UW football-basketball doubleheader – postgame thoughts

Football and men’s basketball doubleheaders for Wyoming are rare, but there was one this past Saturday in Laramie and the results were equal on both accounts — disappointing.

Let’s start with football.

The Cowboys lost to Border War rival Colorado State 26-7, but to me the score felt more like it was 46-7.

UW was dominated in all aspects. Colorado State scored the first four times it had the ball. The Rams were conservative after that, and even then the Cowboys couldn’t do much.

Here’s coach Craig Bohl after the game:

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Border War football 2015: Notes, quotes and video

As usual, I start with my top key for Wyoming in Saturday’s Border War football game with Colorado State:

Keep emotions in check: The Border War is an important game for both squads, and more often than not emotions are amped up for the players. That’s fine, but you still have to execute the game plan. The team that does that the best has the upper hand. Emotion is a good thing, but not when it leads to mistakes. How both teams manage their emotions will be key, especially early in the game.

Here is my preview of the game:

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Utah State 58, Wyoming 27: Postgame thoughts and video

Perhaps I am bad luck.

I wrote an article earlier in the week how, despite the team’s record and some of its stats, the Wyoming defense had shown improvement over the last few weeks.

Here’s the article if you want to take a look: http://www.wyosports.net/university_of_wyoming/coaches-like-progress-of-wyoming-defense/article_3da74bea-7d3a-11e5-ae94-cb4eac92080f.html

But the Cowboys’ defense was dominated by a balanced and good game plan by Utah State Friday night in Logan, Utah. The Aggies ran for 296 and passes for 296. UW had no answer for either one.

Why? Here’s what coach Craig Bohl said after the game:

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UW at Utah State football preview: Notes, quotes and video

No sense in breaking the pattern — here is my No. 1 key for Wyoming for its game Friday night at Utah State:

Nick Smith

Nick Smith

Help Smith succeed: Redshirt freshman quarterback Nick Smith will make his first-career start. Smith started the season as Wyoming’s No. 3 quarterback, but has been the No. 2 guy since the second game of the season. He’s had mixed results in two games. He still has some development in front of him as a passer, but he can run the ball. The Cowboys’ coaches have to have a plan for him to succeed both running and throwing. Don’t look for UW to change its offense, but it must have some wrinkles to work on Smith’s strengths. Smith will need to throw the ball, but they must be throws he can make.

Yes, no or am I out of my mind?

Now for my video preview of the game:

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Media Monday: Wyoming prepares for Utah State on short week

Coming off a 34-14 loss at Boise State last Saturday, Wyoming got back to work Sunday and Monday for its next game at Utah State at 8:15 p.m. Friday.

The news wasn’t good regarding redshirt senior quarterback Cameron Coffman as coach Craig Bohl listed him as doutbful for the Utah State game. Coffman left the Boise State game in the third quarter with a shoulder injury. There are not broken bones, but UW is moving forward with redshirt freshman Nick Smith as its starter this week.

Here are Bohl and Smith from Monday’s interview sessions:

 

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Boise State 34, Wyoming 14: Postgame thoughts

I’ve received some feeback from fans, and even some of my family who follows Wyoming, that they think the team is improving and showing some good signs for the future.

I don’t totally disagree with them, but still, UW lost 34-14 to Boise State Saturday night. To me, it felt like an even more lopsided loss.

UW was never in this game. It trailed 17-0 after one quarter and 24-7 at halftime. Boise State scored the first four times its offense touched the ball. It put together long and short scoring drives. It ran the ball at will, with 166 of its 207 yards coming from sophomore running back Jeremy McNichols. The Broncos threw only six incomplete passes. And, they had only one turnover compared to eight the week before.

UW’s offense had a season-low 233 yards and converted just 3 of 10 third-downs. Boise State made 12 of 19, UW may have lost redshirt senior quarterback Cameron Coffman to a shoulder injury for a while. However, a source close to the program told me Sunday Coffman’s injury isn’t considered to be too serious and there is a chance he will play Friday at Utah State.

Here is UW coach Craig Bohl after the game:

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Media Monday: UW football notes and quotes

Another Monday, another news conference with Wyoming football coach Craig Bohl and interview session with players and assistant coaches.

Unfortunately, no video of Bohl’s news conference as my camera froze up. Hope to do better next week.

Cameron Coffman

Cameron Coffman

Bohl said he expected redshirt senior quarterback Cameron Coffman to be at “full speed” when the Cowboys practiced later in the day Monday. Coffman said his injured right knee that kept him out of last Saturday’s game with Eastern Michigan feels better, and hopes it will continue to get better as the week goes on as UW plays at Washington State Saturday.

“I don’t think I’ll be 100 percent, but I will be able to be effective,” Coffman said.

Redshirt freshman Nick Smith is now UW’s backup quarterback. Bohl said sophomore Josh Allen was to under go season-ending surgery on his shoulder as early as Monday. Allen hurt the shoulder on the second offensive series last week. Bohl also said UW will apply for a medical redshirt for Allen, and is optimistic it will get it.

Some other notable happenings from Monday:

Zach Wallace

Zach Wallace

— True freshman offensive tackle Zach Wallace will start on the right side as sophomore Taylor Knestis is out with a concussion. “He’s really bright and has good football instincts,” Bohl said. “While he’s light (Wallace said he’s 265 pounds), his frame (6-foot-7) is such is that he’s able to play stronger than his frame indicates. He’s been very competitive and has not shied away form competition.” More on Wallace later this week in the Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and on wyosports.net.

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UW-Eastern Michigan football postgame thoughts, notes, quotes and video

Before the season started, did any of you think Wyoming would lose its first two games of the season at home to North Dakota and Eastern Michigan?

Even the biggest skeptics couldn’t have seen this coming.

But after the Cowboys’ 48-29 loss to Eastern Michigan Saturday at Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium, that’s exactly where they are at. And, the games only get tougher from here on out.

Here is coach Craig Bohl’s postgame news conference:

I really liked what sophomore quarterback Josh Allen did in his brief time. He showed good command of the offense. UW gave him some easy throws to make

Josh Allen

Josh Allen

early on, and he zipped one pass in there that showed off his arm strength. Unfortunately, Allen’s aggressiveness likely cost him his season. Instead of sliding on a 24-yard run up the middle on the Cowboys’ second possession of the game (he had ample opportunities to do that) he took on a tackler head on and injured his shoulder and/or collar bone. Bohl expects Allen to be out six to eight week, but UW there is a good chance UW will be able to get a medical redshirt for him.

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Cowboys get after it during early portions of Tuesday’s practice

Wyoming practiced in full pads late Tuesday afternoon in Laramie, and there was a lot of work on tackling.

Not drill work on tackling — actual tackling.

The media is allowed to see only the first 30 minutes of each practice, but as coach Craig Bohl and his staff enter their second season, that’s the most I’ve seen UW do in terms of live tackling (aside from scrimmages).

Not sure what that means for Saturday’s home game with Eastern Michigan, but I found it interesting.

Unfortunately, there wasn’t a lot of other good news regarding the Cowboys Tuesday.

Cameron Coffman

Cameron Coffman

Redshirt senior quarterback Cameron Coffman missed practice for the second consecutive day with a strained MCL ligament in his right knee, suffered late in last Saturday’s 24-13 loss to North Dakota. Coffman watched from the sideline, but wasn’t wearing a knee brace or wrap. He had a noticeable limp and had a wrap around the knee Monday.

“We’re in hopes he gets better later on in the week,” Bohl said. “It’s not a major (injury), which gives us hope, but also it takes some time to get back.”

Sophomore backup quarterback Josh Allen took all the snaps with the No. 1 offense. Redshirt freshman Nick Smith took snaps with the twos.

When asked if Coffman doesn’t practice this week but is cleared to play Saturday, Bohl said: “It’s helpful to have practice. I’m not saying that will be the final decision. Some of it will be contingent on his mobility and how he’s moving along. We will never put a player out there that’s not going to help the team win, or put himself in jeopardy.”

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Thornton gives his take on UW’s quarterbacks this spring

Wyoming junior Tom Thornton ended last season as the Cowboys’ backup quarterback.

Prior to the start of spring drills, Thornton was one of six scholarship quarterbacks on the roster. With a logjam there, UW moved him to wide receiver.

Tom Thornton

Tom Thornton

Thornton’s transition to receiver is still a work in progress, but he’s happy with the move. For more on that, see Saturday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and log on to wyosports.net.

Earlier this week, I asked Thornton what he thought of the play of UW’s four quarterbacks this spring: senior Cameron Coffman, sophomore and junior college transfer Josh Allen, redshirt freshman Nick Smith and redshirt sophomore Aaron Young.

Coffman was named the starter earlier in spring drills. Allen is currently listed as the backup, followed by Smith and Young.

“I think they’re doing a great job. Going form last year to now, you can see their knowledge of the offense has improved.

Cameron Coffman

Cameron Coffman

“Cam has looked fantastic. His accuracy is on point. His reads are on point. I think he’s goin to have an unbelievable year. Josh is doing well, but is the newest guy. He has an unbelievable arm. He needs to know when to tone it down a little bit. He threw a screen pass bout 90 miles an hour. He’s starting to pick up the offense. Nick’s is doing a solid job and Aaron is as well.”

Thornton also said that losing redshirt freshman Austin Fort “kind of sucks.” Fort was moved from quarterback to tight end last week. Soon after that, UW announced Fort will transfer.

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