UW-Weber postgame thoughts

How about that for a first impression for true freshman QB Brett Smith?

He leads UW to a come-from-behind win in the final minutes, capped by a 9-yard TD pass to sophomore receiver Robert Herron to give UW a 35-32 victory over FCS foe Weber State.

I’m not going to compare Smith to former QB Austyn Carta-Samuels, who led UW to five come-from-behind victories in 2009. But Smith showed some moxie in this game. He wasn’t perfect. Heck, he threw an interception on his first attempt after the ball slipped out of his hands. But he bounced back and as 27 of 41 for 294 yards with three TDs, one pick and one rushing TD.

I think fans are going to like this guy, and the media got to talk to him after the game for the first time. Coach Dave Christensen didn’t make him available for interviews until after games.  Smith seemed humble and thankful for the win.

I also think fans will get fed up with the defense if it doesn’t improve. It gave up 541 yards and way too many big plays. Weber State ran at will most of the game, and UW had only one sack. However, that sack by senior lineman Gabe Knapton helped force a punt that led to UW’s game-winning offensive drive.

I know most fans are more concerned than happy after this game, but it’s better to be that with a win than a loss. Doesn’t hide the fact there’s a lot of work to be done, but it’s better to work on things after a win than coming off a loss.


See Sunday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang for more from this game. Hope to post video interviews from the post-game interviews I did sometime on Sunday.

UW-Weber State key to the game

Prior to each Wyoming football game I will post what I think is the key point for the Cowboys to have success. There are a lot more than one with each game, but for those you will need to see Saturday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang.

The key for Saturday’s Weber State game: Will Smith shine?

A lot of eyes will be on true freshman quarterback Brett Smith. He’s done just about everything right since he arrived on campus in January, but how will he do in his first real game? It appears everyone around him has a lot of confidence in Smith. “Anything that’s available we think is good we’re going to run,” UW coach Dave Christensen said. “We’re not holding anything back. … He’s very, very well respected by his teammates; extremely well respected. He’s probably as talented a freshman I’ve ever dealt with.”

UW-Weber St. post-game thoughts

I’m certainly not surprised Wyoming beat Weber State 29-22. Even though the score says the Cowboys only won by seven over a Football Championship Subdivision team, there were some impressive moments.

Still, I didn’t see first-year coach Dave Christensen playing quarterbacks Robert Benjamin and Austyn Carta-Samuels they way he did. Benjamin started — as expected — but Carta-Samuels played a lot. In fact,he played more than Benjamin.

Looks like we will see both for a while . Christensen seems fine doing that, and so do the players. But everything is easier when you win.

At the same time, it’s always good to have two quarterbacks game ready.

See Sunday’s column for more on this.

Other thoughts from the opener:

–I like the way UW ran the ball with this spread offense with 246 yards. Didn’t see that coming.

–Senior defensive tackle John Fletcher was back to his old ways with four tackles for loss and two sacks. He had just 6.5 tackles for loss all of last season.

–Marcel Gipson needs to learn how to hold on to the ball. The senior cornerback got in on offense and lost a fumble on his first and only play. He also fumbled on a kickoff return that he was able to get back.

–David Leonard is now the go-to receiver in this offense. He had eight catches in the game. Look for Monday’s follow-up story in the WTE on that.

–The kicking game, as Christensen said after the game, is still a mess.

–True freshman safety Shamiel Gary with three interceptions in his first-ever game? Really? Check out Sunday’s WTE for his take on that.

The Cowboys are 1-0 and now it’s time to focus on Texas — that’s right, No. 2 Texas this coming Saturday in Laramie.

Should be unlike anything folks in these parts have ever seen.

How did you like the live blogging today? Any feedback would be appreciated.

Five things to watch vs. Weber St.

1. How efficient will UW’s new spread offense be? I’m talking turnovers here. We all know how much of a problem this was last season with a minus-22 turnover margin, and that was with a relatively vanilla scheme.

2. UW’s defense agaisnt Weber State’s offense. Weber has some weapons on offense and UW should be good on defense. To me this is the biggest key of the game.

3. The Cowboys’ pass-catchers. Drops have been an issue with this group, but what I am curious about is can they get open? A spread offense should give these guys more space to do so, at least that’s what it should do.

4. How will the Cowboys’ offensive line play? It all starts up front. The right side is relatively new so how will they handle the pressure of a game?

5. Special teams. From punting and kicking to coverage teams — how will all of this go?

Funny thing is that after one game, even more questions may arise about the Cowboys, but at least there will be a game to base more opinions and observations on.

Thanks to our IT guys at the paper, we have some cool new software that should make the live blogging during the game easier for people to follow — as long as I don’t screw it up.

Benjamin the starter

Minutes before coach Dave Christensen’s weekly news conference , UW relaesed a depth chart for Saturday’s Weber State game and junior-college transfer Robert Benjamin is the starting quarterback.

The backup is true freshman Austyn Carta-Samuels, followed by senior Karsten Sween at No. 3.

Not a ton of big surprises on the depth chart, but some notable ones include:

–Former fullback Josh Biezuns won the starting job at the buck (combination outside linebacker/defensive end) over senior Matt Barella.

–Sophomore Austin McCoy will handle both the punting and place-kicking duties. Senior Jake Scott, who did most of the place-kicking last season, will handle kickoffs.

–True freshman Alvester Alexander is listed as the No. 2 runnnig back behind junior Darius Terry.

–True freshman Ghaali Muhammad is listed as the backup at the SAM linebacker behind senior Weston Johnson.

Look for live blogging from the Weber State game, and also an update later today after interviews with Christensen and some of the players.