Wyoming at Missouri – pregame reading

Some notes and quotes leading up to Wyoming’s football game at Missouri Saturday. Kickoff is at 5 p.m. MT from Faurot Field in Columbia, Missouri.

— “We had too many mental mistakes and shot ourselves in the foot. Too many penalties and too many third downs we didn’t covernt. We know we can do better and hold ourselves to ta higher standard. We didn’t play up tot hat standard.” — UW redshirt freshman quarterback Tyler Vander Waal on last week’s 41-19 loss to Washington State. Many UW fans are frustrated with the offensive play-calling and not seeing much from Vander Waal throwing the ball over the first two games. I wrote a column on that earlier this week. Here’s the link:

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Wyoming vs. Washington State – pregame reading

A few notes and quotes leading up to Saturday’s home-opener for the Wyoming football team against Washington State. Kick off is at 1:30 p.m. MT.

Craig Bohl

— “I’ve always believed a football team improves most between its first and second game.” — Fifth-year UW coach Craig Bohl.

— If that’s the case for the Cowboys, things could be fun to watch for the home fans. UW opened the season with a 29-7 win at New Mexico State last Saturday. The offense ran for 312 yards, had more than 400 yards of total offense and the defense held the Aggies to 135 yards of total offense. What could be better for UW? Sustaining drives. The Cowboys failed to convert a good number of third-and-short situations. More balance on offense. The run game was great, but not sure if it will be as effective against Washington State. More plays in the pass game should open up things in the run game. Create turnovers. UW didn’t force a turnover against New Mexico State. Winning the turnover battle — as it is in every game — will be key.

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UW football fall camp – Practice No. 20

The biggest news coming from Tuesday’s practice was that junior wide receiver James Price will miss the next six weeks with a broken left clavicle suffered in last Saturday’s scrimmage.

James Price

Price’s left arm was in a sling as he watched practice in War Memorial Stadium. UW worked out in full pads. Price was listed as a starter, and was emerging as a leader among the Cowboys’ wide receivers.

According to the depth chart UW released late Monday afternoon, sophomore John Okowli is Price’s backup. Fourth-year coach Craig Bohl said true freshman Jared Scott, at 6-6, 230 pounds, also is expected to see more playing time.

Here is Bohl after Tuesday’s practice:

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Poinsettia Bowl postgame thoughts

It wasn’t the ending players, coaches and fans wanted, but if anything, UW’s 24-21 loss to Brigham Young in Wednesday’s Poinsettia Bowl was entertaining and exciting — at least in the second half.

The Cowboys (8-6) followed a familiar pattern as the season concluded. Slow or sluggish starts to games — even extending to the first half and third quarter — and then a furious rally late.

But just like in the 27-24 loss to San Diego State in the MW Championship Game on Dec. 3, that rally fell short.

Some initial thoughts/observations:

Brian Hill

Brian Hill

— Disappointing to see junior running back Brian Hill benched for the first quarter by third-year coach Craig Bohl, who said after the game it was a “coach’s decision.” Obviously, Hill didn’t do anything earth-shattering wrong, but disappointing to see. Would things have changed if he played? Maybe, maybe not. Hill played well when he returned (93 yards, 1 TD, and one catch for 19 yards). I thought senior Shaun Wick played really well — even when Hill returned. Wick had 13 carries for 55 yards and caught one pass for six yards.

— Sunny San Diego didn’t live up to its hype. Yeah, the game was at night but it rained like crazy in the first half. Both teams had to play in it, but it definitely affected UW the worst. A bobbled snap on a punt (the snap was good) and a botched hold on a field goal (the snap was good) cost UW dearly. Other shortcomings cost UW, but those special teams gaffs hurt a lot.

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Cowboys focused on New Mexico, and only New Mexico

After his weekly news conference Monday, third-year Wyoming football coach Craig Bohl told UW’s sports information staff to tell the players to only talk about the Cowboys’ next

Craig Bohl

Craig Bohl

game at New Mexico Saturday. Bohl didn’t want any talk about a potential Mountain West Championship Game. He wants his team focused only on New Mexico, and the mantra the team has had all season — going 1-0 for the week.

UW (8-3 overall, 6-1 MW) can win the Mountain Division title with a win at New Mexico Saturday, and that win should enable it to host the MW Championship Game against San Diego State on Dec. 3. UW can win the division with a loss and a Boise State loss Friday at Air Force. If Boise State wins and UW loses, Boise State is the division champ.

I normally post the depth chart for the week, but for some reason the photo of it came out blurry so I won’t bother. Continue reading

Wyoming 34, San Diego State 33 – postgame thoughts

Another game, another amazing, odd, exciting (pick your own word) finish as Wyoming rallied then held on for a 34-33 victory over previously No. 24 San Diego State Saturday at Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium.

How odd and exciting? Check out my late-game highlights that include UW’s game-winning touchdown on a 29-yard pass from redshirt sophomore quarterback Josh Allen to redshirt freshman wide receiver C.J. Johnson. Also included is San Diego State’s Hail Mary pass on the final play to pull to within one (a play that was ruled incomplete and then reversed) and then its failed two-point conversion.

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Wyoming football notes, and some Halloween fun

Another Monday, another round of interviews with Wyoming football coaches and players — not to mention a handful of conference and national honors/recognition.

The Cowboys were named the National Team of the Week by the Football Writers Association of American for their 30-28 win last Saturday over previously No. 13 Boise State (now No. 24). Senior Ethan Wood was  named the Ray Guy Award Punter of the Week in the country. Tight end Jacob Hollister and nose tackle Chase Appleby were the Mountain West Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week, respectively.

Here is this week’s depth chart heading into Saturday’s game with Utah State:

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Ties vary to Air Force for UW players from Colorado Springs

The Air Force Academy is located just north of Colorado Springs, Colorado. As a service academy, its recruiting base is national, not just local.

Wyoming has six players on its roster from Colorado Springs, and their ties to the Air Force academy and Air Force football varies.

Ethan Wood

Ethan Wood

Senior punter Ethan Wood (Liberty HS) lived on the Air Force Academy for a brief time while his father worked there. He also attended a few football games as a kid.

Wood is coming off one of his best games in UW’s 38-17 win at Colorado State last Saturday. Wood averaged 44.5 yards per punt, four of his six punts were downed inside the 20-yard line — including two at the 1.

Wood said that was one of his best games in his career. However, he also said last year’s game at Air Force that UW  lost 31-17 may have been his best-ever. He punted eight times for a 47.1-yard average, including a long of 62 yards. Four of his punts were downed inside the 20-yard line.

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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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Cowboys release depth chart for opener vs. Northern Illinois

We’re finally in game-week mode for Wyoming football, and that means the first depth chart of the regular season.

Instead of just listing names, here is a photo of the first depth chart.

Wyoming football depth chart vs. Northern Illinois

Wyoming football depth chart vs. Northern Illinois

Not a lot of big surprises here. Perhaps the biggest is redshirt freshman walk-on Josiah Hall starting at one defensive end spot over sophomore Kevin Prosser. Both will play, but Hall gives UW a little more size at 237 pounds. Prosser is 215. Third-year UW coach Craig Bohl said: “It’s not a knock on Prosser, but more of a compliment to Hall.”

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