Do you take any positives from Wyoming’s 45-31 loss at Colorado State Saturday?
The offense scored 28 second-half points, including 21 in the fourth quarter. Yes, those points came after the game was no longer in doubt. But, was it a positive and something the team can build on?
True freshman running back Brian Hill looked good after junior Shaun Wick left with a broken hand on the first series. Hill had 121 yards on 28 carries and two touchdowns. I think UW fans are going to like watching him run the ball in the future.
Defensively … OK, hard to draw many positives there as more injuries and missed tackles hurt the Cowboys (no pun intended) once again. Tim Harkins, UW’s sports information director who has been at the school more than 20 years, said he doesn’t remember this many injuries to a Cowboys’ team since former coach Joe Tiller’s first season in 1991 when around 20 players under went surgeries due to injuries.
Here is what first-year coach Craig Bohl said after the game:
Unfortunately for UW (3-5 overall, 1-3 Mountain West and losers of four straight) this game was similar to many others: inconsistent offense and defense. The injuries on defense continue to pile up, but many of the same issues — such as missed tackles — plagued this defense even when healthy.
Some fans have expressed their want to see younger players see more time to build toward the future.
They will get their wish in some areas such as Hill at running back, sophomores Will Tutein and Xavier Lewis at safety, junior Tyran Finley at cornerback and junior Jeff Lark at linebacker. We have already seen glimpes of other guys such as true freshman Ryan Cummings at left tackle and true freshman Robert Priester at cornerback.
Some want to see what UW has at quarterback. Despite going 24 of 38 for 335 yards and two touchdowns, some want to see senior Colby Kirkegaard benched and see what guys like sophomores Tom Thornton and/or Aaron Young can do.
I don’t have an issue with UW getting a guy like Thornton a series or two in UW’s last four games to see what he can do. But while Kirkegaard and the offense remains inconsistent, Kirkegaard is still the clear-cut No. 1 guy. If not, Thornton or even Young would have seen some time earlier this season.
There is something to be said about seeing what the future holds at certain positions for UW, but same can be said for seniors like Kirkegaard — a team captain — who has done a lot become UW’s starter. One can only hope many of the younger guys on this team has the attitude, toughness and perseverance as Kirkegaard has.
Would love to hear your thoughts on this, folks.
Bohl’s Monday news conference should be an interesting one as he gives out the weekly injury report. Don’t think it looks good for Wick, senior free safety Jesse Sampson (leg) and junior linebacker Malkaam Muhammad (elbow) to be back this season. I also didn’t like how senior right tackle Connor Rains got rolled up on late in the game and hurt his ankle. Rains came back in the game, but later left.