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Panel Of Pokes: ABQ

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Pokes look to get back on track as they host the New Mexico Lobos on Homecoming weekend.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

We're baaaaaaccccccccck!  After a week off for the bye week the Panel of Pokes crew is back in action.  This week the Pokes return home to face the #1 rushing offense in the nation in the New Mexico Lobos.Will Bob Davie and company cause some trouble in Laramie?  We'll find out shortly, first let's look at the latest standings in the Pick Em contest.

Rank Pick Set Name Total Pts W-L
1 BlackBoisDen Broncos 38 38-9
2 Parson 38 38-9
3 DDR 37 37-10
4 Wampus 37 37-10
5 Heart Mountain Thunder 37 37-10

Here are the thoughts from our fine group of esteemed panelists.  I threw in a bonus question this week since the Lobos are from Albuquerque and that is where Breaking Bad was based.  Turns out that not everyone is as big into the show as I am.

Ian McMackin - GoWyoGo

Poke Pick: QB Brett Smith: My hunch is with the competitive nature of Brett Smith, the junior quarterback comes out focused for New Mexico on Saturday. The Lobo defense is below par and the Cowboys should be able move the ball Saturday, especially through the passing game. I wouldn't be surprised to see similiar numbers as Smith posted against Air Force


Thoughts on game: In many cases, a team coming off both a bye week and a disappointing loss, usually plays with a good level of intensity in their next game and I see the same result for the Cowboys against New Mexico on Saturday. The extra week gives a program a chance to heal up from injuries, mentally focus or soul search, and extra time for preparation that can translate into an intangible benefit and advantage. 

I'd expect the Wyoming offense to move the ball with success against a weaker New Mexico defense on Saturday, while the concern is can the Cowboy defense slow down the nation's number one rushing offense in New Mexico, considering the Pokes have struggled against the run at times.

Both Wyoming and New Mexico should move the ball on offense and my prediction is points will be scored on Saturday, where the Cowboy defense will make more plays and stops to help the Brett Smith led offense distance itself for about a two to three touchdown victory.

Did you watch Breaking Bad? Haven't watched unless it was the title of the Cowboys last performance in San Marcos?


Brad Reed - WyoNation

Poke Pick: Eddie Yarbrough. This guy is going to be busy this weekend stopping the Lobo rushing attack. The defense seems to be playing with a bit of a chip on their shoulder, since I apparently mildly offended Uso Olive earlier with a Tweet about the D not being real great. I hope they do come out and prove us all wrong. Pretty sure Yarbrough is going to be the key to slowing down Kasey Carrier and Cole Gautsche.

Pokes 48. Lobos 38. This is going to be an old fashioned WAC matchup.. except the Lobos will be on the ground and not in the air.

Thoughts on game:
This looks like a really bad matchup for the Cowboys on paper. The Pokes' run defense is umm.. bad. New Mexico? Well, they run the ball pretty well, in fact, they lead the country in rushing. Kasey Carrier and Cole Gautsche are going to get their yards this weekend, undoubtedly. The big question is going to be whether the New Mexico defense is as bad as advertised. New Mexico's defense isn't good, they've given up a lot of points this year already. The Pokes offense, once they get rolling, seem to put up a lot of points and yards in a hurry. I think this will be a shootout, but I just don't know if it will go in the Pokes' favor if they can't get a stop or two. The other thing too is the Lobos are capable of controlling the clock and keeping the UW offense off the field which will quickly get them out of rhythm. As we saw against Texas State a slow starting Cowboy offense, plus long periods of not being on the field are really disrupting to their momentum. All that aside I think the Pokes win on homecoming. They need to score on just about every drive though.

Did you watch Breaking Bad?
I have not started Breaking Bad. Now that the series is over I think I can crash in front of Netflix and grind this one out. Though, I'm already pretty wrapped up in The League, Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire, and The Walking Dead, hopefully I can squeeze another show in!


Poke Pick: Robert Herron

Score: Pokes 31 Lobos 17

The Lobos have been the doormat of the MW for a few years now but they always seem to play the Cowboys tough. The big issues for New Mexico this week is Wyoming will be out to prove something after being embarrassed by Texas State two weeks ago. The Lobos will keep it close for a half but this game has the potential to be a blowout if The Pokes can stop the Lobos run game, the problem is they want stop the run. The difference will be playing in Laramie for Wyoming and they will not lose to New Mexico on Homecoming weekend. Look for Brett Smith to have a stellar day and his stellar day will trickle down to the receivers.


Poke Pick: Brett Smith- I don't like to pick the Cowboys' best player, but coming off his worst game of the year I expect him to have a big day.

41-24 Pokes

Thoughts on game:
New Mexico's running game is scary good and last time out our run D looked scary bad. I think New Mexico will maybe give a scare, but the cowboys will come out and score early and often.

Did you watch Breaking Bad? I am currently on season 3, so I didn't watch the finale.


Matt Hargleroad - Cowboy Altitude

Poke Pick: Lucas Wacha - The defense will be really busy this Saturday when trying to stop the rushing attack of the Lobos.  Wacha has been one of the surest tacklers on the team and with his speed he should be involved in plenty of plays.  I wouldn't be surprised to see him record a season high in tackles.  His highest this year is 11 against Idaho.

Score: Wyoming 34 New Mexico 31

Thoughts on the game: This is a huge swing game for the Cowboys.  Win and the postseason chances get a nice boost and things are back on track.  Lose and it puts the Pokes in a tough spot with their schedule getting tougher as it progresses.  The Lobo secondary can be exploited and their schedule hasn't been very tough yet this year.  I expect a hard fought game that comes down to the last few possessions

I loved Breaking Bad!  I think it was certainly the best show on television.  Sad to see it go but I think they wrapped things up nicely.  Can't wait to see "Better Call Saul" when it is ready.