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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Updated weights to 2016 UW football roster

Wyoming released its latest roster Wednesday night with updated heights and weights. The previous roster UW had out was around late June to early July.

Not a lot changed in terms of heights, but here are some of the more noticeable weight differences.

Player                                      Old Roster                                  New Roster

FB Drew Van Maanen               230                                             241

*LB Cassh Maluia                      210                                             223

*LB Drew Harvey                       210                                             234

^DE Josiah Hall                         232                                              237

*OG Gavin Rush                       285                                              301

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UW fall camp – Day 6

Wyoming had its first two-a-day session of fall camp Saturday. The morning practice was in War Memorial Stadium. The players were in shorts and “spider pads,” which are a step down from shoulder pads.

The afternoon practice was expected to be in full pads with some scrimmaging. However, that practice was closed to the public and media.

Here are some highlights from the morning practice.

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Priester, Hill expected to play as true freshmen for Cowboys

Heading into the season-opener Saturday, two true freshmen will play for Wyoming: cornerback Robert Priester and running back Brian Hill.

Robert Priester

Robert Priester

I thought there may be more, and there could be as the early part of the season progresses. But the later it goes, the less likely will unless some are needed due to injury.

Priester is listed at 5-foot-9, 168 pounds out of Robinson High in Tampa, Florida. He was not listed on the depth chart for the Montana game, but UW just listed the top two guys at most of its positions.

“I want to thank the coaches in believing in me that I can go out there and compete with some of the best people in this conference,” Priester said. “I just ran to the ball and tried to make plays when I got out there.”

Priester also said he in on the kickoff return team and both punt squads on special teams.

Brian Hill

Brian Hill

Hill will be the third running back behind redshirt sophomore D.J. May and junior Shaun Wick.

First-year coach Craig Bohl said he likes to play two backs during games, but will play a third if necessary. At 6-1, 204, Hill is what Bohl likes in a running back, and running backs coach Mike Bath said during camp Hill is one of the most intelligent players he’s ever coached.

“For a guy to be able to conceptualize all of what we do is not easy, and we are really pleased with his progress,” Bohl said.

Earlier in camp, Bohl said true freshman defensive tackle Sidney Malauulu will play this season. He still might, but Bohl said he and the staff are still contemplating whether or not to play him this season. Continue reading

UW fall camp – Day 16

Wyoming’s 16th day and 20th practice of fall camp was in full pads Tuesday morning, and all of it was held outside at Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium.

Most of the previous practices started in its indoor practice facility, and then went outside. The Cowboys started with some 11-on-11 work, and the quarterbacks were sharp.

Colby Kirkegaard

Colby Kirkegaard

Redshirt senior Colby Kirkegaard — still the starter — threw a nice deep ball to senior receiver Dominic Rufran. Kirkegaard executed a pump fake to perfection on the play.

Kirkegaard made several nice throws during the period. One was over the middle to sophomore Jake Maulhardt, and another was to the sideline for senior receiver Jalen Claiborne.

Sophomore backups Tom Thornton and Aaron Young also took some snaps at quarterback. Thornton got more than Young. All the plays during the period were pass plays.

Junior defensive end Eddie Yarbrough had a sack early on of Kirkegaard (the quarterbacks were not allowed to be hit).

Sidney Malauulu

Sidney Malauulu

True freshman defensive tackle Sidney Malauulu had one of the more powerful plays of the day and he pushed backup sophomore center Jacob English back about three yards that disrupted a play.

Malauulu came back last week from a sprained MCL in his knee, and Bohl said he likely will play this season. More on him later this week.

Here’s what coach Craig Bohl said after Tuesday’s practice.

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UW fall camp – Day 10

Wyoming has an interesting situation forming at linebacker, and not just for this season.

All three of its projected starters — Mark Nzeocha and Devyn Harris on the outside, and Jordan Stanton inside — are seniors. Stanton’s backup, Alex Borgs, third-string outside linebacker Nehemie Kankolongo also are seniors.

There are only four linebackers on the depth chart on scholarship that are not seniors: sophomore Lucas Wacha, juniors Jeff Lark and Malkaam Muhammad and true freshman Alex Bush.

Lucas Wacha

Lucas Wacha

Wacha is the only one of that group that has seen significant and meaningful playing time, and that was last season as redshirt freshman. Right now, Wacha is out with a concussion.

It is safe to assume linebacker will be an emphasis for the 2015 recruiting class. But aside from getting the starters solidified and ready for the season, what about getting those non-senior backups ready not only for this season, but for the future?

“I’m focused right now who our best three guys in our base situation, and then who our best two nickel linebackers,” UW defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Steve Stanard said. “As far as only having five guys coming back next year, (head coach) Craig Bohl focuses more on that stuff. He’s our director of player personnel.”

Steve Stanard

Steve Stanard

Stanard said Lark, Nzeocha’s backup, had a good summer and has had a good fall camp so far. Same with Harris. Stanard said the staff is trying to see if Bush can help the team on special teams.

Here is what Bohl said after Wednesday morning’s practice.


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UW fall camp – Day 8

Monday marked the eighth day of fall camp for Wyoming, and it will practice twice today.

Ethan Wood

Ethan Wood

But there was some sad news as sophomore punter Ethan Wood will be away from the team for a while because his parents, John and Resia, died in a plane crash over the weekend in Iowa. According to UW’s Facebook page, the Woods’ were coming back from Michigan where they were visiting one of their other sons, Josh, who is an assistant football coach at Michigan Tech.

Woods is from Colorado Springs, Colorado, and in his first season as UW’s punter last season — and his first punting the ball, period, he averaged 42 yards per punt.

That prompted the return of senior kicker Stuart Williams to camp. Williams was not part of the first week of camp and the 105-man roster so first-year coach Craig Bohl and his staff could look at other guys. Bohl said it was good to have Williams back in camp, and added he made a 55-yard field goal at the end of practice.

Here is more from Bohl after Monday morning’s practice:


Williams is the only punter and kicker available in camp right now. Junior Justin Martin, Williams’ backup at kicker, is out with a sprained ankle.

UW began practice with some 11-on-11 work. Redshirt senior quarterback Colby Kirkegaard — still the probable starter — threw completed a deep ball of 40 or 50 yards to sophomore receiver Tanner Gentry. Gentry later made a nice catch along the sideline.

Colby Kirkegaard

Colby Kirkegaard

Kirkegaard and sophomore backup Tom Thornton were the only quarterbacks that took snaps during that period. Kirkegaard also was wearing a camera attached to his helmet. It was done by UW athletics and footage will likely be posted on its website later today. It has been dubbed “Colby Cam.”

Sophomore cornerback Tim Hayes got drilled on a blitz after a nice block by redshirt sophomore running back D.J. May. Bohl said some new blitzes were introduced Monday, and he liked what he saw. He said it caused the offense some problems.

Senior right tackle Connor Rains was with the No. 1 offense after missing some time with an injury last week. Sophomore left tackle Nathan Leddige (concussion) is still out, but was at practice watching. Junior Austin Traphagan ran with the No. 1 offense at left tackle.

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UW fall sports media day in the books

Wyoming’s fall sports media day was held Monday afternoon at the Wildcatter Club & Suites atop Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium.

Coaches from football, cross-country, women’s soccer and volleyball spoke to a large crowd of media and fans. Later, football players were made available in the indoor practice facility due to thunderstorms outside.

Craig Bohl

Craig Bohl

First-year football coach Craig Bohl was the guy most came to listen to, and he didn’t disappoint. Although he knows the challenges ahead, it was hard to leave there not feeling good about this team and the future of UW football.

Bohl has talked a lot about being “Cowboy Tough” and bringing that back to the program. He spoke about that Monday, but said it’s time to show that on the field.

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UW football recruit visits

Here is a tentative list of football recruits that will visit Wyoming this weekend:

–ATH Jay MacIntyre, 5-11, 180, Louisville, Colo. (Monarch HS) — son of current Colorado football coach Mike McIntyre.

–DE Daniel Vega, 6-4, 260, Cedar Rapids, Iowa (Xavier HS) — Illinois State offer.

–OT Cole Turner, 6-4, 285, Cedar Rapids, Iowa (Xavier HS) — verbal commitment to Wyoming prior to Christmas.

–DE Connor Cain, 6-4, 250, Littleton, Colo. (Heritage HS) — Eastern Washington offer.

–DT Sidney Malauulu, 6-3, 280, Sierra Vista, Ariz. (Buena HS). According to his Twitter account he committed to UW during his visit.

–LB Alex Bush, 6-2, 220, La Habra, Calif. (La Habra HS). Committed to UW via Twitter Saturday night.

–OG Ryan Cummings, 6-6, 310, Highlands Ranch, Colo. (Valor Christian HS)

–DB Brian Hill , 6-1, 192, Belleville, Ill. (Belleville West HS)

–DE Joshua Stanton, 6-3, 230, Valencia, Calif. (Valencia HS). Committed to UW last fall.

Also of note: QB Aaron Young of ASA College in New York has signed his letter of intent and plans to be on campus and attending classes at UW early next week. … Two other UW signees are also on campus: OL Richard Bettencourt (6-3, 288) from Meridian High in Meridian, Idaho and TE Jacob Hollister (6-4, 230) from Arizona Western College in Yuma, Ariz. … Stanton is the younger brother of UW senior middle linebacker Jordan Stanton.