cunningham, WyoNation.com

Offensive Poke Pick: Sean Chambers

Chambers has to be able to throw and run for the Cowboys to win the game. Offense goes as he goes.

Defensive Poke: Linebackers

They need to step up and be able to defend the SDSU running backs and tight ends in the pass game as well as stuff the run.

Wyoming Wins if…

They win the turnover battle and score early in the game to get some momentum

Bold Prediction:

Chambers passes for a career high and 2 scores

Game Prediction:

Wyoming 30, SDSU 21

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