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Cowboy Up: Boise State vs Wyoming Game Preview

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Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

Game facts

  • Time: Saturday, 8:15 p.m. MT
  • Location: Albertsons Stadium, Boise, ID
  • Weather: 56 degrees, Partly Cloudy
  • Odds: Boise State by 35
  • TV: ESPN2
  • Radio: KBOI 670 AM
  • Commentators: Mark "My Words" Neely, Tom "the piper's son" Ramsey

Other facts

1. Bohl Season

Wyoming Coach Craig Bohl made one of the more perplexing coaching moves in recent memory where he left a pretty sweet gig at North Dakota State—and three straight national championships—to coach in the high-altitude, low-excitement wasteland of Laramie, Wyoming. Thus far...go figure...it's been a challenge. Bohl won just 4 games a season ago and just barely got off the schnide this year. I think Bohl is a great coach, and he's not a terrible recruiter, but you gotta think that if he'd held out a bit longer, Wyoming might not have been his only option (staying in Fargo was also an option).

2. Not as bad as you'd think

I'm a bit perplexed as to just how Wyoming has looked so anemic this season. They have the league's leading rusher, the league's leading passer, and the league's second leading receiver...oh, and a coach that ostensibly knows how to win...yet they've won just one squeaker on the year—last week's victory over UNR. We all know that Nevada is no pushover, so maybe things are finally starting to click for Laramie's finest. Conversely, maybe Brian Polian just deserves to lose every game and the universe just sort of forgot.

3. Down Hill running

Wyoming's sophomore running back is on a record-setting pace (for Wyoming) and is currently 4th in the country in rushing yards with 985 and well ahead of most of the MWC RB pack. More impressive, Hill is averaging 6.3 yards/carry for the season. The only puzzling thing is that Hill hasn't been able to convert his yards into touchdowns—he has just 3 on the year, far less than any other rusher in the top ten—but can keep the chains moving and the Broncos would do well to find their run-stopping legs (and arms) again when the Cowboys come to town.

4.

Streaks

Boise State - Lost 1 :(

Wyoming - Won 1

Stoked

Fieri

Best name on their roster

Freshman WR Dameko Doddles (with freshman DT Youhanna Ghaifan nipping at his heels)

Best player picture on their roster

RS Freshman OG Richard Bettencourt both because he's from Meridian, Idaho and because he uses the heck out of some Pantene Pro-V.

Players to watch

Cameron Coffman

The senior QB leads the Mountain West in passing yards (1504) and is coming off a MWC Offensive Player of the Week performance against Nevada where he misfired just twice (a 228.96 passer rating). Luckily, Coffman is not a rushing threat, and his top receiver might be out, so you can stop breathing into that paper bag..unless, you're enjoying it. Fun fact: after just 4.5 games, Brett Rypien is currently 3rd in the conference in passing yards.

Brian Hill

Hill has been an absolute machine for the Cowboys this season, but the signs were there last season that he could be a special back in Laramie. In 2014, Hill rushed for nearly 800 yards and 7 TDs—including a silly outing against Fresno where he accounted for 387 yards of total offense. This season, he's found consistency...which is a scary thing for MWC defenses. Boise State held him to a season-low last season after he took over as Wyoming's feature back and we'd better pray for that type of performance again because he's got 200-yard games in his tank and he's a load to bring down (6'1" 211 lbs).

Tanner Gentry

This junior wide receiver is 4 just yards shy of Thomas Sperbeck's MWC-leading receiving yardage total and isn't too far off Spebeck's YPC average of 20.7 either (Gentery is at a very respectable 18.3. Gentry injured his shoulder last week and is listed as questionable for Saturday's contest. Honestly, that might be a good thing seeing as Donte Deayon is out of commission. Gentry is the real deal.

Eddie Yarbrough

The Cowboys have some solid offensive talent, but Yarbrough can make pretty good case for best player on the team. The senior defensive end is a two-time All-MWC first-teamer and probably on his way to a third straight with 30 tackles and 3 sacks through Wyoming's first 7 games. Yarbrough is on both the Lombardi and the Hendricks Award watch list and is a bright spot on the Cowboy defense that is ranked 118th in rushing defense.

Andrew Wingard

This frosh safety is currently second in the conference in tackles with 48, which is great for him but may spell bad things for the rest of the Cowboy D (generally, you don't want a player in the defensive secondary to lead the team in tackles). Any way you slice it though, Wingard has been very good this season, and if he starts forcing some turnovers (thus far he has none), he could make an all-conference team.

Kellen Overstreet

True frosh RB Overstreet isn't Wyoming's leading rusher and he's only played (sparingly) in 3 contests, but I'm including him on this list because he scored SEVENTY touchdowns last season as a high school senior in Missouri—65 of them rushing. The source of his touchdown-scoring prowess? His first name, obviously.

Keys to victory

  • Do NOT turn the ball over. Always a key, but for some reason this week I feel like underscoring that point.
  • Block better. With Jeremy McNichols back in the lineup, and against a poor run defense this would be the game for the O-line to get back on track and quit looking like a rusty sieve.
  • Stop the run. Boise State has dropped from 1st in rush defense nationally to fifth. They still aren't giving up much on the ground, but they need to start trending back in the right direction with a power run team like Wyoming coming to town and some triple-option teams coming right up (okay, get that paper bag back out).
  • Score more points. This worked well last week...for Utah State.

Score prediction

Boise State 38, Wyoming 17