UW-Northern Colorado postgame thoughts

The first half was bad — at least the first 15 or 16 minutes.

The second half was good.

That sums up Wyoming’s 72-59 home victory over Northern Colorado Sunday afternoon at the Arena-Auditorium in Laramie.

UW trailed by as many as 12 in the first half. The 12 points is the largest deficit UW has overcome so far this season.

The Cowboys (8-4) held the Bears (6-3) scoreless over the final four minutes of the first half, and went on an 8-0 run — capped by a 3-pointer by Charles Hankerson Jr. at the buzzer. Here’s the video of that:

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UW-Northern Colorado pregame notes

“Now we need to make sure we don’t bow our heads and sulk. We need to look in the mirror and see what we can do better and go out Sunday and do that.”

That’s what Wyoming men’s basketball coach Larry Shyatt said after his team lost 62-54 Friday night at home to SMU. The Cowboys host Northern Colorado at 4 p.m. today at the Arena-Auditorium.

Based on what junior forward Larry Nance Jr. said after the game, the Cowboys (7-4) don’t plan to come out today with their heads down.

“It’s always good not to dwell on a loss, and unfortunately we’re dwelling on two losses,” he said. “We got to take that negative energy and put a beat down on Northern Colorado. That’s what we’re focused on from here on out. They’re a good team so we got to beat them first.”

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UW-Northern Colorado: What they are saying

Quotes and comments from the University of Wyoming’s 35-7 victory over Northern Colorado last Saturday in Laramie.

— “A team that lost to a (NCAA) Division II team is making our ‘D’ look silly. … We better start games better offensively or we will get in a deep hole against good teams.” — via Jeff from the UW-Northern Colorado live chat.

— “Against this defense we should score more than against Nebraska.” — via Xman from the UW-Northern Colorado live chat.

— “Coach C is going to have some concerns after this game.” — via XYZ from the UW-Northern Colorado live chat.

— “Brett is a gamer, heals up quick. I think without his legs this ‘O’ doesn’t operate at the same tempo. We need him for conference play at 100 percent.” — via jt from the UW-Northern Colorado live chat. UW junior starting quarterback Brett Smith hurt his right ankle on the third play of the game. Despite the ankle being heavily wrapped, Smith played the rest of the game.

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UW-Northern Colorado post game thoughts

I wrote my column for Sunday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and for wyosports.net, on the fact that UW’s offense hasn’t been that great the last two weeks. The statistics are not bad, but it has not been consistent, and at times it hasn’t executed well.

Agree or disagree with me there. The Cowboys beat Northern Colorado 35-7 Saturday, but had two defensive touchdowns — impressive in its own right.

Have we put too high of expectations with this offense after what it did in the opener at No. 23 Nebraska (who will be out of the polls come Monday after being blasted at home by UCLA)?

What do you think?

UW allowed four sacks. Junior quarterback Brett Smith hurt his right ankle,and said it hurt after the game despite not missing any time. The deep pass hasn’t been there the last couple of weeks.

Things need to get better, and fast, and Smith better be able to play. I don’t think he will do much in practice early this week. Smith said he will have an x-ray on the ankle soon.

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UW-Northern Colorado key to the game

Here is WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi’s key to the game for Wyoming in its game Saturday with Northern Colorado.

Same as last week: Meaning come out with the same focus and intensity as it did in Wyoming’s 42-10 home win over Idaho. What would be even better is if the offense comes out as strong as the defense did . There may need to be even more focus if it rains today (30 percent chance) in terms of ball security. The Cowboys are the better team, but they need to play like it from start to finish.

Agree, disagree? For more on the game, see Saturday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and log on to wyosports.net.

Also join Gagliardi for his live chat for Saturday’s game starting at 1:30 p.m. If you can’t go to the game, and there is no TV coverage, join him for the chat. Links will be on this blog and at wyosports.net.

Stanton making a statement for Cowboys

Jordan Stanton’s approach to football games sounds simple.

“The cream is going to rise and its going to show,” the Wyoming junior middle linebacker said. “Once the lights come on its time to put it all on the table. Every game you have to turn that switch on.”

Stanton, a junior-college transfer that arrived on campus in January, turned the switch on in the Cowboys’ season-opener at No. 23 Nebraska on Aug. 31 as he came off the bench and recorded eight tackles, two of which were for losses. That earned him the starting job in last week’s 42-10 win against Idaho where he had seven tackles.

Here is a video interview with Stanton done this week.

Stanton was the backup to senior Devyn Harris throughout fall camp, and both continue to compete for playing time now. However, Stanton has the edge over the more experienced Harris, although both play.

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Rain does not stop Cowboys at practice

There was rain early and late.

But it didn’t stop the Wyoming football team from practicing outside at Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium Tuesday morning.

“There was no lightning and we have to play in it,” coach Dave Christensen said.

UW does not have a game on its schedule this season indoors, and it played a little bit in the rain in last Saturday’s 42-10 home win over Idaho. The forecast for Saturday’s home game with Northern Colorado calls for a 30 percent chance of thunderstorms, with a high of 67 degrees.

Some other news and notes from practice:

–Sophomore center Rafe Kiely split reps with the No. 1 offense with junior starter Albert Perez. Redshirt freshman guard Chase Roullier took most of the snaps at left guard for senior Tyler Strong, who was in a red, no contact jersey. Perez and Strong are expected to start against Northern Colorado.

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UW not looking past Northern Colorado, but also focused on execution

Wyoming coach Dave Christensen was quick to point out during his Monday news conference with the media that 11 Football Championship Subdivision teams have defeated Football Bowl Subdivision teams through the first two weeks of the season.

He also said seven other FCS squads have come within a touchdown of beating FBS teams.

The uniform combination for Wyoming this week for its home game against Northern Colorado on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013. Photo by Robert Gagliardi/WyoSports

The uniform combination for Wyoming this week for its home game against Northern Colorado on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013. Photo by Robert Gagliardi/WyoSports

By no means are the Cowboys going to overlook FBS foe Northern Colorado Saturday in Laramie, or at least that’s what they are saying.

“We are no where near good enough as a program to overlook anyone, or think we are going to show up and win a football game,” Christensen said. Continue reading

UW-Northern Colorado postgame thoughts

I didn’t think Wyoming was ever going to make a shot in this game.

But an 18-2 run over about a 9 minute, 30 second stretch in the second half enabled UW to get a 69-60 win over Northern Colorado Wednesday night here in Greeley, Colo.

Senior point guard Derrious Gilmore was great with a career-high 24 points, including 13 from the free-throw line.

Senior forward Leonard Washington had his third double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds.

But how about sophomore forward Derek Cooke Jr. He had a career-high 12 points on 6 of 6 shooting. He made three shots in the first half and three in the second. He also had three rebounds and an impressive blocked shot in the first half.

“It was all my teammates,” he said. “Not one basket I made was just me making a move. It was my teammates getting me a good assist or getting a rebound for me.”

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