Tale of the Tape: Wyoming at Fresno State

Nov. 25—Quarterback

Fresno State's Jake Haener was voted the Mountain West preseason offensive player of the year in July, but missed four games this season with a high ankle sprain. Haener has returned and looks as dominant as ever, helping the Bulldogs win four games to push the team's winning streak to six games. On the season, Haener is 190-of-255 for 2,249 yards, 16 touchdowns and just three interceptions. For the Cowboys, it's still unclear who will be under center. Andrew Peasley missed last weekend's game against Boise State with a concussion, and is still considered day-to-day this week. Backup Jayden Clemons started in his place against the Broncos, finishing 3-for-16 for 30 yards and three interceptions. Regardless of who starts, UW's passing offense is one of the worst in the conference, ranking No. 10 with an average of 129.9 yards per game.

Advantage: Fresno State

Running backs

The Cowboys have the No. 2 rushing offense in the conference, with an average of 196.9 yards per game, compared to the Bulldogs' eighth-ranked rushing offense that averages 132.1 yards per game. Jordan Mims leads Fresno State with 1,026 yards and 11 touchdowns on 202 carries. UW works in more of a committee backfield, but Titus Swen isn't far behind Mims with 964 yards and eight touchdowns on 183 carries. Swen is coming off his career-best game, where he ran for 212 yards and one score on 19 carries. UW could be without backups D.Q. James and Dawaiian McNeely, who were both left off of this week's depth chart because of injuries. Even with the injury concerns, the Cowboys should hold the advantage because of the two teams' playing styles.

Advantage: Wyoming

Wide receivers and tight ends

Fresno State has one of the most explosive wide receivers in the conference in Jalen Moreno-Cropper. The senior is No. 2 in the MW with 971 receiving yards on 72 catches and five touchdowns. The Bulldogs also have Nikko Remigio, who is second on the team with 59 receptions of 661 yards and four touchdowns. For UW, Joshua Cobbs leads the team with 31 catches for 377 yards and two touchdowns. The biggest difference between these two units is opportunities, which gives the distinct advantage to the Bulldogs.

Advantage: Fresno State

Offensive line

To go along with its No. 2-ranked rushing offense in the conference, UW has allowed the third-fewest sacks on the year. The Cowboys have allowed just 14 sacks in 11 games for a total of 106 yards. The Bulldogs rank No. 7 in the conference with 29 sacks allowed for 178 yards. UW is averaging 5.2 yards per carry, compared to Fresno State's 4.0.

Advantage: Wyoming

Defensive line

The Cowboys' young core of defensive linemen have consistently been ranked at the top of the conference all season. UW is third in the MW in sacks with 31 for 183 yards, while the Bulldogs are ranked No. 6 with 23 sacks for 153 yards. UW's rushing defense is No. 5 in the conference, allowing an average of 152.9 yards per game, compared to Fresno State's 166.3 yards allowed per game, which ranks eighth.

Advantage: Wyoming


UW's Easton Gibbs has turned into one of the best linebackers in the conference, and his numbers reflect that. The sophomore is No. 3 in the MW in tackles with 99 to go along with two sacks. Fresno State's two leading tacklers are linebackers Levelle Bailey and Malachi Langley. Bailey has 74 tackles, five pass deflections and one forced fumble, and Langley has 50 tackles, one sack and one interception.

Advantage: Push

Defensive backs

Fresno State's pass defense is in the middle of the pack of the MW, ranking fifth with an average of 203.1 passing yards per game. The Cowboys are near the bottom of the conference, ranking ninth with an average of 223.1 yards allowed per game. UW's top cornerback, Cameron Stone, is tied for second in the MW with 11 pass breakups on the year, followed closely behind by Fresno State's Cameron Lockridge who is tied for fourth with nine pass breakups.

Advantage: Fresno State

Special teams

UW's strongest unit is in the special teams. Kicker John Hoyland tied the school record for field goals made in season with his 20th last weekend against Boise State. On the season, Hoyland leads the conference with a 20-of-23 clip and a season-long of 55 yards. Fresno State's Abraham Montano is just 12-of-17 on the year (70.6%).

Advantage: Wyoming

Final Score: Fresno State 27, Wyoming 13

Alex Taylor covers the University of Wyoming for WyoSports. He can be reached at ataylor@wyosports.net or 269-364-3560. Follow him on Twitter at @alex_m_taylor22