Notes from UW spring practice No. 6

It didn’t appear that Wyoming’s sixth practice of spring drills was a walk in the park, even though the Cowboys have their first scrimmage of the spring at 11 a.m. Saturday.

UW practiced Friday in full pads, and went for a little more than two hours.

Seth Edeen

Seth Edeen

It was good to see sophomore defensive end and Cheyenne Central graduate Seth Edeen at practice. He was just watching, but he was there. On Monday, he took a hit to his side and after practice had some blood in his urine. A couple of tests later it was discovered Edeen was born without his right kidney, and also has a cyst on top of his pancreas.

Edeen is out for the rest of spring, and will have more medical procedures done in the coming weeks. For more on Edeen, see Saturday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and log on to wyosports.net.

UW had a walk-through at the beginning of practice with its run game. Senior Cameron Coffman took most of the reps, but the other four quarterbacks participated in the walk-through.

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UW spring football notes and quotes

Wyoming is nearly one-third of the way through spring practice. Here are a few notes and quotes that haven’t made this blog yet, or any of the other stories I’ve done to this point.

Seth Edeen

Seth Edeen

–UW coach Craig Bohl said sophomore defensive end Seth Edeen, a walk-on from Cheyenne and graduate of Cheyenne Central, had a good offseason and added about 15 pounds over the winter. During early walk-throughs from the first few practices, Edeen has been rotating in with some of the regular guys such as seniors Eddie Yarbrough and Siaosi Hala’api’api. Another guy rotating in is redshirt freshman Jonathan Kongbo. For more on him, see Wednesday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and log on to wyosports.net.

Josh Tapscott

Josh Tapscott

–To no one’s surprise, Bohl said senior Shaun Wick and sophomore Brian Hill have stood out as UW’s top two running backs this spring. But as the Cowboys look for depth behind those two, the competition appears to be going well. “We’re probably the closest in terms of being friends. The competition level we have allows us to push other so much that it’s crazy. Nobody is going to get mad at each other. Everyone is pushing each other to be the best we can be as a position group.” — sophomore running back Josh Tapscott.

— “I’ll put my momma’s house on it that our defense is going to be ready to play,” senior defensive end Eddie Yarbrough said. “One thing people overlook, we had a lot of seniors  go down and had a lot of young guys play. I’m definitely excited and confident that our guys are going to play well.”

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Wyoming vs. Boise State football: key to the game, notes and quotes

WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi’s key to the game for Wyoming in its home-finale against Boise State. Kickoff is at 8:15 p.m. MT at Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium:

Possess and finish: Wyoming’s offense must win the time of possession battle, and more importantly, finish drives with points. That may be the Cowboys’ best defense against Boise State’s league-leading scoring offense (37.7 points per game). UW did a decent job two weeks ago against Utah State of possessing the ball, but must do a better job of finishing and eliminate penalties and turnovers.

What do you think, folks? Yay or nay?

Here is Gagliardi and WyoSports editor Scott Nulph’s weekly video blog about the game:


Here are some notes and quotes from both UW and Boise State from this week:

Blair Burns

Blair Burns

–UW has never defeated Boise State (0-8) and has lost by a combined score of 148-43 in the four games played in Laramie. The Cowboys have scored no more than 17 points against the Broncos. But that doesn’t mean UW is intimidated by Boise State: “Boise State is a great team, but I wouldn’t say we are intimidated. We played at Oregon and Michigan State and we weren’t intimidated against those teams. Getting a win would be great. Why not now?” — UW senior cornerback Blair Burns.

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UW-Utah State key to the game; other notes and quotes

Here is WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi’s key to the game for Wyoming for its home game today against Utah State. Kickoff is at 6 p.m. MT at Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium.

Match the Aggies: Wyoming coach Craig Bohl and offensive coordinator Brent Vigen both said Utah State plays the hardest of any team the Cowboys have faced in the Mountain West to this point. Whether it is on offense or defense UW has to match that — or surpass that — to have a chance to win.

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

Here is Gagliardi and WyoSports editor Scott Nulph’s video preview of today’s game:


A few notes on today’s game:

Bridger's Battle

Bridger’s Battle

–The two teams meet for the 65th time and the series dates back to 1903, and is the fifth-longest series in UW history. Last year, a new twist was added to the series with it being called “Bridger’s Battle.” Last year, the two teams played for a “Bridger Rifle,” a .50-caliber Rocky Mountain Hawken rifle that was popular among the mountain men of the 1800s, and was the rifle carried by legendary mountain Man Jim Bridger.

Here is the rifle the Wyoming and Utah State teams will be playing for each year.

Here is the rifle the Wyoming and Utah State teams will be playing for each year.

–With one catch, UW senior receiver Dominic Rufran will tie Jovon Bouknight’s (2002-05) school record with a catch in 47 consecutive games. Bouknight is the pass game coordinator and receivers coach at Utah State. Rufran also needs 50 receiving yards to move past  Malcom Floyd (2000-03) into sixth place in career receiving yards. Rufran has 2,362.

–This is Utah State’s first game at UW as a member of the Mountain West, and first game in Laramie since 2007.

–Utah State has won 12 straight games in November, ad 16 of the last 18 dating back to 2010. The Aggies also have won 12 of their last 13 conference road games, including a 5-1 mark in MW road games.

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UW-Frenso State key to the game; other notes and quotes

Here is WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi’s top key for the Wyoming football team in tonight’s game at Fresno State, which kicks off at 8:45 p.m. MT at Bulldog Stadium in Fresno, California.

Better middle quarters: Wyoming has been outscored 151-62 in the second and third quarters this season. The Cowboys need to play a complete game to have a chance tonight, but they must do a better job in the middle two quarters offensively and defensively.

What do you think, folks? For more keys and more on today’s game, see today’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and log on to wyosports.net.

Gagliardi and WyoSports editor Scott Nulph preview with their weekly video blog on tonight’s game:


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UW-San Jose State football key to the game; other notes and quotes

Here is WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi’s top key to the game for the Wyoming Cowboys in their homecoming game at 2 p.m. today against San Jose State at Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium:

Possess the ball — and finish: Wyoming wants to wear teams down in the fourth quarter. To do that, it must possess the ball and finish drives. Even when the Cowboys can’t do that, they need to avoid a lot of three-and-outs and flip field position in the punt game. UW has a slight edge in time of possession this season at 30 minutes, 50 seconds, but it needs that figure to be around 34 or 35 minutes.

Yes, no? What do you think about this one?

Here is Gagliardi and WyoSports editor Scott Nulph’s preview for today’s game.


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Numbers aren’t pretty for Cowboys at midway point of season

For those who stayed up and watched Wyoming’s 38-28 loss at Hawaii, I commend you.

For all the coverage from the game, go to wyosports.net.

No need to rehash a lot of the bad from that game, which saw the Cowboys give up 513 yards of total offense and be outscored 28-7 in the second half.

At the midway point of the season, UW is 3-3 overall and 1-1 in the Mountain West. If certain numbers don’t improve, the Cowboys will be hard-pressed to win many more games in the second half of the season.

The Cowboys are tied for 120th in sacks with four in six games. San Jose State, Kent State and Navy are the only teams with fewer sacks than UW. Three of UW’s four sacks are by its linebackers. One is by a defensive lineman — senior defensive tackle Patrick Mertens — and none by the defensive ends.

UW also allows 31 points, 202.3 rushing yards and 421.3 total yards per game, and teams have converted 49.5 percent of their third downs. All areas that need to improve, but will they? First-year coach Craig Bohl said after the Hawaii game there is plenty to improve upon, but can the Cowboys do it?

Offensively, UW needed to play its sixth game to score more than 20 points in a game, and one of its four touchdowns against Hawaii was scored by the defense. Its 18.3 points per game is 116th in the country.

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UW-Michigan State postgame thoughts

The score indicated Wyoming got beat by 42 points — not sure if it was that close.

The Cowboys lost 56-14 at No. 9 Michigan State Saturday at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing, Michigan. The Spartans scored touchdowns on their first offensive possessions.

UW had no answer for Michigan State’s offense — running or passing. The Cowboys’ offense — aside from a few big plays — did nothing against the Spartans’ defense.

UW had a season-low 286 yards. Most of those plays came on four plays: 57-yard touchdown run by junior running back Shaun Wick in the first quarter, a 26-yard run by Wick later in that quarter, a 52-yard pass from senior quarterback Colby Kirkegaard to senior receiver Jalen Claiborne late in the second quarter and a 41-yard pass from Kirkegaard to sophomore receiver Tanner Gentry — also in the second quarter.

That’s 176 yards on those four plays — 110 the rest of the game.

There were three turnovers that resulted in 14 Michigan State points. Kirkegaard was sacked six times.

Defensively, UW allowed 338 yards rushing and 195 passing. Michigan State didn’t have to pass much, and three quarterbacks played. Still, the Spartans were 16 of 20 through the air.

There were a lot of missed tackles for UW — more this game than we’ve seen so far this season. Hope that isn’t a sign of things to come.

Here is first-year coach Craig Bohl after the game:

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UW-Florida Atlantic key to the game; other notes

Here is WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi’s top key to the game for the Wyoming Cowboys in their game today against Florida Atlantic, which kicks off at 2 p.m. today at Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium:

1. Finish drives: Wyoming moved the ball better than expected in its 48-18 loss at No. 2 Oregon with a season-high 439 yards. The Cowboys need to keep making progress there, but more importantly, finish drives with points. UW averages 16 points per game. That figure needs to rise significantly moving forward.

Agree, disagree?

Here are a few other notes and quotes for today’s game:

–Junior Jake Jones (appendicitis) and sophomore Sam Hardy (ankle) are game-time decisions for UW at right guard. If both can’t play, redshirt freshman Charlie Renfree will make his first-ever start.

–UW will try and win its fourth consecutive home game dating back to last season. The last time the Cowboys won four straight home games was during the end of the 2006 and beginning of the 2007 seasons. Continue reading

UW-Florida Atlantic Q&A swap

WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi did a question-and-answer swap with Cyrus Smith, who covers Florida Atlantic football for the website fauowlsnest.com, about Saturday’s game with the University of Wyoming in Laramie.

Follow on Twitter: @Cyrus31193

Look for Q&As with beat writers that cover UW football opponents every week throughout the season.

After road losses to Nebraska and Alabama to start the season, Florida Atlantic looked impressive in a 50-21 home win over Tulsa last week. What came together for the Owls and was that performance what most fans expect from the team this season?

Essentially, FAU played with a sense of urgency. After winning the last four games to end last year a lot of momentum was built for the next season for a potential Conference USA title run and bowl bid. Although many didn’t expect the Owls to win either of the games, the fan base definitely expected a better showing. The offensive performance was what the fans expected for the year. It also helped that FAU played a team that didn’t have a roster full of NFL players.

Quarterback Jaquez Johnson had a big game against Tulsa with 318 yards and three touchdowns in three quarters. Is he the guy that makes the offense go, and if so, what does he do to make that happen?

His versatility as a dual-threat quarterback makes this offense capable of putting up big numbers, but his ability to stay away from turnovers and negative plays is where his value can’t be unmatched. With this being his second year with offensive coordinator Brian Wright, he seems more comfortable taking shots downfield. Against Tulsa, Johnson completed two passes over 50 yards for touchdowns. If Johnson and the Owls are getting big gains through the air, FAU’s offense will be hard to stop.

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