UW-Montana postgame notes and quotes

Here are some leftover notes and quotes from Wyoming’s 17-12 season-opening win over Montana Saturday:

Craig Bohl

Craig Bohl

–“It was a good start, but we can be better.” — UW coach Craig Bohl on UW having only one penalty in the game — an illegal motion penalty early in the fourth quarter — and how his team managed the clock throughout the game. UW’s time of possession was 34:54. It’s best last season was 28:31.

— “That why he was in there. He wa ble to make a play. He has a bright future. You never know they’re going to react, and he answered the bell.” — Bohl on the 18-yard run late in the fourth quarter by true freshman running back Brian Hill.

“I just kind of go out there and do it, and have fun doing it. I remember I was out there and (the public address system) was playing one song that I really like (Closing Time). I was like, that was my song and I was out there just running over guys.” — junior running back Shaun Wick on a couple of his second-half runs when he ran over and dragged Montana defenders for extra yardage.

–“That was amazing. I was so happy for him. I was like ‘that was my little brother out there making plays.’ ” — Senior outside linebacker Mark Nzeocha on the blocked punt by his brother — sophomore tight end Eric Nzeocha.

Continue reading

Christensen not happy with practice

Wyoming football coach Dave Christensen didn’t pull any punches when I asked him how the first practice of game week leading up to Saturday’s game at No. 15 Texas went Tuesday.

“It was probably the worst practice we’ve had all fall (camp),” he said. “We have a lot of work to get to get done the next two days. We have to practice much better than that.

“I’m not one to make excuses. It sucked, and it’s on them to get better by (today).”

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are the big practice days for UW for Saturday games. Friday, obviously, is a travel day, this week.

Continue reading

UW spring game thoughts

Wyoming wrapped up spring drills Saturday with its spring game, and the Gold beat the White 20-7. This was more like a real game in terms of rules and scoring. There were four 12-minute quarters with a running clock in each quarter excpet for the final two minutes of the second and fourth quarters.

I thought the defense came out as the winner, although both teams consisted of a mix of starters and back-ups. The defenses on both teams forced three turnovers (two interceptions and one fumble) and allowed only 67 rushing yards (38 yards were lost on sacks of junior quarterback Colby Kirkegaard).

Kirkegaard quarterbacked both teams and took every snap. He was 28 of 47 for 324 yards including a 37-yard touchdown to sophomore receiver Dominic Rufran and a 33-yarder to sophomore Trey Norman. Kirkegaard missed on several long throws where receivers were open. One attempt was badly underthrown and intercepted by sophomore cornerback Darrenn White. Senior safety Kenny Browder returned a pick 34 yards and a touchdown on a play he read well, but that Kirkegaard shouldn’t have thrown.

Still, I think Kirkegaard improved enough in the spring to be a viable backup. But make no  mistake about it, this team needs to have sophomore starter Brett Smith back to his old form — and even better — in the fall.

Continue reading

Cowboys not taking Lobos lightly

Wyoming is an early 25-point favorite to beat New Mexico Saturday in Laramie. But last season when even though UW was struggling at 2-7, New Mexico was winless but beat the Cowboys 34-31 on a late field goal.

There are signs up all over the Rochelle Athletics Center with the score of that game, and senior safety Tashaun Gipson said the game will be replayed on television monitors in the locker room and throughout the RAC through Friday as a reminder of what happened.

Got a feeling UW will play better this year against New Mexico than last year. For more on this, see Tuesday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang.

Continue reading

UW-Texas State pregame notes

A little less than two hours before kickoff, and I just found out true freshman Daniel Sullivan will handle all field goal, extra point and kickoff duties today. Last week, redshirt freshman Stuart Williams kicked extra points. Coach Dave Christensen liked the way Sullivan was kicking the ball late in the week and decided to give Sullivan all the chances today. Sullivan has yet to attempt a field goal or extra point.

The scheduled fly over with a C-130 from F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne won’t happen today prior to the game. That plane was deployed to Texas to help fight the wildfires there. One of Texas State’s sports information directors was sitting next to me when I got the news and she said: “Thank goodness, we need all the help we can get.”

Coaches will wear camo hats to honor 9/11 and our military today. And, as most of you know by now, the players’ brown helmets will don red, white and blue Steamboat decals.

UW depth chart prediction

Monday afternoon Wyoming football coach Dave Christensen will speak to the media leading into Saturday’s season-opener against Weber State.

Christensen will release the depth chart for the first game. Some positions (quarterback) we know who will start. In fact, I don’t think there should be many surprises. But why wait until Monday afternoon? Here is how I think the depth chart will look. Would love to hear your thoughts.

Continue reading

Camp concludes for Cowboys

Fall camp came to a close for the Wyoming football team as it simulated some game day procedures Saturday morning at Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium.

The team practiced in helmets, shoulder pads and shorts. It stood on its own sideline, plays were signaled in from the sideline, officials were on hand and music was pumped in to simulate the chaos of a real game.

True freshman quarterback Brett Smith threw a long touchdown pass to junior running back Alvester Alexander to start the practice. Smith was later intercepted by junior safety Luke Ruff in a two-minute drill.

When asked if Smith will be the starter Sept. 3 against Weber State, coach Dave Christensen said: “We’ll watch the film, make a decision and let you know the Monday before the first game (Aug. 29).”

Expect Smith to be the starter.

Here’s what first-year offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Gregg Brandon said about Smith: “Going into camp I was very apprehensive. But 20 days later I’d say I’m pleasantly surprised. Brett can run and mange the offense. I thought our offensive instillation was very ambitious, and I thought we’d have to take days and back it up, but we didn’t.”

Brandon said junior-college transfer Colby Kirkegaard had an edge over true freshman Adam Pittser for the backup job going into Saturday, but Brandon wants to evaluate things after watching film from Saturday’s practice.

Some other notes from practice

–True freshman kicker Daniel Sullivan ended the practice with a 64-yard field goal. Both he and redshirt freshman walk-on Stuart Williams were accurate most of the day. Christensen said kickers attempted around 300 kicks during camp.

–Christensen said senior punter Austin McCoy likely will handle kickoffs for the season-opener against Weber State. He said Sullivan could eventually take over once he’s fully over a leg injury.

–True freshman cornerback Blair Burns is the teams’ third corner, or first to come off the bench.