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Wyoming vs. Texas Tech Week 1 Preview: Clean slate, go prove it

A promising Cowboy team looks to set the tone as they kick off the season hosting a Big 12 opponent Texas Tech.

Photo via Wyoming Athletics


Location: Laramie, Wyoming (War Memorial Stadium)

Date/Time: Saturday, September 2nd at 5:30 (Mountain Time)

Television: CBS

Streaming: You’ll need a cable log-in but the game will be streamed here.

Head-to-Head: The last time Wyoming and Texas Tech met was in 1992, but the Pokes lead the all-time series 3-2

Three things to look out for:

1. What do we expect out of this 2023 Cowboy roster?

Something to be expected from your Pokes is a stellar defense. Anything less than the best defense in the MWC would be slightly disappointing. You have the Mountain West preseason defensive player of the year guarding the middle with Easton Gibbs, incredible talent coming off the edge in Braden Siders and Devonne Harris, not to mention the penetration that will come from the tackle duo of Cole Godbout and Jordan Bertagnole. The secondary has died down slightly from Cam Stone leaving, but Wrook Brown will look to lead the unit to a respectable level.

The offense is a little different. The expectations for this side of the ball are substantially lower than the defense. But you’d still like to see them succeed. The run game looks promising with a solid offensive line featuring Frank Crum in his final year. Their starter and backup running backs are both out against Texas Tech, Dawaiian Mcneely and Harison Waylee. This will be an interesting position to watch, as the room looks thin right now, but running the rock is a huge part of the Cowboy’s game plan. As far as pass catchers go, I anticipate Treyton Welch to be one of Peasley’s favorite targets this year, and form a sort of bread-and-butter with him in the passing game.

Wyoming’s success in 2022 was a pleasant surprise, and lots of people are looking for them to continue this in 2023.

2. What can we expect out of Texas Tech?

The Red Raiders led the country last year in plays per game with 89.2. They like to hang on to the football. Tyler Shough, Texas Tech’s quarterback will enter his third year starting for the team and has shined while he’s been available. He doesn’t throw many interceptions and has an incredible receiver cast including Jerand Bradley to help him out. The offense will be firing on all cylinders and their mouths are (probably) foaming to play a weaker team than they are used to seeing.

As for the defense, they will be well aware of Peasley’s ability, and aim to get to the QB as quick as they can. Similar to the Cowboys, Texas Tech has a very solid defensive line that might be a problem for Frank Crum and company. Players like Jaylon Hutchings will be in the backfield, trying to feast on the Quarterback. As for their secondary, Malik Dunlap headlines that group, and will likely be one of the best corners that Cowboy receivers will face this season.

Nonetheless, a power five team that won a bowl game against Ole Miss in 2022 will be a tough matchup for Craig Bohl and the Pokes.

3. Who will step up against Texas Tech?

The most important position that needs a player to show themselves this Saturday is running back. The top two players in this position will be out, Dawaiian Mcneely and Harrison Waylee. D.Q. James will be in a prime position against Texas Tech to solidify his starting running back role with his colleagues clocked out for some time.

Another player is Andrew Peasley. Big opponents mean big expectations, and the Cowboys would like to see a little more out of him in his final year as a Poke. His game against the Red Raiders will be all about getting the ball out quickly, finding his tempo, and not forcing reads that aren’t open. Texas Tech’s defensive line will get to him quickly, and if Peasley can get passes off before they can do so, the offense should be in good shape. Time of possession will also be crucial in this matchup, so interceptions are something that just can’t happen if you’re looking to beat Texas Tech. If that means hitting Treyton Welch 15 times for seven yards each, I’m okay with that.

I would also like to see the defense get a few sacks against the Red Raiders and show the world that they are as advertised. Having a big defensive game could shift everything, as Texas Tech certainly has one of the strongest offenses on Wyoming’s schedule. It would be a pleasant surprise to see this Cowboy defense hold a top power five school to a minuscule point total to begin the season.


The Cowboys are a hefty 14-point underdog against Texas Tech, but it’s not as hefty of a line as I initially thought. Texas Tech has a second-year head coach who is still working out some kinks with his roster but led them to a Texas Bowl victory in his inaugural season as a Red Raider. You would think he has enough confidence by now to take down a Wyoming team that lost to Ohio in the Arizona Bowl in 2022.

Wyoming has a very similar roster as last year, which means a lot of returning starters are ready for another crack at this thing. I think UW is hungry, and have guys who are willing to get behind Craig Bohl, and pull an upset against Texas Tech.

However, Texas Tech is led by a quarterback who, when healthy is a defense’s worst nightmare. It will be a matchup of much more talented players than UW is used to seeing and should be a really good gauge of how good this Cowboy team can be.

The elevation is a factor as well, as Laramie’s boasted 7220-foot elevation may be a concern for the Lubbock residents whose elevation is nearly half that (3202 ft). A fourth-quarter comeback could be possible for the Pokes if the Red Raiders do begin to run out of breath toward the end.

My score prediction for the Pokes’ home opener is Texas Tech 35, Wyoming 27.