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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UW spring football game live chat replay

Here’s the replay of WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi’s live chat during the University of Wyoming’s spring football game on Saturday, April 25.

The Brown team defeated the Gold 24-21 in front of an announced crowd of 1,375 at Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium in Laramie.

For more UW sports coverage, see the Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and log on to wyosports.net.

Live Blog Wyoming spring football game live chat

Thornton gives his take on UW’s quarterbacks this spring

Wyoming junior Tom Thornton ended last season as the Cowboys’ backup quarterback.

Prior to the start of spring drills, Thornton was one of six scholarship quarterbacks on the roster. With a logjam there, UW moved him to wide receiver.

Tom Thornton

Tom Thornton

Thornton’s transition to receiver is still a work in progress, but he’s happy with the move. For more on that, see Saturday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and log on to wyosports.net.

Earlier this week, I asked Thornton what he thought of the play of UW’s four quarterbacks this spring: senior Cameron Coffman, sophomore and junior college transfer Josh Allen, redshirt freshman Nick Smith and redshirt sophomore Aaron Young.

Coffman was named the starter earlier in spring drills. Allen is currently listed as the backup, followed by Smith and Young.

“I think they’re doing a great job. Going form last year to now, you can see their knowledge of the offense has improved.

Cameron Coffman

Cameron Coffman

“Cam has looked fantastic. His accuracy is on point. His reads are on point. I think he’s goin to have an unbelievable year. Josh is doing well, but is the newest guy. He has an unbelievable arm. He needs to know when to tone it down a little bit. He threw a screen pass bout 90 miles an hour. He’s starting to pick up the offense. Nick’s is doing a solid job and Aaron is as well.”

Thornton also said that losing redshirt freshman Austin Fort “kind of sucks.” Fort was moved from quarterback to tight end last week. Soon after that, UW announced Fort will transfer.

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Bach another in long line of German-born players on UW’s football roster

Wyoming has had a football player on its roster from Germany since 2011, and this season, junior linebacker Eric Nzeocha is competing for a starting spot at middle linebacker.

But there’s another German on the roster who also is competing for playing time at linebacker.

Luis Bach is a 6-foot-2, 208-pound true freshman from Burgoberbach, Germany. He enrolled at UW in January, and played high school-aged football in Germany with Eric Nzeocha and his older brother, Mark.

“Ever since the Nzeochas got over here I was interested in the program,” Bach said. “Mark, Eric and (former UW linebacker Alex Borgs — also from Germany) have all been talking to me and helping me out.”

Bach said some colleges in the United States wanted him to attend their football camps last summer to see him in person. He attended camps at UW and North Dakota State. Bach said he showed enough to the Cowboys’ coaching staff, despite pulling a hamstring, that they offered him a chance to walk on.

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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.

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UW looking ahead to final week of spring drills

Wyoming begins its final week of spring drills Monday with the first of three practices, capped by the spring game at 2 p.m. Saturday in Laramie.
Here is what some of the players and coaches said they hope to accomplish this week:
Craig Bohl

Craig Bohl

–“We’re going to continue to get some padded work. There won’t be a lot of scrimmage downs. We’ll look at redefining the packages that we do have. There will be some more evaluation, but the cream is starting to rise to the crop.” — coach Craig Bohl

–“We have one more week now to get better and get ready for the spring game. At first spring practice was just a lot of install. Now we’ve got everything pretty much installed and now it’s just getting more comfortable with everything every day. I felt more comfortable this week than I did in last week’s scrimmage and I’m hoping to say the same thing Saturday. I’m hoping I can take that next step and feel really comfortable with the offense in the spring game.” — senior quarterback Cameron Coffman

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Stats from Wyoming’s first two scrimmages of spring drills

Here are the combined stats from Wyoming’s first two scrimmages of spring drills, along with some quick thoughts.

UW’s spring game is at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 25 in Laramie.

Offense

Josh Tapscott

Josh Tapscott

Rushing: Tapscott 25-177, Evans 21-182 2TD, Wick 12-81 1TD, Hill 14-64. Thoughts: UW know what senior Shaun Wick and sophomore Brian Hill can do. Sophomore Josh Tapscott and redshirt freshman Nico Evans gives UW good depth. Easily the strongest position on the team.

Passing: Coffman 13-27 133 1TD, Allen 6-17 134 1TD, 1INT, Smith 5-12 25 1TD, 1INT, Young 2-10 15. Thoughts: The completion percentage needs to improve for all the quarterbacks. Both scrimmages have emphasized the run more than the pass.

Jacob Hollister

Jacob Hollister

Receiving: Maulhardt 8-110, Gentry 5-82 1TD, Hollister 5-44 1TD, Mayfield 4-52, Lewis 2-15 1TD, Ellis 2-6, Parker 1-9, Tapscott 1-6. Thoughts: Juniors Jake Maulhardt and Tanner Gentry continue to show they are the Cowboys’ top two wide receivers, but only true freshman Joe Parker has caught a pass in the two scrimmages among the other wide receivers. Junior tight end Jacob Hollister will be a threat in the pass game.

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UW sports live chat replay

Here’s the replay of WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi’s weekly live chat on University of Wyoming sports on Thursday, April 16.

Some great talk about UW football as spring football continues. Also some interesting conversation on the UW’s recently announced plans for its $44 million High Altitude Performance Center.

There also was some Cowboys hoops talk, and even some talk about UW’s biggest rival.

For more UW sports coverage, see the Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang and log on to wyosports.net.

Live Blog University of Wyoming sports live chat

Pownell Jr. looking to make impact for Cowboys this season

Chavez Pownell Jr. came close to playing last season at safety for Wyoming.

But in the end, coach Craig Bohl and the staff decided to keep the redshirt on Pownell to get him ready for the 2015 season.

Chavez Pownell Jr.

Chavez Pownell Jr.

“It all worked out in the end. Whatever coach Bohl said I know it’s for the best,” Pownell said.

Pownell is the only safety on scholarship on the roster right now for the Cowboys. After last Saturday’s first spring scrimmage, he was listed as the starter at strong safety — ahead of redshirt freshman walk-on Marcus Epps.

Pownell had six tackles in that first scrimmage — the second-most among all defensive players. His four solo stops tied for the second-most.

“It makes me feel good, but you never know what can happen,” Pownell said. “Me, (redshirt freshman walk-on Adam Pilapil) and Marcus are all about at the same skill level. We have to make sure we’re grinding every day.”

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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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