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Pokes Not Overlooking Texas State

Wyoming not overlooking Texas State
Jerrad Anderson, Townsquare Media

The Wyoming Cowboys, coming off an impressive 56-23 road win at Air Force last week, will wrap up their 2013 non-conference schedule on Saturday when they travel to San Marcos, Texas, to face the Texas State Bobcats. Saturday’s game is schedule to kick off at 5 p.m., Mountain Time (6 p.m., Central Time) from Bobcat Stadium in San Marcos.

Wyoming is 3-1 on the season, and is seeking its fourth-consecutive win. Texas State is 2-1 on the year. The Bobcats began the season with two wins over Southern Miss (22-15 on the road) and Prairie View A&M (28-3 at home) before losing (7-33) at No. 25 ranked Texas Tech last week.

Playing fast has been the focus of Wyoming head coach Dave Christensen since the beginning of 2013 spring football, and the fifth-year head coach now has his Cowboy Offense doing just that. Wyoming’s up-tempo offense currently has it ranking among the nation’s elite in several categories. UW ranks No. 2 in the nation in first downs, No. 8 in total offense, No. 13 in passing offense and No. 21 in scoring offense out of 123 Football Bowl Subdivision teams.

Wyoming has scored 30 or more points in each game this season. The Pokes scored 34 at Nebraska (in a 34-37 loss), 42 vs. Idaho (in a 42-10 win), 35 against Northern Colorado (in a 35-7 victory) and 56 (in a 56-23 road win) at Air Force. That marks the first time since the 1996 season that the Pokes have scored 30 or more points in four consecutive games. UW scored 30 or more points in five consecutive games during the 1996 season.

Last week’s 56 points versus Air Force were the most points Wyoming had scored in a single game since Sept. 6, 1997, when UW defeated Iowa State 56-10 in Laramie. The 56 points against the Falcons was also the most points Wyoming had ever scored versus its Front Range rival.

The Wyoming Cowboys have played Texas State only one previous time in their football history, but they will be facing a familiar face when they take on the Bobcats on Saturday. Texas State is led by head coach Dennis Franchione, who coached against Wyoming at New Mexico, TCU and Texas A&M along with a 2011 meeting vs. the Cowboys in his first year back at Texas State. Wyoming holds a 4-2 advantage over Franchione-coached teams.

Texas State is a member of the Sun Belt Conference. The Wyoming Cowboys have played three current members of the Sun Belt Conference. Those three are Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe and Texas State. UW holds a 6-0 record versus current members of the Sun Belt.

The current 2013 Wyoming Cowboy football team is putting up similar numbers to the high-powered Wyoming offenses under Paul Roach and Joe Tiller from the late-1980s through the mid-1990s. The 1988 squad, with Roach as head coach, holds the Wyoming school record for scoring. That team averaged 39.3 points per game. The 2013 Cowboys are averaging 41.8 points per game through four games. Tiller’s 1996 team set the school record for total offense, averaging 498.9 yards per game. This year’s Cowboy team is averaging 556.2 yards per game.

Cowboy junior quarterback Brett Smith has been a big part of that offensive explosion by the Cowboys this season. Smith set a Wyoming single-game total offense record last week at Air Force, amassing 511 yards of total offense. He broke the previous record of 482 yards set by former Cowboy quarterback Josh Wallwork back in 1996 against Idaho.

The Mountain West Conference named Smith its Offensive Player of the Week for his performance.

Smith has already set a number of Wyoming school records, and is on the verge of several others. Here is a summary of Smith’s record-setting performances.
No. 1 Career Touchdown Passes – 60
No. 1 Career TDs Responsible For – 78
No. 1 Pass Attempts Without Interception – 183
No. 1 Single-Game Total Offense – 511
No. 2 Career Total Offense – 8,031
No. 2 Season TD Passes – 27 (2012)
No. 3 Season Total Offense – 3,332 (2011)
No. 4 Career Passing Yards – 6,774

Saturday’s game will be broadcast live on radio over the 25 affiliate stations of the Cowboy Sports Network, beginning with the pregame show at 4 p.m., Mountain Time (5 p.m., Central). The game will also be televised on the Longhorn Network. Check your local cable or satellite provider for coverage in your area.

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