Wyoming vs. New Mexico: Keys For a Cowboy Victory
Cowboys looking for back-to-back wins
Who is going to win this one?
WEEK 14: Wyoming Cowboys (2-2) @ New Mexico Lobos (0-5)
WHEN: Saturday, December 5th —8:30 P.M. MT
WHERE: Sam Boyd Stadium; Las Vegas, Nevada
TV: CBS Sports Network
SERIES RECORD: Wyoming leads 39-33
ODDS via BetMGM: Wyoming -17.5
After coming off a win last week against UNLV, Wyoming will once more have to travel to sin city to play the New Mexico Lobos in their temporary home of Sam Boyd Stadium.
Wyoming opened the game with a 78 yard rushing touchdown from Xazavian Valladay and never looked back. The pokes would go on to post 399 rushing yards in the game and beat UNLV with a final score of 45-14.
With New Mexico, the Cowboys should see a similar team to the one they did last week, a young squad that has yet to really establish itself, but no team should be overlooked.
Here are three keys that should equate to a Cowboys victory:
1. Do what works
The Cowboys last week bullied the Rebels on the ground, the linemen and the running backs (all of them) were really playing as one unit. This allowed for multiple pokes to come in and cause damage to a deleted UNLV defense. Look for Wyoming to continue this trend of a hard nose, run heavy, offense. Even with the possibility of Xazavian Valladay missing the game due to injury, last week proved that Trey Smith and company are more than capable of stepping in to help. The team also benefited greatly from the return of guard Logan Harris, who helped to get Brent Vigen’s run game going.
Wyoming should lean on the run, and wear out a team that has had trouble containing it this season.
2. Peer pressure
With the recent revelation that the Lobos plan on starting red-shirt freshman Connor Genal, who was a walk-on player to the program, it makes sense to put pressure on the young signal caller, force him to make decisions that he hasn’t had to yet, rush throws, and disrupt the passing game. Senior defensive end Garrett Crall, recently back from injury, and Junior linebacker Chad Muma will be the leaders for the Cowboys in that endeavor. Muma, who is coming off a week in which he was crowned the Mountain West’s defensive player of the week, had three sacks last week in the win in Las Vegas, while Crall recorded another to go along with his two tackles for loss. This week, look for these two to apply pressure and force the inexperienced Genal to make mistakes.
3. Penalties still an issue
Wyoming best UNLV in almost every statistical category last week, total yards, time of possession, and turnovers were all in the Cowboys favor, the one area that UNLV was able to best the pokes, was in how many yards were given up to penalties. The pokes committed six penalties for 45 yards, compared to the Rebels three penalties and 20 yards. While the penalties in this game didn’t really affect the outcome, in their game prior to UNLV, against CSU, they also bested the Rams in most statistical categories, only to lose the game because of costly penalties. The Cowboys need to limit the amount of penalties that they allow if they are to win this game, even if it is against a team that they are statistically better than.
I think that Wyoming should win this game. New Mexico is a young team that is still trying to establish its culture, this is a Wyoming team that knows who they are, look for this lack of experience to be exploited. After coming off the confidence boosting win last week, I think that the Cowboys run superiority, aided by their line, will be a deciding factor in how the momentum swings in this contest.
Prediction: Wyoming 35- New Mexico 7