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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A look at the first depth chart of spring for Wyoming football

Wyoming released its first depth chart of spring drills Monday. Here is the link to the depth chart:

http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/wyo/sports/m-footbl/auto_pdf/2014-15/depth_chart_non_event/4-13-15_depth_chart.pdf

Will this what it will look like in less than two weeks when spring drills end, or when the Cowboys open the season Sept. 5 against North Dakota?

Some positions, yes. Others, no.

Here is a fairly quick and short breakdown of what I think of this first depth chart:

Cameron Coffman

Cameron Coffman

Locks: Senior Cameron Coffman at quarterback, senior Shaun Wick and Brian Hill at running back, juniors Tanner Gentry and Jake Maulhardt at wide receiver, junior Jacob Hollister at tight end, sophomore Drew Van Maanen at fullback, junior Chase Roullier at left guard, seniors Eddie Yarbrough and Siaosi Hala’api’api at defensive end, junior Uso Olive at defensive tackle, junior Lucas Wacha at one of the three linebacker spots (which one is still uncertain) and junior Ethan Wood at punter. I don’t see much movement at any of these spots barring injury.

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Vigen talks order of UW’s other quarterbacks

A few weeks ago, some UW fans wanted to see what else Wyoming had at quarterback besides senior Colby Kirkegaard.

The Cowboys’ offense was sputtered in its first seven games. There were glimpses of good, but too many three-and-outs and empty drives.

Some wanted to see what UW’s backups could do, even if it were for a series or two to see what the future of the program may look like at quarterback.

That talk has quieted after UW’s 45-17 win at Fresno State last week. The Cowboys recorded numerous season-highs offensively, including points, total yards (694), rushing yards (374) and third-down conversions.

But going back to UW’s 27-20 overtime loss to San Jose State, Kirkegaard has not thrown an interception in his last three games, and over the last two he’s completed 68.1 percent of his passes for 655 yards and four touchdowns.

Tom Thornton

Tom Thornton

Sophomore back up quarterback Tom Thornton has seen mostly mop-up duty for the Cowboys this season. He’s played in two games and not attempted a pass. Sophomore Aaron Young, the No. 3 quarterback, has not played.

“Tom has got the bulk of the No. 2 reps, but he truly wouldn’t be tested until he got into a game — I hate to say,” offensive coordinator Brent Vigen said. “His maturation is probably a little bit in a standstill. If something happened to Colby, we’d finish that game with Tom and then have to re-evaluate it the next week.”

“Aaron doesn’t get many reps so where he’s at is hard to say.”

Brent Vigen

Brent Vigen

Vigen said it’s a 2-to-1 ratio in terms of the number of reps Kirkegaard receives each week during practice compared to Thornton.

“Our No. 1 job is to get the No. 1 guy ready, and then have the No. 2 guy to function well enough to get through a game. When he (the No. 2 guy) becomes the No. 1 guy then the emphasis will be placed on him.”

For more on UW’s sudden offensive surge, see Wednesday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and log on to wyosports.net.

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UW fall camp – Day 15

Monday marked the last of five two-a-day practices, and the players were in shoulder pads and shorts Monday morning.

It also was the first practice since last Saturday’s scrimmage, and a day off for the players. But first-year coach Craig Bohl said some players were late to breakfast and he had to get on them prior to practice.

Here is what Bohl had to say after Monday morning’s practice:


UW’s new walk-on kicker — true freshman Pierce Royster — was at practice. He was not in pads as he has to go through an acclimation period. But he did some kicking with senior Stuart Williams prior to practice as Bohl watched. Both guys kicked field goals off a tee from numerous distances and locations on the field. Williams looked to be the most consistent of the two, and made one from 52 yards.

Here is a quick video of that:

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Cowboys open fall camp Monday morning

And so it begins. Wyoming’s first of 24 practices of fall camp started Monday morning in Laramie. The team did some drill work, walk-throughs and stretching in its indoor practice facility, and then headed out to Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium for the rest of practice. Unfortunately, the media is allowed to watch only the first 30 minutes of practice, which was all indoor so there is not a lot to report. But here are a couple of observations:

Colby Kirkegaard

Colby Kirkegaard

–During the walk-throughs, redshirt senior quarterback Colby Kirkegaard took all the snaps with the No. 1 offense, although there was a lot of moving around among other players on offense. Basically, Kirkegaard and true freshmen Nick Smith and Austin Fort were on one end, and sophomore Tom Thornton, senior Sam Stratton and sophomore Aaron Young were on the other end. The No. 1 and No. 2 defense went against Kirkegaard and his offensive group. The rest of the offensive and defensive guys were on the other end of the field. It was an odd mix and match of players. For instance, most of the top receivers were down with the backups. Most of the offensive plays were run plays so it may have been a run-specific walk-through. Here is a video of the receivers doing some hands work.

–As far as the starters went, there was nothing new in terms of the guys in this walk-through than what was indicated on the depth chart released prior to the start of camp. I saw true freshman tight end Grant Lewis get in a for a couple of snaps with the main offensive guys, same with true freshman defensive end John Jackson. Continue reading