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Wyoming Football Preview & Prediction: Week 13 - Fresno State Bulldogs

Pokes look to finish their season strong against Fresno State

NCAA Football: Fresno State at Wyoming Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

What: Wyoming Cowboys @ Fresno State Bulldogs

When: Friday, November 25, 2022, 8 p.m. MT

Where: Jim Sweeney Field at Bulldog Stadium

Channel: FS1

Line: Fresno State -14.5, O/U 50.5

History: The Cowboys and the Bulldogs have faced off a total of thirteen times with the Bulldogs holding the advantage at eight total wins to Wyoming’s five. The Bulldogs currently hold the longest win streak in the series between the two teams, having won three straight games dating back to 2017.

Wyoming will conclude their regular season this Friday night as they take on Jeff Tedford’s Fresno State Bulldogs. The Bulldogs are 7-4 on the season and have won six straight games, clinching the MWC’s West Division.

What to expect from the Bulldogs:

The Bulldogs have one of the most dynamic offenses in college football. Led by QB Jake Haener and RB Jordan Mims, the Bulldogs have been on a scoring tear since their game against New Mexico at the end of October. The duo has had a spectacular year so far, with Mims rushing for over 1,000 yards and 11 touchdowns on the season, and Haener putting up stellar numbers with over 2,200 yards passing and 16 touchdowns to boot. Fresno State also leads the Mountain West in points per game (31.0), passing yards per game (285.5), passing touchdowns (18), and is second in offensive efficiency rating (153.2). The Bulldogs have also only scored under 30 points on four separate occasions this season.

One thing to keep in mind is that Fresno State won’t have a lot of reason to play their superstar players very long in a game that doesn’t hold very much value in terms of championship desires and bowl eligibility.

However, it’s safe to say that they still want to win this game and the Pokes will still have one of their biggest offensive challenges of the season.

As for the defense, they’ve been a unit that has been a little bit inconsistent over the course of the year but nonetheless is a solid group. The linebacker tandem of Bailey and Langley leads the team in tackles and have made their presence known all year. Evan Williams has stepped up as an anchor defensive back, and David Perales has been a problem in opponents’ backfields, accounting for 10.5 of the Bulldogs’ 22 sacks on the year.

So…

If the Pokes want to win, they’ll have to:

1. Let Swen eat

Titus Swen is approaching 1,000 yards for the first time in his career at Wyoming. Needing just thirty-six yards to do so, he should easily get the number of touches needed to do so, but they’ll really need him to eclipse that if they want to have a chance at beating Fresno State, who is mediocre against the run, but much better against the pass.

2. Put pressure on Haener

The Wyoming defense has been susceptible to athletic, big-arm quarterbacks this season. They need to get pressure on Haener to throw off his rhythm a bit and cause him to feel unsettled in the pocket.

3. Keep the fire

It could be a little difficult for the Cowboys to keep their energy going after a crushing defeat to Boise State last week and their MWC championship hopes now in the rearview mirror. They’ll want to keep playing with that same fire if they want to be victorious and claim their 8th victory of the year on Friday.

2022 season-ending game notes & milestone watch:

  • Titus Swen needs only 36 yards to record his first 1,000-Yard Rushing season. He enters the game with 2,098 career rushing yards, needing 90 yards to become top 10 in Wyoming football history

  • John Hoyland comes into Friday tied with the Wyoming School Record for Most Field Goals in a Single Season. He needs one more to surpass Corey Wadel (1996) and J.D. Wallum (2001).

  • Easton Gibbs enters Friday night with 99 tackles on the season and needs 1 more to hit the 100 mark. The Cowboy linebacker currently averages 9.0 tackles per game (3rd in the Mountain West).