Cary Edmondson-US PRESSWIRE
Time to figure out what will happen with the Pokes and Bulldogs this weekend. Wyoming is once again a big underdog.
The odds makers are making the Bulldogs 1.5 point favorites in this game. This will be available across most of the western United States on regional networks and those with DirecTV are also in luck. The late start time means you can choose to be productive with your Saturday before the game starts. Though you will probably just sit on the couch all day like most of America.
We have a three way tie for the top spot in the Pick Em Contest. Buckeyeman11 used a perfect score of five move into the lead.
|Rank||Pick Set Name||Total Pts||W-L|
I wonder if Wyoming will bring any presents for the residents of Fresno. A reenactment of the 2009 New Mexico Bowl would be nice.
Ian - GoWyoGo.com
Cowboy Pick: WR Chris McNeill
Wyoming 38 Fresno State 34
Cowboys are a few plays or breaks away from 5-1 but have the reverse record and will have to live with it. The big key is when Brett Smith plays, the Pokes can beat anyone left on their schedule. The play of backup quarterback Jason Thompson was encouraging, as was the looks of improving freshmen running backs DJ May and Shaun Wick.
The Wyoming defense has done a better job the last two weeks stopping the run and limiting the NCAA's leading rushers at the time. The Pokes will need improved play from their pass defense to give them a chance at a dangerous Fresno State team.
I see Wyoming winning the turnover battle, moving the ball on offense and outscoring Fresno State in another type of high scoring game.
Pokes 37 Bulldogs 34
Poke Pick: Tim Gleeson
Gleeson again this week for my Poke Pick. I believe it worked out well overall last week and if head coach Dave Christensen coaches the second half like he did last week against Air Force then Gleeson will have many times to punt in the second half. Wyoming has to get on track sometimes and this week is as good as chance as any. The Pokes have not been blown out in any game this season it has been second half play calling. I have not blamed one of the losses this season on the players as they all have played with heart. Losses this season are on the shoulders of Christensen or defensive coordinator Chris Tormey, one week heart has to win out over bad coaching and this is the week for it to start.
Poke Pick: Well I guess it didn't me any good to pick Brett Smith last week because he didn't even play. So does it count if the backup plays in his place? This week I will continue my quarterback picking and pick Brett Smith. Hopefully the Cowboy coaching staff doesn't make me look like a fool this week and plays Brett Smith, but at the same time I hope that Brett Smith is recovered enough to play in a football game against what appears to be a very tough defense. The Cowboys have a stiff test this week against Fresno State who lost a close one to Boise State last week 20-10. The Bulldogs are the newcomers to the Mountain West this year and have a star quarterback in Derek Carr, brother of NFL quarterback David. Smith needs to have a big game this week for the Cowboys to be successful.. This Cowboy offense doesn't beat unless the quarterback is having a good game. As we saw last week the Cowboy offense is more than capable of being successful as long as the QB is having a good game. Jason Thompson had a good game last week and the Cowboys offense was really humming along for a while. If Brett Smith can stay upright, continue moving the ball, and with any luck, the rushing attack of Wick and May show up again this week I think the Pokes have a legitimate shot at beating Fresno State.
Score Prediction: This is a tough one. as I think this game could be really good or really bad. It depends which Cowboy team shows up. If we can get the Cowboy offense and defense that showed up in the first half against Air Force I think the Cowboys have a pretty good shot at winning this game. However, if the Cowboy offense and defense that showed up against Texas shows up we could be in some trouble. The heart of this offense beats with the quarterback and Brett Smith HAS to make plays with his feet and through the air. It would be terrific if the Cowboys could shock the Bulldogs on their home turf. The Bulldog defense obviously knows the weakness of this Cowboy offense is hitting the quarterback really hard. The offensive line has to protect Brett Smith, as well as Smith protecting himself when he takes off on a rush. Smith has to be smart with his runs because his health is important and anymore concussions this year will likely result in his season being ended. That's something this Cowboy team can afford if it wants -any- shot at the post season. That said, Wick and May need to continue the success they had last week and continue rushing the football with success. This was the best the Cowboys have rushed the ball this season. Getting Herron back this week should help the Poke offense out as well. On the other side of the ball I think the Cowboys need to put a stop to Derek Carr. Carr could very well pick the secondary a part unless they get some pressure on the quarterback and the secondary aids with some coverage that gives the DL time to get to the QB. Luke Ruff and Luke Anderson are/were a little banged up last week, if the secondary can get these two back that will help the Pokes put a stop to Carr. Two weeks ago the Pokes had trouble with Nevada's air attack and a couple of Air Force scores came from long air strikes.. if the Pokes want to stay in this game the secondary has to come up huge here. Marqueston Huff had a nice game last week, and the Pokes will need another big game from him to win this.
The Pokes are about one loss away from this season being a disaster.. this weekend could really make or break the Cowboys football season. Brett Smith's health is really in question now.. how many concussions has this guy had? One more big hit and his season will be over. The offensive line and Smith need to protect themselves here or this season could get even worse. The positive note from the Air Force game was the emergence of the rushing attack. It's been a long time since we've seen anything that resembled a rushing attack.. if the Pokes are going to keep in these football games we're going to need to see a whole lot more big games from Wick and May. They are a nice combination of rushing and remind me a little bit of the Thunder and Lightning combo of Seldon and Moore. The Cowboys have yet to play a complete came this season.. it seems like if the offense steps up the defense is failing miserable or if the defense shows up (like the 1st half of AFA or against Nevada) the offense seems to disappear.. or worse yet when they both disappear (2nd half vs. Air Force). This would be a great week for all three facets of the team to play a complete game. Fresno State is very beatable and with the right bounces the Pokes could win this game. Here's to another week of Cowboy football! Go Pokes!
Matt Hargleroad - Cowboy Altitude
Score: Fresno State 34 Wyoming 21
Poke Pick: Blair Burns
This game has always worried me. Fresno has a very strong and balanced offense that is led by Derek Carr and Robbie Rouse. Carr is the best quarterback the Pokes will face this year. On the year he has thrown for 2082 yards and 19 touchdowns to just four interceptions. The Bulldogs can pick and choose how they attack the Wyoming defense. Their defense is also second best in the conference in points and yards allowed. Wyoming is outmatched right now on both sides of the ball. The Cowboys have been able to keep all of their games close. With many questions on the depth chart I see this one getting away from the Pokes.
Blair Burns has had so many close calls this year. This is week he finally picks one off. I can't believe that Wyoming only has two interceptions and we are half way through the year.