Wyoming vs New Mexico State: Three Keys to a Cowboys Victory
Cowboys Ready For A Big Test In Las Cruces
The Battle of Pistol Pete’s
WEEK 0: Wyoming Cowboys (0-0) vs New Mexico State Aggies (0-0)
WHEN: Saturday, August 25 — 8:00 PM MT
WHERE: Aggie Memorial Stadium (28,853); Las Cruces, NM
RADIO: Cowboy Sports Network- 1030 AM Casper, 1240 AM Cheyenne, 1290 AM Laramie and 1600 AM Denver
SERIES RECORD: 1-0 Wyoming. The Cowboys beat the Aggies in Laramie by a score of 47-0 in 1953.
Wyoming opens the 2018 season in Las Cruces for an 8 pm MT kick off against the New Mexico State Aggies. This is the first time New Mexico State has hosted a football game that was broadcast on an ESPN channel since 2009. The Cowboys have struggled in non-conference road games, they have yet to win one under Craig Bohl and their last win was a 40-37 shootout against Idaho in 2012.
The last season that began with a Cowboys road win came in 1967 when Wyoming beat then conference rival Arizona 36-17 in Tucson. The Pokes went to the Sugar Bowl that season and finished the year ranked 6th in the final AP poll.
Offensive Line Needs to Dominate
The Cowboys offensive line has been hammered with injuries during fall camp. The biggest question for the Pokes this season will be the effectiveness of the running games and it starts with the big guys up front. The line going into the first game of the season is composed of 2 seniors and 3 redshirt freshmen. While that may sound like a lot of inexperience on the field, last season’s opener in Iowa City against the Hawkeyes featured a true freshman at center and right tackle.
Running Back Position
Senior captain Nico Evans will get the first shot at the job. Evans has 36 carries for 108 yards in very limited action over his previous 3 years. Milo Hall (transferred to Northern Colorado) and Trey Woods (switched to DE late in fall camp) are no longer options while junior Kellen Overstreet has fallen out of the rotation. Redshirt freshman Xazavian Valladay and freshman Jevon Bigelow are 2nd on the depth chart and should have opportunities to make their mark.
The 2018 defense should be stacked but the unknown will be the play of the new cornerback tandem of redshirt junior Antonio Hull and redshirt freshman C.J. Colden. Luckily for the Cowboys, they return an incredible defensive line led by senior Carl Granderson and junior Youhanna Ghaifan. Starting the season with a strong rush will allow the new cornerback duo some time to catch up if they are not quite ready.