UW-San Jose State postgame thoughts

It’s become an all too familiar story for the Wyoming football team.

The Cowboys’ defense allowed a season-high 642 yards of total offense in a 51-44 loss at San Jose State Saturday night at Spartan Stadium in San Jose, Calif.

The defense got off to a good start — three straight three-and-outs and then a fumble recovery. After that, it did virtually nothing.

Senior quarterback David Fales missed on just 10 of his 37 pass attempts. He threw for 482 yards and five touchdowns. The Spartans also ran for 160 yards, and it seemed like more.

Fales scored the game-winning touchdown on a 1-yard quarterback sneak with 8 seconds left. Here’s the video of that play.


The offense did some good things. Junior quarterback Brett Smith threw for three touchdowns. Sophomore running back Shaun Wick had 234 yards, and senior receiver Robert Herron had a school-record 93-yard touchdown reception where he simply outran everyone from San Jose on a short pass. It was similar to what he did last year at Texas on his 82-yard touchdown run and catch. The 93-yard play was the longest in UW history — touchdown or not.

But it wasn’t enough.

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UW-San Jose State Q&A

WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi did a question-and-answer session with Jimmy Durkin, who covers San Jose State football for the San Jose Mercury-News about Saturday’s game with the University of Wyoming in Laramie.

Follow on Twitter: @Jimmy_Durkin

Look for Q&As with beat writers that cover UW football opponents every week throughout the season.

San Jose State got off to a slow start this season, but injuries played a factor. Can you describe how decimated the team was due to injuries and how is the health of the team heading into the Wyoming game?

Injuries were a fairly large factor. Having starting running back Tyler Ervin out, and still out, was big and the loss of wide receiver Noel Grigsby was huge. It really took them three games to find someone who could somewhat fill Grigsby’s playmaker role, which Tyler Winston has done over the past couple of games. It took the same time to find a crew of running backs to minimize the loss of Ervin, too. The defense lost any semblance of depth with guys like linebacker Vince Buhagiar out and several other guys missing a game or two.

The Wyoming game should represent the healthiest the team has been since the season-opener. Wide receiver Jabari Carr should be back. There’s a chance Ervin is back, but that’s sounding less likely. But several guys that were slightly nicked up or on the verge of returning coming into the Colorado State game should be healthy as the team comes off the bye.

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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: Brett Smith

Wyoming junior quarterback Brett Smith talks about the Cowboys’ 52-22 home loss to Border War rival Colorado State on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013 in Laramie, Wyo. Smith threw for 246 yards and a touchdown, but threw two interceptions and was sacked three times.


For more on the game, see Sunday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and log on to wyosports.net.

UW-CSU quotes

Here are some quotes from Wyoming and Colorado State players and coaches that didn’t make it into any of our stories this week, but worth noting.

UW and CSU play the 105th Border War game at noon Saturday at Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium.

— “I never wanted to be mediocre or average. I want to be great at everything I do. I want to stay hungry, scratch and claw to get there.” — UW sophomore defensive end Eddie Yarbrough on his improved play this season compared to last.

— “This is a great opportunity to go out there and remain undefeated in the conference. Plus, it’s the Border War. It’s the biggest game on our schedule and something the fans look forward to each year.” — UW senior free safety Marqueston Huff.

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UW-CSU Q&A

WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi did a question-and-answer session with Kelly Lyell, who covers Colorado State football for the Fort Collins Coloradoan about Saturday’s Border War with the University of Wyoming in Laramie.

Follow on Twitter: @KellyLyell

Look for Q&As with beat writers that cover UW football opponents every week throughout the season.

 

How is Colorado State mentally and physically after its 34-27 homecoming loss to San Jose State? From comments from coaches and players it appeared that was a tough loss for the squad to take.

It was an unusually tough loss for the Rams. It was the conference opener and a chance to get a fresh start after going 2-3 in nonconference games. It was an opportunity to build on the momentum gained from wins over Cal Poly and UTEP, sandwiched around a strong showing in a loss at top-ranked Alabama. There were 26,022 fans — the largest crowd at Hughes Stadium since last year’s Boise State game — there for them to win back after four disappointing seasons in a row.

Plus, they blew a second-half lead in a game they went on to lose again, just as they had done in the first two games of the season against Colorado and Tulsa. It was a real setback for the Rams.

Physically, it took a toll, too, with star linebacker Shaquil Barrett suffering an ankle sprain that has made him questionable for the Border War, and nose tackle Josh Lovingood, a true freshman who made his first start while senior Calvin Tonga deals with “some personal issues” suffering a foot injury that could require surgery. Tonga isn’t expected to play this week, either, so the Rams will be down to a rotation of their third-, fourth- and fifth-stringers at nose tackle.

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VIDEO: Brett Smith

Wyoming junior quarterback Brett Smith talks about Saturday’s Border War game with Colorado State during this interview on Monday, Oct. 14, 2013 in Laramie, Wyo.


For more on Smith and the Cowboys, and their game Saturday against Border War rival Colorado State, see Tuesday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang and log on to wyosports.net.

UW-New Mexico what they are saying

Quotes and comments from the University of Wyoming’s 38-31 victory over New Mexico last Saturday.

— “The Pokes better play better in all aspects of the game next week. (Colorado State) got beat on its homecoming and are going to come into Laramie a fired up bunch. The Pokes on defense still look weak and some of the tackling is pathetic.” — ’72PokeGrad from  wyosports.net.

— “How many Pokes does it take to tackle a running back? At least four.” — KDWright from the UW-New Mexico live chat.

— “Boy if our defense could improve we would have a real shot at winning the division. — Saltwyo from the UW-New Mexico live chat.

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