By Chadd Cripe
© 2013 Idaho Statesman
WYOMING BRINGS STRUGGLING ‘D’ TO BOISE
Wyoming has had a strange season (more on this in tomorrow’s paper), starting 3-1 and looking like a potential Mountain West title contender. Since then, the Cowboys are 1-4, they’ve been blown out by the likes of Texas State and Colorado State and they’ve fired their defensive coordinator.
The Cowboys have tumbled to 97th in the nation in scoring defense at 33.4 points per game, allowing at least 48 in each of the past three games. Early in the season, the defense was a strength — landing the first two Mountain West defensive players of the week.
So there’s no telling what kind of team will show up Saturday night at Bronco Stadium (8:21 p.m., ESPN2).
“I know this … the teams that we play, and who we are, anybody can beat anybody,” Boise State coach Chris Petersen said. “They’re extremely explosive on offense. They do some very good things. And on defense, they play hard. They started out the season pretty fast and started giving up more points than they’d like to. We’ve done the same thing on defense as well — it’s been in spurts and flashes.”
The Cowboys rank 16th in the nation and second in the Mountain West with 491.8 yards per game. They’re 24th in rushing (211.9 ypg) and 27th in passing (279.9 ypg) but 40th in scoring (33.6 points per game).
The only other Mountain West team that ranks in the top 30 in rushing and passing: Boise State (23rd in rushing, 29th in passing). The Broncos are 22nd in scoring (37.9 ppg).
One key difference between the Broncos and Cowboys — Wyoming quarterback Brett Smith is sixth in the Mountain West in efficiency (137.2). Joe Southwick and Grant Hedrick have combined for a 149.7 rating that is just 0.2 behind Fresno State for the league lead.
“This will be a good challenge for us, without question,” Petersen said.
NOTES & QUOTES
— Petersen on defensive football: “You play 100-plus snaps and five, six, seven snaps are not good — that can be a lot of points. Defenses are in a hard position these days.”
— Petersen on the afternoon game Sept. 7 against UT Martin — the last time the Broncos finished a game in the daylight: “Those were the good ol’ days, right?” he said.
— Petersen, like fans, isn’t happy with the number of commercial breaks in national-TV games. “It just seems ridiculous,” he said. “They stop the game every change of possession and in between it. I guess you’ve got to do it but it’s just painful. I don’t think it’s good for the fans. That’s why I think more people are staying home and watching on TV.”
The Wyoming Tribune-Eagle coverage can be found here.
Beat writer Robert Gagliardi is on Twitter, @rpgagliardi.
Wyoming at Boise State
When: 8:21 p.m. Saturday
Where: Bronco Stadium (36,387, FieldTurf)
TV: ESPN2 (Mark Jones, Brock Huard, Jessica Mendoza)
Radio: KBOI (670AM), KKGL (96.9 FM); Bob Behler, Pete Cavender
Records: Boise State is 6-3 overall, 4-1 Mountain West; Wyoming is 4-5, 2-3
Series: Boise State leads 7-0 (last meeting: BSU 45-14, 2012, in Laramie, Wyo.)