Cowboys put bye week to good use

There may not have been a game, but that doesn’t mean the Wyoming football team didn’t get a lot of work done last week.

Yes, the Cowboys used the bye week for some guys to rest and recover mentally and physically from their first five games. But the team practiced four times, including a Saturday afternoon practice after the coaches returned from recruiting.

“It was definitely a work week,” junior defensive end Eddie Yarbrough said. “(This coaching staff) do their bye weeks a lot different than other programs. They let us get our bodies back, but we also grinded because we have a game with Hawaii coming up.”

First-year coach Craig Bohl said he felt it was important to practice and keep the players’ focus on football because everything is still new in terms of offense, defense and special teams. Bohl felt if the players got too much time off that it would be a lot like starting from scratch in terms of getting them back to the task at hand, which is getting better and preparing for Saturday’s game at Hawaii.

“It was a lot like game-mode,” offensive coordinator Brent Vigen said.

Here is video from Bohl’s news conference with the media Monday:

Added junior running back Shaun Wick: “It was definitely a hard bye week. We got a lot done in the weight room. Practice-wise, it was just hard. It was a grind, even though we did get time for recovery and maintaining strength.”

Despite the bye week, there will be more shuffling along UW’s offensive line this week.

Bohl said senior right tackle Connor Rains is out for a couple of weeks after having an appendectomy Sunday night. He is UW’s second player (junior right guard Jake Jones) to have had that done this season.

Ryan Cummings

Ryan Cummings

True freshman Ryan Cummings will start at left tackle this week, and junior Austin Traphagan will replace Rains on the right side. Traphagan will have started games at three different positions. He also has started at right guard and left tackle.

Cummings is starting because sophomore Nathan Leddige is still undergoing evaluation following his second concussion since fall camp suffered just before UW’s last game Sept. 27 at Michigan State.

The Hawaii game will mark the third consecutive game it will have had a different starting lineup along the offensive line.

As far as an early scouting report on Hawaii, Bohl said the Rainbow Warriors (1-4, 0-0) have a dual threat quarterback in sophomore Ikaika Woolsey. Senior Scott Harding is a solid receiver and also is the team’s punter. Bohl said Harding is a rugby-style punter who can kick with both his left and right foot, and opponents have difficulty getting a lot of quality returns against him.

Hawaii’s defense allowed nearly 39 points and and 494.7 yards per game last season. This season, despite its record, it has allowed 25.6 points and 383.2 yards per game. Hawaii runs a 3-4 scheme, which has given UW some problems in past games with Oregon and Air Force.

And, two UW players from Honolulu will return home to play in front of friends and family — redshirt freshman strong safety Tim Kamana (who will make his second consecutive start) and junior defensive end Siaosi Hala’api’api.

I will have more on them later this week. But a few quick notes on both: Hala’api’api said he never went to a Hawaii home game while he lived there, although it was between UW and Hawaii as his final two college choices. Kamana said he played most of his high school games in Aloha Stadium.

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