Bohl impressed with veteran defensive ends

One of the first things first-year Wyoming football coach Craig Bohl said that stood out about Saturday’s first spring practice in full pads (third overall) was the play of two veteran defensive ends — senior Sonny Puletasi and junior Eddie Yarbrough.

“That was real encouraging,” said Bohl on both players so far this spring. “We have some seasoned and veteran guys there, and it is important for them to get acclimated to the 4-3. Their leadership on the field has been good. We are young inside, but I’ve seen our ends pop up.”

Yarbrough led all of UW’s defensvie linemen last season with 89 tackles. He also had team-highs with 12 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks as he earned First Team All-Mountain West honors.

Puletasi, who switched his jersey number from 12 to 50 this season, had 47 tackles, 10 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks last season. Puletasi has started in 21 games.

Here are some highlights from the defense from Saturday’s practice:

Bohl said no one has stood out among the five quarterbacks this spring. “We have a lot of work to do there,” Bohl added. We’re putting in a lot of offense. I think the guys are paying attention to detail, but it’s not easy.”

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UW football practices indoors

Wyoming practiced in its indoor practice facility Tuesday morning, but it wasn’t because the weather outside in Laramie was bad.

The weather forecast for the Cowboys’ game at Texas State Saturday night in San Marcos, Texas, is for temperatures in the high 70s to low to mid-80s by kickoff time (5 p.m. MT). There is a 60 percent chance of rain, and the humidity levels will be in the 60 percent range.

“We tried to get the heat turned up in here a little bit and get acclimated to the temperature,” coach Dave Christensen said. “We can’t make it 75 in here, but it was good. They got a good sweat going.”

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Tuesday’s UW football notes

Despite not having a game last week, Wyoming sophomore quarterback Brett Smith is sixth in the nation in pass efficiency (179.6), seventh in total offense (362.33 yards per game) and ninth in passing offense (328.3 ypg).

Smith is 141 yards of total offense shy of moving past former quarterback Randy Welniak, the current head of UW’s Cowboy Joe Club, into ninth place in career total offense. Smith has 4,419 and Welniak has 4,559.

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UW spring game thoughts

Wyoming wrapped up spring drills Saturday with its spring game, and the Gold beat the White 20-7. This was more like a real game in terms of rules and scoring. There were four 12-minute quarters with a running clock in each quarter excpet for the final two minutes of the second and fourth quarters.

I thought the defense came out as the winner, although both teams consisted of a mix of starters and back-ups. The defenses on both teams forced three turnovers (two interceptions and one fumble) and allowed only 67 rushing yards (38 yards were lost on sacks of junior quarterback Colby Kirkegaard).

Kirkegaard quarterbacked both teams and took every snap. He was 28 of 47 for 324 yards including a 37-yard touchdown to sophomore receiver Dominic Rufran and a 33-yarder to sophomore Trey Norman. Kirkegaard missed on several long throws where receivers were open. One attempt was badly underthrown and intercepted by sophomore cornerback Darrenn White. Senior safety Kenny Browder returned a pick 34 yards and a touchdown on a play he read well, but that Kirkegaard shouldn’t have thrown.

Still, I think Kirkegaard improved enough in the spring to be a viable backup. But make no  mistake about it, this team needs to have sophomore starter Brett Smith back to his old form — and even better — in the fall.

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Video: Josh Smith

This was one of the most moving interviews I’ve done in a while. This kid may see the field in a lot of different ways or positions, but the sophomore walk-on from New Hampshire will see the field. Count on it.

Would love to hear your thoughts.

See today’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang for my column on Smith.

UW spring scrimmage No. 2 thoughts

Here were the my five things to watch I posted prior to Wednesday’s second spring scrimmage for the Wyoming football team. Below are my responses to those.

The finals score was 64-63 for the defense using UW’s unique scoring system.

1. Improved offensive play: There were six turnovers by the offense last week. That was cut in half Wednesday — all interceptions. The offense struggled to go on any long, sustained drives. But after a slow start the offense came together near the end, albeit a shorter field. Most of the success came inside the defense’s territory

2. Continued solid defensive play: The three interceptions were by redshirt freshman Zack Berg, sophomore cornerback Blair Burns and junior safety Andrew Meredith. Five sacs and 13 tackles for loss. On the last play of the scrimmage the defense stopped sophomore running back Kody Sutton on the 1-yard line. Overall, the defense had a pretty good day.

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