Three weeks and nine practices in the books for UW spring football

Wyoming football is in the homestretch of spring football with nine of its 15 practices in the books.

The Cowboys’ scrimmage in Casper this past Saturday provided some glimpses of what could be this season, although its difficult to get a great gauge of what to expect this season when a team goes against each other.

Still, it appears that junior quarterback Josh Allen is making good progress in building chemistry with the weapons around him. Allen was relatively sharp in Casper, going 11 of 19 for 133 yards with a pair of touchdown passes to junior wide receiver James Price. However, sophomore wide receivers C.J. Johnson and Austin Conway also looked good.

Here is Allen after the scrimmage:

Earlier this spring, fourth-year UW coach Craig Bohl was concerned about the way the tight ends were catching the ball. But in Casper, juniors Josh Harshman, Austin Fort and Tyree Mayfield all showed good skills catching the ball.

As far as the running backs go, I still contend that UW will have more of a three-back attack this fall. Redshirt sophomore Kellen Overstreet (11 carries 49 yards in the scrimmage) showed some nice speed and power, as did junior Nico Evans (10 carries, 30 yards). Don’t be surprised if sophomore Milo Hall becomes a third-down weapon out of the backfield, both carrying the ball and catching it.

It will be nice once the illness bug that has run through this team finally ends. UW was without its starting center in Casper — sophomore Gavin Rush — due to illness. Backup Boyd Draeger also was out with a concussion. Rush needs as many reps as possible the rest of spring. But I thought junior Cole Turner more than held his own at center in the scrimmage so perhaps some depth is being established there.

UW’s defense had its moments in the scrimmage. Sophomore defensive tackle Youhanna Ghaifan stood out to Bohl. Junior nose tackle Sidney Malauulu looked good — going mostly against backup — as well with a sack and a fumble recovery.

Casper’s Logan Wilson played only 21 snaps in 70-play scrimmage at middle linebacker, but that was by design to get other younger players some looks. Wilson and sophomore Cassh Malauia should be a solid duo, and it appears senior Jalen Ortiz is establishing himself well at the other outside linebacker spot.

The dismissal of three players, and suspensions of five others earlier this week for a violation of team rules was unfortunate, but it also creates opportunities for others. One player who may benefit the most is sophomore cornerback Tyler Hall. Hall is one of four UW corners who have been getting a lot of reps with the No. 1 defense all spring, but with junior Antonio Hull suspended, don’t be surprised if Hall is the starter coming out of spring along with senior Rico Gafford. Hall isn’t all that big at 5-10, 184 pounds, but he’s tough and has shown good effort most of the spring.

Here is Bohl after the scrimmage:

The Cowboys return to practice Tuesday for their 10th spring practice. They will also practice on Thursday and Saturday. The spring game is set for 2 p.m. April 22.

If you have any questions or comments about the Cowboys, I’d love to hear them. You can post comments on this blog, or shoot me a question via Twitter: @rpgagliardi.
Also, be sure to check out the Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and online at wyosports.net for more UW spring football coverage.

6 thoughts on “Three weeks and nine practices in the books for UW spring football

  1. Fortunately it’s early!! It’s what I don’t hear that concerns me most. Is our gunslinger correcting any of the criticisms leveled at him last year? How much in the mix was the three that won’t be back? Does the defense have the talent, only needing experience, to be better than last year’s defense? Are we gaining depth?

    Additional comment. Saw the pokes go against Carolina in Conroy, SC I was impressed with how fast and focused they were even in losing. I think they are fun to see upfront and real. More fans should turn out

    • Based on what we are allowed to see in practice, it’s hard to answer some of those questions. Looks like the QB still does some of those things from last year. Of the three players that were lost, I think Baker at DT was the closest of getting into the mix, but he also was still learning. Coaches expect the defense to be better, how much remains to be seen. Depth is some areas (CB, safety, WR, DE) are being established, other areas remain a bit thin for my liking.

      RG

  2. Any word on how long those suspended will be out? Rest of spring? Into the fall, as well?

    • No official word, but I don’t think they will be back this spring. Likely will be re-instated when summer school and summer workouts begin in mid-June.

      RG

  3. Our front 7 although cagey in the past have stuggled (especially against the run). Any feeling this will change? Does the new DC do anything that stands out?

    • Hard to tell with the front 7, but I think it has a chance to be a little better. A little worried about depth with the interior of the line and behind the starters at linebacker.

      The new DC is doing some different coverage things with he secondary, adding more zone schemes instead of all man-to-man last year. He also seems to have the guys really buying into the scheme, which is a good thing.

      RG

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