With only a few weeks left of the 2016 fall season, teams in the West will duke it out for pool position.
New Mexico vs. Utah State
The New Mexico Lobos are still searching for their first conference win since they joined D1A and the West in 2014. New Mexico’s 24-33 loss to Wyoming is their only conference game thus far. The Lobos also played a non-conference game to keep improving through their bye week. Their meeting with Texas Tech last week ended 31-29 in favor of Texas Tech. This close loss will surely have much for the Lobos to build on as they prepare to face the conference’s new face Utah State.
After just joining D1A the West conference, Utah State has defiantly shown they belong producing high scoring games against all their opponents. The Big Blue thus far has beaten Wyoming and loss to the predicted conference top three finishers: Air Force, Colorado and Colorado State. Utah State use their extra two games of experience to the Lobos Saturday to try end their inaugural D1A season on a high note.
Colorado vs. Wyoming
A loss within seven, 33-40, to state rival Colorado State and a win, 28-21, over Utah State leave Colorado 1-1 through two games. The Colorado Buffaloes will be disappointed with their loss last week to old foe, Utah 32-5.
The Buffaloes will be expecting big games out of senior Blake Rogers, open side flanker Jack Miller and returning scrum half Evan Clark this week when they face Wyoming. According to Coach Wallace, Colorado will plan to pressure their opponent’s back line and set pieces. Coach Wallace continued to say he expected “good hard running from [his] back rows and inside backs”.
Wyoming’s great 1-0 start to the season, beating New Mexico 33-24, has since slid to 1-2 after losses to Utah State and Air Force, 20-27 and 28-47. “Our team is excited for the game against CU. The Air Force game had periods of play that we need to consistently link together” said Coach Finoff, “Crucial leadership this week will be provided by our captain, Conner Rezzonico, and our #8, Terre Hellander”.
Wyoming will cap their Fall 2016 season against the conference’s two Colorado teams and the Cowboys are excited. “Our games against CU are typically high quality, physical, entertaining games that are usually tight at the end. Colorado University will be well prepared and it will take our best effort to come away with a win.”
Next week, Colorado will match up against the conference’s best, Air Force while Wyoming face off with Colorado State.