Panel Of Pokes: Border War

Troy Babbitt-US PRESSWIRE

The battle for the Bronze Boot is renewed once again.


Our panel has done a great job this week in helping to preview the Border War.  The sheep haven't touched the Bronze Boot this decade and we don't see that changing anytime soon.  Here is a quick update on the Pick Em Standings.


Standings

Rank Pick Set Name Total Pts W-L
1 Wampus 41 41-10
2 BlackBoisDen Broncos 41 41-10
3 Parson 41 41-10
4 Connor 40 40-11
5 Macho Camacho Nacho 40 40-11

Enjoy all the videos and photos about the Border War!





Poke Pick: Brett Smith: I'll go with Brett Smith to make some key plays and generate big total offensive yardage in helping the Cowboy offense score points. I'll predict Smith ends up with around 450 offensive yards.

Score: Wyoming 42 Colorado State 28: I wouldn't be surprised to see this game end up a relatively tight game and the Cowboys make key plays behind Smith in the second half to pull away. UW coach Dave Christensen has done a good job getting his Wyoming team ready for the Border War game with a 4-0 career record against the Rams.

Thoughts on the game: Wyoming needs to careful because CSU has lost four in a row in the Border War series and in a rival type game between the two schools that is a big streak and can fuel a team to play at a higher level, and the Rams have the law of averages on their side.

The Cowboys have more offensive explosion than CSU and I see the Brett Smith advantage as what puts the Pokes over the top against CSU. I'm expecting a high energy game from both schools and exciting Border War matchup on Saturday with the Wyoming prevailing, playing in front of their largest conference home game in several years.

Favorite Border War memory: November 1996 in Fort Collins, QB Josh Walwork driving the Cowboys down the field in the snow for a game winning drive to beat the Rams late in the 4th quarter and helping get Joe Tiller's team get to the WAC Championship game. Wallwork used WR Marcus Harris (Nation's best WR in 1996), a number of times on the drive and Harris made a number of clutch catches in the cold.





Brad Reed - WyoNation


Poke Pick: Brett Smith. Smith's time to shine in this one. Guy is going to straight up dominate the Colorado State defense like he has done the last two years. He's coming off of a three touchdown performance against New Mexico and looking to place himself at the top of the Mountain West QB mountain.

Score:
Pokes 44. Sheep 20.

Thoughts on the game:
Five in a row. That's what we need this weekend. Time to send another senior class at UW off without a loss to the Sheep. The Boot looks REALLY nice in Laramie. The Cowboys are coming off of a pretty good performance against New Mexico. The offense was clickin' and the defense held the Lobos to under their season average rushing. Not too bad for a unit who is normally abused by the rush. Brett Smith put up another three touchdowns for the Cowboys, ho hum, right? Guy is dominating defenses this year and I expect that to continue this weekend. Shaquille Barrett, Colorado State's stud linebacker is questionable.. that's REALLY bad news for the Sheep if your defense is looking pretty questionable as it is. Chris Nwoke is starting to find his legs again and Garrett Grayson hasn't been half bad. I think the Sheep can score some points but I don't think they can keep up with the High Plains Express.

Favorite Border War memory:
You know, last year was pretty hard to top. I don't get down to Laramie too often from my cozy quarters up here in Missoula but it worked out that the Griz (whom I have season tickets) were playing on the road, and my parents called and wanted to go to the game.. so I made the 12 hour drive to Laramie and we all got to go to the game. The best part was that I had a field pass for the game so I got to watch division 1 college football from eye level, which is a much different game than what you witness from the stands. The Border War is always a fun game for me, at least the last two years, since the Pokes have been wearing the state flag helmet decal which I designed before the 2011 Border War. Since then the Pokes have worn it twice, and will again this year, in hopes of going 3-0 with that decal. That's personally exciting for me, and it was great seeing it up close in action last year, especially after Brett Smith punched in a 2nd half touchdown to seal the victory for the Pokes. 


Matt Blaylock - Poke Pride

Poke Pick: Brett Smith

Score: Cowboys 41 Rams 36

Thoughts: Every odd year this game is close and 2013 is the odd year so expect Colorado State to keep it close on the final score but not on the field of play. Look for Wyoming to jump out to a huge lead like usual but complaisant play calling will let the Rams back in it and make it look closer than the game actually will be. Smith will pick the Colorado Defense apart with his arm and legs. A 400 yard passing day may be a low estimate for Smith passing. A 100 yards rushing will be about dead on. This could be a game where being heavy on the pass is a good thing. The Boot will stay in Laramie for a fifth straight year, because head coach Dave Christensen will not let the boot go. This is the one game he plans for every year and this year is no different.

Memory: Lets keep it recent, 44-0... need I say more? >


Connor Cunningham - WyoNation

Poke Pick: Robert Herron- we are still waiting for his "moment" this year and after a couple drops last week, I think he is due.


Score:
Wyoming 45-28

Thoughts on the game:
CSU will get their points, but so will Wyoming. Much like last year, I think a good crowd and fast start propel the Pokes to their 5th straight year with the boot.

Favorite Border War memory:
2006, my first border war that I can remember. Led by the legend himself, Karsten Sween, the pokes beat CSU 24-0.

Matt Hargleroad - Cowboy Altitude

Poke Pick: Blair Burns

Burns has played in two Border Wars and has had an interception in each one of them.  He'll look to extend that streak this Saturday.  Last year he broke the hearts of sheep fans with a 99 yard return for a touchdown.  The Rams are throwing the ball a lot more this year and that will create more opportunities for Burns and the secondary to cause havoc.

Score: Wyoming 48 CSU 21

Thoughts on the game: Depth is starting to become a problem for the Rams.  Their defense will struggle to keep up with the explosive Cowboy offense this year.  It's great to have the Border War back., one of the best weeks of the year.  Really an understated rivalry that doesn't get enough publicity.  I hope that the stands are filled to see the Pokes gain their fifth straight Bronze Boot and fifth victory of the year.

Favorite Border War Moment: I attended my first Border just two years ago back in 2011.  It was held  in Ft. Collins on the first Saturday in December, which was the latest date the rivalry has ever been played.  Mother Nature took full advantage of this and pounded the Front Range with tons of snow and frosty temps.  I remember bundling up in many layers and crunching around the packed snow of Hughes Stadium.  You could basically sit wherever you wanted since the weather kept most fans away.  The game was very close and you felt like you accomplished something just by simply surviving all four quarters.

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