Oregon 49, Wyoming 13 – postgame thoughts

Well, that wasn’t pleasant.

Wyoming’s 49-13 loss to Oregon this past Saturday continued to show the Cowboys’ shortcomings — no running game, little to no pass protection, overall inconsistencies in the pass game and struggles on third down.

That’s just of the offense. The defense had few answers for Oregon’s speed and skill. But it also was on the field too much — 57 plays in the first half and 95 for the game. You can go back to the offensive struggles for that, and also the fact Oregon was pretty good. The Ducks cracked into the AP top 25 this week at No. 24.

Here’s fourth-year UW coach Craig Bohl after the game:

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Wyoming vs. Oregon football live chat replay

Here’s the replay of my live chat from the University of Wyoming’s 49-13 loss to Oregon in front 29,139 at Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium Saturday night.

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

Live Blog Wyoming vs. Oregon football live chat

Oregon at Wyoming football – pregame primer

It’s almost here!

Wyoming’s highly anticipated football game with Oregon kicks off at 5 p.m. Saturday at Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium. The game is expected to be sold out, but for those who can’t make it, it will be televised nationally on CBS Sports Network.

As I always start this out, here is my No. 1 key for the Cowboys in the game:

Play keep away: The best way to keep Oregon’s high-powered offense off the field is for Wyoming’s offense to eat up the clock with long drives, and obviously, finish those drives with points. The Cowboys must establish a run game, which has been nonexistent with just 62 yards per game. A balanced offensive attack with the run and pass could keep Oregon’s defense out of sync, and possibly cause its offense to press.

Agree or disagree?

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Wyoming 27, Gardner-Webb 0 – postgame thoughts

The first shutout of an opponent since 2010 was the biggest impression I took from Wyoming’s 27-0 victory over Gardner-Webb this past Saturday at Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium.

I liked the offense in the first half, but not so much in the second half. Gardner-Webb took the air out of the game — and the crowd — with an 18-play drive in the second half, which UW held up on. Still no running game, and that’s a red flag for the Cowboys.

Still, UW beat a FCS team like it should of — although some can make the point the it should have won more convincingly.

Here’s fourth year coach Craig Bohl after the game:

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VIDEO: WyoSports previews UW-Florida Atlantic football game

WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi and editor Scott Nulph talk about the University of Wyoming’s upcoming game with Florida Atlantic at 2 p.m. Saturday, and looks back some at the Cowboys’ 48-14 loss at No. 2 Oregon last week.

The Cowboys will improve to 3-1 on the season with the a win Saturday. Florida Atlantic (1-2) won for the first time last week at home against Tulsa, 50-21.

For more UW football and sports coverage, see the Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang and check back to wyosports.net.

Bohl addresses some defensive issues

Two issues about Wyoming’s defense was brought up to first-year Wyoming coach Craig Bohl this week.

–The Cowboys have no sacks from their defensive ends, and only one sack from a defensive linemen through three games.

–UW has allowed opponents to convert 51 percent of their third-down chances, including 9 of 11 in last week’s 48-14 loss at No. 2 Oregon.

Craig Bohl

Craig Bohl

Bohl didn’t seem too concerned about the play of the defensive ends. Any sacks or tackles for loss against Oregon and junior Heisman Trophy candidate quarterback Marcus Mariota would have been tough.

There were times UW pressured him, but Mariota outran the rush and most of UW’s defense for 71  yards and two touchdowns.

In the Cowboys’ 17-13 win over Air Force on Sept. 6, they had two sacks — one by senior defensive tackle Patrick Mertens. The Falcons threw a lot early, but UW faced more of a run-oriented option offense.

UW had one sack in its 17-12 season-opening win over Montana, but it pressured and hit quarterback Jordan Johnson a lot and kept him out of sync for most of the game. Doing that is just as important as getting sacks, and could be a key in Saturday’s home game with Florida Atlantic.

The Owls have a dual-threat quarterback, much like Johnson and Mariota, in Jacquez Johnson. It would be nice if UW sacked him a lot, but more importantly, not let him get into a rhythm where he can hurt the Cowboys with his legs and his arm — especially the deep pass. Continue reading

UW-No. 2 Oregon postgame thoughts

I don’t think anyone was surprised Wyoming lost 48-14 at No. 2 Oregon Saturday at Autzen Stadium in Eugene.

But there were some surprises that came from the game.

Even though Oregon’s offense is loaded with speed and athleticism, I thought the Cowboys would stop the Ducks at times. But they didn’t.

Oregon rolled up 556 total yards and scored touchdowns on seven of 10 drives. On the ones it didn’t score on, it went 78 yards on the first drive of the game and UW made one of its few stops of the day on a fourth-and-2 play from the Cowboys’ 3. The other two were when the backups were in late. ne drive was at the end of the game as Oregon ran out the clock after UW was held inside the Ducks’ 10-yard line.

The Ducks punted only once — with their backups in the third quarter.

Here is senior outside linebacker Mark Nzeocha, who had a game-high 11 tackles, on the Oregon offense.

Oregon junior quarterback Marcus Mariota showed why he is a leading Heisman Trophy candidate. He was 19 of 23 for 221 yards and two touchdowns, and ran 5 times for 71 yards and two TDs. UW coach Craig Bohl said if the voting was today, he would vote Mariota for Heisman, and urged those in the media who have votes to seriously consider Mariota for the award.

Here’s what Bohl said after the game to the media:

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Wyoming-Oregon – key to the game

Here is WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi’s top key to the game for the Wyoming Cowboys in their game today at No. 2 Oregon, which kicks off at noon MT from Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon.

1. Show up to play: Yes, Wyoming is a 43 to 44-point underdog. Yes, Oregon is No. 2 in the country with no glaring weaknesses. But the Cowboys can’t have the mentality of “let’s not to get anyone hurt.” As offensive coordinator Brent Vigen said: “You’ve got to have a plan to win. You can’t just have this plan to show up and enjoy the scenery.” UW’s best plan may not be good enough, but it must have the proper mindset going in or it will have lost before the game starts.

Obviously, a lot has to go UW’s for them to have a chance today, but do you agree or disagree with this?

Here is what UW senior cornerback Blair Burns had to say this week about facing the Ducks.

For more keys and more on today’s game, see the Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and log on to wyosports.net. Also, join Gagliardi for his live chat from the game. It stats at 11:30 a.m. — 30 minutes prior to kickoff — and links are on this blog and at wyosports.net.

VIDEO: WyoSports previews Wyoming at No. 2 Oregon

From left to right, WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi and editor Scott Nulph preview the University of Wyoming football game at No. 2 Oregon on Saturday.

Kickoff is at noon MT, and will be televised on the Pac-12 Network.

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

Wyoming-Oregon Q&A swap

WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi did a question-and-answer swap with Ryan Thorburn, who covers Oregon football for Eugene Register-Guard in Eugene, Oregon, about Saturday’s game with the University of Wyoming in Laramie.

Ryan Thorburn

Ryan Thorburn

Thorburn is a UW graduate and author of three books on UW sports which documents some of the most historical and important moments Cowboys football, baseball and basketball. For links to purchase those books, go to ryanthorburn.com.

Follow on Twitter: @rgduckfootball

Look for Q&As with beat writers that cover UW football opponents every week throughout the season.

At No. 2 in the country this week it is obvious that Oregon is among the nation’s elite. But what is it about the Ducks where they can seemingly flip a switch and blow open a game, like last week against No. 13 Michigan State where they scored 28 unanswered points in the second half after falling behind?

Leading up to the game, the Ducks heard about how they can’t get it done against physical teams — the so-called Stanford problem. The old narrative looked to be playing out in the third quarter when they were stuck on 18 points and trailing by nine. Marcus Mariota, who was playing on a partially torn MCL at Stanford last season, was able to make some game-changing plays on the run this time. Oregon’s defense seemed to find another gear as well, which makes this year’s Ducks even more dangerous.

How good is quarterback Marcus Mariota, and despite his obvious outstanding skill set what else makes this guy one of the nation’s best? And, is he the early favorite right now to win the Heisman Trophy in your mind?

Honestly, the kid is too good to be true. In the Register-Guard’s football special section published during fall camp, the theme was: The Mount Rushmore of Oregon quarterbacks — Norm Van Brocklin, Dan Fouts, Bill Musgrave, Joey Harrington, etc. — and what Mariota’s legacy will be. The consensus is that he is already the greatest quarterback in program history, or will be by the end of the season if he stays healthy. Yes, I think he is the favorite to win the Heisman right now because of what he did against Michigan State’s defense.

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