Cougars look to round up Cowboys

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    By Ryan Hope

    The BYU football team looks to pull its record up to .500, when it hosts Wyoming, Saturday Nov. 9.

    At 4-5 overall and 1-3 in Mountain West Conference action, the Cougars need to win two of their remaining three games to be eligible for a postseason bowl bid.

    Wyoming, 2-7 overall and 1-3 in the Mountain West, played a tough non-conference schedule this year with losses to Tennessee, Washington and Boise State.

    “Wyoming is a much better team than their record shows,” head coach Gary Crowton said. “They are playing very good football right now.”

    Wyoming junior quarterback Casey Bramlet currently leads the Mountain West Conference in passing, connecting on 216 of 356 passes for 2,443 yards through nine games.

    “Their quarterback is a very good player,” Crowton said. “He likes to get out of the pocket and buy some time to make big throws down the field.”

    Five receivers on Wyoming”s team have more than 20 receptions this season, led by freshman Jovon Bouknight who has 46.

    “They have some good receivers,” Crowton said. “They”re big and they”re quick.”

    Junior receiver Malcom Floyd is 6-6, senior Brock Ralph is 6-3, senior Scottie Vines is 6-2 and Bouknight and junior Ryan McGuffey are both 6-1.

    “Because of their quarterback”s ability to scramble, we”re going to have to cover longer,” Crowton said. “We need to do better in pass coverage.”

    While Wyoming comes into the game leading the Mountain West in pass offense, BYU counters with the conference”s leading pass defense.

    The cornerback position, which will be tested against Wyoming, remains banged up.

    Junior Brandon Heaney will miss the remainder of the season due to a chronic shoulder separation problem. Senior Mike Sumko (knee) also is gone for the season, and junior Jernaro Gilford (leg) will be limited to 15 to 20 plays, according to Crowton.

    Junior Derek Armah is the leading rusher for the Cowboys, carrying the ball 99 times for 495 yards.

    BYU is coming off its best defensive effort of the year, after limiting San Diego State to 246 yards of total offense.

    “It was good to see us play well against an offense that is as good as San Diego State,” Crowton said. “Coach Schmidt did a good job preparing the team and disguising what we were doing.”

    Crowton was pleased with junior Mike Tanner, who made his first start at middle linebacker against San Diego State, and Paul Walkenhorst who moved from middle to strong side linebacker.

    Redshirt freshman Matt Berry will make his fourth start at quarterback for Cougars. Berry played his best game of the year against San Diego State, passing for 280 yards and three touchdowns.

    “No matter how many good players you have, you really need a good quarterback,” junior receiver Toby Christensen said. “He”s young, but he”s very talented. Now that he has the confidence to lead a team I think you”re going to see a different person,” Christensen said of Berry.

    Game time is set for 4:00 p.m. and will be broadcast on KSL channel 5.

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