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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New roles for UW wide receivers amid Gentry injury

Wyoming football coach Craig Bohl said Monday he’s “hopeful” junior wide receiver Tanner Gentry will play Saturday at Boise State after suffering a sprained shoulder in UW’s 28-21 win over Nevada last Saturday.

Gentry’s status for the game won’t be known until later this week, but it’s probably a long-shot that he plays. Gentry leads UW with 37 catches for 678 yards, and is tied for the team lead with four receiving touchdowns. His receiving  yards is 15th in the country, and his 96.9 receiving yards per game is 19th.

So, who steps up for the Cowboys while Gentry is out, whether it is just the Boise State game or future games?

Jake Maulhardt

Jake Maulhardt

The first guy is junior Jake Maulhardt, who is second behind Gentry with 36 catches for 366 yards, and is tied with Gentry on the team with four touchdowns. Maulhardt plays the ‘X’ receiver spot, while Gentry plays the ‘Y.’ Maulhardt is a bigger target than Gentry at 6-foot-6, but doesn’t have the speed Gentry has.

“My number may be called more,” Maulhardt said. “I need to capitalize on it an make plays for the team. If it happens, Im ready for it.”

The two guys who likely will see more playing time if Gentry is out are a pair of true freshmen — James Price and Joe Parker. Combined, those two have caught 7 passes for 68 yards this season.

James Price

James Price

Maulhardt thinks Price is similar to Gentry in terms of his size (6-foot-2, 208 pounds) and abilities. Parker is smaller (5-10, 182) and seems like more of a slot receiver than an edge guy. Maulhardt said true freshman Justice Murphy played a lot more last week against Nevada, and is “one of the most athletic guys on the team.”

Gentry and Maulhardt have caught 57 percent of UW’s completed passes this season. Offensive coordinator Brent Vigen said human nature often takes over when guys are pressed into stepping up for a team due to an injury to a teammate as compared to trying to compete for playing time when everyone is healthy and front-line guys are being productive.

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UW at Appalachian State football – notes, quotes and video

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

Craig Bohl

Craig Bohl

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.

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UW-Eastern Michigan football: notes, quotes and video

First, my No. 1 key for Wyoming in its game Saturday with Eastern Michigan:

Run the football: Pretty simple. Wyoming has get back to what it does best offensively. Twenty-nine yards last week versus North Dakota won’t cut it. The run game will keep a vulnerable UW defense off the field, and also take pressure off whoever plays quarterback for the Cowboys today. UW needs to run the ball, then run it some more.

More on that, and other things about the game in my video preview:

A few other notes and quotes:

–“We’ve got to move forward. I learned a long time ago if you look in the rear-view mirror a long time, you’re going to have those same results.” — UW coach Craig Bohl after last week’s 24-13 season-opening loss to North Dakota.

— Senior defensive end Eddie Yarbrough ranks 10th nationally among all active FBS players with 29.5 tackles for loss. He had one last week against North Dakota.

Tanner Gentry

Tanner Gentry

–“He was doing a good job of getting open, and I also feel like I have good chemistry with him. I know where he’s going and what he’s going to do. I feel comfortable with all the guys, too. It’s still coming along with the young guys.” — UW redshirt senior quarterback Cameron Coffman on the play of junior receiver Tanner Gentry last week (nine catches for 176 yards and a touchdown) and his comfort level with the Cowboys’ other wide receivers.

— Gentry leads the Mountain West after one week of games in catches and receiving yards. His receiving yards is fifth nationally and his catches are ninth.

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UW football fall camp – Day 3

Wyoming was back at the North 40 grass practice fields Wednesday morning for its third practice of fall camp. Players were in shoulder pads for the first time. They will be in full pads for the first time on Friday.

Coach Craig Bohl said some of his veteran players continue to play well. Bohl singled out redshirt senior quarterback Cameron Coffman, along with senior

Cameron Coffman

Cameron Coffman

defensive end Eddie Yarbrough and junior nickel back/linebacker D.J. May.

“(Coffman’s) competition percentage is up. He’s really getting a good grasp of our offense, making good decisions and adjusting well,” Bohl said.

“D.J. May continues to make progress, and Eddie showed some great bursts. Anytime you seniors and other veterans continue to get better, that’s always a good sign.”

Hear what else Bohl said after Wednesday’s practice right here:


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