ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.– Less than 24 hours before the football teams concludes its season against Wyoming in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl, the Owls said they are more prepared for postseason play than they were two years ago when they played the UCLA Bruins in the EagleBank Bowl.
“We’re doing a lot more than what we did last time and we’re basically living in the film room right now and we’re committed to playing a great game,” senior linebacker Tahir Whitehead said. “Two years ago was the first time we went to a bowl game in a long time and this year we know how to whether the storm and manage bowl games with practice and get ready for the game.”
For Whitehead and the rest of the Owls’ defense, the majority of that time spent in the film room has been focused on Cowboys’ freshman quarterback Brett Smith. Smith is a two-way threat for the Cowboys as he averaged 250 passing yards and 50 rushing yards a game.
“I would say he’s similar to [Ohio sophomore quarterback Tyler Tettleton], he’s young but it seems like he knows what he’s doing, he has really good lineman that can really get after our defensive line,” senior defensive end Adrian Robinson said.
Wyoming employs a spread attack that averages nearly 400 yards a game of total and boasts an offensive line that is very stingy when it comes giving up sacks and this season, the Cowboys average less than one sack a game.
“They keep you on your toes, they can come at you in any way possible, they spread you out and they get all their receivers involved the passing game, they use screens, draws and the quarterback runs,” Whitehead said. “It’s going to be a tough game and we have to be locked in and ready to go.”
The Owls will look to win their first bowl game since 1979 tomorrow at 2 p.m.
“A win tomorrow would mean a lot, in the past couple of years, we haven’t finished the season the way we wanted to and a win would change that all around for us because it would send the younger guys into the next season with a good feeling, that’s all it about.” Whitehead said.
“This is a big game for us, this is like our championship, we want our legacy to be that we won our last game,” Robinson said.