Too bad the month of October has to end, because the Wyoming football team has been on a roll.
The Cowboys won their fourth straight game — all in October — with their 30-28 home win over No. 13 Boise State, which fell to No. 24 in the AP poll that was released Sunday.
A lot of late-game dramatics Saturday night at War Memorial Stadium. Here are some of the highlights, which include UW’s game-tying two-point conversion (I just got off the press box elevator when the touchdown was scored), along with the famous safety by senior nose tackle Chase Appleby.
Boise State football coach Bryan Harsin spent about 10 minutes talking with media members that cover Wyoming football Tuesday. Boise State doesn’t allow media that
covers opposing teams to talk to its players, so this was our only access to anything Boise State related this week.
Here are a few things that Harsin said Monday.
On Wyoming: “They’re bigger, strong and running the football, which is what (UW coach Craig Bohl) wants to do. They’re stopping the run by playing aggressive on the defensive side. They’re trying to make you put the ball in the air. I think turnover-wise they’re plus-4, and turnovers win games. I think they’re playing very sound, winning football and they’re doing it consistently.”
On Wyoming’s defense, which is third in the Mountain West in rushing defense (139.4 ypg) but last in passing defense (299.4 ypg): “You have to pick your poison sometimes, and that’s stopping the run game for Wyoming, which puts a challenge on you to throw it good enough. Wyoming’s also pressuring you, too. It’s not like they sitting back and letting you throw the ball. They’re smart with what they do.”
The bye week is over, and it’s back to game preparations for Wyoming as it plays at Nevada Saturday night.
UW got some extra work in last week against Nevada during its bye week. Third-year coach Craig Bohl said last Thursday’s practice wasn’t good, but liked how his team came back on Saturday. Redshirt sophomore quarterback Josh Allen said that practice was one of the best the team’s had all season.
Here is UW’s depth chart heading into the Nevada game:
A big game, big crowd and a big win for Wyoming in its 35-26 home victory over Air Force in front of an announced crowd of 26,623 at Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium Saturday afternoon.
The Cowboys (4-2 overall, 2-0 Mountain West) had to hang on after it led 28-6 late in the third quarter. But it made some key plays at the end — offensively and defensively. Here are some of those plays and highlights:
Some pre-game reading prior to Wyoming’s game at Eastern Michigan, which kicks off at 5:30 p.m. Friday and is televised on CBS Sports Network.
First, my No. 1 key to the game for the Cowboys:
Keeping balance: Wyoming has averaged 216 rushing yards and 210 passing yards through its first three games. That balance has been a key to its success, and has to continue today. UW can’t let Eastern Michigan make it one dimensional.
Yes, no or am I full of it?
— I had this note in Friday’s story in the Wyoming Tribune Eagle, Laramie Boomerang and online at wyosports.net, but I found it interesting. The Cowboys play their third Friday night game in as many seasons. However, the last time UW played a nonconference game on a day other than Saturday was on Dec. 23, 2004 when it beat UCLA 24-21 in the Las Vegas Bowl.
Wyoming senior punter Ethan Wood works hard on his craft, and as football continues to evolve, so does the way punters kick the ball.
Wood used an Aussie style punt three times last week against UC Davis to pin the Aggies inside the 20-yard line.
What is Aussie style punting? I’ll let Wood tell you.
“I drop the ball with the nose down a little bit, and hit the nose of the ball with my toe in order to the get the ball to back-spin,” he said. “The hope is to when the ball hits the ground, it bounces straight up or backwards instead of going forward on a normal punt.”
Wood pinned UC Davis at its own 19, 3 and 17-yard lines.
Wyoming sophomore Antonio Hull has started the Cowboys’ first two games at field cornerback. He has a team-high three pass break-ups, and also has six tackles. Hull
played in all 12 games last season as a true freshman, playing cornerback and on special teams. He finished with 33 tackles, and started the final eight games at field cornerback.
Hull’s nickname is “Noodles” and rarely do you hear his coaches or teammates call him by his real name. Hull said the nickname was given to him by his father when he was a kid, and is based off the “Noodles” character from the move “Once Upon a Time in America, a 1984 Italian-American film that had Robert De Niro and James Woods. It chronicles the lives of Jewish ghetto youths who rise to prominence in New York City’s world of organized crime.
“Noodles was a leader of a group, but he was young. My dad liked it and he started calling me that,” Hull said.
My top key for Wyoming Saturday at San Diego State; kickoff is at 8:30 p.m. MT at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego.
Good start: Something Wyoming hasn’t done much of this season. During their three-game losing streak the Cowboys have fallen behind 17-0 after the first quarter twice, and allowed 48 points in the first quarter in all three contests. UW needs to play its best game from start to finish to have a chance to win, but another poor start will lead to yet another double-digit loss. By the way, all of the Cowboys’ nine losses this season have been by double digits.
I had to call into Wyoming football coach Craig Bohl’s weekly news conference Monday because I have to catch a flight to Las Vegas for Mountain West men’s basketball media day activities that start Tuesday and run through Wednesday. Look for more on that as the week goes on.
Here are a few notes and highlights from Bohl’s news conference:
— Junior linebacker Lucas Wacha, senior defensive end Siaosi Hala’api’api and sophomore cornerback Robert Priester — all starters — continue to be evaluated for concussions suffered in the 31-17 loss at Air Force last Saturday. Bohl said Hala’api’api and Priester are further along than Wacha. All three were listed as starters on UW’s depth chart, but that doesn’t mean any of them will play Saturday at home against Nevada.
— UW is getting dangerously thin at linebacker. Along with Wacha in the middle, junior Devin McKenna injured a knee during the team’s walk-through practice Friday. The only guy left there is junior Eric Nzeocha. Junior weak-side linebacker Will Tutein injured an ankle early against Air Force and didn’t return. His status is unknown. The Cowboys may have only five linebackers available for the Nevada game: Nzeocha, junior D.J. May, true freshmen Christian Irving and Luis Bach and sophomore Tim Kamana.
As usual, I start with my No. 1 key for Wyoming in its game Saturday at Appalachian State:
Better start defensively: Wyoming has allowed 101 first-half points, compared to 42 in the second half. It can’t dig itself an early hole on the road today against a good team. The Cowboys must do a better job of adjusting to the speed of the game early, tackle well and not allow the big play. In four games they’ve allowed 12 plays of 30 yards or more, nine of which have resulted in touchdowns. Wyoming also must do a good job of slowing down Appalachian State’s run game. The Mountaineers average 298.7 rushing yards per game. The Cowboys allow 207.2. On paper this isn’t a good match-up.
For more keys and a preview of the game, here’s my video preview:
Some notes and quotes on the game:
— “They definitely have guys that fly around, play with great technique and are
experienced defensively. It would be a misstep for us not to know they can throw the ball pretty well. They run the ball well (298.3 yards per game). The quarterback isn’t as much of a run threat as what we faced last week, but still a threat. We think they have a great offensive line that creates some holes and pose some challenges — not like we need any challenges.” — UW coach Craig Bohl on Appalachian State.
— “Some of the young guys are probably pretty fragile right now thinking this college football sucks, and do I really want to do this for the next four or years. It’s our job as older guys to encourage them and let them know if we keep working success will come.” — UW redshirt senior quarterback Cameron Coffman on the mental state of the team, especially the younger players.