The Matchup: Wyoming (4-2, 1-1)  vs New Mexico (2-4, 0-2)

When: Saturday, October 19 @ 1:00 PM MST

Where: Laramie, WY – War Memorial Stadium

TV: AT&T Sportsnet

Radio: Cowboy Sports Network

Spread: Wyoming -19.5 O/U: 48.5 via OddsShark.com

The Standings:

 

Straight UpAgainst the SpreadO/U

Robert Gagliardi/Jesse Tachiquin

3-35-14-1

Cody Tucker

3-35-14-1

Brad Reed

4-24-2

4-1

Chad Smith5-12-4

3-2

Connor Cunningham3-35-1

4-1

Wyoming Cowboys4-25-1

Over: 2 Under: 3

 

Jesse Tachiquin, MWWire.com

Thoughts on last weeks loss @ San Diego State?

Another tough loss. It was another perfect night in San Diego until it wasn’t. The Cowboys passing game finally came back to bite them again. SDSU WR Jesse Matthews seemed to make a huge catch every time the Aztecs needed a play. They proved that they are going to be a tough team to beat but they are vulnerable with their inability to make take the pressure off their running game. The Pokes are in a great place going forward but it’s frustrating to see how close they are but not quite there yet.

Who was your offensive and defensive MVP last week?

It was a rough night offensively but Eric Abojei would be my pick for the offensive MVP last week. There was a HUGE difference in the offense once he went down with his leg injury. Hopefully he gets well soon and comes back healthy enough to continue dominating the line of scrimmage. On defense, Cassh Maluia had a good night with 9 tackles. San Diego State’s ground game never really got rolling and he was a big part of that.

Who is your poke pick this week?

Sean Chambers- He had 4 touchdowns after the Cowboys tough loss at Tulsa and I think he’s going to rack up a lot of yards against New Mexico.

Wyoming Wins if…

Wyoming wins if they can run the ball. It’s really simple but if the Cowboys can run the ball, they win. If they struggle to run, they have a tough night.

Game prediction and one bold prediction:

Other than the UNLV game, nothing has come easy for the Pokes this season. They’ve been in situations where they have to grind games out and they’ve been up to the challenge. This week is going to be a bounceback game against a terrible New Mexico team. Cowboys win 45-16 and rush for 400…yes 400 yards.

 

Cody Tucker, 7220Sports.com

Thoughts on last weeks loss @ San Diego State?

Penalties killed the Cowboys. So did the loss of left guard Eric Abojei. The entire game plan changed when big No. 69 left the game in the second quarter — on an extra-point attempt of all things. Wyoming rushed for just 28 yards on 14 carries over the final two quarters. On defense, late hits extended drives and the Aztecs chewed up 10 minutes of clock in a forgettable third quarter. Those penalties inadvertently led to 13 San Diego State points. This one, as well as the Tulsa game, are the ones that got away. Wyoming is seven points from possibly being 6-0 heading into homecoming. 

Who was your offensive and defensive MVP last week?

This game was the tale of two halves. In the first, I thought the offensive line was the MVP. All five of those big guys played great, opening holes against the No. 1 rush defense in the nation with ease. Xazavian Valladay and Titus Swen were cutting and gashing the Aztecs to the tune of 157 yards in the first 30 minutes. SDSU hadn’t given up more than 82 yards on the ground all season. And that’s through four quarters. Too bad there was two more quarters to go. Defensively, I thought Tyler Hall did a nice job in his return, shutting down Kobe Smith, who was torching secondaries throughout the first five weeks of the season. Hall and Co. held him to just 39 yards on five catches. 

Who is your poke pick this week?

Azizi Hearn, Jordan Murry and Hall should have a field day with the Lobos. New Mexico quarterbacks have combined to throw 11 interceptions through six games. Expect these guys to clamp down on some receivers and get their opportunities. When Wyoming wins, it gets turnovers. This is the opportunity to do that. I would like to say a Cowboy wide receiver — or two — will go wild on the Lobos. New Mexico is giving up nearly 400 yards per game through the air, by far the worst in the nation. I’ve learned my lesson though. I’ll be shocked if Wyoming eclipses 100 yards passing at this point. 

Wyoming Wins if…

They shutdown the Lobos rushing attack and come out of the turnover battle at least plus-2. New Mexico can rush the ball. Ahmari Davis and Bryson Carroll have combined for nearly 900 yards on the ground and have scored six touchdowns. A lot like Wyoming, if you shut these guys down and make them rely on the pass, they are in trouble. New Mexico’s defensive front four is solid, giving up just 128 yards on the ground per game. No surprise here — Wyoming will run, run, run and run again, despite missing Titus Swen, Alonzo Velasquez and Abojei.

Game prediction and one bold prediction:

Wyoming should win this one with ease. I never feel comfortable saying that, but Garrett Crall, Davon Well-Ross and Keegan Cryder all assured me this week that the Lobos are going to see a “pissed off,” motivated Cowboys team. This term is overused, but this is a must-win. There are no two ways about it. Reluctantly, I think Sean Chambers will throw for 200 yards. New Mexico gives up at least that many yards through the air by just showing up to the stadium, right? I think Wyoming gets the passing game going a tad, just because of their opponent. New Mexico turns the ball over like crazy. They are minus-10 in that category. I think Wyoming takes it away at least twice and we might even see a defensive touchdown. For giggles, let’s give a pick six to Rome Weber. Wyoming 42, New Mexico 10

Brad Reed, WyoNation.com

Thoughts on last weeks loss @ San Diego State?

Tough game for the Cowboys. I really didn’t think the Cowboys would be in this game, felt like a game where the wheels could come off. Was pleasantly surprised as I was checking score updates to see the Cowboys leading and/or still in striking distance. Thought to myself, “holy cow they’re actually going to pull this off!” Given the way this year has shaken out I guess that’s kind of the mantra of the Cowboys, “Holy cow they’re going to pull this off.” All being said, the Pokes ran for a good clip against the nation’s top run defense. That speaks volumes of how talented the Wyoming ball carriers are. Defense is doing enough to keep a slow rolling offense in the game, which is important for the style of offense Wyoming is going to have to settle with for what appears to be the duration of the season.

Who was your offensive and defensive MVP last week?

My offensive MVP is Rocket Jr. Rocket caught an important pass late in the game to give the Pokes a late lead. Rocket’s been an important cog in the Cowboys machine and has accepted a role that he maybe didn’t expect when he came to Laramie, but seems to be excelling in.
My defensive MVP is Alijah Halliburton. Not a particularly flashy day, but a couple tackles in the backfield. Consistently a great player for the Cowboy defense this season.

Who is your poke pick this week?

My Poke Pick this week is Xazavian Valladay. Bigger load on his shoulders this week since Titus Swen is shut down for the foreseeable future. He’ll be an important piece of the Wyoming offense to carry a larger load than he’s been used to. He’ll have Brett Brenton backing him up, but Valladay is the seasoned veteran here and needs to keep the ball moving. 

Wyoming Wins if…

Wyoming will win this game if they can keep doing what they’ve been doing. That’s run the football effectively and play good defense. New Mexico is quite literally a dumpster fire right now. They are at the bottom of the Mountain West standings and probably will not pull themselves out of it anytime soon. My only worry about this game is the Cowboys are an injured group. They’ll be without Swen and Eric Abojei. Logan Harris is still not healthy enough to play yet. Alonzo Valezquez is still banged up and likely won’t be playing. I guess if you need a week to get healed up this is as good of a week as any, but I hope the injuries won’t affect the outcome of this particular game.

Game prediction and one bold prediction:

Wyoming 34, New Mexico 10.
My bold prediction for this game is Logan Wilson will have a minimum of two sacks and ten tackles against the Lobos.

 

Chad Smith, WyoNation.com

Thoughts on last weeks loss @ San Diego State?

As the only member of this panel to pick the Aztecs to win, I can’t say I’m surprised Wyoming lost. What makes this loss disappointing is the fact the Pokes had a 14-3 lead and could not find enough offense to hold on to win the game.

Who was your offensive and defensive MVP last week?

Offense: Nobody on offense played well enough over 4 quarters to gain any recognition from me. 
Defense: I liked and continue to like the look of CB Jordan Murry. He’s small but he is a willing tackler and comes to play. 

Who is your poke pick this week?

Alijah Haliburton leads the team in solo, assisted and total tackles averaging 10.2 per game. He will have another stellar week in his first year as a starter. 

Wyoming Wins if…

They can run the ball at a high level with just a single legitimate D1 running back in Valladay. Injuries have devastated the Wyoming RB room 

Game prediction and one bold prediction:

This a tough game to handicap due to the number of injuries Wyoming has on offense. I think they should get the win but the final score will depend on how much joy Wyoming can find in the passing game. The more efficient they are in the passing game the higher the margin of victory. My bold prediction isn’t bold at all the passing game will struggle and the game will be closer than most people think. 
Wyoming 27
New Mexico 13

 

Connor Cunningham, WyoNation.com

Thoughts on last weeks loss @ San Diego State?

It was a disappointing loss in the fashion it came in, but I am encouraged in the fact that the Pokes are able to play with SDSU. They have been a top program in the conference in the last few years and the Pokes are still very young. I think the future is bright in Laramie.

Who was your offensive and defensive MVP last week?

Offensive was Sean Chambers. He had the pic at the end, but otherwise I thought he played a solid game. I no longer expect anything in the passing game, but he did make some good throws. He was really hurt by some devastating dropped balls.

On D, I will go with Alijah Halliburton. He is always in on the tackle.

Who is your poke pick this week? 

My pick this week is the running backs. No Swen means we are likely to see a new freshman back up Valladay. Hopefully they can carry the load with 2 guys on the mend.

Wyoming Wins if…

They don’t beat themselves. Penalties and turnovers will kill any team, but they seem to really hurt this team.

Game prediction and one bold prediction:

Cowboys roll this week and Chambers tosses 2 touchdown passes. Wyoming 34 New Mexico 17

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