Wyoming vs. Utah St. – pregame reading

Some notes and quotes leading up to Saturday’s homecoming game for the University of Wyoming. The Cowboys host Utah State at 12:30 p.m. MT at Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium — their first home game since Sept. 29. The game will be televised on AT&T SportsNet.

Craig Bohl

“I think we need to look at personnel changes. There will be some schematic things that we need do. There’s times we’ve run the ball fairly effectively, and then what will occur is we’ve got to be more consistent as far as not shooting ourselves in the foot with a untimely penalty or something like that. There’s some things we can do to generate some competitive situations. There’s things we need to do to stay on the field on third down and we’re working hard on that. We have a real problem right now offensively extending drives because our third-down percentage conversion is so poor. A lot of times it’s not third down and long, it’s third down and makeables. We’re going to look at it all.” — Fifth-year UW coach Craig Bohl

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Wyoming at Fresno St. – pregame reading

Some notes and quotes leading up to Saturday’s football game between Wyoming and Fresno State. Kickoff is at 8:30 p.m. MT from Bulldog Stadium in Fresno, California. The game is televised on ESPNU.

Brent Vigen

— “We need to protect better, and and that’s situational. Our third down production is killing us. We are below 30 percent and we need to be plus-40. Each game is different on how teams play us defensively. Getting open is part of it. The passing game is an 11-man deal. Ultimately, the quarterback being able to connect with (the receivers) and has enough time are key. We as coaches have to find the most effective ways to do that every given week. That’s what we’re aiming to do and we will take out a new page this week.” — UW associate head coach/offensive coordinator Brent Vigen

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Wyoming vs. Wofford – pregame reading

Some notes and quotes leading up to Wyoming’s final non-conference game with Wofford. Kickoff is at 2 p.m. Saturday at Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium. The game isn’t on regular TV, but can be streamed online at the MW Network.

If you can’t be at the game, or stream it online, join me for my live chat from the game beginning at 2 p.m. Links to the chat will be here and at wyosports.net.

Craig Bohl

— “They have not changed offensively through the years and have the same offensive coordinator for maybe 20-30 years. We have got a great deal of experience coaching against that scheme. They’ll play two quarterbacks and they’re very creative with what they do with their option scheme and they have answers for what you throw up defensively. Defensively they offer up a three-down look with some 300-pounders up front. They do what they do. They have elements of option and elements of shot gun. They have the quarterback under center sometimes and they run zone schemes. They can throw the ball, although they don’t throw the ball a ton. They all present challenges.” — fifth-year UW coach Craig Bohl talking about Wofford.

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Fresno State 13, Wyoming 7 – postgame thoughts

A disappointing loss, and to me, kind of an odd and stale atmosphere in Wyoming’s home finale — a 13-7 setback to Fresno State.

First, the crowd of 15,440 did what it could, but with poor weather Friday and into Saturday morning that kept many fans away because of road closures.Creating any sort of atmosphere was tough. But I will credit the fans who made it.

Second, as UW introduced its seniors prior to the game, junior quarterback Josh Allen was among them. That said to me that Allen won’t come back next season and will give pro football a try. Don’t think this was surprising news to most, but it put some finality to that decision, don’t you think? Allen didn’t play due to his injured right shoulder and didn’t do any postgame interviews.

Here’s coach Craig Bohl on Allen and the game:

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Easter candy rundown: Wyoming football players weigh in on their favorites

Happy Easter everyone, and the significance and importance of this day goes beyond anything written on this blog.

However, this blog also is meant to be fun so as we approach Easter Sunday, I asked a hard-hitting question to some of the Wyoming football players and coaches — their favorite Easter candy.

Here are the results:

— Sophomore kicker Cooper Rothe: Carmel eggs

Junior quarterback Josh Allen: Reese’s peanut butter bunnies

Junior safety Marcus Epps: Reese’s peanut butter cups

Sophomore cornerback Tyler Hall: Snickers

Junior offensive lineman Cole Turner: Reese’s peanut butter eggs

Associate head coach/offensive coordinator Brent Vigen: Cadbury eggs

Junior offensive tackle Zach Wallace: “Chocolate bunnies, but not the hollow ones, ones that are solid chocolate.”

Sophomore linebacker Cassh Malauia: Reece’s

Sophomore wide receiver C.J. Johnson: Skittles

Defensive ends coach AJ Cooper: “Reese’s peanut butter eggs. “My wife gets a bag of those and they’re gone.”

Junior tight end Tyree Mayfield: Reese’s peanut butter bunnies

Redshirt sophomore running back Kellen Overstreet: “I am lactose intolerant, but if I could I would go with things like Kit-Kats. But I also will eat some Laffy Taffy or things like that.”

Junior quarterback Nick Smith: Chocolate Easter eggs and the white chocolate Resse’s peanut butter cups.

Senior outside linebacker Jalen Ortiz: Anything chocolate.

Me: Reese’s peanut butter eggs, bunnies, etc. Can’t go wrong with the combination of chocolate and peanut butter ever!

Sophomore safety Alijah Halliburton: Reese’s peanut butter eggs

Redshirt freshman defensive end Garrett Crall: Starburst jelly beans

Sophomore running back Milo Hall: Chocolate bunny

Junior running back Nico Evans: Skittles

Defensive coordinator Scottie Hazelton and son, Bode: Reese’s peanut butter cups

How about you?

Hope everyone out there has a Happy Easter.

Thoughts, observations through two weeks of Wyoming spring football

Wyoming is through two weeks and six practices of spring football. Three more weeks and nine practices to go.

Andrew Wingard

Through the first two weeks, there hasn’t been any earth-shattering news. Perhaps the most significant can this past Thursday when junior safety Andrew Wingard broke his left hand making a tackle during a scrimmage period. Wingard, who will alternate this spring between free and strong safety, will miss the rest of spring. However, the injury won’t require surgery and he should fine for summer workouts and fall camp in August.
Wingard joked that he is like a graduate assistant now as he watches the rest of spring, and also helps two young UW safeties — sophomore Alijah Halliburton and redshirt freshman Josh Boyd.
Here is fourth-year UW football coach Craig Bohl after practice on Saturday, April 1.

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Cowboys eager to move on following loss at Nebraska

Monday marked the start of a new week, and a time for Wyoming to learn, but put behind last Saturday’s 52-17 loss at Nebraska — a game where the Cornhuskers scored 28 fourth-quarter points thanks to four turnovers.

Third-year coach Craig Bohl said the team came out of Nebraska healthy, aside from a few bumps and bruises. No one is expected to miss Saturday’s home game with UC Davis as of now. There also were not changes to UW’s depth chart this week. Check it out for yourself.

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The unlikely story of Nick Szpor

Quickly, who can tell me who Nick Szpor is?

Hint: He’s a starter for Wyoming’s football team as a true freshman walk-on.

Still no clue?

Nick Szpor

Nick Szpor

Szpor came to UW this summer as a 6-foot-3, 202-pound true freshman walk-on quarterback from Central High in Fresno, California, right in Fresno State’s backyard.

“One of my best friends from home picked Wyoming to go to school as a regular student, and he offered to bring me out here to check things out,” Szpor said. “My dad found (UW director of recruiting) Gordie Haug’s email address and contacted him.

“We took a trip here. Gordie gave us a tour. We met with (UW offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach) Brent Vigen and I was offered a walk-on spot.”

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Where UW football ranks among assistant coaches salaries

The USA Today does a great job of creating data bases to compare a lot of financial numbers in college athletics.

Its latest was listing assistant coaches salaries, and what schools spend on assistant salaries, among the Football Bowl Subdivision.

Here is the link to the entire data base:

http://sports.usatoday.com/ncaa/salaries/football/assistant

As for Wyoming, it spent $1,224,315 on salaries for its assistant coaches. The two highest paid coaches are the coordinators — Steve Stanard on defense ($203,375) and Brent Vigen on offense ($203,275).

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UW at Boise State football preview: Notes, quotes and video

As always, I start with my top key for Wyoming for its game at Boise State Saturday:

Clean and complete: Wyoming hasn’t had a large margin of error in any game this season, but that margin is razor-thin in this game. Boise State isn’t 95-4 at home since 2000 by using smoke and mirrors. It capitalizes on opponents’ mistakes. The Cowboys can’t turn the ball over, be plagued by penalties or have breakdowns defensively. They also need to force the Broncos into making mistakes. Boise State had eight turnovers last week in its 52-26 loss at Utah State. UW has forced four turnovers all season. It needs to force multiple turnovers, and score off them if they have any chance of being competitive or winning this game.

What do you think, folks? Yes, no or this guy has no idea what he’s talking about?

Here is my video preview of the game:

Now, a few notes and quotes about the game:

— “I think we’re still a ways away. I’d like to think we’re really close. But we’re playing two true freshmen offensive linemen. Developing fullback play has been a challenge, same with the tight ends. We’ve made progress, but we’re not where we want to be.” — UW coach Craig Bohl about how far his offense has progressed since he took over as coach last year.

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