UW-Toledo Q&A swap

Here is a question-and-answer swap I did with Ryan Autullo, who covers the Toledo Rockets football team for the Toledo Blade.

First are answers to my questions for Autullo, followed by Autullo’s answers to my questions.

1. What are some of the major changes with the program with new coach Matt Campbell compared to past years with Tim Beckman?

This is my first year on the beat, so I am probably not qualified to answer this question. I’ll try anyway. Campbell, who was Beckman’s offensive coordinator, mirrors his former boss in some of the ways he runs the program. For instance, he doesn’t let freshmen or first-year players speak to the media, and he prohibits media from watching practices. From a fan standpoint, I understand none of that matters, but it sort of illustrates how Campbell, at 32 and in his first head coaching position, is not above looking at blueprints created by others. As far as schemes, not much has changed. Campbell was the offensive coordinator under Beckman, so we’re still seeing the spread attack. The 4-3 defense has been modified slightly under new coordinator Tom Matukewicz, whom Campbell plucked from rival Northern Illinois. Beckman preached accountability and discipline, and I think those are tenets of Campbell as well. I sense Campbell is more of a player’s coach than Beckman, which is neither a good or bad thing.

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UW football practice news and notes

Wyoming coach Dave Christensen stayed after practice to watch his kickers work on kickoff placement.

He wasn’t happy with some of the placements by true freshman walk-on Justin Martin in last week’s game at No. 17 Texas — which dropped from No. 15 despite beating UW 37-17 last Saturday.

Martin is still the starter going into Saturday’s home-opener against Toledo. But sophomore place-kicker Stuart Williams and redshirt freshman Zack Berg are also getting some reps. I’ve been told Berg has a big leg, but his accuracy still needs work.

Sounds a lot like my golf game.

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Hala’api’api to start against Toledo

Siaosi Hala’api’api has good size at 6-foot-2 and 235 pounds (at least that what his coaches say he weighs). He has good instincts and is aggressive, too.

Now you can add starting middle linebacker for Wyoming when the Cowboys play their home-opener Saturday against Toledo.

The true freshman’s name appeared atop the depth chart today. Out is junior Devyn Harris, who was hurt in last Saturday’s 37-17 loss at No. 15 Texas with what appeared to be an ankle injury. Coach Dave Christensen said Monday he’s not sure how long Harris will be out.

Another interesting tidbit at middle linebacker is senior Oliver Schober is available this week. He missed last week with an injury, but is not listed on the two-deep roster. Seldom-used junior Todd Knight is Hala’api’api’s back up. It’s uncertain what’s going on with Schober, but now it seems not injury-related.

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