Better blocking key to get UW’s run game going

Third-year Wyoming football coach Craig Bohl took a lot of questions during Monday’s news conference, and one of them was about UW’s run game and its lack of production in its 27-24 loss at Eastern Michigan and at other times this season.

Junior running back Brian Hill has averaged 115.8 yards per game, but in the Cowboys’ two losses he failed to reach 100 yards. Hill said he needs to do a better job of breaking arm tackles at or close to the line of scrimmage.

Craig Bohl

Craig Bohl

Bohl said the offensive line also can do a better job.

“We need to stay on blocks, finish off blocks,” he said. “If you’re not maintaining blocks on the line of scrimmage by one of your players up front, you can X and O all want and it doesn’t matter. Those guys have to maintain and execute blocks and we’ll work hard on that this week.”

I will have more on that in Tuesday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and online at wyosports.net.

Continue reading

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).

Continue reading

UW-New Mexico football notes, quotes and video

My No. 1 key for Wyoming Saturday if it hopes to win its first game of the season, and its Mountain West opener against New Mexico:

Complete offensive game: Wyoming averages 400 yards of total offense per game, has the Mountain West leader in rushing in sophomore running back Brian Hill (411 yards) and a quarterback in redshirt senior Cameron Coffman who has thrown for 578 yards and four touchdowns in two games. Yet, the Cowboys are 10th out of 12 teams in the MW in scoring (18.7 points per game). It’s great UW has shown it can move the ball, but it has to finish drives with points.

Agree, disagree? There are many more things the Cowboys must do well if they hope to win. See Saturday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and log on to wyosports.net for more on that.

You also can see how I break down this game from my preview video:


Continue reading

Safety shuffle for Cowboys may be slowing down

Three games and three different combinations at the two safety spots for the Wyoming football team.

But when UW (0-3) hosts New Mexico (1-2) in the Mountain West opener for both teams Saturday, it expects to keep the same two starters who played most of the game in last Saturday’s 31-14 loss at Washington State.

Andrew Wingard

Andrew Wingard

True freshman Andrew Wingard is slated to start at free safety, and redshirt freshman walk-on Marcus Epps at strong safety. Wingard made his first-career start Sept. 12 against Eastern Michigan, and he led the Cowboys in tackles at Washington state with 12. Wingard has 24 tackles in the last two games. Wingard played mostly on special teams in UW’s opener against North Dakota on Sept. 5.

Epps started at free safety against North Dakota, and had 11 tackles. He suffered a concussion in that game and missed the Eastern Michigan contest. Epps produced the Cowboys’ first turnover of the season with an interception in the third quarter. Epps also had five tackles and broke up one pass.

The Cowboys had three different starters at strong safety in their first three games. Redshirt freshman Chavez Pownell Jr. started the opener, followed by redshirt freshman walk-on Adam Pilapil against Eastern Michigan.

Marcus Epps

Marcus Epps

UW safeties coach and pass game coordinator Curt Mallory said all four safeties have played both positions during fall camp, and Epps, Pilapil and Pownell did the same during spring drills. Despite the youth, Mallory likes this group and the way it approaches the game.

“All four guys have been competing, and is a fun group to coach because they’re unselfish and want to help one another,” Mallory said. “It’s shown on the field. On the sideline at Washington State Chavez and Adam, even though they weren’t playing, were right in the ears of Marcus and Andrew. That’s maturity, and I’m pleased with that. Marcus and Andrew made some strides for having their second start. I’m encouraged with that.”

Continue reading

Pownell Jr. looking to make impact for Cowboys this season

Chavez Pownell Jr. came close to playing last season at safety for Wyoming.

But in the end, coach Craig Bohl and the staff decided to keep the redshirt on Pownell to get him ready for the 2015 season.

Chavez Pownell Jr.

Chavez Pownell Jr.

“It all worked out in the end. Whatever coach Bohl said I know it’s for the best,” Pownell said.

Pownell is the only safety on scholarship on the roster right now for the Cowboys. After last Saturday’s first spring scrimmage, he was listed as the starter at strong safety — ahead of redshirt freshman walk-on Marcus Epps.

Pownell had six tackles in that first scrimmage — the second-most among all defensive players. His four solo stops tied for the second-most.

“It makes me feel good, but you never know what can happen,” Pownell said. “Me, (redshirt freshman walk-on Adam Pilapil) and Marcus are all about at the same skill level. We have to make sure we’re grinding every day.”

Continue reading

Mallory happy to be newest addition to UW football coaching staff

Curt Mallory remembers being a young assistant coach at Ball State in 1997, which was the first time he met Craig Bohl — now Wyoming’s head coach but then an assistant coach at Nebraska where the Cornhuskers were coming off winning a national title.

Curt Mallory

Curt Mallory

Mallory called Bohl and asked if he could come watch some film with him at Nebraska. Bohl took an entire day to spend with Mallory.

Now, Mallory is coaching on Bohl’s staff at UW as the Cowboys’ defensive secondary coach and passing game coordinator. Mallory joined UW’s staff earlier this year.

“From that time on you root for guys like that,” said Mallory of Bohl. “Those are the kind of guys you want to work for. I’m real fortunate to be here and excited to be here.”

Mallory came to UW from his alma mater, Michigan, where he coached the defensive secondary there from 2011-14. Mallory also has coached at Akron, Illinois, Indiana, Central Michigan and Ball State. Most of Mallory’s stops had him coach the secondary, but he also has worked with linebackers, special teams units and he was the defensive coordinator during the one season he was at Akron in 2010.

“His experience is showing rather quickly,” said Bohl of Mallory being on the coaching staff. “(The Mountain West) is a perimeter league with a lot of speed and skill so those back seven guys really need to work in concert. … Last year, we couldn’t run well enough defensively.”

Mallory said he knew UW running backs coach Mike Bath when he was an assistant coach in the Mid-American Conference. While at Indiana, current UW receivers coach Kenni Burns was a running back for the Hoosiers.

Continue reading