Wyoming 28, Nevada 21: Postgame thoughts, notes and video

Simply put, it was nice to see some smiles instead of frowns from Wyoming players and coaches after the Cowboys picked up their first win of the season.

It wasn’t perfect, but there were some pretty impressive efforts in the game. The last coming by the defense as it forced stop late in the game as Nevada was trying to drive for a game-tying touchdown.

Here are highlights from that drive:

This was UW’s most complete game of the season. The offense was balanced as it ran for 272 yards and threw for 213. The Cowboys didn’t turn the ball over, and didn’t allow a quarterback sack for the first time this season. It went three-and-out on only two of nine drives (I’m not including the drive at the end when UW took a knee to run out the clock). I thought the play-calling got a little conservative during that time.

And, redshirt senior quarterback Cameron Coffman was nearly perfect at 18 of 20 for 213 yards and three touchdowns.

The defense didn’t allow a play longer than 29 yards. Prior to this game, it had allowed 12 plays of 30 yards or more for touchdowns, and close to 20 plays that long overall.

Here’s a link to my Sunday column for more on this:

http://www.wyosports.net/gagliardi-column-cowboys-can-finally-celebrate/article_266ae800-74ee-11e5-88f8-0f419319569b.html

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Wyoming at Air Force football: notes, quotes and video

My top key for Wyoming in its football game Saturday night at Air Force:

Convert scoring chances: Wyoming hasn’t had a problem moving the ball offensively at 396.4 yards per game. But it has had trouble scoring at 19.4 points per game. The Cowboys are last among 127 Football Bowl Subdivision teams in red zone offense as they’ve scored 10 of 19 times. Negative plays (penalties or plays that lose yardage) and turnovers all have been factors in UW’s futility. It must be cleaned up if it hopes to win this game — or any game the rest of the season.

Of course, there are several other things UW must do well in this game. For more of those, see Saturday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang and log on to wyosports.net

I delve into some of those other keys in my video preview of the game:

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Granderson growing on and off the field

Carl Granderson is doing something few college football players do during the season: gaining weight.

The Wyoming true freshman defensive end is listed at 6-foot-5, 200 pounds. But

Carl Granderson

Carl Granderson

Granderson said this week he’s up to 205 pounds. Yes, that is still 30 to 40 pounds lighter than UW would like him to be, but it’s rare for any player to gain weight through the rigors of a season.

“I keep on eating through the day,” Granderson said. “I eat breakfast, snacks between classes, lunch, dinner. You have to be constantly eating, drinking shakes ad all that.”

Granderson also said he lifts weights twice a day — in the mornings before practice and at night after practice.

I’m sure there are a lot of people out there who wish they had to eat more. Sounds like a good thing, but it’s not as easy or fun as it sounds.

“It’s hard. The mornings are hard for me to eat. But gong into the games and playing against these big offensive tackles, I realize I have to put on weight fast. The games have really motivated me to get bigger so I can play better.”

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UW-Washington State football postgame thoughts, notes and video

I don’t know how a lot of you felt, but Wyoming’s 31-14 loss at Washington State didn’t have that same kick-in-the-midsection feeling that the first two losses to North Dakota and Eastern Michigan felt.

Not saying that UW should chalk this up as a moral victory. There are still plenty of shortcomings for this team on offense and defense.

My column from the game was about how the offense was more on the hook for this loss, based on some golden opportunities to score in the second half thank to some solid play by the defense.

Here’s the link to that column. I would be curious how you felt about it:

http://www.wyosports.net/university_of_wyoming/football/gagliardi-column-missed-opportunities-crush-cowboys/article_89b17660-5f5c-11e5-a8e9-cf8b9ea7986a.html
Here’s what coach Craig Bohl said after the game:


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UW at Washington St. football – notes, quotes and video

First thing is first, here is my No. 1 key for Wyoming if it hopes to pull the upset at Washington State, which is a 24-point favorite, Saturday night in Pullman, Washington. Kickoff is at 6:40 p.m. MT and televised by the Pac-12 Network.

Cameron Coffman

Cameron Coffman

Offense is the best defense: Wyoming wants to run the football and control the clock. Washington State wants to throw it around and score fast. The Cowboys’ defensive struggles have been well documented, so their best defense today is to keep the defense off the field as much as possible with the offense. UW needs to be more balanced after 430 rushing yards and only 32 passing yards last week against Eastern Michigan. The return of redshirt senior starting quarterback Cameron Coffman from a knee injury should help.

For more keys and information about the game see Saturday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and log on to wyosports.net.

Second, here is my preview of the game:

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Media Monday: UW football notes and quotes

Another Monday, another news conference with Wyoming football coach Craig Bohl and interview session with players and assistant coaches.

Unfortunately, no video of Bohl’s news conference as my camera froze up. Hope to do better next week.

Cameron Coffman

Cameron Coffman

Bohl said he expected redshirt senior quarterback Cameron Coffman to be at “full speed” when the Cowboys practiced later in the day Monday. Coffman said his injured right knee that kept him out of last Saturday’s game with Eastern Michigan feels better, and hopes it will continue to get better as the week goes on as UW plays at Washington State Saturday.

“I don’t think I’ll be 100 percent, but I will be able to be effective,” Coffman said.

Redshirt freshman Nick Smith is now UW’s backup quarterback. Bohl said sophomore Josh Allen was to under go season-ending surgery on his shoulder as early as Monday. Allen hurt the shoulder on the second offensive series last week. Bohl also said UW will apply for a medical redshirt for Allen, and is optimistic it will get it.

Some other notable happenings from Monday:

Zach Wallace

Zach Wallace

— True freshman offensive tackle Zach Wallace will start on the right side as sophomore Taylor Knestis is out with a concussion. “He’s really bright and has good football instincts,” Bohl said. “While he’s light (Wallace said he’s 265 pounds), his frame (6-foot-7) is such is that he’s able to play stronger than his frame indicates. He’s been very competitive and has not shied away form competition.” More on Wallace later this week in the Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and on wyosports.net.

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UW-Eastern Michigan football postgame thoughts, notes, quotes and video

Before the season started, did any of you think Wyoming would lose its first two games of the season at home to North Dakota and Eastern Michigan?

Even the biggest skeptics couldn’t have seen this coming.

But after the Cowboys’ 48-29 loss to Eastern Michigan Saturday at Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium, that’s exactly where they are at. And, the games only get tougher from here on out.

Here is coach Craig Bohl’s postgame news conference:

I really liked what sophomore quarterback Josh Allen did in his brief time. He showed good command of the offense. UW gave him some easy throws to make

Josh Allen

Josh Allen

early on, and he zipped one pass in there that showed off his arm strength. Unfortunately, Allen’s aggressiveness likely cost him his season. Instead of sliding on a 24-yard run up the middle on the Cowboys’ second possession of the game (he had ample opportunities to do that) he took on a tackler head on and injured his shoulder and/or collar bone. Bohl expects Allen to be out six to eight week, but UW there is a good chance UW will be able to get a medical redshirt for him.

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UW-Eastern Michigan football: notes, quotes and video

First, my No. 1 key for Wyoming in its game Saturday with Eastern Michigan:

Run the football: Pretty simple. Wyoming has get back to what it does best offensively. Twenty-nine yards last week versus North Dakota won’t cut it. The run game will keep a vulnerable UW defense off the field, and also take pressure off whoever plays quarterback for the Cowboys today. UW needs to run the ball, then run it some more.

More on that, and other things about the game in my video preview:

A few other notes and quotes:

–“We’ve got to move forward. I learned a long time ago if you look in the rear-view mirror a long time, you’re going to have those same results.” — UW coach Craig Bohl after last week’s 24-13 season-opening loss to North Dakota.

— Senior defensive end Eddie Yarbrough ranks 10th nationally among all active FBS players with 29.5 tackles for loss. He had one last week against North Dakota.

Tanner Gentry

Tanner Gentry

–“He was doing a good job of getting open, and I also feel like I have good chemistry with him. I know where he’s going and what he’s going to do. I feel comfortable with all the guys, too. It’s still coming along with the young guys.” — UW redshirt senior quarterback Cameron Coffman on the play of junior receiver Tanner Gentry last week (nine catches for 176 yards and a touchdown) and his comfort level with the Cowboys’ other wide receivers.

— Gentry leads the Mountain West after one week of games in catches and receiving yards. His receiving yards is fifth nationally and his catches are ninth.

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UW-North Dakota football postgame thoughts

Difficult to come up with many positives from Wyoming’s 24-13 season-opening loss to FCS foe North Dakota Saturday in Laramie.

But there were two glaring concerns: the offensive line and penalties.

I thought going into the season the offensive line would be improved and perhaps a strength of this team. Perhaps it will be, but it didn’t show it in this game. UW couldn’t run the ball, and the pass protection was inconsistent at best.

Here is UW coach Craig Bohl after the game on that, and other concerns after teh game.

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UW-North Dakota football: Notes, quotes and video

Finally, it’s time to start talking about the games for the Cowboys.

First, here is my top key for Saturday’s season-opener with North Dakota:

Cameron Coffman

Cameron Coffman

Get Coffman going: Today will be redshirt senior quarterback Cameron Coffman’s first start since 2012. He wouldn’t be human if there wasn’t some nerves. UW would be wise to get his confidence going early with some easy throws. Not saying the Cowboys should abandon the run game early on, but it’s important to get Coffman into a rhythm from the start.

For more keys to the game and more on Coffman, see Saturday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and log on to wyosports.net.

Here is my video preview of today’s game:

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