“The Boot” is on the line tonight. It’s Wyoming versus Colorado State in the 111th Border War at War Memorial Stadium in Laramie.

The Cowboys and Rams square off in a big Mountain Division game in the Mountain West. UW is trying to secure a possible bowl bid, while CSU is trying to keep its bowl hopes alive. Kick-off is at 7:35 p.m.

Wyoming is 6-4 on the season and 3-3 in the conference. Colorado State is 4-6 on the year and also 3-3 in the MW.

Broadcast Coverage

The Border War is available on the radio, through mobile apps or TV. You can listen to the game on KOWB (AM 1290) in Laramie or KTWO (AM 1030) in Casper. You can also listen through the KOWB mobile app or K2Radio mobile app. The game is being televised on ESPN2.

The Series

The first game in the rivalry was in 1899. The Rams lead the overall series 58-47 and there have been 5 ties, which makes this the 111th edition. The Cowboys have won the last three and lead the series for the Bronze Boot, 27-24. That traveling trophy was established as part of the Border War in 1968.

Senior Recognition

In addition to the rivalry matchup, it’s also the final home game of the season for the Pokes. There are 15 seniors that will be introduced in a ceremony prior to kick-off, at about 7:25 p.m. They are Austin Conway, Ryan Galovich, Josiah Hall, Tyler Hall, Alijah Halliburton, Josh Harshman, Raghib Ismail Jr., Cassh Maluia, John Okwoli, Cooper Rothe, Trey Smith, Nick Szpor, Jaylon Watson, Logan Wilson, and Ben Wisdorf.

KOWB’s David Settle visited with senior tight end Josh Harshman about his final home game, this rivalry, trying to bounce back from two close losses, and getting ready for the game.

Key Players

Wyoming needs to get Xazavian Valladay and its ground game going. Valladay has rushed for 100-yards or more in four straight games. He needs just 131 for a 1,000-yard season. Valladay is second in the MW in rushing this season at 96.6 yards per game.

Colorado State wants to protect quarterback Patrick O’Brien. He has started the last seven games and thrown for 2,297 yards this season. O’Brien has 10 touchdowns and four interceptions. His favorite receiver is 6’6 Warren Jackson, who has 63 catches for 940 yards.

Common Links

The four common opponents for these two are New Mexico, San Diego State, UNLV and Utah State. Both teams have wins over the Lobos and Rebels, while both lost to the Aztecs and Aggies.

3 Key Questions

  • Can Wyoming establish enough of a passing game to open up its ground attack? Yes, everyone knows the Cowboys want to run the ball, but when they’ve had success through the air, it’s opened up more lanes for Valladay or Brett Brenton, and even occasionally Tyler Vander Waal to run the ball effectively.
  • Can UW continue to stuff the run? The Pokes allow only 98.3 rush yards per game. That’s third in the conference and No. 9 in the nation. If you can make an opponent one-dimensional, it can make it easier to attack the opposing offense.
  • Can the Cowboys get to the QB? CSU has struggled with its ground attack, so if Wyoming can make the Rams one-dimensional, can the CSU offensive line, which has had its issues, keep their QB O’Brien upright to make plays down the field? UW has 30 sacks to lead the MW this year. Pressure can also lead to turnovers.

Wyoming seeks its fourth straight win, something they haven’t done since 2009-2012. The Border War between the Cowboys and rival Rams is tonight in Laramie.

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