Pokes news and notes
LARAMIE -- Craig Bohl is a big fan of watching the game film before making any knee-jerk reactions.
He saw enough from the quarterback position in last Saturday's tape to announce Monday that Levi Williams will once again be under center this week when Border War rival, Colorado State, pays a visit to the Gem City.
"We went through and we think that there were good things that he did in both in the run and the pass game," Bohl said of the redshirt freshman, who completed 12-of-22 passes for 129 yards to go along with two touchdown throws and a pair of interceptions in a 27-21 road loss to San Jose State. "There's things he certainly needs to work on and he must work on it and we've got to get it cleaned up if we're going to have a chance to beat the Rams."
Bohl also announced Monday that super senior wide receiver Ayden Eberhardt's career in Laramie is likely over after suffering a knee injury late in the fourth quarter of Last Saturday's loss to the Spartans.
Starting safety Esaias Gandy suffered what Bohl called a "stinger" last Saturday. The senior didn't play nearly the entire game. Bohl said they will monitor the situation this week in practice.
Here are some other tidbits from Bohl's weekly meeting with the media:
* Bohl said the "traditional run game" he likes to implement was on full display against SJSU. "I think that well as what I can remember for quite some time," he said. "We really established the line of scrimmage. I think the numbers bear that out." Wyoming ball carriers accounted for 271 yards on 50 carries. Xazavian Valladay had his best day of the 2021 season, rushing for 172 yards on 22 carries. He also had a long of 67 yards in the third quarter. "So overall, that part of the game between the backs and the offensive line, full backs and tight ends -- all those people that blocked -- really did a good job," Bohl added.
* Explosive plays -- 20 yards or more -- have been nearly nonexistent during the Cowboys' four-game skid. That changed last Saturday inside CEFCU Stadium. Williams hit Isaiah Neyor for a 54-yard touchdown in the second quarter. Titus Swen has a run of 23 yards and Valladay added the 76-yard dash. Offensive coordinator Tim Polasek said the goal is to have five of those per outing.
MORE UW FOOTBALL NEWS:
* Behind the numbers: Wyoming vs SJSU
* Rants & Raves: San Jose State Edition
* Turning point, unsung hero and what's next for UW football
* Quick takes: The effort is there ... the results aren't
* Eberhardt's UW career likely over with 'significant knee injury'
* Playing clean. That's another goal for Bohl and Co. "I'm talking about penalties," he said. "We had zero penalties and that's been the best that we've done. We made that a point of emphasis." Wyoming was hit with seven penalties for 39 yards in the Oct. 23 loss to New Mexico. In a Week 4 matchup with UConn, the Cowboys were flagged a season-worst 10 times for 99 yards.
* Bohl said where his team came up short in San Jose was on the defensive side of the ball, a unit that has all but carried this squad over the prior three weeks. "I thought our defense probably had some uncharacteristic miscues and we didn't tackle as well as what we needed to," Bohl said. "We allowed some big plays by San Jose. Certainly some in the passing game and then by the quarterback, running." Nick Nash gashed the Pokes' D for 112 rushing yards and a touchdown.
* This wouldn't be a weekly press conference without the "broken record" segment. That, once again, came in the form of turnovers. UW's defense has failed to force a turnover over its last three weeks. The offense, which has handed the ball to the opposition seven times in the timeframe, added two more Saturday courtesy of Williams' interceptions. "That's got to get flipped around," Bohl said. "We need to do a better job of ball hawking and stripping. We're trying to strip some but the ball never came out. They did a good job with some security. We've got to do a much better job with interceptions and fumbles." SJSU was a minus-11 in this category heading in. Spartans' ball carriers had 17 fumbles on the season, lowing nine of those.
* Bohl raved about CSU's units on both lines of scrimmage and gave a shoutout to Rams' QB Todd Centeio. "He's thrown the ball well," he said of CSU signal caller who is completing nearly 61% of his passes and has thrown eight touchdowns compared to just two interceptions. "He's able to move and he can improvise. He can make plays with his legs. He takes care of the football and he manages their offense really well."
* And who can forget about the Rams' all-world tight end, Trey McBride? Bohl certainly hasn't. "We've known about him for a long, long time," Bohl said. "I think he's up for a lot of national honors -- and those are well deserved. He's really a force in the passing game and he's a big strong guy in the running game. He's got great hands and they they utilize him." McBride has 65 catches -- 45 more than the No. 2 receiver for CSU -- for 740 yards and a touchdown.
* This will be the 113th meeting between these two storied rivalries. CSU is coming off back-to-back losses to Utah State and Boise State, while the Cowboys are in the midst of a four-game losing streak. The Rams beat Wyoming 34-24 inside of an empty Canvas Stadium last November in Fort Collins. "It's another year with the Border War and we're going to do everything we can to get that Bronze Boot back."
* Check out Happy Hour tonight on the 7220sports.com Facebook page. Ryan Clement and I will break down the SJSU loss and look ahead to the Pokes meeting with CSU.
* Stay tuned to 7220sports.com all week for all your Pokes football coverage.
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