Media Monday: Wyoming starts preparations for Air Force

At 0-5, to say anything came easy for the Cowboys would be grossly false. But the Cowboys start a string of six consecutive Mountain West games this week against teams that went to bowl games last season. The first is at Air Force at 8:15 p.m. MT in a game televised nationally on ESPN2.

Here is second-year-coach Craig Bohl at his weekly news conference Monday.

There wasn’t a lot of movement on UW’s depth chart heading into this game. Bohl is hopeful senior running back Shaun Wick (concussion) will return this week. Wick was not listed on the depth chart.

Sophomore Josh Tapscott was the backup behind sophomore Brian Hill. Tapscott and redshirt freshman Nico Evans both got carries in UW’s 31-13 loss at Appalachian State last week as Wick didn’t make the trip.

Hill had 208 yards on a career-high 30 carries last week, and until Wick returns, look to see a lot of Hill in UW’s backfield.

“There’s a pretty significant drop-off between Brian and the other players,” Bohl said. “We thought about getting (true freshman Kellen Overstreet) in there, but we we also thought having three or four tailbacks in the game would be counter-productive. Depending on the type of run, we can insert Josh and Nico, and they held their own last week. But Brian is going to get the lion’s share of the carries. As he goes, our offense goes.”

UW started true freshman Kaden Jackson at right guard the last two games, but went with senior Troy Boyland last week. Both played, and both will continue to play as the season continues. Although a senior, this is Boyland’s first season playing guard as he moved over from the defensive line.

“We’re real young at that spot,” Bohl said. Kaden’s play has been solid, and (true freshman right tackle Zach Wallace) has been good to solid. But right now, Kaden playing the whole game is not the best thing for team. They will continue to split reps.”

Many of the players I talked to Monday consider Air Force a rivalry game. The Air Force players I talked with — junior safety Weston Steelhammer (the best last name in college football) and senior defensive end Alex Hansen didn’t go that far.

Here’s what UW senior defensive end Eddie Yarbrough said about the Air Force game, and the challenges of getting ready for it.

Junior nose tackle Chase Appleby agreed with Yarbrough, but also said he loves playing against Air Force.

Air Force’s triple option is similar to what New Mexico runs, and the Cowboys lost to the Lobos 38-28 at home Sept. 26. New Mexico ran for 302 yards and burned UW on scoring plays of 56, 19, 64 and 43 yards. The 64-yarder was a pass play. Appleby said Air Force’s option offense is faster than New Mexico’s.

For more on this game, as well as other UW and high school sports coverage, see the Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and log on to wyosports.net.