First-year Wyoming football coach Craig Bohl began his Monday news conference like he has the others this season — giving a quick recap of the previous game.
And he said the Cowboys’ 45-17 win at Fresno State last Saturday was his team’s most complete game in all three phases of the game this season.
Here is video of the entire news conference:
One question asked by the media that wasn’t on the video was about if there was renewed enthusiasm among the players after the win, and if thoughts or goals of getting bowl eligible with two more wins were being talked about.
Bohl said that hasn’t been an emphasis this season, and that the only goal this team has is to prepare to host Utah State Friday night.
Another good thing that came from the Fresno State game was no new injuries. However, Bohl said senior defensive ends Sonny Puletasi (leg) and Riley Lange (concussion), along with senior safety Jesse Sampson (knee) remain day-to-day. None of those three practiced Monday. UW defensive ends coach AJ Cooper wasn’t optimistic that Lange would play this week.
A few other news and notes:
–Junior cornerback Tyran Finley had the team’s first two interceptions of the season at Fresno State. Both came late in the game when UW had a big lead, but despite that, Bohl said Finley’s first one had everyone excited on the sideline.
“I was thinking we were going to get an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty because our sideline just erupted,” Bohl said. “Coaches were running around dancing. Players were on the field.”
Added Bohl on finally getting those first interceptions of the season: “During practice we’ve had so many dropped (interceptions). I wanted to tell those guys to go to the sporting goods store and buy a new set of hands. It was great to see a couple of interceptions there.”
Bohl said Finley’s second interception was “a big-time play” and has liked how Finley has competed and played hard in recent games.
–True freshman running back Brian Hill was named the Mountain West Offensive Player of the Week Monday, and also was the Walter Camp Foundation National Offensive Player of the Week, which was announced Sunday.
Hill had a lot of interview requests on Monday, and said he has been flooded with calls and text messages since he ran for 281 yards and had 106 yards receiving against Fresno State.
“It’s been fun and overwhelming,” Hill said. “It was a great performance, and I can look back on this way in the future and be proud of it, but we have a game to play Friday so we have to close it out and focus on this game.”
Hill also wore a walking boot on his left foot Monday, but he said it was precautionary.
–Offensive coordinator Brent Vigen said the biggest reasons for UW’s season-high in points and yards (694) against Fresno State were UW going 10 of 15 on third down, and also being better on first and second down, and scoring all three times it was in the red zone.
“That opens up the game. It gives us confidence to keep building as a unit, and as a play-caller you’re willing to do more things,” Vigen said. “Each week week we’ve gotten a little bit better, even if the scoreboard hasn’t indicated that. I think there’s a better urgency in understanding how we need to play, too. We also placed a great emphasis on finishing after the Hawaii game (a game UW led 21-10 at halftime and 28-17 in the third quarter.
–Not a lot of changes on UW’s depth chart this week. Sophomore Lucas Wacha will start at strong-side linebacker. He is the fourth guy who will have started there this season. Senior linebacker Mark Nzeocha started the first seven games before a season-ending knee injury. Junior Malkaam Muhammad started Oct. 25 at Colorado State, but dislocated his elbow. Junior Jeff Lark started at Fresno State.
Redshirt sophomore Will Tutein will start at free safety for the second straight game. Junior Jake Jones and sophomore Sam Hardy are listed as ‘or’ in terms of starting at right guard. Both have played in UW’s last two games, but Jones started both.
–More on Utah State later this week, but the Aggies are among the best defenses in the Mountain West, and are tops in sacks, tackles for loss and interceptions. Bohl also said Utah State’s offensive line will be the most physical his team has seen so far this season, and added the line play has helped offset the fact the Aggies are on their fourth different starting quarterback due to injury.
One of the better stories of last week’s game at Fresno State, and the season thus far for UW, was the play of true freshman walk-on defensive end Seth Edeen — a Cheyenne Central graduate. Edeen was playing junior hockey at this time last year. He comes from a family of former UW football players, and at 6-2, 203 pounds, he doesn’t look the part of a college defensive end. But he played the part last week with three tackles, and a sack on his first tackle.
See Tuesday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and log on to wyosports.net for more on Edeen.