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UW FOOTBALL

Wyoming Cowboys are picked fifth in preseason Mountain West football poll

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NCAA Football: Wyoming - Spring Football Game

Wyoming Cowboys quarterback Andrew Peasley hands off during the Brown and Gold spring game April 30 at War Memorial Stadium in Laramie.

LAS VEGAS – The Cowboys are considered a long shot to win the program’s first Mountain West title.

Wyoming was picked to finish fifth in the six-team Mountain Division in the preseason MW media poll released Wednesday as part of the conference’s media day event here at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino.

Boise State is the favorite to win the division with 14 first-place votes, followed by Air Force (10), Utah State (3) and Colorado State.

New Mexico, which notched its only conference win in Laramie this season, was voted last in the division.

Fresno State is the clear-cut favorite in the West Division with 20 first-place votes. Reigning division champion San Diego State is picked second and received the other eight first-place votes with San Jose State, Nevada, UNLV and Hawaii rounding out the pecking order.

Despite the low outside expectations, ninth-year UW head coach Craig Bohl was confident and upbeat about the looming campaign during his hour-long session with the media.

Bohl didn’t make any guarantees about winning a MW title but noted that North Dakota State won the FCS national championship during his ninth season coaching the Bison.

“The sky is not falling,” Bohl said. “We’re lying in the weeds.”

The MW will end divisional play after the season. UW’s two guaranteed opponents through 2025 are Air Force and CSU.

The Cowboys are coming off a disappointing 7-6 overall finish (2-6 MW) after being voted second in the Mountain Division in 2021. After beating Kent State in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, the program was rocked by a wave of transfers.

The exodus included losing quarterbacks Levi Williams (Utah State) and Sean Chambers (Montana State) to the portal.

Bohl understands the uncertainty at quarterback, coupled with all of the players coming and going through the portal, made it tough for media members to vote the Pokes higher.

Utah State was picked to finish sixth last year and won the MW.

“Another year that turned out to be really good was 2016. We were picked last,” Bohl said. UW won the Mountain Division and lost to San Diego State in the MW championship game that season. “I think I brought Dewey (Andrew Wingard) and Josh (Allen) here, two guys nobody knew anything about.

“We have the ability to be pretty good. The men and women that are in this room, and you’re vetting things, you wouldn’t look at Wyoming and say, ‘OK, this is where they’re at.’”

Quarterback Andrew Peasley, who transferred to UW from Utah State, will be the favorite to win the job when fall camp opens next Wednesday.

Running back Titus Swen, who was named to the Doak Walker watch list Wednesday, will lead the offense after rushing for 785 yards and seven touchdowns.

Linebacker Easton Gibbs, who will join Swen as the Pokes’ player representatives during Thursday’s media session, will lead the defense.

Bohl announced Wednesday that veteran offensive lineman Latrell Bible has left the program and talented sophomore Nofoafia Tulafono will be the starting center.

Follow UW beat writer Ryan Thorburn on Twitter @By_RyanThorburn

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