A Front Range rivalry is renewed this weekend. Will there be much more of battle between the Pokes and Bears? Let's see what our panel has to say about this matchup.
First here is a quick update on the Pick Em leaderboard.
Here are latest leaders in
|Rank||Pick Set Name||Total Pts||W-L|
|1||All WY Do Is Win!||15||15-3|
|5||MrTitleist Owns your Ass||13||13-5|
Poke Pick: Shaun Wick - I'm impressed with the sophomore running backs improvement and strength with 13 pounds added in the offseason, and he'll have a career day against UNC, since the Cowboys offensive line has played physical to-date and will open holes against the Bears smaller defensive front.
Score: Wyoming 52 Northern Colorado 13
Thoughts on the game: Northern Colorado is likely the weakest opponent the Cowboys have played in years and the Pokes should handle UNC easily on Saturday. This will be a game where head coach Dave Christensen plays backups starting late into the third quarter into the fourth quarter, and will ease on the pedal as the game progresses. The Wyoming offense started slow last week and I expect with quarterback Brett Smith's focus, they come out moving the ball effectively early in the game, where Pokes will score on multiple first half possessions and go into halftime with a considerable lead.
Thoughts on the game: Wyoming won't take UNC lightly after last years upset and Brett is too good of a leader to let the offense take it lightly and I believe Huff has become a great leader on D and will have the D ready to go. This one should be over at half time, 3rd quarter at the latest.
Score: 49-3 Pokes. I don't think they'll break the 50 mark as I believe the Pokes will run up to a pretty lopsided score then take their foot off the gas much like they did vs Idaho. I'm guessing once Tommy Thornton takes the controls of the offense we won't see a lot of production from them and it'll be grind down the clock and get everyone home safely.
Thoughts on the game: UNC has a very talented QB in Seth Lobato, but one man does an offense, or team, make. I've watched a lot of UNC football over the years living in the heart of the Big Sky Conference and this team just has had a very difficult time since they moved up from Division II where they were a powerhouse. Most of you remember Joe Glenn who coached at Wyoming, he led the Bears to a national championship or two while he was in Greeley, he was then poached to lead FCS Montana. The Bears are expected to be improved this year in the BSC, where they only hold a handful of conference wins since their move-up.. so far I just don't see it. Maybe they'll surprise me. Getting back to this game, this one will get out of hand early. The Pokes should roll to a comfortable lead and stay there. I would like to see some stuff on offense tightened up from last week. Last week the Cowboy offense started VERY slow with Brett Smith missing on three or four passes that should have been touchdowns, but led the receiver way too far. I'm sure the nerves of the first home game had a little to do with that. It took Wyoming about a quarter to settle down, find their groove, then mash the pedal to the floor to run up 42 straight. The defense constantly chased both Idaho QBs around the backfield and stuffed the Vandal rushing attack. For the second straight week a Cowboy defensive player was chosen as MW Player of the Week, this time Eddie Yarborough. We should see a similar amount of chasing this week. If there's one thing UNC is good at it's pitching the rock.. the Poke secondary needs to be ready for a lot of passes coming their way. Should be a blowout, should be a Cowboy victory. Go Pokes!
Matt Hargleroad - Cowboy Altitude
Poke Pick: Dominic Rufran
Rufran has been the favorite target of Brett Smith so far this year. Facing the weaker secondary of Northern Colorado will allow Rufran to turn some of his catches into big plays. He had three touchdowns last week and now has 16 catches on the year. With Jalen Claiborne out this week I'd Smith to stick his reliable targets in Rufran and Robert Herron.
Score: Wyoming 56 Northern Colorado 10
Thoughts on the game: The confidence of the Cowboys is very high right now. As long as they don't get cocky and take this game for granted then they should be able to roll in this one. Losing to Cal Poly last year was a wake up call for Wyoming and I expect them to be fully ready this year. The main thing is Wyoming to win and not have any players suffer major injuries. The game against Air Force is always a tough affair and the Cowboys will need to be at full strength to start off their conference schedule with a W.