UW football Media Monday wrap-up

Coach Dave Christensen was reprimanded by the Mountain West and sophomore starting quarterback Brett Smith is day-to-day.

Those  were the biggest things that came out out Monday’s weekly interview session with players and coaches.

The reprimand by the MW wasn’t a surprise, and everyone at UW — Christensen included — had to have seen it coming. Christensen apologized for his reaction toward Air Force coach Troy Calhoun after the Cowboys 28-27 loss last Saturday through a news release Sunday night from UW. He apologized again Monday. See Tuesday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, or go to www.wyosports.net for what he had to say.

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UW media Monday wrap

The big news, or biggest topic everyone wants to know about hasn’t changed. Sophomore starting quarterback Brett Smith is still doubtful for Saturday’s game at Idaho after his head injury against Toledo on Sept. 8. Junior Colby Kirkegaard is listed as the starter, followed by true freshman Jason Thompson and then Smith.

However, coach Dave Christensen said there’s a possibility that all three could play, and that he won’t name a starter until game time Saturday at Idaho, which is 3 p.m.

So, Smith-Watch 2012 will continue for at least another week.

Want to know how Kirkegaard graded out on film after his first start of his career last week against Cal Poly, see Tuesday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, or long on to wyosports.net.

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UW scrimmage thoughts

To say the defense dominated in Wyoming’s first official spring scrimamge Wednesday would be an understatement.

The defense forced six turnovers, including four interceptions and defeated the offense in UW’s unique scoring system 72-41.

Was more impressed with the defensive dominance than concerned about the offensive woes. There’s some concern about the offense, but the defense was just down right good.

The line was active, whether it was in a 3-4 or 4-3. This is a true multiple defense folks. The guy that was a stud was senior defensive tackle Kurt Taufa’asau. He had nine tackles, three tackles for loss and two sacks. He was unblockable.

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UW-San Diego St. postgame thoughts

Shades of 2009?

Wyoming won at San Diego State in 2009 30-27, and came back from a 27-6 fourth-quarter deficit. Saturday night was the same final score for UW, but this time it hung on for the win.

“We’re very excited about this win and what it means to the conference for us,” said junior receiver Chris McNeill, who posted career-highs with eight catches for 111 yards and two touchdowns — all in the first half.

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UW-UNLV postgame thoughts

Other than the second quarter there was a lot to be impressed about in Wyoming’s 41-14 win over UNLV.

The run game generated 231 yards, the second-most this season. It was the best I’ve seen true freshman quarterback Brett Smith run all season. He said most of his 10 runs were based on plays breaking down or reads from the defense. Not that he needed to pass a lot, but I thought Smith seemed out of sync today, other than early in the game. Part of the growing pains for a true freshman quarterback.

Smith also said he has “no hands” when asked about the touchdown pass he caught from junior receiver Chris McNeill on the first play of the fourth quarter.

Said coach Dave Christensen after Smith said that: “Now you tell me.”

Smith said he had never caught at TD in his football career.

Great to see McNeill have a good game after his muffed punt in the second quarter. His 76-yard punt return for a TD in the third quarter was UW’s first since Josh Barge returned one 87 yards and a score against Ole Miss in 2004.

All five of UW’s touchdowns were scored by five different players.

The 104 yards of passing UNLV had was a season-low allowed by UW’s defense. UNLV wasn’t much of a threat to throw. Sean Reilly, who made his first start, wasn’t very good, and Taylor Barnhill came in during the first half and didn’t attempt a pass. Sophomore Caleb Herrng, who started in the Rebels’ first five games, came in late and didn’t look bad. UNLV may want to go back to Herring.

Junior defensive tackle Ben Durbin recorded the first two sacks of his career, and I thought the interior guys of Durbin, Kurt Taufa’asau and B.J. Sumter held their own. Christensen said he’s hopeful juniors Mike Purcell and Miraldo Michel will be back for UW’s next game with San Diego State on Oct. 29. Both were out with injuries. Michel’s has been lingering and it was determined late in the week he couldn’t play against UNLV.

Christensen will be on the road recruiting early next week. The team won’t practice again until Thursday, but must be back for meetings and conditioning by Tuesday.

See Sunday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle for more game coverage, including my column on McNeill and a story by Scott Nulph on how UW’s defense responded after last week’s 63-19 loss at Utah State.