Christensen talks about confidence

Wyoming football coach Dave Christensen was asked how his team’s confidence is Monday after it lost its fourth straight game, 48-7, last Saturday night at Boise State.

It’s probably not very high,” Christensen said. “Anytime you have struggles it’s not going to be where you want it. But we going to keep working hard, prepare and try to come up with some answers. We have another game on Saturday, you can’t sit there and feel sorry for yourself.”

Here is Wyoming's uniform combination for its home finale Saturday against Hawaii. Photo by Robert Gagliardi/WyoSports

Here is Wyoming’s uniform combination for its home finale Saturday against Hawaii. Photo by Robert Gagliardi/WyoSports

UW’s top goal, and really its only goal left this season is to get bowl eligible. At 4-6 overall and 2-4 in the Mountain West, UW needs to beat 0-10 Hawaii at home Saturday and win at 6-4 Utah State next week.

The Cowboys first need to worry about beating a Hawaii team, that despite being winless has lost four of its game by one score. Christensen said the Rainbow Warriors are big on defense, and there are some weapons on offense, in particular junior running back Joey Iosefa, a 6-foot, 240-pound bruiser, who had 150 yards and a touchdown in Hawaii’s 28-21 overtime loss to San Diego State at home last Saturday, and senior receiver and return specialist Chris Gant.

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VIDEO: Cowboys Coaches Clinic: Chris Tormey

This is the eighth of a season-long series of video interviews with University of Wyoming football coaches, and how they teach and coach certain aspects of the game. This one features defensive coordinator and safeties coach Chris Tormey.

Tormey has safeties Darrenn White, Xavier Lewis, Tim Kamana and B.J. Hendrix go through some drills, and also features graduate assistant Dwain Crawford.

Check back to this blog on week’s Wyoming has a game for this feature.

UW-Northern Colorado pregame notes

About an hour prior to kickoff here in Laramie and it is partly sunny/cloudy, temperatures in the mid to high 60s and everything is dry around here. Laramie didn’t get the rain like Cheyenne or parts of Colorado did the last few days.

There is chances of rain this afternoon, but the elements should not be a factor early on … if at all today.

Here are a couple of notes to watch for today’s game with Northern Colorado:

–Junior quarterback Brett Smith is one touchdown pass shy of tying Casey Bramlet (2000-03) for the most in school history at 56. Today’s game will be Smith’s 26th game. Smith also is 273 total yards shy of moving into third place on UW’s career offense list and 317 passing yards from moving into fourth place in career passing yards.

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UW post-spring defensive analysis

Spring was a time of experimentation for Wyoming.

Defensive coordinator Chris Tormey looked at a lot of players at different positions. Some moves look to be permanent, others remain to be seen.

UW will show both 4-3 and 3-4 looks. The buck position (combination defensive end and outside linebacker) often will dictate the formation — along with the down-and-distance and opponent.

Don’t get caught up in the formations. UW showed a lot of formations last season, and in the first four since Dave Christensen has been the coach. The goal is to get the best 11 players on the field. Some of those players emerged during the spring. Others already asserted themselves prior to spring, and others still need to be found when fall camp starts in early August.

The Cowboys will try to put more pressure on the quarterback in 2013, after just 14 sacks last season. That could come from a variety of different positions and angles. Those who follow the team also know the run defense must improve (232.3 yards per game last season) as does the third-down defense (51 percent conversion rate).

One thing I drew from the spring that the starting 11 guys should be decent — but not dominant. The depth after that still is a work in progress.

Here is my position-by-position breakdown of the defense, and some thoughts:

Defensive line

Eddie Yarbrough

Eddie Yarbrough

Projected starters: Patrick Merterns (Sr., DT or NT), Sonny Puletasi (Jr., DE), Eddie Yarbrough (So., DE or DT); Siaosi Hala’api’api (buck).

Who else plays: Uso Olive (R-Fr., DT or NT); Justin Bernthaler (Sr., DE or DT).

Need to see more from: Troy Boyland (Jr., DT); Chase Appleby (R-Fr., DT or NT); James Diamanti (Fr., DT); Sam Hardy (R-Fr., DE or DT).

My thoughts: Expect the starters, along with Olive and Bernthaler (who missed much of spring with an injury) to be in the rotation and all see a lot of snaps. Boyland is a junior-college transfer who is 6-2, 310 pounds, but needs to be in better shape and maybe drop some weight to be effective. Diamanti is a true freshman who did some good things along the line on special teams (blocked a field goal in the spring game), and could this season. He enrolled at UW in January and the time in the program helped a lot. UW would get a big boost if Boyland, Appleby and/or Hardy show improvement in fall camp. Hala’api’api moved from middle linebacker early in the spring, and could be good at the buck. Yarbrough was the team’s most improved lineman after the spring, and I think their best lineman overall. He is best at DE, but got some looks inside as spring went on.

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Roullier stabilizes center position for Pokes

Wyoming has struggled to find a center this spring, but it may have found its guy in redshirt freshman Chase Roullier.

The former guard took most of the snaps with the No. 1 offense during Monday’s practice.

“He’s been the most consistent so far this spring,” coach Dave Christensen said.

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UW signs CB from Army Prep

Cortland Fort, a 5-foot-10, 170-pound cornerback who was at Army Prep in 2011 signed with the University of Wyoming Thursday. Fort visited UW last weekend.

Fort is from Etiwanda, Calif., where he attended Etiwanda High. He received a two-star rating out of five by and out as a senior in high school where he was a First Team Baseline League pick.

In 2010 he attended the Nike Sparq All-Combine where he was rated as the second-best cornerback and the seventh-best prospect out of 1,300.

UW signed defensive back B.J. Hendrix (5-10, 185) from Rochester (Minn.) Community and Technical College a couple of weeks ago. Hendrix and Fort complete the Cowboys’ 2012 recruiting class.

UW starts spring football  March 19.