What: Wyoming Cowboys @ Connecticut Huskies
Where: Rentschler Field at Pratt & Whitney Stadium, East Hartford, CT
When: Saturday, September 25th, 1:30 p.m. MT
While there are no more FCS schools on the Cowboy ledger, there is still one more pack of Huskies for them to deal with in the Huskies from UConn. Uconn has had no easy road thus far. They started off their campaign with the resignation of their head coach, they were blanked by a now nationally ranked Fresno State team, and followed up with similar results against teams like Purdue and Army. They did however lose one game they probably should have won against in-state opponent Holy Cross, deeming the season up to this point for the Huskies, to put it lightly, underwhelming.
Three things to look for:
1. Teams in separate states
If there is one thing that should be apparent during this Saturday’s contest, it’s the glaring discrepancy between the teams’ experience on the field. Wyoming came into the season with one of the more set rosters in college football, returning multiple starters on both sides of the ball. Connecticut on the other hand has a completely different makeup. They will bring 14 freshmen in to start tomorrow’s game with the majority of their team makeup being underclassmen. To state the obvious, UConn will also be in search of their first win, with that being the only real advantage they’ll hold against Wyoming. If the Pokes are able to focus on this week’s game, not be looking ahead to Air Force, and Coach Bohl’s emphasized team mindset to “go 1-0” this week is able to see its true value, the Cowboys should have no problem in East Hartford.
2. Another balanced effort
The Pokes were finally able to play a balanced 60 minute football game on both sides of the ball last week. Something to pay attention to will be to see if they are able to play consistent football in consecutive weeks, which they have yet to do. If they’re showing is anything like it was last week, the Cowboys will do just that and come out victorious.
3. Turnovers galore
If there’s any trend I expect to continue for the Wyoming Cowboys in this week’s matchup, it’s the amount of turnovers they keep on being able to generate. The Cowboys rank fifth nationally in turnover margin and have forced at least one turnover in each one of their games this season. The UConn attack is also a very young and inexperienced group, making the likelihood of turning the ball over a bunch in this one even greater. Nickel back Keyon Blankenbaker and LB Chad Muma both were ball hawks last Saturday, each returning an interception for a touchdown. I expect this trend to continue against the Huskies.
This is a game that I can see taking off and staying in the same direction for the game’s entirety. The Cowboys are clearly the better team in virtually every facet. They run better, pass better, and play a higher, sounder level of defense. The one true issue that could present itself lies with their focus on the matchup. You don’t want to look past this week and take the Huskies for granted. However, with a bye next week and a chance at heading into Mountain West Conference play undefeated I think the chances of that happening are very, very low. The only way this team loses is if they beat themselves and if this is the same team as they were against Ball State last week, they should escape East Hartford 4-0.