Media Monday: Wyoming prepares for Utah State on short week

Coming off a 34-14 loss at Boise State last Saturday, Wyoming got back to work Sunday and Monday for its next game at Utah State at 8:15 p.m. Friday.

The news wasn’t good regarding redshirt senior quarterback Cameron Coffman as coach Craig Bohl listed him as doutbful for the Utah State game. Coffman left the Boise State game in the third quarter with a shoulder injury. There are not broken bones, but UW is moving forward with redshirt freshman Nick Smith as its starter this week.

Here are Bohl and Smith from Monday’s interview sessions:

 

Jake Maulhardt

Jake Maulhardt

The players don’t seem to mind that UW has a short turnaround between the Boise State and Utah State games. Junior linebacker Lucas Wacha said playing on Friday night reminds him of his high school days of playing on Friday nights, and seemed excited about it. Junior wide receiver Jake Maulhardt said Sundays are usually days off for the players, and he sleeps most of those days. However, the team watched film and players did some recovery workouts this past Sunday. Maulhardt, who leads UW with 42 catches and five receiving touchdowns, said his body feels good after going through some of Sunday’s activities.

Bohl said UW’s string of four road games over the last five weeks (including this week’s game) coupled with some long travel (at Appalachian State) and late-night starts has been tough on the coaches. But then he joked: “That’s why we have some different coffee stores here in town.”

Bohl said junior wide receiver Tanner Gentry (shoulder) will miss his second straight game. Gentry did some interviews Monday, and said the pain is decreasing each day.

Andrew Wingard

Andrew Wingard

True freshman free safety Andrew Wingard will be UW’s primary punt returner for now. He replaces junior D.J. May, who is logging a lot of snaps at strong-side linebacker and also returning kicks. Bohl wants to give May less snaps to reduce fatigue. Wingard returned punts and kickoffs in high school. He fielded one punt against Boise State, but called for a fair catch.

Bohl used “explosive” to describe Utah State’s defense. The Aggies are ranked 24th in total defense nationally. They’re first in the nation in fumble recoveries (10) and 19th in turnover margin (plus-6). They’ve forced 18 turnovers over the last five games.

Bohl has been open with the media about injuries this season. When Utah State coach Matt Wells was asked about injuries Monday during his weekly news conference, he wasn’t as open: “It’s just that time of the year that guys are banged up. The more you talk about it, the more it sounds like excuses. To me, it’s college football and our guys are banged up just like other guys, and you’ve got to play through stuff.”

It also was announced Monday that the game time for UW’s Border War game with Colorado State will be 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 7. It will be carried online on ESPN3. The UW men’s basketball exhibition game against Fort Lewis will start at 7 p.m. Nov. 7. Good opportunity for people to take in a football-basketball doubleheader at UW.