Gear up for gameday: Fresno State
FRESNO, Calif., -- The biggest question facing this young Wyoming team this week is, can it collectively get over a heartbreaking loss to Boise State last Saturday night? That 20-17 setback, which ended in the crudest of fashion -- and interception in the end zone -- also dashed the Cowboys' Mountain West title game hopes.
Craig Bohl raved about the resolve from his roster, who was back at practice Sunday, a day earlier than usual, because of Friday night's game in Fresno. Wyoming's ninth-year head coach always implements the "24-hour rule" with his club.
It's a chance to celebrate or cry. Either way, last week's game is supposedly in the rear-view mirror.
Frank Crum said he didn't see any heads hanging around the complex this week. The junior right tackle wouldn't allow it anyway.
"They don't know what they don't know" has been Bohl's go-to saying this fall, referring to the youth littering this lineup. You might recall, this team wasn't supposed to be very good this season, picked to finish second to last in the Mountain Division, ahead of only lowly New Mexico.
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Remember that 38-6 beatdown in the opener? The Cowboys appeared to be out of their element in that lopsided loss in Champaign. Andrew Peasley completed just five passes for 30 yards. The sky was falling in the Cowboy State.
Do you recollect the back-to-back losses to BYU and San Jose State? That was the real Cowboys starting to show who they really were, huh? Or not. The team went on to win four straight, three away from War Memorial Stadium.
Do we have reason to doubt this team can waltz into Bulldog Stadium and take care of business against the West Division champs? Of course.
Jake Haener and Co. have won six straight. He's by far the best all-around signal caller in the conference. Fresno State has a 1,000-yard running back and a host of dynamic wide receivers. Wyoming, on the other hand, has been inconsistent in the passing game -- to say the least. In that "gut punch" against the Broncos, Jayden Clemons, making his first-career start under center, completed just three balls all night long. He also completed three passes to Boise State, the final two sticking right to the mitts of safety JL Skinner.
Will Peasley play tonight? We don't know. Concussions don't come with timetables. Will the injuries finally do this team in? The visitors could be without Dawaiian McNeely, DQ James, Carson York, Alex Brown, Jordan Bertagnole, Cole Godbout and Keonte Glinton. There are plenty of other names to add to the walking wounded, too.
Do we have reason to believe this Cowboys' team can pull off a win tonight? Yes.
This program has defied the odds all season, as previously stated. Titus Swen has proven to be one of the top backs in this league and will break 1,000 yards on the ground tonight. He gashed the Broncos for a career-high 212 yards last week, including an 83-yard touchdown jaunt. With this defense, Wyoming should always have a chance. Boise State entered last week with the top-scoring offense in the MW. Not anymore. The Bulldogs now sit alone atop the leaderboard.
So, again, the biggest question tonight -- injuries aside -- who shows up? Crum called this the biggest game of the season for that reason alone.
"Today, you know, it's like, let's go win a game because we can," he said. "Let's be an eight-win team because we can. We love being around each other and winning football games. We don't want to go out there and lose no matter what that dictates for us, win or lose, doesn't matter. We can all go out there together and win a football game."
Why could Wyoming win this one? Because they can.
Here is all you need to know -- and the links -- for tonight's tilt in Fresno:
WHO: Wyoming (7-4, 5-2) at Fresno State (7-4, 6-1)
WHEN: Friday, Nov. 25 at 8 p.m. MST
WEATHER: High of 70, low of 39, winds at 2 mph, partly cloudy
WHERE: Valley Children's Stadium, Fresno, Calif. (40,727 capacity)
RADIO: Cowboy Sports Network
BOX SCORE: ESPN
ROSTERS: Wyoming / Fresno State
BETMGM ODDS: UW +14.5, O/U 50.5 (Subject to change)
HISTORY: Fresno State leads series 8-5 (Bulldogs won 17-0 in 2021)
HEAD COACHES: Craig Bohl / Jeff Tedford
Just The Facts: Size Doesn't Matter For Wyoming's War Memorial Stadium
- Just The Facts: Size Doesn't Matter For Wyoming's War Memorial Stadium