Finley hopes to give a struggling UW defense a boost

He’s a senior by class only.

One of the changes Wyoming made defensively was putting senior cornerback Tyran Finley in the starting lineup when it plays at Washington State Saturday.

Tyran Finley

Tyran Finley

But it’s not like Finley has a ton of game experience with the Cowboys.

The junior college transfer started in UW’s opener in 2013 at No. 18 Nebraska, but injured a knee and was lost for the season. He was granted a medical redshirt.

Last year, with new coach Craig Bohl and staff, Finley struggled to adjust to a new system. He played in 11 games, but early on most of that time was on special teams. But in UW’s 45-17 win at Fresno State on Nov. 1, 2014, Finley had two interceptions and returned one of them 51 yards for a touchdown. He led UW with those two interceptions, and the team had only one other interception that season.

During spring drills, Finley was beat out by redshirt freshmen walk-ons. And, he missed about a week because — for a lack of a better term — he needed an attitude adjustment in Bohl’s opinion. But now, as a senior Finley gets a chance to start just this third game for the Cowboys and play in his 15th game of his career. And, he gets to do it against a pass-happy team like Washington State that may throw it 60 times Saturday.

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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.

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Cowboys’ offensive line seeking improvement

Scott Fuchs

Scott Fuchs

I asked Wyoming offensive line coach Scott Fuchs this week what some of the glaring concerns were with his guys in the Cowboys’ 24-13 season-opening loss to North Dakota last Saturday.

Fuchs wouldn’t use the term “glaring concerns,” but had this to say about what needs to improve heading into Saturday’s home game with Eastern Michigan.

“We talked about having  good idea of what (North Dakota) was going to do, some things get tweaked here or there, and our ability to adjust on the fly needs to be sharpened,” he said.

Troy Boyland

Troy Boyland

Fuchs said senior right offensive guard Troy Boyland didn’t play like a “savvy veteran,” but he isn’t as last week was his first college game along the offensive line after being an interior defensive lineman.

“It was much faster. Not to say we don’t practice fast, but during a game things like defenses slanting are really fast,” Boyland said. “It took us a while to adjust and get a hand of what they were doing. Once we settled down we did a lot better.”

UW ran for only 29 yards, and its top two running backs — senior Shaun Wick and sophomore Brian Hill — combined for only 16 carries. Boyland said the entire line needs to do a better job of making its blocks at the second level where the linebackers are.

Penalties also hurt where UW had eight for 96 yards in the game. Not all of those were on the offensive line, but there were a fair share of holding and face-mask penalties.

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UW football recruiting update – 2015 verbal commitments

Here is an updated list of verbal commitments for the 2015 University of Wyoming football recruiting class.

Links to highlight videos of these players are included.

WR/DB Dameko Doddles, 6-2, 185, Douglass HS, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Three-star rating out of five, and the 15th-ranked recruit in the state by Rivals.com. Also had a scholarship offer from TCU.

Video link: http://www.hudl.com/athlete/2667019/highlights/103434614

DB/KR/WR Davion Freeman, 5-10, 160, Del City HS, Del City, Oklahoma. Two-star rating by Rivals.com and 247sports.com, including being ranked as the 30th best player in the state by 247sports.com. The Oklahoman newspaper had Freeman No. 14 in their Super 30 rankings prior to the season. Had scholarship offers by Arkansas State, New Mexico, New Mexico State and North Texas.

Video link: http://www.hudl.com/athlete/2205663/davion-freeman

DT Youhanna Ghaifen, 6-3, 248, Grand Island Central Catholic HS, Grand Island, Nebraska. Two-star rating by Rivals.com.

Video link: http://www.hudl.com/athlete/1702096/youhanna-gaifhan

OL Kaden Jackson, 6-2, 270, Kingfisher HS, Kingfisher, Oklahoma. Two-star rating by Rivals.com. Scholarship offers from New Mexico, UTEP, North Texas, Ohio and Sam Houston State.

Video link: http://www.hudl.com/athlete/1937149/kaden-jackson

WR C.J. Johnson, 6-2, 181, West HS, Bellevue, Nebraska. Three-star recruit, second-ranked recruit in Nebraska and 75th-best wide receiver recruit in the nation by Rivals.com. Six other scholarship offers, including Ohio and Western Michigan. Been timed in the 40-yard dash at 4.42 seconds.

Video link: http://www.hudl.com/athlete/1290134/cj-johnson

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