Hill inching closer to UW’s career rushing record

Wyoming junior running back Brian Hill needs 74 yards to pass Devin Moore (2005-08) and become the Cowboys’ career rushing leader. Hill enters Saturday night’s Border War at Colorado State with 2,890 yards in 28 games.

Brian Hill

Brian Hill

To put that in some perspective, Moore needed 44 games and broke the mark in UW’s last game of the 2008 season against … you guessed it, Colorado State. The Cowboys hope Hill breaks the record Saturday, and then some. They also hope for a better outcome than Moore experienced. UW lost that 2008 game at Colorado State 31-20.

Hill first must pass Ryan Christopherson (1991-94) for second place, but needs only 17 yards to do that. The last time a UW running back broke the school’s career rushing record on the road was Gerald Abraham (1984-87) in the Cowboys’ regular-season finale at Hawaii. Abraham broke the mark with 2,278 yards. That’s now sixth in school history.

Continue reading

UW beats Northern Illinois 40-34 in 3OT; what we learned

The No. 1 think I learned from watching Wyoming beat Northern Illinois 40-34 in triple overtime: You  never know what to expect covering college football.

A game that was supposed to start at 8:30 p.m. didn’t start until 10:20 p.m. due to severe weather with a lot of rain and lightning. The lightning was what delayed the game. After redshirt sophomore quarterback Josh Allen’s 7-yard TD run to win he game in the third overtime, it was 2:35 a.m. Sunday when the game ended.

Here are the highlights of UW’s game-winning drive, capped by Allen’s run, and of Northern Illinois kicker Christia Hagen missing a 38-yard field goal in that third overtime.

Continue reading

Conway, Okwoli having good camps at WR for Cowboys

Wyoming doesn’t have a lot of proven depth at the wide receiver spot behind seniors Tanner Gentry and Jake Maulhardt.

Redshirt freshman C.J. Johnson had a good spring, and continues to be solid in fall camp and figures to be in the mix behind Gentry and Maulhardt. Same is true for sophomores Joe Parker and James Price.

Two more guys may be getting into the mix as well — redshirt freshman Austin Conway and true freshman John Okwoli.

Gentry has been out with a strained hamstring, which has given Conway and Okwoli more chances for reps with he No. 1 offense during camp. Third-year coach Craig Bohl said after Tuesday’s morning practice both Conway and Okwoli have “exceeded expectations” so far in fall camp.

Here’s more from Bohl on Tuesday’s practice.

Continue reading

Grant talks about UW’s wide receivers

New Wyoming wide receivers coach Mike Grant hit the ground running when he was hired back in late January.

Mike Grant

Mike Grant

Grant has 22 years of experience as a college coach, and was on Nebraska’s staff as a graduate assistant when current UW coach Craig Bohl was an assistant with the Cornhuskers.

Grant has two veteran receivers to work with in seniors Tanner Gentry and Jake Maulhardt, and has liked what he’s seen from both so far this spring, and even going back to winter workouts.

I asked Grant about UW’s young receivers, and here’s what he said about sophomores James Price and Justice Murphy, along with redshirt freshman C.J. Johnson. Here’s what he said.

Continue reading

New roles for UW wide receivers amid Gentry injury

Wyoming football coach Craig Bohl said Monday he’s “hopeful” junior wide receiver Tanner Gentry will play Saturday at Boise State after suffering a sprained shoulder in UW’s 28-21 win over Nevada last Saturday.

Gentry’s status for the game won’t be known until later this week, but it’s probably a long-shot that he plays. Gentry leads UW with 37 catches for 678 yards, and is tied for the team lead with four receiving touchdowns. His receiving  yards is 15th in the country, and his 96.9 receiving yards per game is 19th.

So, who steps up for the Cowboys while Gentry is out, whether it is just the Boise State game or future games?

Jake Maulhardt

Jake Maulhardt

The first guy is junior Jake Maulhardt, who is second behind Gentry with 36 catches for 366 yards, and is tied with Gentry on the team with four touchdowns. Maulhardt plays the ‘X’ receiver spot, while Gentry plays the ‘Y.’ Maulhardt is a bigger target than Gentry at 6-foot-6, but doesn’t have the speed Gentry has.

“My number may be called more,” Maulhardt said. “I need to capitalize on it an make plays for the team. If it happens, Im ready for it.”

The two guys who likely will see more playing time if Gentry is out are a pair of true freshmen — James Price and Joe Parker. Combined, those two have caught 7 passes for 68 yards this season.

James Price

James Price

Maulhardt thinks Price is similar to Gentry in terms of his size (6-foot-2, 208 pounds) and abilities. Parker is smaller (5-10, 182) and seems like more of a slot receiver than an edge guy. Maulhardt said true freshman Justice Murphy played a lot more last week against Nevada, and is “one of the most athletic guys on the team.”

Gentry and Maulhardt have caught 57 percent of UW’s completed passes this season. Offensive coordinator Brent Vigen said human nature often takes over when guys are pressed into stepping up for a team due to an injury to a teammate as compared to trying to compete for playing time when everyone is healthy and front-line guys are being productive.

Continue reading

Bohl wants to see more from UW’s young wide receivers

There was a lot of publicity and hype for Wyoming’s five true freshmen wide receivers this season. I wrote my share of stories and blog posts about them.

But through four games, there hasn’t been much production.

James Price

James Price

James Price caught two passes for 26 yards in UW’s 38-28 loss to New Mexico last Saturday. Both of those came late when the game was already decided. Those were the first two catches of his career. Joe Parker, who enrolled at UW in January and went through spring drills, has caught two passes for 10 yards.

The other three — Justice Murphy, Dameko Doddles and C.J. Johnson have yet to catch a pass. Murphy and Doddles have played. Johnson will redshirt this season. Murphy scored a touchdown in UW’s 48-29 home loss to Eastern Michigan on Sept. 12 on a fly sweep. He also fumbled later in the game on a similar play.

“We’ve tried to integrate guys into games, but we’re not completely happy with all our freshmen wide receivers, though. They need to take a step forward,” coach Craig Bohl said. “That may mean feeding them with a fire hose. (Juniors Tanner Gentry and Jake Maulhardt) have played some excellent football, but we need to find more than two. We’re pushing some of those guys.”

Another young wide receiver Bohl said UW will take a look at in practice this week is true freshman walk-on Tayton Montgomery, a Cheyenne Central graduate, at 5-11, 165 pounds.

Continue reading

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:

Continue reading

UW’s young receivers trying to break into exclusive group

What started out as something fun turned into a little bit of controversey — but still fun.

Talking to a couple of Wyoming’s true freshmen wide receivers the last few days, they said they have the nickname of WWA — Wide receivers With Attitude.

But after Tuesday’s practice, a previous blog post on this was already up, UW junior receivers Tanner Gentry and Jake Maulhardt came up to me and told me the real story.

Both said they were the ones that came up with the nickname for the current group of receivers during spring drills. Only one of the true freshmen receivers were there then — Joe Parker — who graduated from high school early and enrolled at UW in January.

Gentry and Maulhardt said guys have to earn their way into the WWA, and Maulhardt said both were bothered so much by what the freshmen’s perception of this that he and Gentry wouldn’t allow the freshmen to eat lunch with them Tuesday.

Still, it’s a fun story and there is more on these guys in Wednesday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and also on wyosports.net.

Dameko Doddles

Dameko Doddles

True freshman Dameko Doddles (6-2, 208) goes into a little more detail on each one and some of the characteristics of all of UW’s wide receivers.

Here is Doddles’ description of each one:

Joe Parker (5-10, 182): “Small and shifty.”

Justice Murphy (6-0, 180): “Bigger, but a shifty receiver, too.”

Himself and James Price (6-2, 208): “More of a big body. JP likes to back-shoulder the most. I’m more of a post-up type of guy.”

C.J. Johnson (6-2, 190): “A finesse receiver. He’s smooth.”

Continue reading

Notes, quotes and video from UW’s first scrimmage of fall camp

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.

Tyree Mayfield

Tyree Mayfield

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.

Continue reading

Freeman’s speed, abilities catching the eyes of coaches during fall camp

One of Wyoming’s true freshman football players that has been getting a lot of attention so far in camp in cornerback Davion Freeman.

Davion Freeman

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.

Continue reading