UW defensive, special teams depth chart for Nebraska

Friday I wrote what I thought Wyoming’s offensive depth chart for the Aug. 31 season-opener at Nebraska would look like.

Today I offer you what I think the depth chart will look like on defense and special teams. As always, I welcome your comments, thoughts and questions.

DEFENSE

Nose tackle

Patrick Mertens, Sr., 6-5, 295

Uso Olive, RFr., 6-1, 293

Chase Appleby, RFr., 6-0, 289

Defensive tackle

Justin Bernthaler, Sr., 6-2, 260

Troy Boyland, Jr., 6-2, 302

Defensive end

Eddie Yarbrough, So., 6-3, 257

J.J. Quinlan, Sr., 6-1, 248

Buck

Sonny Puletasi, Jr., 6-3, 251

Saiosi Hala’api’api, So., 6-2, 248

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UW football brings show to Cheyenne

Wyoming’s football team used one of its practices to prepare for its season-opener a week from today at No. 18 Nebraska to show the fans in Cheyenne what it has.

Wyoming sophomore defensive end/outside linebacker Siaosi Hala'api'api signs the short of a young fan after the Cowboys practiced at Cheyenne Central High Saturday afternoon. The event was dubbed "Cowboys in the Capital."/Photo by Blaine McCartney, Wyoming Tribune Eagle

Wyoming sophomore defensive end/outside linebacker Siaosi Hala’api’api signs the short of a young fan after the Cowboys practiced at Cheyenne Central High Saturday afternoon. The event was dubbed “Cowboys in the Capital.”/Photo by Blaine McCartney, Wyoming Tribune Eagle

Dubbed as the “Cowboys in the Capital,” UW practiced for about two hours at Cheyenne Central’s Riske Field. Between 1,500 and 2,000 people attended the event. Players and coaches signed autographs after practice.

It was a good outreach effort by UW, and one of the first major efforts from the football program in quite some time. It makes sense to come to Cheyenne as it has more than 8,000 UW alumns living there.

Jackson Gray, 3, shows University of Wyoming of Wyoming running back Brandon Miller how hold he his before having his football signed by him after the Cowboys finished practice Saturday afternoon at Riske Field in Cheyenne. The Cowboys will open the season on the road against No. 18 Nebraska a week from Saturday. Blaine McCartney/Wyoming Tribune Eagle

Jackson Gray, 3, shows University of Wyoming of Wyoming running back Brandon Miller how hold he his before having his football signed by him after the Cowboys finished practice Saturday afternoon at Riske Field in Cheyenne. The Cowboys will open the season on the road against No. 18 Nebraska a week from Saturday. Blaine McCartney/Wyoming Tribune Eagle

“I looked up in the stands at one time and I said ‘holy cow, this place is packed,’ ” coach Dave Christensen said. “There were lines everywhere. It was great.”

The players also seemed to enjoy it.

“It was neat to practice in front of an atmosphere like this,” junior quarterback Brett Smith said. “I expected it. There is a lot of passion for Wyoming football in this sate, and it is always great to play in front of the Wyoming fans. I think this was kind of an ego boost for everybody.”

Added junior conrerback Blair Burns:  “It’s great to come out an show them what we are made of. It was a great opportunity to practice in front of fans. Next week we are going to be playing in front of 90,000. Maybe next year we ill take it around the state.”

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UW football fall camp: Practice 17

Wyoming junior starting quarterback Brett Smith was at practice Tuesday morning, but he didn’t do much.

Smith missed Monday’s workouts with flu-like symptoms. Smith participated in some individual drills, but didn’t take part in any of the team periods. Sophomore backup Jason Thompson replaced Smith for the second consecutive day.

Brett Smith

Brett Smith

“Not very good,” said Smith when I asked him how he felt after practice Tuesday. He said he had the flu and also an ear infection, which caused him to feel dizzy at times during practice. I would be surprised if Smith participates in Wednesday’s scrimmage, which marks the end of fall camp.

When asked what he is doing to get better, Smith said: “Medicine and rest.”

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UW fall football camp: Practice 15

There was a significant absence during Wyoming Monday morning practice: junior starting quarterback Brett Smith.

“He was driving in this morning and had to pull over and throw up,” said coach Dave Christensen, who added that Smith had flu-like symptoms. “We sent him to see a doctor. If it is contagious we don’t want him to give it to the rest of the team.

“I talked to him at 10:30 last night. He called me and woke me up at home to tell me how excited he was. He was’t sick then.”

Sophomore backup Jason Thompson took all the snaps with the No. 1 offense. His first pass during an 11-on-11 drill was intercepted by junior outside linebacker Mark Nzeocha. Later during a 7-on-7 drill, Thompson was intercepted by true freshman free safety Xavier Lewis in a ball that was tipped by a receiver on a high throw from Thompson.

“It was just another day to come out and get better,” Thompson said. “There was nothing different scheme-wise, but just getting on the same page with the rest of the guys. It was kind of tough playing with a different group ,but it got better near the end.”

For more on Thompson, see Tuesday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and log on to wyosports.net

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UW football fall camp: Day 7

Coaches get a better feel for a practice or scrimmage after watching film. After Monday’s morning practice coach Dave Christensen said a few things stood out after watching the film of Sunday’s first scrimmage of fall camp.

–Christensen was impressed with the plays made by junior Tyran Finley, both at cornerback and returning punts. Finley, a junior-college transfer this summer, returned an interception 27 yards for a touchdown. The interception was thrown by junior starter Brett Smith

–He thought all of the quarterbacks managed the offense well. Smith and sophomore backup Jason Thompson got most of the reps, and had most of the production. Combined they were 39-of-49 for 529 yards with eight touchdowns and one interception.

–Christensen liked the play of the starting offensive line.

–Defensively, Christensen  wants to see more pressure on the quarterback and for the unit to get off the field. There were only two three-and-outs during the scrimmage.

Here is some video highlights during a team period during Monday morning’s practice.

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UW scrimmage news and notes

VIDEO INTERVIEWS FROM SUNDAY’S SCRIMMAGE

DAVE CHRISTENSEN: http://youtu.be/nwMkzrSv11Q

TRYAN FINLEY: http://youtu.be/lsgnmSirUHU

Want another Wyoming wide receiver to talk about?

How about senior Jarrod Darden.

The 6-foot-5, 220-pound senior who transferred from Colorado but is eligible this season

Jarrod Darden

Jarrod Darden

because he graduated from CU in the spring, caught three passes for 95 yards and a touchdown working with the No. 2 offense during Sunday’s first scrimmage of fall camp.

His TD catch was 46 yards, and he had a nice one-handed catch for 40 yards later on. All of his catches came from sophomore backup quarterback Jason Thompson.

“They have me in the slot, which I haven’t played before, and this is a new kind of offense for me,” Darden said. “I played in more of a pro-style offense at Colorado, but I like this offense a lot.”

Darden said he transferred from Colorado because he went through three coaching changes in four years, and he was simply “tired of it.”

Darden said he looked for schools that threw the ball a lot, and UW fit the description.

“At Colorado I was burried on the depth chart and a new coach was coming in. I wanted to go a school that wanted me and could use me. Right now I feel like I can contribute. If I keep making plays, hopefully they can use me.

“This is the best I felt during camp in a while. I am getting feedback and reps. I will enjoy this day, but our first two-a-days are Monday so I can’t enjoy it for long before it is time to get back to work.”

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Cowboys Camp: Day 2

A lot of the same from Wyoming’s second day of fall camp Wednesday morning in Laramie.

But here is a video link of a couple of plays during an 11-on-11 team period early in practice.


The team practiced for the second straight day in shorts, jerseys and helmets. It puts on the shoulder pads for the first time Thursday.

It was announced Tuesday that junior Riley Lange moved from tight end to defensive

Riley Lange

Riley Lange

end — the position he was recruited for when he signed in 2010. Since then he has played defensive tackle, fullback/H-back and tight end. Lange went to the coaches and asked to move back to defensive end a few weeks before the start of fall camp. He should provide depth there, and took some reps with the No. 1 defense during team periods Wednesday.

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UW depth chart heading into fall camp

Wyoming released its summer prospectus for the upcoming football season, which included a depth chart heading into fall camp in early August.

No real surprises, but here are a couple of interesting notes:

Omar Stover

Omar Stover

–True freshman running back Omar Stover is second behind senior Brandon Miller, who missed the spring recovering from a broken arm. Stover is ahead of sophomores Shaun Wick and D.J. May, who all played and started games last season as true freshmen. Expect Miller, Stover, May and Wick to play this season, but Stover’s move up was impressive.

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VIDEO: Chris Tormey

Wyoming defensive coordinator Chris Tormey talks about some of the latest changes, or experiments, he and the coaches are looking at along the defense this spring during this interview on Monday, April 22, 2013 in Laramie.

For more on this story, see Tuesday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang  or log on to www.wyosports.net.

Cowboys continue to experiment on defense

Marqueston Huff

Marqueston Huff

Wyoming has been taking a look at a lot of guys at a lot of different positions this spring, especially on defense.

The latest experiments has senior cornerback Marqueston Huff getting a look at safety, and junior Sonny Puletasi and sophomore Siaosi Hala’api’api on the field together at defensive end, with Hala’api’api playing the buck (combination defensive end and outside linebacker). Puletasi has spend most of the spring as the starting buck.

Also, sophomore defensive end Eddie Yarbrough is getting some looks at defensive tackle.

“We are just moving guys around, as I’ve said all spring,” coach Dave Christensen said after Monday’s 12th of 15 spring practices. “He’s got the ability to do it. We are search for all the right pieces at the right places.”

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