Wyoming’s first game didn’t go as I thought.
I will be honest, I didn’t expect the Cowboys to win at Iowa. However, the way the 24-3 loss went was kind of a surprise.
I didn’t think UW would roll a ton of yards and the points against Iowa’s defense, probably the best front seven it will play this season, I thought it would have more overall offensive success, however. I thought junior quarterback Josh Allen and the passing game would be more efficient. I thought the Cowboys would try to exploit an inexperienced Hawkeyes secondary with more deep throws.
That wasn’t the game plan. Fourth-year coach Craig Bohl discussed that and some other things in his postgame interview with the media:
I will be the first to admit that I’m not a know-it-all when it comes to football, and I don’t crunch film and analyze things like coaches do. Still, I felt a few more deep shots, or even intermediate throws would have been good to see.
Bohl said he was concerned with the pass protection with two true freshmen starters along the offensive line — center Logan Harris of Torrington and right tackle Alonzo Velazquez — which led to more quicker and shorter throws. Harris and Velazquez started because they were among the five best guys who performed in fall camp. Seemed like both held their own in their first college game. But if UW is going to be hesitant to throw the ball based on the line, then it will be extremely limited offensively all season — especially if it can’t run the ball. UW had just 59 yards against Iowa.
Another question arises, does UW have a deep threat at wide receiver this season? Perhaps it will take some time for this group of UW receivers to grow into their roles in 2017.
Here is Allen on the run game and more after the game:
I liked what I saw from the defense for the most part. It forced four turnovers, which is always good. And if there’s any doubt about the return of junior defensive end Carl Granderson from his knee injury last season, he put that to rest. Granderson had a team-high 10 tackles. I don’t remember the last time at defensive end led UW in tackles, do you?
Here is junior safety Marcus Epps on the defense:
As for special teams. … they were anything but special. I think we can all agree the whiff by true freshman punter Tim Zaleski late in the second quarter was the game-changing plays for UW — in a bad way. I felt bad for Zaleski, a good kid who will be a good punter. Tough to learn those kinds of lessons on such a big stage. But aside from a 49-yard field goal by sophomore kicker Cooper Rothe, the special teams were pretty bad across the board against Iowa.
Hope to know more Monday on the injury status of senior long snapper Kolton Donovan. He left the game in the second half with what Bohl said was a sprained knee.
UW should get in the win column this week when it hosts FCS foe Gardner-Webb Saturday. But going back to last season, UW has lost four straight and five of its last six games. Hope it doesn’t take Gardner-Webb for granted. They say football teams make their most improvement from their first game to their second. For UW’s sake, let’s hope so.
For more UW coverage, see the Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and log on to wyosports.net.