Friday, September 19, 2008
What: Wyoming @ BYU
Where: LaVell Edwards Stadium, Provo
When: September 20, 2008; 1 p.m. MDT
TV: The Mtn.
Of Note: BYU and Wyoming have one of the oldest rivalries in the MWC, dating back to 1922. BYU has beaten the Cowboys seven out of the last eight times, including four straight. Wyoming beat BYU in 2003, which was current coach Joe Glenn’s first year.
The last time Wyoming won in Provo was 1987. In 2006 the Cowboys, Cowpokes or just ‘pokes, whatever you want to call them, came to Provo and BYU handed them a 55-7 drubbing. The Cougars have recorded home-field sellouts in 8 consecutive games—the longest streak since ’91-’92.
About the Cowboys: The Cowboys are struggling this year, fair and simple. After a late-game comeback in week one versus Ohio University, the ‘boys could only muster three points against Air Force, a game which they lost at home. Then in week three Wyoming struggled against FCS opponent North Dakota State before finally winning the game 16-13.
BYU scored more points against UCLA (59) than Wyoming has scored in its first three games combined (40).
Starting quarterback Dax Crum was a walk-on at Arizona State before transferring to Mesa Community College, and then finally Wyoming. Crum is 32-58 for 232 yards and has a 55.7% completion rate for the season so far. He has thrown 2 TDs and 3 INTs.
In other words, Wyoming doesn’t have much of a passing attack.
Running backs Wynell Seldon and Devin Moore are Wyoming’s primary weapons on offense. Moore/Seldon have combined for 459 yards and 2 TDs on the ground.
This is Wyoming’s first road game, and it’s a doozy. But, the Cowboys have a solid defense and anything can happen in a “rivalry” game.
For whatever reason, be it religious, athletic, a simple inferiority complex or something else, the Cowboys hate BYU and consider us one of their biggest rivals. I can safely say, as a BYU fan, we don’t feel the same way. Wyoming is simply another team on our schedule—and a not very good one at that.
Key Losses: Part of the reason Wyoming’s passing attack has suffered this year is the loss of WRs Hoost Marsh, Michael Ford and Wade Betschart. They also lost their two starting cornerbacks and starting middle linebacker from the 2007 squad.
Key returners: In addition to Moore and Seldon, Wyoming returns a beastly defensive lineman named John Fletcher. Fletcher, you’ll recall, was the one that laid a big hit on Max Hall last year that ended up separating Hall’s shoulder.
Matching Up: This game will be a good test for our linebackers. Since the Cowboys rely mostly on the run for their offensive punch, I see a steady diet of Moore and Seldon in the cards for Saturday. This will be a good learning experience for our young LBs. The experience of Wyoming’s backfield versus the athletic, albeit inexperienced BYU linebackers is my pick for most intriguing matchup.
Adam’s Take: Wyoming picked a bad time to come to Provo to face the Cougs. I mean, I know they didn’t really choose to come at this time, but I’m just saying I wouldn’t want to have to be the ones dissecting the UCLA game tape for mistakes.
Truth be told, I don’t see any way Wyoming can win tomorrow. They just don’t have the offense. BYU would have to have 5+ turnovers to make it close, and even then Wyoming would have to rely heavily on their kicker for some field goals.
Some people are talking about a letdown after last week’s huge win, but I just don’t see it happening under Bronco. Bronco is a master of respecting his opponents (see BYU vs. UNI), and I am sure he has our troops fired up and ready to roll.
My prediction: BYU 49, Wyoming 10 (BYU calls off the dogs in the fourth quarter; Wyoming gets a touchdown in garbage time).
Sources: BYU Press Release, Wyoming Press Release, ESPN Statistics, Wyoming Media Guide,