Gear Up For Game Day: Boise State
BOISE, Idaho -- As always, I love to utilize this space each week during the season to not only give you the important info -- game time, TV channel, betting lines, etc. -- but also drop a bit of randomness on your plate.
It's nearly midnight on Friday and I am finally settling into my beautiful, cozy, luxury suite in Boise, Idaho.
OK, that was a lie.
This place is awful and the television didn't work in the first room they gave me. I also smacked my shin on a bed frame that is about two sizes too big. The good news is the air conditioning isn't cranked in Room 337 and the toilet actually flushes.
Luckily I had time to catch a cat nap on the plane. I typically can't sleep on those death traps. I'm too worried about the engines seizing up before we plummet toward the earth below. No worries. This afternoon -- roughly 10 hours ago -- we sat safely on the ground thanks to a brake malfunction.
That's a pretty important element to the whole flying experience. It took more than two hours to hit the so-called friendly skies.
Luckily for you, we made it. Fellow Wyoming beat writers Ryan Thorburn and Alex Taylor were also on my flight.
All kidding aside, this town brings back some interesting memories.
I wasn't able to attend the 2021 meeting between the Pokes and Broncos. A few short hours before I was supposed to hit the road to DIA, my daughter was about to make her much-anticipated debut in this world.
Now, before that November day, I had never missed a Wyoming football game for anything.
I mean it, too.
I've missed some family weddings. I was up for a major writing award in college. That came with a free trip to Louisville. Yep, blew that off. I even canceled my own birthday party once. Seriously. Back in 2000, Wyoming lost 51-3 at Texas A&M. I was in no mood to pretend. Two years prior, Dana Dimel's team took on LaDainian Tomlinson and the TCU Horned Frogs in Fort Worth. It was Halloween night and, according to my mother, my final opportunity to trick-or-treat.
Guess what I did?
Yep, ate my sister's candy and watched a 34-27 win, courtesy of a Robbie Duncan pick-six.
Regrets? You're kidding, right?
MORE UW FOOTBALL NEWS VIA 7220SPORTS:
My beautiful baby girl, however, comes first. Amazing how priorities change. When I held that little 8-pound, 9.5-ounce miracle, I knew my life would never be the same.
It hasn't been.
Now my smiley Holland is about to turn 2 years old and I am taking her to the UNLV game in Las Vegas in two weeks to celebrate with family. Just her and I, making a two-hour trip in an airplane. I'm already terrified.
I digress -- to say the least.
Last time I was in Boise, roughly a month after the regular-season meeting with the Broncos, the Cowboys' were polishing off an entertaining 52-38 victory over Kent State in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.
Before the bucket of French Fries hit the blue turf under Craig Bohl's feet, my phone began to buzz.
"Levi is in the transfer portal."
"Isaiah is in, too."
"Expect to see Hearn, Coldon and Byrd leave also."
Umm, excuse me?
The list didn't end there, either, as you know. Wyoming lost double digits to college football's version of free agency just minutes after that win. Instead of heading back to the press box inside Albertsons Stadium and penning a column about how Bohl needed to quit screwing around with the QB carousel and name Levi Williams the starter, I hit the road, making the 11-hour trip back to Cheyenne that night.
Notice how I haven't written anything about actually playing the Broncos?
Like you, the good memories in the lopsided series are few and far between. I was a fan in 2016. I watched from just above the UW student section as Josh Allen led the Cowboys to that improbable 30-28 win over the 13th-ranked team in the nation.
I knew I was getting old when I didn't join the hoard on the field postgame. I just watched in amazement and probably had a similar reaction to you -- "finally!"
I do recall being very upset after the 2006 loss in Laramie. We just lost to a WAC team? At home? The guys who play on that hideous blue field? How? Why?
Quarterback Jacob Doss (There's a blast from the past) tossed a pair of interceptions, including a heave into the awaiting arms of Quinton Jones, who returned the freebie 61 yards for the touchdown.
The Cowboys forced six straight Boise State punts in the second half. The defense limited Jared Zabransky -- and his terrible biceps tribal tattoo -- to just 116 yards passing. Aside from the turnovers, running back Ian Johnson stole the show, scampering for 119 yards on 23 carries.
Boise State 17
Oh, by the way, that Boise State team went on to finish 13-0 and completed one of the greatest seasons in college football history with a 43-42 overtime victory over No. 7 Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl.
I'm still pissed.
One day I'll share with you all in this space the time I drove to Boise for the 2011 game with Cowboy Ken. Yes, the Barrel Man. The following year in Laramie one of my good friends got in a brawl with a pair of Broncos fans in the student section. I will never forget him making his way back up the aluminum bleachers after that beating. He had blue and orange face paint all over his fists.
He won the fight -- with ease -- but yet again, the visitors cruised to an easy 45-14 win.
Wyoming will look to snap an unwanted losing streak here in this town. Yes, the Cowboys have won a pair of bowl games here, but they have never beat the Broncos. That's zero wins in eight tries.
If that changes tomorrow (or today), things get really interesting with the Border War on the horizon. If not, it will likely be another year filled with "what ifs," beginning with that heartbreaker at the Academy two weeks ago.
There is no room for error. For once, the same can be said for both teams in this one.
Maybe I'll actually have a good story to tell next fall (or tomorrow).
Your move, Cowpokes.
Here is all you need to know -- and the links -- for Saturday's tilt in Boise:
WHO: Wyoming (5-2, 2-1) at Boise State (3-4, 2-1)
WHEN: Saturday, Oct. 28 at 3:30 p.m. MST
WEATHER: High of 49, low 25, mostly sunny, winds at 12 mph
WHERE: Albertsons Stadium (36,387 capacity)
TV: FOX Sports Network
RADIO: Cowboy Sports Network
TICKETS: Wyoming Ticket office
BOX SCORE: ESPN
ROSTERS: Wyoming / Boise State
HISTORY: Boise State leads the all-time series 16-1
ODDS: Boise State (-5)
HEAD COACHES: Craig Bohl / Andy Avalos
University of Wyoming’s Top 50 Football Players
Gallery Credit: 7220Sports.com
- University of Wyoming’s Top 50 Football Players