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BYU vs Wyoming Q&A: Cowboys’ potent offense could give Cougars troubles

Time to dig into BYU’s Poinsettia Bowl opponent, The Wyoming Cowboys

NCAA Football: Las Vegas Bowl-Brigham Young vs Utah Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

To prepare for BYU’s bowl game next week vs Wyoming, we chatted with Reo Radford of Here’s what Reo had to say about the upcoming bowl game with the Pokes:

Vanquish the Foe: Wyoming will be one of the most dynamic offenses BYU plays this year. What does Wyoming do best on that side of the ball?

Reo Radford: Running the ball is the first thing that comes to mind. Wyoming has one of the best running backs in the country in Brian Hill. He’s rushed for 1,767 yards this season, an average of 136 yards per game. In terms of passing, Josh Allen is one of the more dynamic quarterbacks in the Mountain West in terms of his ability to use his feet or to create a play when something breaks down.

VTF: What have teams done to slow down the Pokes offense?

Reo: Force Allen to make mistakes. In Wyoming’s losses, he’s thrown 8 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. That’s what I like to call “Not Good.” In wins, however, he’s thrown 18 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. That’s what I like to call “Pretty Good.” Jake Browning (the Heisman candidate) had the exact same TD/int ratio as Allen does in wins.

VTF: Other than the aforementioned players, what other players does BYU need to watch out for?

Reo: Outside of the two that I already mentioned, there’s WR Tanner Gentry. He’s hauled in just over a third of Allen’s completions for 1,213 yards. He’s Josh’s favorite target, but Jake Maulhardt and Jacob Hollister (WR and TE, respectively) are more than willing to step up.

VTF: Although Wyoming has a potent offense, it seems Wyoming has really struggled on the defensive side of the ball. What has given them the most problems?

Reo: Passing the football. It’s like whenever there’s a pass play, everyone forgets what they’re supposed to be doing. It’s fascinating and horrifying at the same time, like watching someone throw a brick into a washing machine.

VTF: What unit on defense is Wyoming’s strength?

Reo: Getting turnovers. Wyoming’s tied for 10th in the country in turnovers gained (one of the teams they’re tied with is Ohio State). Outside of that, there really isn’t much to write home about.

VTF: BYU and Wyoming obviously go back a long ways from their Mountain West and WAC days. Do Wyoming fans still harbor a lot of hatred towards BYU? If so, why? Is BYU considered a rival for Wyoming?

Reo: I feel like there’s more dislike (hate, whatever) for BYU the older and farther west you are in the state, mostly because the older people remember the WAC and pre-WAC days and the western half, well, is closer to Utah and is home to a higher population of BYU fans than the eastern half.

In my opinion, people across the state consider BYU a rival, but they’re playing second fiddle to CSU in that department.

VTF: What is your prediction for the game?

Reo: In a shootout of epic proportions due to two mediocre passing defenses, Wyoming ekes out a 3 point win off the foot of kicker Cooper Rothe, 45-42.