The bye week is over, and it’s back to game preparations for Wyoming as it plays at Nevada Saturday night.
UW got some extra work in last week against Nevada during its bye week. Third-year coach Craig Bohl said last Thursday’s practice wasn’t good, but liked how his team came back on Saturday. Redshirt sophomore quarterback Josh Allen said that practice was one of the best the team’s had all season.
Here is UW’s depth chart heading into the Nevada game:
A new week and a new foe for Wyoming football to prepare for. The Cowboys (3-2 overall, 1-0 Mountain West) host Air Force (4-0, 1-0) at 1:30 p.m. Monday for homecoming.
Here is UW’s depth chart this week:
The only change is true freshman Tyler Hall is listed as possible back up at the boundary cornerback spot with redshirt freshman Davion Freeman. Junior Rico Gafford remains the starter. Hall played in his first game last week at Colorado State. He finished with one tackle and one pass break up.
Some pre-game reading prior to Wyoming’s game at Eastern Michigan, which kicks off at 5:30 p.m. Friday and is televised on CBS Sports Network.
First, my No. 1 key to the game for the Cowboys:
Keeping balance: Wyoming has averaged 216 rushing yards and 210 passing yards through its first three games. That balance has been a key to its success, and has to continue today. UW can’t let Eastern Michigan make it one dimensional.
Yes, no or am I full of it?
— I had this note in Friday’s story in the Wyoming Tribune Eagle, Laramie Boomerang and online at wyosports.net, but I found it interesting. The Cowboys play their third Friday night game in as many seasons. However, the last time UW played a nonconference game on a day other than Saturday was on Dec. 23, 2004 when it beat UCLA 24-21 in the Las Vegas Bowl.
Wyoming senior punter Ethan Wood works hard on his craft, and as football continues to evolve, so does the way punters kick the ball.
Wood used an Aussie style punt three times last week against UC Davis to pin the Aggies inside the 20-yard line.
What is Aussie style punting? I’ll let Wood tell you.
“I drop the ball with the nose down a little bit, and hit the nose of the ball with my toe in order to the get the ball to back-spin,” he said. “The hope is to when the ball hits the ground, it bounces straight up or backwards instead of going forward on a normal punt.”
Wood pinned UC Davis at its own 19, 3 and 17-yard lines.
We’re finally in game-week mode for Wyoming football, and that means the first depth chart of the regular season.
Instead of just listing names, here is a photo of the first depth chart.
Wyoming football depth chart vs. Northern Illinois
Not a lot of big surprises here. Perhaps the biggest is redshirt freshman walk-on Josiah Hall starting at one defensive end spot over sophomore Kevin Prosser. Both will play, but Hall gives UW a little more size at 237 pounds. Prosser is 215. Third-year UW coach Craig Bohl said: “It’s not a knock on Prosser, but more of a compliment to Hall.”
Wyoming put on the shoulder pads for the first time this fall camp on Wednesday. The first practice in full pads is set for Friday.
UW did a lot of special teams and one-on-one drills during the early portions of Wednesday’s practice that the media was allowed to watch. Here are some highlights of the action.
Sophomore free safety Andrew Wingard (hamstring strain) had been limited during the first two days of camp as a precaution. He was expected to do more at Wednesday’s practice. Junior cornerback Robert Priester (hamstring strain) also has been limited more out of precaution, but still was limited Wednesday. Redshirt freshman Davion Freeman looks to be getting some of the reps with the No. 1 defense in place of Priester. Sophomore Chavez Pownell Jr. has received more reps in place of Wingard.
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:
— 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.
Normally after Wyoming games I like to post some of my thoughts. Well, it’s kind of hard to post any thoughts from the Cowboys’ 41-play scrimmage Saturday since it was closed to the public and media.
So, I will let second-year coach Craig Bohl tell you what he saw:
No official stats were kept, but I can report that redshirt senior starting quarterback Cameron Coffman was 6 of 9 for 76 yards, and sophomore backup Josh Allen was 5 of 6 for 52 yards and two touchdowns. Allen threw a 20-yard touchdown to redshirt freshman tight end Tyree Mayfield, and a 6-yarder to true freshman tight end Josh Harshman of Casper.
Coffman hit Mayfield for a 23-yard pass that set up a 3-yard touchdown run by true freshman running back Kellen Overstreet, who finished with 10 carries for 46 yards.
Mayfield also blocked a punt, and he said he expects to not only play a lot this season at tight end but also on several of UW’s special teams.
Here’s what offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Brent Vigen said after the scrimmage: “Cam continues to be steady,and also is making plays. He handled himself well. Josh continues to progress. We’re excited to get Cam in a game.”
Vigen also said Coffman remains the starter by a wide margin, followed by Allen and redshirt freshman Nick Smith.
One of Wyoming’s true freshman football players that has been getting a lot of attention so far in camp in cornerback Davion Freeman.
The 5-foot-9, 156-pounder from Del City, Oklahoma, is competing with fellow true freshman Antonio Hull (5-10, 188) from Diamond Bar, California, for playing time — and perhaps a starting job.
Second-year coach Craig Bohl said one or both could see playing time this season, and that Saturday’s scrimmage will go a long way towards making that decision.
“Just effort. Sprinting to the ball after each play. Just hustling,” said Freeman recently on how he’s been able to have early success in fall camp. “The coaches notice that and want you on the field. When you hustle anything can happen. When there’s a fumble and you;re there to pick it up.”
Learning the play book and an more complex defensive scheme are the two things Freeman said has been the biggest adjustment for him at the college level so far.
“Once I do that, things should go real good,” Freeman said.
Wyoming was back at the North 40 grass practice fields Wednesday morning for its third practice of fall camp. Players were in shoulder pads for the first time. They will be in full pads for the first time on Friday.
Coach Craig Bohl said some of his veteran players continue to play well. Bohl singled out redshirt senior quarterback Cameron Coffman, along with senior
defensive end Eddie Yarbrough and junior nickel back/linebacker D.J. May.
“(Coffman’s) competition percentage is up. He’s really getting a good grasp of our offense, making good decisions and adjusting well,” Bohl said.
“D.J. May continues to make progress, and Eddie showed some great bursts. Anytime you seniors and other veterans continue to get better, that’s always a good sign.”
Hear what else Bohl said after Wednesday’s practice right here: