Hill inching closer to UW’s career rushing record

Wyoming junior running back Brian Hill needs 74 yards to pass Devin Moore (2005-08) and become the Cowboys’ career rushing leader. Hill enters Saturday night’s Border War at Colorado State with 2,890 yards in 28 games.

Brian Hill

Brian Hill

To put that in some perspective, Moore needed 44 games and broke the mark in UW’s last game of the 2008 season against … you guessed it, Colorado State. The Cowboys hope Hill breaks the record Saturday, and then some. They also hope for a better outcome than Moore experienced. UW lost that 2008 game at Colorado State 31-20.

Hill first must pass Ryan Christopherson (1991-94) for second place, but needs only 17 yards to do that. The last time a UW running back broke the school’s career rushing record on the road was Gerald Abraham (1984-87) in the Cowboys’ regular-season finale at Hawaii. Abraham broke the mark with 2,278 yards. That’s now sixth in school history.

Third-year coach Craig Bohl was asked about Hill being close to breaking the rushing record at practice Monday, and said: “To be honest with you I didn’t know that. We’rej just trying to figure out how to win the next game.

“A lot goes into something like that. There’s Brian’s ability. Our commitment to run the football here and some good offenisve line and other people blocking or him.”

Less than 3,000 yards for a school’s career rushing record isn’t a lot of yards, but shouldn’t diminish the fact Hill will need the fewest number of games to break the record, even if he doesn’t get it Saturday.

If last year’s Colorado State game is any indication, Hill has his work cut out for him to break the record. He had 65 yards on 21 carries in UW’s 26-7 loss in Laramie.

Kevin Davis

Kevin Davis

“We just played pretty aggressive,” said Colorado State senior linebacker Kevin Davis on how the Rams defended Hill last season. “Everyone was going to the ball and gang tackling. You have to do that against him. He’s a good-sized running back, and his stats show he’s a great running back. Gang tackling him is a key.”

Davis led Colorado State with eight tackles in last year’s game.

See Wednesday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and log on to wyosports.net for my story on how senior wide receivers Tanner Gentry and Jake Maulhardt continue to be the go-to targets in UW’s passing game, and why.

When asked how he thinks some of UW’s younger wide receivers are progressing, such as redshirt freshmen C.J. Johnson and Austin Conway, true freshman John Okwoli and along with sophomores James Price and Joe Parker, Bohl said: “I think we rmaking progress. What has become really apparent is (Gentry and Maulhardt) can make plays against just about anybody, and we’re going to highlight those guys. But I do see progress with the others.”