Wyoming vs. UC Davis football primer

Some notes and quotes for Saturday’s Wyoming football game vs. UC Davis. Kickoff is at 2 p.m. MT at Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium in Laramie.

— The game won’t be on conventional TV, but will be televised on WyoVision at UW’s athletics website — GoWyo.com — and on the Mountain West Network online at TheMW.com/watch-live and CampusInsiders.com. The game also can be viewed on Twitter at https://twitter.com/i/live/774470758831497216. The official hashtag for the game is #WYOvs.UCD.

 

Ron Gould

Ron Gould

— One interesting aspect about the game is both teams run pro-style offenses. They may do it out of different formations, but in a day and age where spread offenses are the norm, this game should be somewhat of an old-school game. Said UC Davis coach Ron Gould: “The first two weeks all we’ve seen are spread teams. It will be good to get back to blue-collar football, but one thing about Wyoming what they do up front is very physical. The biggest thing for us we got to match thier intensity in how they play.”

— When asked if it is an advantage, disadvantage or a wash in terms of getting ready for an offense that is similar to the one he sees in practice every day, UC Davis senior linebacker Zach Jones said: “I dont think it makes that big of a difference. “They got guys acorss the board that are great at what they do, but nothing in particular stands out.”

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UW beats Northern Illinois 40-34 in 3OT; what we learned

The No. 1 think I learned from watching Wyoming beat Northern Illinois 40-34 in triple overtime: You  never know what to expect covering college football.

A game that was supposed to start at 8:30 p.m. didn’t start until 10:20 p.m. due to severe weather with a lot of rain and lightning. The lightning was what delayed the game. After redshirt sophomore quarterback Josh Allen’s 7-yard TD run to win he game in the third overtime, it was 2:35 a.m. Sunday when the game ended.

Here are the highlights of UW’s game-winning drive, capped by Allen’s run, and of Northern Illinois kicker Christia Hagen missing a 38-yard field goal in that third overtime.

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Wyoming vs. Northern Illinois State football primer

Some news, notes and quotes for Wyoming’s season-opening game Saturday night at home against Northern Illinois. Kick off is at 8:30 p.m. at Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium. The game will be televised by CBS Sports Network.

First, my No. 1 key for the Cowboys:

Craig Bohl

Craig Bohl

A good start: Third-year UW coach Craig Bohl said earlier this week he wants his team to start strong and finish stronger throughout the season. The Cowboys must get off to a good start, which was a problem last season as they were outscored 125-28 in the first quarter. Finishing stronger won’t make a difference if UW finds itself in an early hole like it did most of the 2015.

Agree or disagree? For more keys and coverage of the game, see Saturday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and log on to wyosports.net.

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UW fall camp — Day 1

Wyoming started fall camp Monday morning at the North 40 practice fields on campus.

As in the past, media was allowed to watch the first 30 minutes. Here are some video highlights from the morning. The Cowboys worked a lot of forcing and recovering fumbles early on. Forcing more turnovers is a must. Last season, UW forced just 10 turnovers (five fumbles and five interceptions).

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Preseason predictions for the Pokes

The first day of summer is upon us, and it’s that time of year when many sports fans are counting the days until football season — more specifically college football season.

Brian Hill

Brian Hill

Many of the preseason college football publications are out there, and as you probably can  imagine, junior running back Brian Hill is getting a lot of attention.

Lindy’s college football preview magazine lists Hill as the 18th-best running back in the country. Twenty-five running backs were ranked, and two other running backs in the Mountain West were ranked ahead of Hill — San Diego State senior Donnel Pumphrey was eighth and Boise State junior Jeremy McNichols was 17th.

Long-time Denver Post sports writer Natalie Meisler did the MW previews for Lindy’s, and has been for while. She picked the Cowboys to finish third in the Mountain Division, behind Boise State and Air Force. She said UW is a “dark horse special contingent on rapid maturation of young participants.”

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UW’s Wingard with a bold promise

When watching Andrew Wingard play free safety for Wyoming, what do you immediately think of?

Andrew Wingard

Andrew Wingard

Obviously, just how hard and well he plays the game. As a true freshman last season, Wingard earned First Team Freshman All-America honors by the Football Writers Association of America. He also was a Second Team All-Mountain West selection as he ranked first in the conference and fourth in the nation with 6.9 solo tackles per game (83 total). Wingard also was second in the conference and 12th nationally with 10.2 tackles per contest (122 total).

But what else? It has to be his long, blonde hair.

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UW plans to make good use of bye week

Perhaps it is better late than never in terms of a bye week for Wyoming football.

The Cowboys are off this week before they play their last game a week from Saturday at home against UNLV.

Here’s what coach Craig Bohl had to say about the bye week, last week’s game with San Diego State and even some stuff about recruiting from his weekly news conference Monday.

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Boise State 34, Wyoming 14: Postgame thoughts

I’ve received some feeback from fans, and even some of my family who follows Wyoming, that they think the team is improving and showing some good signs for the future.

I don’t totally disagree with them, but still, UW lost 34-14 to Boise State Saturday night. To me, it felt like an even more lopsided loss.

UW was never in this game. It trailed 17-0 after one quarter and 24-7 at halftime. Boise State scored the first four times its offense touched the ball. It put together long and short scoring drives. It ran the ball at will, with 166 of its 207 yards coming from sophomore running back Jeremy McNichols. The Broncos threw only six incomplete passes. And, they had only one turnover compared to eight the week before.

UW’s offense had a season-low 233 yards and converted just 3 of 10 third-downs. Boise State made 12 of 19, UW may have lost redshirt senior quarterback Cameron Coffman to a shoulder injury for a while. However, a source close to the program told me Sunday Coffman’s injury isn’t considered to be too serious and there is a chance he will play Friday at Utah State.

Here is UW coach Craig Bohl after the game:

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May’s move to defense paying off for Cowboys

Speed and athleticism were the biggest factors in Wyoming moving junior D.J. May from running back to linebacker.

D.J. May

D.J. May

There was a lot of anticipation for how this move would go, but it was tempered during the spring when May was limited as he recovered from knee surgery that ended his 2014 season after six games.

Once the 2015 started, UW struggled so much defensively — and in other areas — that is was difficult to come up with a lot of positives.

But May has been a positive for the Cowboys’ defense. Now a strong-side outside linebacker/nickel back, May leads UW with seven pass break-ups, and is fifth on the team with 32 tackles. May was one of three players who tied for team-high honors with nine tackles in the Cowboys’ 28-21 win over Nevada last Saturday — UW’s first win of the season.

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Media Monday: UW football notes

I had to call into Wyoming football coach Craig Bohl’s weekly news conference Monday because I have to catch a flight to Las Vegas for Mountain West men’s basketball media day activities that start Tuesday and run through Wednesday. Look for more on that as the week goes on.

Here are a few notes and highlights from Bohl’s news conference:

Lucas Wacha

Lucas Wacha

— Junior linebacker Lucas Wacha, senior defensive end Siaosi Hala’api’api and sophomore cornerback Robert Priester — all starters — continue to be evaluated for concussions suffered in the 31-17 loss at Air Force last Saturday. Bohl said Hala’api’api and Priester are further along than Wacha. All three were listed as starters on UW’s depth chart, but that doesn’t mean any of them will play Saturday at home against Nevada.

— UW is getting dangerously thin at linebacker. Along with Wacha in the middle, junior Devin McKenna injured a knee during the team’s walk-through practice Friday. The only guy left there is junior Eric Nzeocha. Junior weak-side linebacker Will Tutein injured an ankle early against Air Force and didn’t return. His status is unknown. The Cowboys may have only five linebackers available for the Nevada game: Nzeocha, junior D.J. May, true freshmen Christian Irving and Luis Bach and sophomore Tim Kamana.

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