Wyoming vs Boise State: Keys to A Wyoming Victory
What else can the Pokes do besides Train, Say Their Prayers, Eat Their Vitamins, and Believe?
Two years ago, Wyoming earned their first win over Boise State in a 30-28 classic in Laramie. On Saturday, the 2 teams meet again but under much different circumstances.
In 2016, the Broncos were riding high before their matchup with Wyoming. They entered the game undefeated and ranked in the top 15. This season, Boise State enters the matchup having an extra week to prepare after being handled by Oklahoma State.
Wyoming entered the matchup in 2016 on the back of an offense that had future NFL players Josh Allen, Brian Hill, Jacob Hollister, Tanner Gentry, and Chase Rouiller. This season, the Cowboys defense has looked average and the offense has been a notch above nonexistent. While Wyoming also enters the game off a bye, the Cowboys will return to action for the first time since they squeaked out an unimpressive last-second win against Wofford.
After playing a close game against the Broncos in Boise last season, the Cowboys will have their hands full with a Boise State team that looks much better than their team that won the Mountain West just a season ago.
Win the Turnover and Penalty Battle
In 2016, the Cowboys won the turnover battle 2-1 and somehow finished the game with 0 penalties. While there weren’t a lot of penalties as Boise State only had 4 for 21 yards, Wyoming’s ability to not beat themselves was a huge key in the upset. They will need to have another near perfect performance in both of these categories if they have a shot to win.
Let Tyler Vander Waal Loose
In Boise State’s last game against Oklahoma State, the Big 12 Cowboys spread Boise State out and had a quarterback who was able to scramble away from the Broncos impressive pass rush. TVW hasn’t shown that he’s anywhere near as refined as Taylor Cornelius but if Wyoming lines Vander Waal up under center and runs their predictable run-run-3rd and long pass offense, Wyoming will get blown out.
If they have him in spread situations where he can get rid of the ball quickly and scramble, the Cowboys might be able to create some offense.
Special Special Teams
The Broncos have shown an extremely talented offense and defense but their special teams really let them down in their last game. While I agree more with Boise State coach Brian Harsin’s opinion that the problems were more of a problem due to missed blocking assignments and not a slow long snap,
Wyoming would be foolish to not put immense pressure on every kick to see if the Broncos have corrected those problems. If they have any lingering special teams issues, those could play a huge factor in Wyoming’s success.