GHAALI MUHAMMAD, LINEBACKER
Muhammad played linebacker during his first two seasons with the Cowboys and started in 2010. He moved to running back last year, when he led the team with 379 rushing yards before an injury ended his season.
Coach Dave Christensen gave him the choice of where he wanted to play as a senior and Muhammad chose defense.
That experience last year was a good time, Muhammad told the Laramie Boomerang in the spring. But going back to defense this year, Im excited about that. I kind of got away from hitting people last year, so Im excited to start hitting people again.
Hes done plenty of that leading the team with 64 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss and three fumble recoveries. He also has returned one kickoff for 15 yards and is listed as a starter there.
MIKE PURCELL, DEFENSIVE TACKLE
The Cowboys have a strong front seven, and Purcell is one of the anchors. He has a remarkable (for a tackle) 50 stops third on the team.
The 6-foot-3, 303-pounder started two games as a true freshman in 2009, 12 as a sophomore and 10 as a junior. He made a career-high 57 tackles as a sophomore. He has 10 tackles in two games against Boise State. He also blocked a PAT in last years game.
Hes always around the ball, Boise State left guard Joe Kellogg said. Hes always getting off blocks. Hes just relentless in the pass game and the run game.
Purcell will need to play well to slow the Broncos run game. He might be our most consistent player on defense, Wyoming coach Dave Christensen said earlier this month. Hes been a dominant presence in the middle.
BRETT SMITH, QUARTERBACK
The reigning Mountain West Freshman of the Year has produced when hes been on the field this season. He has missed two games and part of a third because of concussions and was ejected from another for getting two unsportsmanlike-conduct penalties.
Smith averages 268 passing yards and 33.8 rushing yards per game. He has thrown 14 touchdown passes against six interceptions, and his efficiency rating of 150.16 would rank third in the Mountain West if he had played in enough games to qualify.
Last year, Smith completed 17 passes for just 78 yards against Boise State. He rushed for 37 yards.
Hes a scary quarterback because he gets out of stuff he shouldnt, Boise State coach Chris Petersen said. Hell keep things alive. Sometimes, thats some of his best football.