Cowboys and Aggies Battle for Bridger’s Rifle on Saturday

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(Credit https://twitter.com/wyo_football)

ROCK SPRINGS, WYOMING (Nov. 12, 2019) — The Wyoming Cowboys (6-3 overall, 3-2 MW) head to Utah State (5-4 overall, 4-1 MW) for a 2 p.m. kickoff on Saturday afternoon.

The game will be broadcast on 99.7 JACK-FM and streamed on 99ksit.com.

It will be the 70th meeting between the schools and the seventh meeting for Bridger’s Rifle.

A new tradition was incorporated into a century-old rivalry in 2013 when the Wyoming Cowboys and Utah State Aggies introduced the “Bridger’s Battle” tradition. As part of the tradition, a traveling “Bridger Rifle” is awarded to the winner each year. The Bridger’s Battle series now stands at 4-2 in favor of Utah State.

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About The Cowboys

Defense Led by Halliburton, Wilson

Senior linebacker Logan Wilson and senior safety Alijah Halliburton have been involved for 26 percent of the defensive plays made by Wyoming this year, combining for 174 total tackles. Last week, they combined for 31 percent of the total tackles made for Wyoming. Wilson also added an interception and sack in last week’s game.

The Cowboy defense held Boise State to 285 yards of total offense. That was nearly 200 yards under their average of 469 per game, which ranked No. 23 in the nation.

The Pokes held Boise State to only 91 yards rushing. Wyoming is 4-2 this season when holding the opponent to under 100 yards rushing.

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Vander Waal Steps Up, Valladay Makes History

Sophomore quarterback Tyler Vander Waal was solid in his first start of the season. He completed 65 percent of his passes, which was a career-high and a season-best for the Pokes, the best percentage by a Wyoming quarterback since Josh Allen completed 69 percent of his passes at Utah State in 2017.

Senior tight end Josh Harshman was Vander Waal’s top target at Boise State. He grabbed a career-best six catches against the Broncos.

Sophomore Running back Xazavian Valladay rushed for 124 yards at Boise State and was the first 100-yard rusher against the Broncos this season. He did so on 37 carries for the night, which tied a school record for carries.

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About Utah State

The Utah State Aggies come into this week’s game with a 5-4 record and a 4-1 record in the Mountain West Conference.

Aggie Offense

Leading the Aggie offense is junior quarterback Jordan Love, the 2019 Mountain West Preseason Offensive Player of the Year. He has thrown for 2,402 yards this season, averaging 266.9 passing yards per game.  He has thrown 11 touchdowns to 12 interceptions.

The Aggies leading rusher is senior Gerold Bright. He has rushed for 614 yards and six rushing touchdowns. Joining Bright in the backfield is junior running back Jaylen Warren, rushing for 444 yards and five rushing touchdowns.

Utah State’s receiving corps is led by senior wide receiver Siaosi Mariner, who has 45 receptions for 630 yards and six receiving touchdowns. Junior wideout Jordan Nathan has 32 catches for 409 yards, and sophomore Deven Thompkins has caught 30 passes for 372 yards.

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Aggie Defense

The defense was being led by junior inside linebacker David Woodward, but Woodward suffered a season-ending injury prior to the BYU game on Nov. 2. He had recorded 93 tackles through the first seven games of the 2019 season.

The Aggies leading tackler entering this week is junior safety Troy Lefeged Jr., who has recorded 63 tackles.

Aggie Special Teams

On special teams, junior kick returner Savon Scarver leads the Mountain West and is ranked No. 5 in the nation in kickoff returns this season, averaging 31.6 yards per return.

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Up Next

The Pokes host Colorado State on Friday, Nov. 22 for a 7:30 p.m. start inside War Memorial Stadium.

It will mark the 111th Edition of the Border War.

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