Border War: Three Keys For a Wyoming Victory vs. Colorado State
The Bronze Boot is on the line once again. Here’s how the Wyoming Cowboys can keep the rivalry trophy and beat the Rams.
The rivalry is back once again.
WEEK 10: Wyoming Cowboys (1-1) vs. Colorado State Rams (0-1) WHEN: Thursday, November 5 — 7:00 PM MT/6:00 PM PT WHERE: Canvas Stadium; Fort Collins, CO TV: CBS Sports Network STREAMING: Fans can sign up to receive a free one-week trial of Fubo, which includes CBSSN, by following this link. You can also find the audio broadcast at Tunein. RADIO: The Wyoming broadcast can be found on the affiliates of the Cowboy Sports Network, including flagship KFCB 1240 AM in Cheyenne. SERIES RECORD: Colorado State leads the series 58-48-5. WEBSITES: GoWyo.com, the official Wyoming athletics website | CSURams.com, the official Colorado State athletics website GAME NOTES (PDF): Wyoming | Colorado State ODDS (as of 11/5, via Vegas Insider): Wyoming -3.5
The Wyoming Cowboys will play Colorado State this Thursday night in the 112th meeting between these two teams. The Border War is one of those rivalries that make college football so great. The memories of past games have become great moments in the history of a rivalry that has been played in three centuries (1899 was the first game between then Colorado Agricultural and Wyoming). Wyoming has been able to hold off the Rams for four consecutive seasons, but what do they have to do to ensure that the bronze boot stays in Laramie another year?
Three Keys to a Wyoming Win
1. Run clock
Last week Wyoming ran the ball, and ran it well, to the tune of 281 yards. This consistent ground game ate away clock time, leaving Hawaii defenders gassed. The Cowboys were also able to hold off any offensive success from the Rainbow Warriors, these two factors ultimately lead to Wyoming having control of the ball, and ultimately control of the clock.
Wyoming needs to assert itself early in the run game, and control the pace of the game. This team is a hard nose, run it up the gut, clock eating machine when they find their offensive rhythm, if they want to bring the boot back to Laramie, they need to play the game at their pace, and control the time of possession.
2. Defensive Line needs to disrupt passing game
In the Cowboys lone loss of the season, to Nevada, the defense allowed over 400 yards through the air. Last week they were able to hold a historically pass-heavy Hawaii to just 110 passing yards.
The defensive line was able to get into the backfield and force five sacks and eight tackles for loss. These were key moments that stifled any offensive momentum that Hawaii was generating, and was a large part of the team’s success in the game.
Wyoming will need another strong performance from its defensive front in Fort Collins this week. Stopping the run and hurrying throws are always key to wins, especially when your secondary has been inconsistent this season.
3. Special teams
It isn’t unlikely, in a rivalry game, for special teams to play an integral role in the overall team success. Wyoming has had some success in special teams this season, like when freshman kicker John Hoyland hit from 42 yards out to force overtime against Nevada.
The Nevada game showed just how important special teams can be, both for the good of the team, and also how they can cost a team. When punt returner Dontae Crow let a punt go by him late in the fourth quarter, the ball ended up on Wyoming’s own goal line, and it looked like an almost insurmountable amount ground to cover to get to field goal range.
The costly special teams mistake was bailed out by the great kick, but in a game that could potentially come down to a special team play, mistakes like that can’t happen.
Wyoming needs to limit its special teams mistakes and set their young kicker up for success this week, one good special team play could be the difference.
The Border War is a hard game to predict, even if one team is having a great year, and the other is having a dismal one, the winner may not be the one you would expect.
But for the past four years, Wyoming has been able to hold off Colorado State and retained ownership of the bronze boot. I see that happening again this season. Wyoming will run the ball, like they always do, and keep the game in their comfort zone. Colorado State has had a tough time finding their identity this season, with a game cancelation, and a loss to Fresno State, they have yet to define themselves in the first year of the Steve Addazio era. While a statement win against a fierce rival like Wyoming would help in that endeavor, I don’t see it happening this year.
Wyoming 31 Colorado State 17