First, my No. 1 key for Wyoming in its game Saturday with Eastern Michigan:
Run the football: Pretty simple. Wyoming has get back to what it does best offensively. Twenty-nine yards last week versus North Dakota won’t cut it. The run game will keep a vulnerable UW defense off the field, and also take pressure off whoever plays quarterback for the Cowboys today. UW needs to run the ball, then run it some more.
More on that, and other things about the game in my video preview:
A few other notes and quotes:
–“We’ve got to move forward. I learned a long time ago if you look in the rear-view mirror a long time, you’re going to have those same results.” — UW coach Craig Bohl after last week’s 24-13 season-opening loss to North Dakota.
— Senior defensive end Eddie Yarbrough ranks 10th nationally among all active FBS players with 29.5 tackles for loss. He had one last week against North Dakota.
–“He was doing a good job of getting open, and I also feel like I have good chemistry with him. I know where he’s going and what he’s going to do. I feel comfortable with all the guys, too. It’s still coming along with the young guys.” — UW redshirt senior quarterback Cameron Coffman on the play of junior receiver Tanner Gentry last week (nine catches for 176 yards and a touchdown) and his comfort level with the Cowboys’ other wide receivers.
— Gentry leads the Mountain West after one week of games in catches and receiving yards. His receiving yards is fifth nationally and his catches are ninth.
–“Everybody is working overtime right now to find out what went wrong and to address those issues. Adjustments will be made.” — UW senior center Rafe Kiely.
— “That’s out of character for us, but at the same time it does prove we can do it a little different if need be.” — UW offensive coordinator Brent Vigen when asked if we might see the Cowboys try to push the tempo offensively — more like a two-minute drill — in the future. That seemed to work better last week, although UW was down 21-0 entering the fourth quarter.
— Junior Ethan Wood leads the MW in punting and is 11th nationally with an average of 47.5 yards per punt. Bohl said this week Wood’s punting was one of the few positives from the North Dakota game, but that his seven punts were too many.
— “This is an unnamed foe to me. I just want to get out on the field and erase the memories of last week.” — UW sophomore running back Brian Hill, who said he was recruited by Eastern Michigan out of high school in Illinois.
— “I don’t know that we’re used to dealing with success, and you have to respond equally well with negatives and positives from a game. Wyoming probably feels a lot like we do right now. This is a game where which team responds the best from last Saturday and in this game the best.” — Eastern Michigan coach Chris Creighton, whose team led 24-10 in the second half but lost its opener 38-34 at home last Saturday to Old Dominion.
— This is the first football game between Wyoming and Eastern Michigan. The Cowboys are 6-4 all-time against teams from the Mid-American Conference, including 5-3 as a member of the MW. UW has lost its last two home games against MAC foes — 45-16 to Bowling Green in 2008 and 34-31 to Toledo in 2012.
— Eastern Michigan sophomore Reginald Bell Jr. was one of only seven quarterbacks in the FBS last season to lead the team in rushing and passing last season. Bell ran for 562 yards and threw for 1,297 in 10 games, which included eight starts.
— This could be a game where the backup quarterbacks start and play the most. Coffman is a game-time decision due to a slight MCL sprain to his right knee. Bell injured his jaw late in last week’s game.
— The name of the week for this game goes to Eastern Michigan and senior linebacker Great Ibe, who recorded nine tackles last week.
For more UW-Eastern Michigan football coverage, see Saturday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and log on to wyosports.net. If you can’t make it to the game join me for my live chat, which starts at 1:45 p.m. Saturday — 15 minutes before kickoff. Links to the chat will be on this blog and wyosports.net.