UW-New Mexico football postgame thoughts, notes, quotes and video

Doing this for the past four Sundays has felt like the movie Groundhog Day — the same thing every week.

Wyoming lost 38-28 at home to New Mexico to fall to 0-4. The Cowboys have lost six straight home games and seven in a row overall going back to last season. And, they lost this game much like it did their last three.

Too many big plays allowed by the defense, and not enough plays overall by this unit. The offense put up some good numbers, at least in the passing game, but it wasn’t consistent enough. Ten penalties for 98 yards didn’t help.

Here is coach Craig Bohl after the game:

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UW at Washington St. football – notes, quotes and video

First thing is first, here is my No. 1 key for Wyoming if it hopes to pull the upset at Washington State, which is a 24-point favorite, Saturday night in Pullman, Washington. Kickoff is at 6:40 p.m. MT and televised by the Pac-12 Network.

Cameron Coffman

Cameron Coffman

Offense is the best defense: Wyoming wants to run the football and control the clock. Washington State wants to throw it around and score fast. The Cowboys’ defensive struggles have been well documented, so their best defense today is to keep the defense off the field as much as possible with the offense. UW needs to be more balanced after 430 rushing yards and only 32 passing yards last week against Eastern Michigan. The return of redshirt senior starting quarterback Cameron Coffman from a knee injury should help.

For more keys and information about the game see Saturday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and log on to wyosports.net.

Second, here is my preview of the game:

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Some final UW spring football notes, quotes and video

Some observations and quotes from Wyoming’s spring football game Saturday in Laramie.

–The hit of the game came in the first half when redshirt freshman free safety Chavez Pownell Jr. drilled junior wide receiver Tanner Gentry over the middle. Pownell was penalized for targeting, which could lead to an ejection in a real game. As a learning lesson, UW coach Craig Bohl had Pownell sit the rest of the game.

Tanner Gentry

Tanner Gentry

“I looked up for the ball and he made a really good hit,” Gentry said. “He put his helmet right in my chest. It didn’t feel too good, but he made a good play on the ball and it was a good hit. There was nothing dirty about it.”

Gentry was shaken up on the play, but he came back and played the second half. He led the Gold team with five catches for 62 yards.

Added Pownell: “The quarterback was looking down Tanner, I knew the post was coming so I ended up breaking on the play and it was just football after that. We did all this hard work during the spring and winter conditioning so I just wanted to play.”

–Gentry was one of only three wide receivers who caught passes in the spring game for either team. Junior Jake Maulhardt sat out with a sprained shoulder. “I feel like we have a lot of work to do, for sure,” Gentry said. “We definitely have to get better. I feel like we progressed pretty well this spring. We have to have a great summer.”

UW has four true freshmen receivers that join the team this summer.

Here is Bohl talking with the media after the spring game.


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Olive looks to translate weight room numbers to the field

There’s two things that stand out when you talk to Wyoming junior defensive tackle Uso Olive in person.

One, he’s an upbeat and charismatic guy.

Uso Olive

Uso Olive

Two, he’s big.

Olive is 6-foot, and when I talked to him prior to spring drills he said he was 306 pounds with 15 percent body fat. That’s a whole lot of muscle.

Olive said prior to the end of winter conditioning that he can rep more than 500 pounds on the bench press and squat around 700 pounds. That’s freaky-strength right there.

Second-year coach Craig Bohl said during spring drills that he would like to see Olive’s numbers in the weight room translate more onto the field this season. Bohl also said there have been sign’s this spring that they might.

“We need him to have the size and strength to occupy two men, sometimes, and not get knocked off the line of scrimmage,” Bohl said. “The next step is to play more reps in a game — to take more than four plays in a row. The other thing we’re expecting him to do is be disruptive and push the pocket where we can get a guard in on the quarterback’s lap.”

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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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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.

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Wyoming begins work for No. 2 Oregon

Wyoming football coach Craig Bohl, assistant coaches and players met with the media, and while Bohl recapped the Cowboys’ 17-13 come-from-behind win over Air Force last Saturday, the emphasis now is No. 2 Oregon in Eugene this Saturday.

“No,” said Bohl on if he saw any weaknesses from Oregon on tape. “That’s why they’re No. 2 in the country.”

Here is most of Bohl’s Monday news conference with the media:


Much of the talk about Oregon is its high-powered and fast-paced offense, led by junior quarterback and Heisman Trophy candidate Marcus Mariota.

But the Ducks can play some defense, too.

Both Bohl and offensive coordinator Brent Vigen said Monday they are impressed with Oregon’s entire defense, but especially the size, speed and athleticism up front. The best example of that is 6-foot-7, 290-pounds junior defensive end Forest DeBuckner.

This will be the second straight game for Wyoming facing a 3-4 defensive scheme. Air Force gave UW fits in the run game last week, holding the Cowboys to 51 yards.

Brent Vigen

Brent Vigen

“We have to know our assignments and put our kids in position to play as fast as possible,” Vigen said. “(Oregon) keeps things pretty simple and their guys play really fast. They have made an effort to beef up along the front, and those kids are not just big lugs out there, they’re very athletic. Their linebackers play extremely fast. Beyond their athleticism they are very well coached and they know where they need to be.”

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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 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:


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A look at position battles for UW heading into fall camp

Fall camp begins Monday for Wyoming football, and a lot needs to be figured out prior to the season-opener Aug. 30 against Montana.

But in terms of position battles, things likely will be relatively quiet.

UW’s depth chart prior to fall camp lists three positions that are “or” in terms of the starter. But no matter who the starter is, let’s make one thing clear: both guys at those positions will play — and need to play. All three are on defense, which is dangerously thin in terms od depth to begin with.

With that said, here is a breakdown of those three spots and who will likely end up as the starter.

Middle linebacker

Candidates: Jordan Stanton, Sr., 6-0, 246; Alex Borgs, Sr., 6-2, 229.

Jordan Stanton

Jordan Stanton

Who will start: Stanton, because he led the team in tackles last season — his first at UW after transferring from junior college — with 134. He also was tied for second with 10 tackles for loss and led the team with two interceptions. He simply is productive, which is what you want from your middle linebacker. Borgs has six career tackles in three seasons. However, he has a want-to that many coaches would like to see from all their players. Borgs is from Germany and has had to deal with numerous defensive schemes and changes over his career. If he picks up where he left off from spring drills, he will be a good backup behind Stanton and can give UW some quality snaps. It is vital that Borgs can, even in a backup role, so Stanton is not on the field so much.

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