Cowboys Prepare for Important Road Test at Boise State on Saturday

Nov. 12, 2013


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The Wyoming Cowboys face an important Mountain West road test this Saturday when they travel to Boise, Idaho, to take on the Boise State Broncos. The Cowboys will be looking to improve on their 4-5 overall record and 2-3 conference mark, as they seek to win two of their final three regular-season games of the season to earn bowl-eligible status. Boise State is 6-3 overall and 4-1 in the Mountain West, and are trying to keep pace with Mountain Division leading Utah State, which is 5-1 in conference play.

Wyoming and Boise State have nearly identical offensive numbers this season. UW averages 491.8 yards of total offense per game. Boise State averages 3.2 yards less (488.6 yards per game). The Pokes rush for an average of 211.9 yards per game -- less than a yard fewer than Boise State's 212.7 rushing yards. Wyoming throws for an average of 279.9 yards per game -- 4.0 yards more than Boise's 275.9.

Wyoming junior quarterback Brett Smith could become Wyoming's career leader in total offense this week. Smith will enter this Saturday's game with 9,368 yards of total offense for his career. He needs 208 yards to break the school mark held by Casey Bramlet. Bramlet set the school record of 9,575 yards from 2000-03.

Another Cowboy who is in position to enter the Wyoming record book this weekend is senior wide receiver Robert Herron, who needs only 79 yards to take sole possession of 10th place on the Cowboy career receiving yardage list. Herron has 1,795 receiving yards during his UW career. He is chasing former Cowboy Allyn Griffin, who had 1,873 receiving yards from 1981-85.

The Cowboy defense has been led this year by junior linebacker Jordan Stanton, who is ranked No. 3 in the nation in tackles, averaging 12.2 tackles per game. Stanton had 17 tackles a week ago versus Fresno State. It was his sixth double-figure tackle game of the year. He trails only Keith Smith of San Jose State (13.6 tackles per game) and Tyler Matakevich of Temple (12.6 tackles per game).

Stanton, who is in his first season playing at the NCAA Division 1 level after transferring to Wyoming from Los Angeles Pierce Community College, has surpassed the 100-tackle plateau for the season. He currently has 110 tackles.

Stanton leads Wyoming in tackles, ranks No. 2 among linebackers in the league and is No. 2 overall in the conference behind San Jose State's Smith. Stanton also ranks No. 2 in the MW in solo tackles (6.4 per game) and is No. 8 in the NCAA.

In terms of team defense, Boise State is allowing 438.2 yards per game to its opponents. Wyoming is giving up 480.7 yards per game, or an average of 42.5 more yards per game than the Broncos.

The last time the Pokes traveled to Boise to face the Broncos was the 2011 season. Wyoming took a first-quarter lead on a 29-interception return for a touchdown by former Cowboy safety Luke Anderson. But the Broncos came back to win the game 36-14.

Boise State has earned bowl-eligible status for the eighth consecutive season, having won six games already this season.

They have been led by sophomore running back Jay Ajayi, who averages 112.0 yards rushing per game and ranks 17th in the nation. After losing starting quarterback Joe Southwick to injury on Oct. 19 versus Nevada, redshirt junior backup Grant Hedrick has proved to be very effective. Hedrick has completed 74 of 106 pass attempts (69.8 percent) for 801 yards, seven touchdowns and only two interceptions. He is also the second-leading rusher on the team, with 246 yards.

The Broncos and Cowboys have met seven previous times, with the Broncos winning all previous meetings.

For the second consecutive week, the Cowboys' game will be televised live on ESPN2. The game is scheduled to kick off at 8:15 p.m., Mountain Time from Bronco Stadium in Boise.

As with all Cowboy Football games, the game will be broadcast on radio over the 25 affiliate stations of the Cowboy Sports Network, beginning with the pregame show, which will begin at 7 p.m. this Saturday.