Pokes look to be getting healthier

Wednesday marked the ninth spring practice for the Wyoming football team, and there seemed to be fewer guy wearing red jerseys due to injuries.

All of UW’s receivers who were out or limited on Monday were back on the field: senior Keenan Montgomery, and sophomores Tanner Gentry and Trent Sewell.

Junior offensive guard Jake Jones also was back at practice for the first time in about a week. Junior tight end Jacob Hollister returned after an ankle/leg injury last week.

Here is what first-year coach Craig Bohl said after practice:

There was one player in street clothes — redshirt junior cornerback Tyran Finley. Finley was not in a walking boot, cast or brace of any kind. His head hit the turf hard during Monday’s practice, but later returned. His injury/ailment does not appear to be serious.

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Cowboys’ defense still swimming

The Wyoming football team did some scrimmaging Wednesday in its fourth practice of spring drills at Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium.

But first-year defensive coordinator and secondary coach Chris Tormey said his guys best describe what you do in another sport.

“We’re still swimming,” he said. “(Monday) was a nightmare. We had a hard time geting lined up The offense put some new routes in and we didn’t defend them very well. It’s up and down. Monday was a down day. Wednesday was an up day. (The coaches) have to be our own worst critics Thrursday watching film and try to come back Friday and be up again.

“I thought our effort was pretty good for the first scrimmage. We did a decent job of getting lined up. But there’s a lot of room for improvement. I saw a lot of receivers open out there, and the next scrimmage the offense will take advantge of that. We’re no where near where we want to be.”

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UW football award winners

The Wyoming football team held annual football senior banquet the day after the win over CSU last Sunday. Here are the individual winners: 

Gabe Knapton earned the Iron Man Award for the second consecutive year as the Pokes’ top performer in the weight room.

The Brian Lee Scholar-Athlete Award went to junior strong safety Luke Ruff.

Tashaun Gipson was the Defensive Back of the Year.

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Video: Brian Hendricks

I’ve talked to the Wyoming senior linebacker a lot this season, but did one of my favorite stories of the year on him and his family ties to the Colorado State football program as his dad and grandpa played there. Hear what Brian had to say about it, and for more on the story, see Friday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang.

Another RB challenge for Wyoming’s defense

Wyoming’s defense has allowed seven 100-yard rushers this season, and one 200-yard performance by San Diego State’s Ronnie Hillman.

It faces another quality running back in Saturday’s Border War game with Colorado State in sophomore Chris Nwoke, who ran for 269 yards and two touchdowns in the Rams’ loss to Air Force last Saturday.

“Nwoke is a physical runner and they’re blocking well up front,” coach Dave Christensen said during his Monday news conference. “We need to have guys in position and wrap up. If we don’t he’s going to get a lot of yards. … “He runs down hill, he runs guys over and he has good speed. We need to force him to bounce to other guys.”

UW also plans to prepare to see CSU true freshman quarterback Garrett Grayson, who has started the last two games for injured sophomore Pete Thomas. Grayson is more of a run threat than Thomas.

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Wyoming-TCU leftovers

Some leftover quotes from Wyoming’s 31-20 loss to TCU on Saturday.

“This year was a different mindset. We expected to win. We came into this game thinking we could win. At halftime we knew we could win.” — senior linebacker Brian Hendricks. UW lost the previous three games to TCU by a combined score of 144-17.

“The majority of it was missed tackles. We were in position and didn’t wrap up. They have a good trio of running backs and a powerful offensive line, and when you play a team like that you have to wrap them up.” — coach Dave Christensen on TCU running for 390 yards.

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Quotes from UW-San Diego State

Here are some leftover quotes after Wyoming’s thrilling 30-27 victory over San Diego State last Saturday night in San Diego.

“Hope we can carry this in the next game and the rest of the year because that first half is what we’re capable of being.” — true freshman quarterback Brett Smith, who was 2o of 24 for 287 yards and two touchdowns in the first half, and he also ran 10 times for 39 yards and two scores.

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