Border War Preview: Colorado State Versus The University of Wyoming


Nov 3, 2012; Laramie, WY, USA; Wyoming Army ROTC members stand guard over the Bronze Boot Trophy during the Colorado State Rams vs the Wyoming Cowboys game in the border war at War Memorial Stadium. The Cowboys defeated the Rams 45-31. Mandatory Credit: Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado State Rams host the Wyoming Cowboys in the annual Border War at Hughes Stadium on Saturday night. It does not get mentioned nationally, but it is one of the better rivalries in college football. While there is mutual respect on both sides, these two schools do not like each other and winning the Bronze Boot is a goal for both teams every season.

The Cowboys are in a rebuilding year under first year head Craig Bohl. They come in at 3-4 and look a lot like the Rams did two years ago in Jim McElwain’s first year in Fort Collins. Their record may not show it but the Cowboys are getting better every week and Bohl has them on the right track.

The Rams have won five in a row including a huge win over Utah State last Saturday and are starting to get some votes nationally for the top 25. On paper this game looks like a mismatch but rivalry games are never easy.

The biggest area of concern for the Cowboys will be on the defensive side of the ball, especially versus the pass. Rams quarterback Garrett Grayson is having a great senior season and wide receiver Rashard Higgins is one of the best receivers in the country.

The Cowboys on the other hand, have struggled versus the pass all season. They have not recorded a single interception and have given up eight passing touchdowns over the past three games. If the Cowboys are going to have any shot at the upset, then they are going to have to find a way to slow down the Rams passing game.

Defensively the Rams have gotten better every week and should be able to handle a struggling Cowboys offense. Wyoming does not throw the ball well and the Rams have been able to get consistent pressure on opposing quarterbacks. For the Cowboys to stay in the game, they must run the ball and take the pressure off of quarterback Colby Kirkegaard.

The Cowboys best shot on Saturday is to rely on running back, Shaun Wick. He is having a solid season and has scored touchdowns in each of the last three games. The Cowboys chances to stay in the game will be directly tied to their ability to run the ball, and control the clock.

In order to rely on that running game, the Cowboys have to stay in the game early. The Rams will try to jump out to a two score lead early and force the Cowboys to try and keep up. If that happens, then it’s going to be a long night for the Cowboys.

Look for the Rams to throw the ball early to get a lead and then pound the front seven of the Cowboys with Dee Hart and others.

The wildcard as it is in every game but even more so in a rivalry game are turnovers. The Cowboys cannot beat the Rams if they don’t get a couple of turnovers that led to short fields, and a couple of easy scores.

However if the Rams get a couple of turnovers from the Cowboys, then the game could get out of hand quickly.

The Cowboys are on the right track and two years from now, they should be where the Rams are now. That won’t help them today, though. The Rams are just playing too well and are the better football team.

The rivalry factor keeps is close for a quarter but the Rams have too many horses on offense and their defense will frustrate the Cowboys all night. The Bronze Boot stays in Fort Collins for another year

Rams-38 Cowboys-13

You can watch the game locally on Root Sports at 5pm Mountain Time.