UW defensive ends didn’t all start their careers there

One of the more surprising aspects of Wyoming’s depth chart for its season-opener Saturday against Northern Illinois was redshirt freshman walk-on Josiah Hall as the starter ahead of sophomore Kevin Prosser.

Josiah Hall

Josiah Hall

However, don’t look too much into that because both will play Saturday, and throughout the season. Hall gives UW a little more size at 237 pounds, compared to 215 for Prosser.

But what’s intriguing about those two and most of UW’s defensive ends is that hardly any of them started their football careers as defensive ends.

Hall and Prosser were linebackers in high school. Same can be said about UW’s other starter, sophomore Carl Granderson. The 6-foot-5, 243-pounder was an outside linebacker who didn’t play with his hand in the dirt like he does at UW. Granderson also played some at wide receiver in high school.

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2015 All-MW Football team: UW’s Hill left off first team, how I voted

There was an uproar among Wyoming fans this afternoon when the All-Mountain West football team was released by the league.

Brian Hill

Brian Hill

Sophomore running back Brian Hill was left off the first team.

Despite leading the MW with 1,631 yards — a single-season UW record — and four 200-yard games, Hill garnered enough support by the 12 head coaches and selected media members to earn second team honors.

Here is the link from the MW for the first and second team members, along with honorable mentions and other individual awards.

http://www.themwc.com/news/mwfb-15-allmw

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UW vs. UNLV football preview: Notes, quotes and video

My top key for Wyoming Saturday in its season-finale football game against UNLV:

Balanced offense: Wyoming needs to run the ball, but it also needs to get the pass game going. A big reason why the Cowboys have scored 10 points over their last two games is that the production through the air hasn’t been there. The weather will be cold and more geared toward running the ball, but UW can’t be one dimensional and must make some plays throwing the ball.

Here are more keys in my preview video:

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UW senior defensive ends mean more than just stats

There are only eight seniors on the Wyoming football roster, and two of the more well-known and successful ones are defensive ends Eddie Yarbrough and Siaosi Hala’api’api.

Eddie Yarbrough

Eddie Yarbrough

Their efforts on the field have been impressive.

Yarbrough is UW’s career leader with 37 tackles for loss, and is eighth with 20.5 quarterback sacks. Yarbrough also is tops in the Mountain West in tackles for defensive linemen this season with 5.2 per game.

Hala’api’api — known as Osi among his teammates — has 120 career tackles. He moved from linebacker to defensive end as a sophomore in 2013.

Both are team captains, and have meant a lot to this team and coaching staff than just their statistics.

“They’re just great guys and great friends,” said redshirt senior quarterback Cameron Coffman, who has been at UW for two years.

Siaosi Hala'api'api

Siaosi Hala’api’api

“They’re very relational people. Eddie is super nice and kind to everyone. Same with Osi. Me and Osi worked at golf course together this summer (in Laramie). He doesn’t complain and just works every day. He’s more of a quiet guy,but he’s fun to be around. Once you talk to him he’s fun, he laughs a lot and is always having a good time.”

For more on Yarbrough and Hala’api’api, see Wednesday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and log on to wyosports.net.

Media Monday: UW looks to send seniors out on winning note

The final news conference and interview session with players and assistant coaches had a definite theme at Wyoming Monday — beating UNLV and sending the eight seniors out on a winning note.

Cameron Coffman

Cameron Coffman

“They’ve just been great friends and great leaders on this team,” said redshirt senior quarterback Cameron Coffman about the other seven seniors. Coffman is in his second year at UW after transferring from Indiana in 2014. “I’m really proud of those guys. It’s easy to quit, easy to give in when you have a season like we are (1-10 overall, 1-6 Mountain West). But they continue to lead, work had and continue to be great role models for the young guys. That’s what I’m most proud of with those guys.”

UW defensive ends coach AJ Cooper has two of the Cowboys’ most well-known seniors in Eddie Yarbrough and Siaosi Hala’api’api. Both have played in more than 40 games in their careers, and both also are team captains.

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Border War football 2015: Notes, quotes and video

As usual, I start with my top key for Wyoming in Saturday’s Border War football game with Colorado State:

Keep emotions in check: The Border War is an important game for both squads, and more often than not emotions are amped up for the players. That’s fine, but you still have to execute the game plan. The team that does that the best has the upper hand. Emotion is a good thing, but not when it leads to mistakes. How both teams manage their emotions will be key, especially early in the game.

Here is my preview of the game:

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Media Monday: It’s Border War week

After playing four of its last six games on the road, Wyoming returns home this week for its annual Border War game with Colorado State at 1 p.m. Saturday in Laramie.

Here is coach Craig Bohl talking about that and several other things about this week’s game.

From what Bohl said, looks like we will have to wait until later in the week to see if redshirt senior quarterback Cameron Coffman will play. He’s still nursing a right shoulder injury that kept him out of last week’s game at Utah State.

Here’s what Coffman had to say on his health status Monday.

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Utah State 58, Wyoming 27: Postgame thoughts and video

Perhaps I am bad luck.

I wrote an article earlier in the week how, despite the team’s record and some of its stats, the Wyoming defense had shown improvement over the last few weeks.

Here’s the article if you want to take a look: http://www.wyosports.net/university_of_wyoming/coaches-like-progress-of-wyoming-defense/article_3da74bea-7d3a-11e5-ae94-cb4eac92080f.html

But the Cowboys’ defense was dominated by a balanced and good game plan by Utah State Friday night in Logan, Utah. The Aggies ran for 296 and passes for 296. UW had no answer for either one.

Why? Here’s what coach Craig Bohl said after the game:

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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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UW at Boise State football preview: Notes, quotes and video

As always, I start with my top key for Wyoming for its game at Boise State Saturday:

Clean and complete: Wyoming hasn’t had a large margin of error in any game this season, but that margin is razor-thin in this game. Boise State isn’t 95-4 at home since 2000 by using smoke and mirrors. It capitalizes on opponents’ mistakes. The Cowboys can’t turn the ball over, be plagued by penalties or have breakdowns defensively. They also need to force the Broncos into making mistakes. Boise State had eight turnovers last week in its 52-26 loss at Utah State. UW has forced four turnovers all season. It needs to force multiple turnovers, and score off them if they have any chance of being competitive or winning this game.

What do you think, folks? Yes, no or this guy has no idea what he’s talking about?

Here is my video preview of the game:

Now, a few notes and quotes about the game:

— “I think we’re still a ways away. I’d like to think we’re really close. But we’re playing two true freshmen offensive linemen. Developing fullback play has been a challenge, same with the tight ends. We’ve made progress, but we’re not where we want to be.” — UW coach Craig Bohl about how far his offense has progressed since he took over as coach last year.

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