November 2, 2012

Pokes look for 4th straight on CSU

UW's Dave Christensen returns as Wyoming's head coach after serving a one game suspension last week and will look to lead his Cowboys to their fourth straight win over the Border War rival Colorado State in Laramie on Saturday.

Christensen said he is eager to get back on the sideline and reverse the direction of a disappointing season.

"These players mean the world to me," said Christensen. "There is no one else to blame for what happened except for myself."

The Rams are hoping to rebuild under first year head coach Jim McElwain after he served several seasons as Alabama offensive coordinator.

CSU is coming off their second win of the season versus Hawaii at home last weekend 42-27. They beat in state rival Colorado in the season opener 22-17. McElwain hopes the win over Hawaill will give them momentum heading into Saturday's showdown.

"We've got a long ways to go," said McElwain." But I think there are times in the past where we may have given up because of negative things that happened. This time we didn't and that gets you excited."

The Pokes have struggled in their last two outings against arguably the two top teams in the Mountain West in Boise State and Fresno State by the combined score of 87 to 28 and will be looking for their first league win against a Ram program Christensen has never lost, though the past record could be thrown out this weekend in game played with plenty of emotion.

"The game is not about records since it is the Border War," McElwain said.

The Cowboys appear to have a measurable advantage at quarterback with Brett Smith at the helm versus Colorado State who is playing their third quarterback of the season in freshmen Conner Smith, who threw two interceptions against the Rainbow Warriors and hit 10-of-17 passes.

CSU has one of the league's most dangerous running backs in Chris Nwoke who has fought through injuries during his career.

The Rams will like to establish the run against Wyoming, while taking some pressure of Smith. The success running the ball for the Rams or the Cowboys stopping the rush attack is a top key.

Both defenses have struggled giving up tons of points this season. Both are giving up over 30 points a game and have been hurt by inconsistent secondary play.

Most of the Cowboy seniors have never lost to CSU and would be the first group since the early seventies to leave Laramie with a perfect record against Colorado State.

Christensen said running back Kody Sutton and Kenny Browder are no longer with the program.

Safety Luke Ruff, defensive end Miraldo Michel and linebacker Oliver Schober will miss Saturday's game, while running back D.J. May and safety Mark Nzeocha are day-to-day.

Saturday's game for the Bronze Boot will be broadcasted on radio over the Cowboy Sports Network, with kickoff slated for 2:30 mst.

The game will also be televised by KTVD Channel 20 of Denver.

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