Wyoming Cowboys (0-0) vs New Mexico St Aggies (0-0)Date : 08/25/2018
Time : 8:00 pm EST
Location : Aggie Memorial Stadium, Albuquerque, Mexico
Pick, Prediction, & Preview:
Wyoming Cowboys vs New Mexico St Aggies
Week 1 of the college football season will begin with a Mountain West vs newly Independent matchup against the Wyoming Cowboys and the New Mexico State Aggies, which will be played at Aggie Memorial Stadium in Albuquerque, Mexico, on Saturday beginning at 8:00 pm EST. The Cowboys will certainly be looking to improve upon their 2nd place standing in the Mountain West last year at 8-5 while also looking for a much better start to their season than in 2017 when they would lose 2 of their first 3 games while being outscored 73 to 16 by Oregon (at home) and by Iowa (away). The Aggies, on the other hand, have high hopes as they would depart the Sun Belt conference to become an independent, but not before they would win 4 of their last 6 games of the regular season in 2017 on their way to a 26-20 bowl win over the Utah State Aggies on 12-29-2017. The Aggies will also be looking for a much better start from this experienced bunch early on as they would suffer losses in 4 of their first 6 games of the season in 2017. This matchup will certainly be an interesting watch in that it pits a spread option team that averaged 340 yards passing in 2017 (6th) against a Wyoming team that was ranked high in pass defense with 175 yards/per game (13th).
Wyoming Cowboys's Latest Performance :
Also, with a bowl win in which to boast in 2017 (a 37-14 win over Central Michigan on 12-22-2017), the Cowboys begin the season with much confidence that its defense will be able to become the tip of the spear for this team in 2018. With Josh Allen no more at the helm for the Cowboys, Tyler Vander Waal will replace the rookie NFL QB under center for Wyoming in 2018 surrounding by 9 other returning starters from an offense that put up only 286 yards per game (177 passing/109 rushing) in 2017 while averaging 23.5 points per game, good for 105th nationally. The redshirt freshman will have some help on offense as Trey Woods will be returning and looking to a breakout season after 493 yards along with 2 TD performance on 141 attempts last year. Kellen Overstreet will also be looking to improve from his 471 yards on 109 rushes, and 3 TD’s in 2017. Vander Waal will have some freshman along the offensive line with Keegan Cryder manning the center position while redshirt freshman Eric Abojei will likely fill the left guard spot for the Cowboys. Juniors Austin Conway (61 rec/549 yds, 3 TD’s) and C.J. Johnson (30 rec/531 yds, 7 TD’s) will lead the receiving corps for Wyoming. Tyler Hall is also a huge weapon for the Cowboys, particularly on defense as well as on special teams as he racked up 508 yards on 15 returns last year for a 33.9-yard average. While the quarterback position may be a huge concern at this point for those in Laramie, the offense will certainly have a potent defense in which to back them up until the offense somehow kicks into gear.
The Wyoming defense was ranked 23rd in the nation last year in total points allowed at 335 (175 passing/160 rushing) and returns 8 of its starts from an 8-5, bowl winning season. Defensive lineman Carl Granderson (16 tackles for loss, 8.5 sacks) will be looking to man the trenches for the Cowboys defensive front while Youhanna Ghaifan (All MWC in 2017) will certainly be looking to increase his ability to be a disruptive force in the backfield. LB Logan Wilson and CB Andrew Wingard will be the defensive leaders in the middle and within the secondary for Wyoming with Wingard being named preseason defensive player of the year for the Mountain West for the 2nd consecutive year.
New Mexico St Aggies 's Latest Performance :
Fresh off signing a 4-year extension with the Aggies, coach Doug Martin stated, “My family and I are excited about continuing to build a quality football program at New Mexico State,”. “This gives our program great stability. Stability is largely the case for the Aggies in 2018, particularly, on the offense line where they will trot out a senior-laden group in which to open some holes for the offense. Billy Sharmoug will anchor this offensive line which also includes SR’s Sebastian Anderson and Sage Doxtater at tackles. JR Roberts Brice will hold down tight end duties for the Aggies while SR’s Drew Dan and OJ Clark (47 rec for 500 yds, 3 TD) will seek to step up as the leaders for the receiving corps. Senior Jason Huntley will be the star back this year for New Mexico State as he replaces Larry Rose III (186 rushes for 934 yards in 2017) while also looking to build from his 435 yards on 71 carry performance last year. The only area to which the Aggies should have some concern would be at quarterback as they would lose Tyler Rodgers (348-566, 4016 yards, 27 TD’s, 18 INT’s) to graduation. Next up will be Nick Jeanty, who has a bit of experience for the Aggies from 2017 as he would end the year at 48-72 with 389 yards, yet, with only 1 TD compared to 4 INT’s. While it can be tough to replace 5 starters on an offense, it is Martin’s hope that the experience around Jeanty can somehow help in better developing the quarterback as the season moves along. The philosophy should be to not put too much on the quarterback, in general, but allow him to work his way into bigger roles over time.
The defense for New Mexico State is returning 9 players from a defense that allowed a total of 401 total yards last year (234 passing/167 rushing), however, the unit really showed promise towards the end of the season leading into the bowl season. Cedric Wilctots II (8.5 sacks) will be anchoring a defensive unit that recording 43 sacks in 2017. Along with Wilcots, Terrill hanks (110 tackles) will also return for the defense while Shamad Lomax (4 INT’s) and Safety Ron LaForce will also be critical to the Aggies defensive success this year.
How Wyoming Cowboys & New Mexico St Aggies Matchup.
Vegas Odds, Offshore Odds, & Odds ATS:
In-Depth Analysis of each team:
This will certainly be a matchup worth watching. On one hand, you have a senior heavy offensive unit for the Aggies that are looking to establish their running game along with their spread option attack while on the other hand, you have an experienced and talented Wyoming defense that really looks to build from their 2017 stats in which to become more of a force against their opponents this year. The Wyoming offense does indeed have weapons which should really help VanderWaal’s maturity as he grows into the QB spot, while the Aggie defense will also be looking to exert itself as well after a shaky season that was highlighted by their winning streak towards the end of the year to where the D would stiffen up considerably from their earlier matchups. In all, this game will be a very exciting matchup to watch as each team will be battling for their 1st win of the year.
Against The Spread Selection: Pick: New Mexico State +4.5
My reason for the pick :
I will say that this will certainly be a strong pick on my behalf as I believe that 4.5 points are much to charge to a Wyoming team that has lost its do-it-all QB in Josh Allen while attempting to usher in a redshirt Freshman in Vander Waal in 2018. While the Aggies were terrible on defensive last year, with experience comes success as one will say. With that being said, expect the Aggie D to remained encouraged by their showing during the latter stages of the season in 2017. The Aggies offense has experience on the line as well as in various key/skilled position, however, their QB play may regress against the stifling Cowboys defensive front. Nonetheless, with this being the first home game of what will be the first season as an independent for New Mexico State, I would expect them to come out with pride and intensity in defending their home field. This will certainly be a low-scoring affair, yet, one I feel that the Aggies will keep close while possibly having the chance to win outright.
Totals Selection: Pick: Under 46
My reason for the prediction :
Wyoming averaged only 23.5 points per game with Josh Allen. With him out of the equation, I really would not expect much from Vander Waal coming out of the gate. Of course, the Cowboys will attempt to increase his confidence by dumping the ball off to other playmakers on offense, however, nothing too complicated at this point. Besides, the Aggie defense will be looking to assert itself early and often in this matchup, so, I do not expect much output from the Cowboys. On the other hand, the Aggies are having to deal with QB issues as well. Jeanty has not had much success in the Aggies spread attack and will certainly be hounded by the defense of Wyoming. With two teams looking to begin the season by establishing a defensive presence, this will be a contest to where points will be scarce, yet, this Cowboys-Aggies matchup will be very exciting, nonetheless.
Betting trends for Wyoming Cowboys:
- The Cowboys are 1-4 ATS in last 5 games in August
- The Under is 7-1 in Cowboys last 8 games on Turf
- The Under is 6-1 in Cowboys last 7 games
Betting trends for New Mexico St Aggies :
- The Aggies are 0-4 ATS in last 4 games on Turf
- The Aggies are 5-0 ATS in last 5 vs MWC
- The Under is 8-0-1 in Aggies last 9 home games