New roles for UW wide receivers amid Gentry injury

Wyoming football coach Craig Bohl said Monday he’s “hopeful” junior wide receiver Tanner Gentry will play Saturday at Boise State after suffering a sprained shoulder in UW’s 28-21 win over Nevada last Saturday.

Gentry’s status for the game won’t be known until later this week, but it’s probably a long-shot that he plays. Gentry leads UW with 37 catches for 678 yards, and is tied for the team lead with four receiving touchdowns. His receiving  yards is 15th in the country, and his 96.9 receiving yards per game is 19th.

So, who steps up for the Cowboys while Gentry is out, whether it is just the Boise State game or future games?

Jake Maulhardt

Jake Maulhardt

The first guy is junior Jake Maulhardt, who is second behind Gentry with 36 catches for 366 yards, and is tied with Gentry on the team with four touchdowns. Maulhardt plays the ‘X’ receiver spot, while Gentry plays the ‘Y.’ Maulhardt is a bigger target than Gentry at 6-foot-6, but doesn’t have the speed Gentry has.

“My number may be called more,” Maulhardt said. “I need to capitalize on it an make plays for the team. If it happens, Im ready for it.”

The two guys who likely will see more playing time if Gentry is out are a pair of true freshmen — James Price and Joe Parker. Combined, those two have caught 7 passes for 68 yards this season.

James Price

James Price

Maulhardt thinks Price is similar to Gentry in terms of his size (6-foot-2, 208 pounds) and abilities. Parker is smaller (5-10, 182) and seems like more of a slot receiver than an edge guy. Maulhardt said true freshman Justice Murphy played a lot more last week against Nevada, and is “one of the most athletic guys on the team.”

Gentry and Maulhardt have caught 57 percent of UW’s completed passes this season. Offensive coordinator Brent Vigen said human nature often takes over when guys are pressed into stepping up for a team due to an injury to a teammate as compared to trying to compete for playing time when everyone is healthy and front-line guys are being productive.

Continue reading

Media Monday: UW football notes

I had to call into Wyoming football coach Craig Bohl’s weekly news conference Monday because I have to catch a flight to Las Vegas for Mountain West men’s basketball media day activities that start Tuesday and run through Wednesday. Look for more on that as the week goes on.

Here are a few notes and highlights from Bohl’s news conference:

Lucas Wacha

Lucas Wacha

— Junior linebacker Lucas Wacha, senior defensive end Siaosi Hala’api’api and sophomore cornerback Robert Priester — all starters — continue to be evaluated for concussions suffered in the 31-17 loss at Air Force last Saturday. Bohl said Hala’api’api and Priester are further along than Wacha. All three were listed as starters on UW’s depth chart, but that doesn’t mean any of them will play Saturday at home against Nevada.

— UW is getting dangerously thin at linebacker. Along with Wacha in the middle, junior Devin McKenna injured a knee during the team’s walk-through practice Friday. The only guy left there is junior Eric Nzeocha. Junior weak-side linebacker Will Tutein injured an ankle early against Air Force and didn’t return. His status is unknown. The Cowboys may have only five linebackers available for the Nevada game: Nzeocha, junior D.J. May, true freshmen Christian Irving and Luis Bach and sophomore Tim Kamana.

Continue reading

UW football Media Monday: Some thoughts, notes and video

As Wyoming prepares this week for its first Mountain West game, the question was posed to a lot of the players, and coach Craig Bohl, if this week was a sort of fresh start. You know, kind of a feel like a season-opener with the first conference game after a frustrating 0-3 start to the season.

Brian Hill

Brian Hill

Most of the people I talked to didn’t take that approach. Sophomore running back Brian Hill described the game as a “must win.” Bohl said this is another week for the team to show improvement.

Here’s Bohl on that and several other things during his news conference Monday:

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

UW football fall camp – Day 1

I wish I could give you a lot of hard-hitting analysis and insight from Wyoming’s first practice of fall camp Monday morning in Laramie.

Unfortunately, as was the case last season, media members are allowed to watch only the first 30 minutes of practice, and not a whole lot happens during that time. And, with this being the first of 24 fall camp practices and the players in just helmets and shorts, there isn’t a lot to report.

Here is some video of UW’s quarterbacks getting in some early throws and drill work.


Continue reading

Quarterbacks picking it up as spring drills draw to an end

There hasn’t been much drama with Wyoming’s quarterbacks in terms of who would be named the starter.

Cameron Coffman

Cameron Coffman

Senior Cameron Coffman was that guy just after UW’s first scrimmage of the spring a couple of weeks ago. Junior college transfer and sophomore Josh Allen remains the No. 2 quarterback.

But one thing second-year coach Craig Bohl has been disappointed with in UW’s two spring scrimmages has been the completion percentage from all of UW’s quarterbacks. The four currently on the roster now are a combined 26 of 66, a completion percentage of 39.3 percent.

Coffman has the best percentage at just under 50 percent at 13 of 27.

Allen, we’ve been told, has a big arm but is still learning to control it — as well as learn UW’s offense. In the two scrimmages Allen is 6 of 17.

Bohl said at the start of Wednesday’s 13th practice of the spring that Monday’s practice was the best day all of UW’s quarterbacks had throwing and completing passes. However, after Wednesday’s Bohl said said he’s still seeing a few too many errant throws and decisions.

Continue reading

UW spring football roundup – Day 1

It was back to work Monday for the Wyoming football team as it held its first of 15 spring practices.

UW used both its indoor facility and War Memorial Stadium for its workout, which lasted a little more than two hours. Players will be in shorts and helmets for the first two practices. They won’t be in full pads until the third practice on Saturday.

Here are some highlights from the first practice. Media is allowed to stay for only the first 30 minutes.


A few points of observation from Day 1:

–UW did some walk-through work prior to the start of practice and the guys who got most of the reps with the No. 1 offense along the offensive line were sophomore Ryan Cummings (left tackle), junior Chase Roullier (left guard), sophomore Charlie Renfree (center), redshirt freshman Richard Bettencourt (right guard) and sophomore Taylor Knestis (right tackle). Another who got in some work on the left side was sophomore tackle Kurtis Stirneman.

Cameron Coffman

Cameron Coffman

–Senior Cameron Coffman always seemed to be the first guy when the quarterbacks did individual drills, and he also worked with the No. 1 offense the most of the other four guys. What that means this early in spring is debatable, but I still believe he is the guy to beat in terms of UW’s starting quarterback.

Continue reading

UW fall camp – Day 6

Wyoming’s first period of its Saturday morning practice was some 11-on-11 work.

First-year coach Craig Bohl said he often does this because it is a good — and difficult — drill for the quarterbacks because there is a lot of “chaos” going on. It allows them to think things through and prepare for what might happen in the early portions of any game. In this case, it is for the season-opener three weeks from today against Montana.

There was a good mix of the No. 1 offense vs. the No. 1 defense and twos vs. twos.

Colby Kirkegaard

Colby Kirkegaard

No big surprises with the No. 1 offense. Redshirt senior Colby Kirkegaard took all the snaps with the ones. UW is still without their two starting right tackles in sophomore Nathan Leddige (left) and senior Connor Rains (right) due to head and concussion issues. Rains was at Saturday morning’s practice in uniform, and Bohl said he didn’t have a concusssion Leddige was not at the practice, and does have a concussion.

Redshirt freshman Kurtis Stirneman was on the left side and junior Austin Traphagan on the right with the No. 1 offense. With the twos it looked like true freshman Ryan Cummings on the left and redshirt freshman Taylor Knestis on the right.

Added Bohl on the offensive line: “I’d say of all the position groups on the field that is unsettled, that’s it.”

UW practiced in shoulder pads and helmets, so there was no tackling. The No. 1 defense recorded a few sacks. Senior outside linebacker Mark Nzeocha had one.

Jake Maulhardt

Jake Maulhardt

For the second-teamers, sophomore quarterback Tom Thornton thew a nice deep ball to sophomore receiver Jake Maulhardt.

Kirkegaard and Thornton were the only quarterbacks who took snaps during that team period.

Saw a handful of true freshmen get some time with the No. 2 units. On offense, there was Cummings along the line, and tight ends Brinkley Jolley and Grant Lewis. Defensively, there was cornerbacks Robert Priester and Ryon’e Winters, and safety Chavez Pownell Jr.

UW lists three positions on defense with an “or” in terms of the starters. For this team period, senior middle linebacker Jordan Stanton, senior outside linebacker Devyn Harris and sophomore nose tackle Chase Appleby worked with the first team. However, their backups — senior Alex Borgs, sophomore Lucas Wacha and sophomore Uso Olive — all played a lot. Bohl said among the linebacker, Stanton and Harris are likely to be the starters. He also said Appleby and Olive both will play a lot, along with the starter and backup at defensive tackle. The starter is senior Patrick Mertens. The backup is unknonw, but redshirt junior Troy Boyland appears to be the favorite.

After that team period UW went into some individual drill work, and here are some video highlights from that:


Continue reading

UW football fall camp – Day 3

Wednesday was the first day Wyoming put on shoulder pads during fall camp, but its first full-padded practice isn’t until Friday.

The most significant thing the media got to see during the first 30 minutes we are allowed to watch was work on the punt game.

Jordan Stanton

Jordan Stanton

UW worked on a lot of different formations in both is punt and punt block teams. Senior linebacker Jordan Stanton blocked consecutive punts after junior Justin Martin replaced sophomore punter Ethan Wood. Sophomore tight end Jacob Hollister also blocked a punt working with the No. 2 team, and nearly blocked another, and senor linebacker Devyn Harris partially blocked one as well.

Coach Craig Bohl talks about that, and other aspects from practice in this video interview:


Wood handled the majority of the punts. He had a few good kicks, and some not-so-good ones. UW’s pressure was pretty consistent, so that probably didn’t help matters for Wood.

Guys who rotated in and out catching punts included redshirt junior running back D.J. May, senior receivers Dominic Rufran and Jalen Claiborne and redshirt junior cornerback Tyran Finley. Not many guys caught punts as most went out of bounds.

Continue reading