The Matchup: Wyoming (5-2, 2-1)  vs Nevada (4-3, 1-2)

When: Saturday, October 26 @ 12:00 PM MST

Where: Laramie, WY – War Memorial Stadium

TV: AT&T Sportsnet

Radio: Cowboy Sports Network

Spread: Wyoming -14 O/U: 42.5 via OddsShark.com

The Standings:

 

Straight UpAgainst the SpreadO/U

Robert Gagliardi/Jesse Tachiquin

4-35-24-2

Cody Tucker

4-35-24-2

Brad Reed

5-24-3

5-1

Chad Smith6-13-4

4-2

Connor Cunningham4-36-1

4-2

Wyoming Cowboys5-25-2

Over: 2 Under: 4

 

Jesse Tachiquin, MWWire.com

Thoughts on last weeks win over New Mexico?

It felt like the game was never in jeopardy but the Lobos seemed to have the ball on Wyoming’s side of the field for a long time. It was nice to see the passing game improve it’s efficiency and hopefully that is something that sticks around through the rest of the season.

Who was your offensive and defensive MVP last week?

Offense: Xazavian Valladay
Valladay carried the ball 33 times for 127 yards and a TD. He’s been splitting carries all season so it was great to see him take advantage of the full load without fumbling or getting nicked up.
Defense: Rome Weber
Weber didn’t have a huge day on the stat sheet but his forced fumble on the Lobos second drive that was recovered by Esaias Gandy at the UNM 36 seemed to be the kick start that the Cowboys needed.

Who is your poke pick this week?

Xazavian Valladay

The Cowboys are going to need one more huge week from him if they want to secure their 6th win and bowl eligibility. If he can provide another week with 30-35 carries and around 150 yards rushing, Wyoming should have that critical win and enter the bye with one final chance to recover before the big 4 to end the season.

Wyoming Wins if…

They run the ball effectively and don’t turn the ball over. The Wolf Pack enter at 4-3 but it feels like there is some blood in the water for the Pokes. In Nevada’s games against FBS teams with winning records, they are 0-3 and have gotten outscored 167-19. Should Wyoming continue to follow the same script they have all season, this one shouldn’t be very close.

Game prediction and one bold prediction:

Chambers finishes with 150 passing yards and 150 rushing yards and the Cowboys have this one in the books by the end of the 3rd quarter. Wyoming gets some experience for the bench and a little extra rest to get ready for the November 9th battle against Boise State. Wyoming 30 Nevada 13

 

Cody Tucker, 7220Sports.com

Thoughts on last weeks win over New Mexico?

At times, it seemed pretty lackluster. Once again, Wyoming let an inferior team hang around too long. Thankfully for the Pokes, Ryan Galovich has some hops or this thing could have gone a different direction. Instead, the punter saved the bad snap and somehow got the kick off before getting hammered into the turf. I thought Sean Chambers played outstanding. He was not 100 percent, yet he rushed for 141 yards. His legs were bothering him all afternoon. That didn’t stop him from having his best passing day of the season, completing 9-of-15 for 86 yards. That’s not the impressive part. The 60 percent completion rate was. I thought the defense did a great job of bending and not breaking. New Mexico had the ball in UW territory six straight times. They came away with one field goal. Xazavian Valladay showed he could be the workhorse, carrying the ball 33 times, and a makeshift offensive line held up pretty well considering they were without two very important starters. Not the funnest game to watch, but the Cowboys got it done.

Who was your offensive and defensive MVP last week:

This one is a little out of left-field, but I’m going with the embattled John Okwoli. The senior wide receiver has had a tough season. He’s dropped a lot of balls and hasn’t been targeted much. Saturday, he hauled in three passes for 33 yards. He became a threat on the inside. It’s a small victory, but one that could pay big dividends with the meat of the schedule on the horizon.

Defensively, I am going with Cole Godbout. He finished with five tackles, a tackle for loss and a sack. What made his outing even more impressive is the amount of minutes he played with fellow defensive tackle, Mario Mora, on the shelf with an injury. Godbout is only a freshman, but he is playing like an upperclassman when his team needs it the most.

Who is your poke pick this week?

I’m giving this one to Tyler Hall. The senior corner had a rough outing against the Lobos. One pass after another went his way Saturday, and time after time a New Mexico wide out came down with the catch. Hall was called for a crucial pass interference that kept a Lobo drive alive, too. That was not typical for him. I think Hall has a field day with Nevada quarterbacks Saturday. Yes, the Wolf Pack have plenty of depth at the receiver position and Elijah Cooks will probably get his, but freshman Carson Strong has thrown five interceptions in just four games. He’s a gunslinger. He takes chances. Hall thrives off that. Not to mention Strong will likely be hurrying plenty of his throws. Nevada’s offensive line has given up 17 sacks this season.

Wyoming Wins if…

They win the turnover battle and continue to have success on the ground. I’m not fighting it anymore — Wyoming is a rushing team. That’s who they are. Craig Bohl mentions it every single Monday at his presser. Valladay will be the guy again Saturday. If he can do what he does, the Cowboys win this one going away. I think the defense lands a few takeaways and Chambers hits at least 60 percent of his throws again. That’s the winning recipe for this squad.

Game prediction and one bold prediction:

I say Hall picks off two Strong passes and even takes on to the house. This secondary has been beat up and picked on all season. This is their chance to grab some tipped balls and errant passes from a scrambling-for-his-life quarterback. I think the Pokes pick up at least four sacks and the same amount of turnovers. Wyoming wins this one in a rout to become bowl eligible for the fourth straight season. Wyoming 34, Nevada 13


Brad Reed, WyoNation.com

Thoughts on last weeks win over New Mexico?

Hard fought win for the Cowboys. Another win that wasn’t pretty, but got the job done. Even without Titus Swen, and a banged up offensive line, the Cowboys were still effective running the football. Sean Chambers was more efficient throwing the football this week, still not a great passing performance. The defense did another good job against a potent New Mexico rushing attack. All in all, it was homecoming and the Cowboys won.

Who was your offensive and defensive MVP last week?

Offensive MVP: Xazavian Valladay. Got the load piled on him this week and got 33 carries for 129 yards and a score. Just what the Cowboys needed without Swen in the lineup.

Defensive MVP: Solid defensive performance all around by everyone. Giving last week’s MVP to Cole Godbout. Five tackles, and a sack, solid day.

Who is your poke pick this week?

Poke pick this week is the offensive line. The road graters will be leaned on heavily again this week against Nevada. It’s safe to say that a 200 yard passing day is long gone out the window so the best we can hope for is a 300 yard rushing day. To get there the Cowboys need to be effective. I think even without the three headed attack of Valladay, Chambers, and Swen that’s still attainable. Chambers had a great day rushing last week, and we’ve talked about Valladay already. I kind of wonder if Brett Brenton will get more carries this week to take some of the load off of Valladay. At any rate, we need some DOLA this week.

Wyoming Wins if…

Wyoming wins if they keep the same recipe as the last few weeks. Solid defense, rush the ball. Seems to be a pretty good recipe. Nevada announced earlier this week that starting quarterback Malik Henry is off the team, but not suspended to focus on academics and off-field issues. Not really sure what that means but the Wolf Pack will be starting a different QB this week. Hopefully enough of a disruption to benefit the Cowboys.

Game prediction and one bold prediction:

Wyoming 24
Nevada 15
Wyoming will rush for 300 yards this week on the Wolf Pack. Nevada gives up about 134 yards per game, I think the Pokes can double that. Wyoming 24 Nevada 15

Chad Smith, WyoNation.com

Thoughts on last weeks win over New Mexico?

Wins are wins and should not be complained out for a program like Wyoming. The game went just about as I thought it would. Wyoming won the game easily but did not cover the spread because the passing game while improved didn’t offer enough balance for the Pokes to go full throttle against the Lobos.

Who was your offensive and defensive MVP last week?

On offense, I will give the nod to Chambers who looked more comfortable passing the ball with more short and quick passes in the game plan.
Defensively, it’s broken record mode with Alijah Halliburton once again showing us that there is life after Andrew Wingard and Marcus Epps.

Who is your poke pick this week?

The offensive and defensive lines. The skill players get all the attention but these two units are the main reasons Wyoming is 5-2.

Wyoming Wins if…

Broken record alert number two! The Pokes will win if they run the ball and don’t turn it over. This is the Bohl way and it has been working.

Game prediction and one bold prediction:

Wyoming will win but much like last week Nevada will stick around and make this a game. Turnovers will be the key though and Wyoming is one of four MW teams that average a turnover or better a game defensively. Look for Wyoming to force two turnovers in a win. Wyoming 27 Nevada 19

 

Connor Cunningham, WyoNation.com

Thoughts on last weeks win over New Mexico?

I Wasn’t surprised how it played out. Wyoming controlled the game the whole way and it never felt like UNM threatened to upset the Cowboys. Chambers started the game well throwing the ball and looked confident. After the Cowboys got up by a couple scores it felt like they coasted and just wanted to get it over with

Who was your offensive and defensive MVP last week?

Offensively, I am going to go with Chambers. He made a lot of good plays on 3rd down with his legs and arms. He is awfully dynamic and continues to get better

On defense, Esaias Gandy deserves some love. He had a big time forced fumble and led the way on a big 4th down stop to start the third quarter.

Who is your poke pick this week?

Logan Wilson is my pick. He has been so solid all year but it feels like he is due for one of his signature moments, whether it’s a big interception, forced fumble or sack. He is going to need to make plays and he will end up making one of the biggest plays of the game.

Wyoming Wins if…

They don’t beat themselves and can score points early on, which would force Nevada to get one dimensional and press. Which should lead to some turnovers.

Game prediction and one bold prediction:

My bold prediction is a defensive touchdown, more specifically Logan Wilson will have a hand in that touchdown. Whether he scores it or causes the fumble that leads to it. Wyoming 34 Nevada 21

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