No time to be frustrated

Wyoming football coach Dave Christensen isn’t happy his team, which is 4-5 overall and 2-3 in the Mountain West, has lost three in a row.

Wyoming's uniform combination for Saturday's game at Boise State. Photo by Robert Gagliardi/WyoSports

Wyoming’s uniform combination for Saturday’s game at Boise State. Photo by Robert Gagliardi/WyoSports

But he isn’t stewing about it.

“I can’t sit there and be frustrated,” said Christensen during his weekly interview session with the media Monday afternoon. “I have another game this week. We’re working on our problems right now and trying to solve them. Sitting around being frustrated is not going to anything for this week’s game.”

This week’s game is at Boise State (6-3, 4-1) at 8:15 p.m. Saturday. UW is 0-7 all-time against Boise State, including 0-3 under Christensen by a score of 132-36.

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Turnovers also tell story of UW’s latest struggles

Giving up 482 passing yards and five touchdowns, and 642 yards of total offense were the biggest factors in Wyoming’s 51-44 loss at San Jose State last Saturday.

UW (4-4 overall, 2-2 Mountain West) has lost consecutive games for the first time this season, and while the defense’s poor play is what many fans look at, which is deserved, so is another factor.

Turnovers.

UW committed two turnovers against San Jose State — a fumble by senior running back Brandon Miller after a pass completion and an interception by junior quarterback Brett Smith.

Both turnovers came in the second half. Miller’s fumble led to a San Jose State touchdown. San Jose State went three-and-out after Smith’s interception.

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Tuesday’s football practice notes

Some news and notes from Tuesday’s Wyoming football practice:

–Coach Dave Christensen on the practice, which lasted a little more than two hours: “We had a good practice. We haven’t had a lot problems coming out and practicing well. We have some things we need to get cleaned up, but the effort was there today. It was a good, physical practice.”

–The battle on who starts at center, strong safety and strong-side linebacker is in full go. Sophomore Rafe Kiely and junior Albert Perez both took snaps with the No. 1 offense at center. Junior Chad Reese took advantage of his reps at strong safety. He had an interception of junior quarterback Brett Smith. Junior Mark Nzeocha looked to have the best day at strong-side linebacker. Nzeocha, the starter so far this season, intercepted Smith early in practice on a pass that as tipped by freshman receiver Tanner Gentry.

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VIDEO: Cowboys Coaches Clinic: Pete Kaligis

This is the seventh 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 assistant head coach, co-offensive coordinator and running backs coach Pete Kaligis.

Kaligis has running backs Shaun Wick, Brandon Miller, Omar Stover and Tedder Easton go through some drills, and also features former UW player and current graduate assistant Ghaali Muhammad demonstrating a drill.

Check back to wyosports.net every week for this feature.

Rain does not stop Cowboys at practice

There was rain early and late.

But it didn’t stop the Wyoming football team from practicing outside at Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium Tuesday morning.

“There was no lightning and we have to play in it,” coach Dave Christensen said.

UW does not have a game on its schedule this season indoors, and it played a little bit in the rain in last Saturday’s 42-10 home win over Idaho. The forecast for Saturday’s home game with Northern Colorado calls for a 30 percent chance of thunderstorms, with a high of 67 degrees.

Some other news and notes from practice:

–Sophomore center Rafe Kiely split reps with the No. 1 offense with junior starter Albert Perez. Redshirt freshman guard Chase Roullier took most of the snaps at left guard for senior Tyler Strong, who was in a red, no contact jersey. Perez and Strong are expected to start against Northern Colorado.

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VIDEO: Shaun Wick

Wyoming sophomore running back Shaun Wick recorded his first-career 100-yard game against No. 18 Nebraska. He talks about that and his preparation to try and get his second against Idaho this week. The interview was done on Monday, Sept. 2, 2013 in Laramie, Wyo.

For more on Wick and UW football, see Wednesday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang or log on to wyosports.net.

Christensen likes Cowboys’ practices

Fifth-year Wyoming football coach Dave Christensen said the team’s first practice Monday following its 37-34 loss at No. 22 Nebraska (was No. 18 prior to the game) was the best he’s seen since he has been the coach at UW.

Christensen had more praise for his team following Tuesday morning’s practice at Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium.

“I thought we were really sharp offensively, and that’s where I am at mostly (during practice),” he said. “I need to watch the film and talk to the defensive coaches, but it sounded like they were pretty positive on how things went down.

“I thought our protections, routes and the passing game was really on. That’s encouraging.”

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High praise for Smith

Wyoming junior quarterback Brett Smith is one of four offensive players on this year’s squad that started in the 2011 game with Nebraska in Laramie, which the Cowboys lost 38-14.

The others are senior running back Brandon Miller, senior offensive guard Tyler Strong and senior tight end Spencer Bruce. Ironically, those three players also are scheduled to start when UW plays at No. 18 Nebraska Saturday in the season-opener for both squads.

A true freshman then, Smith completed 17 of 33 passes for 166 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.

Nebraska coach Bo Pelini thought Wyoming quarterback Brett Smith played well against his team.

“He is really poised and has excellent feet. He’s elusive in the pocket and he buys time. He’s a really good player. He’s a lot further along now as a player than he was then. He’s a good quarterback.”

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UW announces depth chart for Nebraska

Wyoming’s first depth chart of the season for Saturday’s game at Nebraska came out Monday, and there were not a lot of surprises.

Eight first-year players are projected to start — three true freshmen, one redshirt freshmen, two redshirt juniors and two junior-college transfers. Here are some notable items from Monday’s depth chart:

–True freshman receiver Tanner Gentry will start at one of the four receiver spots. Gentry rapidly climbed up the depth chart throughout fall camp. He beat out junior Trey Norman.

–Senior Robert Herron, juniors Dominic Rufran and Jalen Claiborne are the other starting receivers. Others listed on the depth chart this week are redshirt freshmen Eric Nzeocha, Nico Brown, Trent Sewell, Tanner Simpson and Jake Maulhardt; senior Jarrod Darden (a transfer from Colorado), and juniors Keenan Montgomery, Norman and Justin Berger.

–Junior-college transfer Tyran Finley will start at cornerback opposite of junior Blair Burns. Not a surprise there since the injury to junior DeAndre Jones midway through camp.

–Three of the four backups at the cornerback and safety positions are manned by guys who have never played a game at UW. True freshman Tim Hayes is behind Burns at one cornerback spot. Redshirt freshman Cortland Fort, who has gone back and forth from cornerback and safety, is behind Finley. True freshman Xavier Lewis is the backup at strong safety behind junior Darrenn White. Jones, who was the starter at cornerback when fall camp started before he was injured, is the backup for senior Marqueston Huff at free safety.

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