UW-San Jose State postgame thoughts

Larry Nance Jr. said Wyoming’s 67-56 home win over San Jose State Saturday at the Arena-Auditorium in Laramie was the Cowboys best team win so far this season.

I think he is right.

Nance led the way with 18 points, 13 rebounds, five blocked shots (all in the second half). He also had two assists and two steals. Nance was good — very good in fact — but so were others. Coach Larry Shyatt described Nance as an “octopus” with the way he played — especially in the second half.

Here are some highlights from the game:

Sophomore guard Josh Adams had 16 points and a career-high seven assists. Better yet, Adams had just one turnover after he had seven turnovers at Boise State last Saturday. That was his best assist-to-turnover ration this season. The Cowboys improved to 5-2 this season when Adams leads the team in assists.

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Thoughts on QB Thompson leaving UW for Utah

First it was Brett Smith, now it’s Jason Thompson.

Wyoming has lost its top two quarterbacks heading into the 2014 season. Smith declared himself eligible for the NFL Draft on the final Friday of 2013. On the first Tuesday of 2014, Thompson transferred to Utah.

Jason Thompson

Jason Thompson

Thompson, who would have been a redshirt sophomore this season, wasn’t guaranteed the job for first-year coach Craig Bohl. But he was the most experienced player on the roster having played six games and starting one in 2012. He redshirted in 2013 to hone his quarterbacking skills.

Is it ironic that Thompson is going to Utah where his former coach — Dave Christensen — if the offensive coordinator? Probably not. To think that didn’t play a factor would be naive.

In fact, Christensen was officially introduced as Utah’s offensive coordinator Tuesday. Here are some links to what he said, and some stories by the fine folks at The Salt Lake Tribune.

http://utahutes.cstv.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/010714aaa.html

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/utes/57363571-89/whittingham-christensen-erickson-offensive.html.csp

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/utes/57363264-89/whittingham-offensive-christensen-coach.html.csp
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UW’s Smith declares for NFL Draft

Talk about a bombshell of news.

Wyoming junior quarterback Brett Smith announced Friday night that he will forego his senior season and enter the NFL Draft.

Smith is the third UW player in the “modern era” to do this. Cornerback Derrick Martin did it after his junior season in 2005. Martin, at the time, said he was projected to be a third or fourth-round draft pick. He went in the sixth round to the Baltimore Ravens. Since then he has played for eight years for five different teams and is currently with the Chicago Bears. Martin has had the most success playing on special teams.

Running back Alvester Alexander did so after his junior season of 2011. He has been on practice squads of a couple of NFL teams, most recently with the Pittsburgh Steelers this season. He has yet to have a carry in a NFL regular-season game.

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Yarbrough, Huff named All-MW

It was a little ironic that the two Wyoming football players that made the first and second All-Mountain West teams were on defense.

Eddie Yarbrough

Eddie Yarbrough

But despite having one of the worst defenses in the nation in nearly every statistical category, sophomore defensive end Eddie Yarbrough made the first team and senior safety Marqueston Huff made the second team.

Hard to argue both players’ production. Yarbrough led all MW defensive linemen with 89 tackles. He also had a team-best 12 tackles for loss and 6.5 quarterback sacks. His two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries also tied for first on the team.

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VIDEO: Brett Smith

Wyoming junior quarterback Brett Smith talks about his record-setting performance in last week’s 59-56 overtime win over Hawaii, facing the Mountain West’s best defense this week in Utah State and his thoughts on Thanksgiving during this interview on Monday, Nov. 25, 2013 in Laramie, Wyo.

For more on the game, see Saturday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang and log on to wyosports.net. Also, join WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi’s live chat for the UW-Utah State game at 11:30 a.m. Saturday. Links are on this blog and at wyosports.net.

UW-Hawaii postgame thoughts, video highlights

That was one of the weirdest games I have ever covered or been a part of. Not the wierdest, but it ranks right up there.

I was in the stands — not working — when UW beat San Diego State 52-51 in Laramie in 1990. I covered the 53-45 triple overtime win at UNLV in 2004 where UW rallied and got bowl eligible that year.

UW beat Hawaii 59-56 in overtime Saturday at Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium. The announced crowd was 12,227, but there were not that many here. Less than 10,000 in my estimation. And this game had the combination of being entertaining, sad, embarrassing and down-right odd all in the span of four hours and six minutes.

Here are some video highlights, including UW’s last touchdown in regulation, Hawaii’s successful two-point conversion to force overtime and the overtime possessions for both teams.

Still, the few people that were there saw an exciting game. UW and junior quarterback Brett Smith broke all sorts of records. Smith threw for 498 yards and seven touchdown passes, and ran for another. UW had nearly 800 yards of total offense. Senior receiver Robert Herron caught four touchdown passes. He and junior receiver Dominic Rufran both had more than 100 yards receiving — the first UW duo since 2005 to do that.

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UW-Hawaii notes and quotes

Here are some tidbits for Saturday’s football game between Wyoming and Hawaii at Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium. Kickoff is at noon.

–UW (4-6 overall, 2-4 MW) is on a four-game losing streak, which is tied for the second-longest in coach Dave Christensen’s five seasons. The longest is six back in 2010. UW also had a four-game slide last season.

The new Paniolo Trophy awarded to the winner of the Wyoming-Hawaii football game.

The new Paniolo Trophy awarded to the winner of the Wyoming-Hawaii football game.

–The winner will receive a replica of the Paniolo Trophy. The old trophy was lost after the series between the two schools ended after the 1997 season. But a new trophy was constructed. UW leads the series 12-8 and has won five straight. Hawaii is 3-5 in Laramie, with its last win in 1991.

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UW-Boise State postgame thoughts

Talking about Wyoming’s last four football games is beginning to sound like a broken record.

Inconsistent to bad offense. Poor defense.

Those results led to UW’s fourth straight loss in a 48-7 drubbing at Boise State Saturday night.

A season-high four turnovers — three of which led to Boise State touchdowns — and a defense that was on the field for 92 plays and gave up 524 yards.

UW had a season-low 265 yards of offense, and also a season-low in rushing yards (55) and points.

The defense did little to stop Boise State, that had 241 yards rushing and 283 passing. There were some short fields due to the four turnovers, but the Broncos also drove the field on the Cowboys.

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VIDEO: Brett Smith

Wyoming junior quarterback Brett Smith talks about the team’s confidence level after losing three consecutive games, and also about the Cowboys’ game at Boise State this week during this interview on Monday, Nov. 11, 2013 in Laramie, Wyo.

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