McNeill out for season finale vs. San Diego State

To me, Wyoming receiver Chris McNeill has been “Mr. Reliable” throughout his career.

No matter who threw the ball, McNeill often was the one the quarterback wanted to get the ball to when it was third-and-8 or even on fourth down. More often than not, McNeill came up with the catch.

Unfortunately, McNeill’s career is done as he suffered a knee injury after a catch in the fourth quarter in UW’s 28-23 win at UNLV last Saturday and won’t play in the season finale at home against San Diego State Saturday in Laramie.

“I have countless memories of Chris,” senior center and co-captain Nick Carlson said. “I feel like every fourth down situation we’ve been in it has been him that came up with a catch. That comes from his understanding of the offense, his awareness in space and how to be found by (sophomore quarterback Brett Smith).”

Carlson quickly recalled a fourth-down catch at Air Force last season, and one in Smith’s first game against Weber State at home. I’m sure UW fans can come up with several more.

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UW football Media Monday

Wyoming football coach Dave Christensen called it a “statement drive.”

The Cowboys didn’t score on the 13-play drive, and the longest play was eight yards.

But UW ran out the final 6:48 of the game in its 45-31 win over Colorado State last Saturday with 12 runs and only one pass.

It capped off an offensive effort for the Cowboys where they ran for 228 yards and threw for 240.

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UW football Media Monday

He was humbled by the experience, sorry that it happened and grateful to be back.

Wyoming coach Dave Christensen was all of that Monday, which was his first time talking to the media since he was suspended by UW last week for the Oct. 13 tirade after the Air Force game. Christensen returned to work Sunday.

“Not being able to coach this football team was probably the most difficult pill I’ve ever had to swallow,” he said.

“These players mean the world to me. There’s no one else to blame for what happened except for myself. I also ask for forgiveness and an opportunity to move on and make the best of a bad situation.

“I’m sorry for it. I regret it and now I’m gong to move on.”

For more on Christensen’s return and his comments, see Tuesday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and also log on to www.wyosports.net.

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UW football Media Monday wrap-up

Coach Dave Christensen was reprimanded by the Mountain West and sophomore starting quarterback Brett Smith is day-to-day.

Those ¬†were the biggest things that came out out Monday’s weekly interview session with players and coaches.

The reprimand by the MW wasn’t a surprise, and everyone at UW — Christensen included — had to have seen it coming. Christensen apologized for his reaction toward Air Force coach Troy Calhoun after the Cowboys 28-27 loss last Saturday through a news release Sunday night from UW. He apologized again Monday. See Tuesday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, or go to www.wyosports.net for what he had to say.

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Former high school teammates reunite this week

Wyoming junior receiver Robert Herron is back, and should play in his first game since the opener at Texas when the Cowboys begin Mountain West play at Nevada Saturday.

For more on that see Tuesday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and log on to wyosports.net.

But what I found interesting was what Herron told me after my interview with him.

One of Herron’s high school teammates at Dorsey High in Los Angeles was Charles Garrett, who happens to be a sophomore starting cornerback at Nevada. Herron said both have been texting and talking to each other this week. It will be interesting to see if Herron actually draws Garrett in pass coverage.

Some other news and notes from UW’s Monday interview session with players and coaches:

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UW Media Monday wrap-up

Wyoming football coach addressed the media like he normally does Monday afternoon in the Rochelle Athletics Center in Laramie.

This one was the longest compared to the previous three. I guess getting the first win of the season prompts more questions and answers, right?

One of the big topics today was about the defense, and the poor tackling the team showed in the 40-37 overtime win at Idaho. There was no exact number thrown out, but there were plenty.

Christensen said guys need to be better making plays in space, linebackers need to fill gaps better and the safeties need to play better.

He also said the defensive line has been consistent and good so far this season.

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UW media Monday wrap

The big news, or biggest topic everyone wants to know about hasn’t changed. Sophomore starting quarterback Brett Smith is still doubtful for Saturday’s game at Idaho after his head injury against Toledo on Sept. 8. Junior Colby Kirkegaard is listed as the starter, followed by true freshman Jason Thompson and then Smith.

However, coach Dave Christensen said there’s a possibility that all three could play, and that he won’t name a starter until game time Saturday at Idaho, which is 3 p.m.

So, Smith-Watch 2012 will continue for at least another week.

Want to know how Kirkegaard graded out on film after his first start of his career last week against Cal Poly, see Tuesday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, or long on to wyosports.net.

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Biggest key to fall camp for UW

Wyoming begins fall camp Monday morning, and I talk about the top five concerns/things to watch in my column in Sunday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and also online at www.wyosports.net.

Here is my No. 1 thing to watch, and would love to hear what you think. Hope you will read the rest of the column in the papers or online and give me your feedback.

1. Defense

Much of this involves the defensive line, and who exactly will play.

This unit took a hit when senior Ben Durbin, a projected starter at defensive end, left after the spring semester and will finish his career at Iowa State.

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