Cowboys ready for the home stretch with plenty to play for

First-year Wyoming football coach Craig Bohl said his team “utilized its bye week wisely” last week.

The team practiced a good part of last week, and much of that work was getting ready for Saturday’s home-finale against Boise State — a team UW has never defeated in eight games and has been outscored 148-43 in three home games.

UW enters the game 4-6 overall and 2-4 in the Mountain West. It needs to win its final two games to get to 6-6 and become bowl eligible. Boise State is 8-2, 5-1 and if it wins out it will win the league’s Mountain Division.

“Without question (Boise State) is one of the top teams in our conference and around the country,” Bohl said. “We’re excited about playing them, but it will be a big challenge.”

Here is Bohl during his weekly news conference with the media Monday:

UW senior cornerback Blair Burns said the team had a good week of practice last week and most everyone on the team “feels energized.” UW’s defense better feel that way because it faces a Boise State team that leads the MW and is 15th nationally in scoring at 37.7 points per game.

UW defensive coordinator Steve Stanard said the Broncos are “very multiple” with their offense and they “are as multiple, diverse and as well-coached as any offense we’ve played in the conference this season.”

Riley Lange

Riley Lange

UW will get senior defensive end Riley Lange (concussion) back this week, but senior defensive end Sonny Puletasi (leg) will be a game-time decision and hasn’t practiced since his injury on Oct. 18. Bohl also said senior safety Jesse Sampson (knee) recently underwent season-ending surgery.

Stanard said senior middle linebacker Jordan Stanton (Achilles and hamstring) is healthy and will play in UW’s base defense this week. Stanard also said sophomore outside linebacker Lucas Wacha could play some at both the weak-side and strong-side positions this week.

Saturday will be the final home game for 23 UW seniors, one of the team’s largest senior classes over the last three or four years. I asked a handful of those guys how they would describe this group, and words like “relentless, dedicated and brothers” were used a lot. How would you describe this senior class?

One of the things the team did during the bye week was have a “Futures Bowl” with some of the younger players. Senior quarterback Colby Kirkegaard said: “I know we have some talented guys who are pretty far along with their athletic ability. They were running pretty hard. It was fun.”

For more UW football and sports coverage, see Tuesday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and log on to