Wyoming Football: News and notes
LARAMIE -- What will be the main focus during Wyoming's first bye week of the 2022 season?
The "four R's" of course.
Refreshed, recalibrated, redefining and recruiting.
The bookends are obvious, but what about those two middle words?
"That means looking at what we're doing," Craig Bohl said of recalibrating and redefining, adding that the staff will be looking at "personnel things." "Certainly you don't want urban renewal, I think that those things are counterproductive during a bye week and all of a sudden you try to become creative and get too smart for your own britches. But we need to recalibrate and tweak. 'OK, where are we off here a little bit? OK, how can we improve?'"
One of these examples, Wyoming's head coach said, is being more productive in the red zone. Currently, the Cowboys (4-3, 2-1) rank No. 15 in the nation in that category. That's a good thing, right? Not when you look closer. John Hoyland has drilled 10 field goals on UW's 19 trips inside the opposition's 20-yard line. Eight times the team has found the end zone.
"We've got to improve there," Bohl added. "You don't want to overreact because I think we need to be more productive with touchdowns."
How will they fix this?
He's not telling us.
"We cannot just say, 'OK, we're going to put in the wishbone," he said with a touch of sarcasm. "And by the way, maybe you can let (Utah State head coach) Blake Anderson know we're going to put the wishbone in down there. I mean, I don't think you can do something like that, but we've got to get better."
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Bohl admitted he was concerned with the fuel level of his team in Albuquerque after a seven-game stretch to start the season, including a Zero Week tilt at Illinois. A little R&R is on the docket for this team, which was without three defensive starters -- Cole Godbout, Keonte Glinton and Wyett Ekeler (for all but one play) -- Saturday at New Mexico.
"I didn't know if we were going to have enough gas in the tank to get this one done," he said. "We did."
Here are some other news and notes from Bohl's Monday press conference:
* When will Godbout and Glinton return to the lineup? Great question. Bohl said both are doubtful for the Oct. 22 meeting with Utah State. Wide receiver Will Pelissier, who has missed the last two outings with a shoulder injury, is probable against the Aggies. So is offensive guard Emmanuel Pregnon, who missed Saturday's game in Albuquerque. Ekeler, Bohl said, is still in concussion protocol after taking a shot to the helmet on the first defensive snap in New Mexico. Titus Swen is "100%," per Bohl, after being helped off the field twice inside University Stadium.
* How does Bohl feel about his place-kicking battery? "I say these guys are like the fire department. No. 1, you never know they're there until all of a sudden you need them -- or they don't do something right." He's talking about long snapper Carson York, the only true freshman to see the field this fall, along with punter Clayton Stewart, who also holds kicks, and Hoyland, who is now 15-for-16 on the season after nailing both kicks in the 27-14 win over the Lobos.
* Bohl said York suffered a hamstring issue Saturday night. Read Sunn would've been called into duty if the Texas native couldn't play. "I mean, he was cutting off all his tape and everything else, but Carson was able to perform," Bohl joked about Sunn, who also plays linebacker for the Cowboys.
* More special teams love? You bet. Punt team gunner Ryan Marquez hauled in a Stewart punt on the fly late in the fourth quarter in Albuquerque and neatly dumped it behind his back before gliding into the end zone. York was Johnny on the spot and downed it at the one. Six plays later, cornerback Cam Stone was standing in the red paint after stepping in front of a Miles Kendrick pass and returning it 38 yards to put the Pokes up 27-14. York also recovered a fumble on a muffed punt. Stewart dropped four punts inside the UNM 20-yard line. It likely should've been five but officials called a perfectly-placed corner kick a touchback. Stewart also made a touchdown-saving tackle on a punt return late in the game.
* Bohl said his team created some adversity for itself after allowing back-to-back touchdown drives to the Lobos to begin the game. "You need to credit New Mexico, I thought they came up with their stingers up, ready to play," Bohl said. He also admitted his team was "gassed." Hence the "refreshed" part of the Four R's above.
* New Mexico suited up Saturday without four of its regulars. Top receivers Luke Wysong and Geordon Porter were benched for "not meeting the standards and expectations of the team," per UNM head coach Danny Gonzales. Running backs Sherod White and Christian Washington also sat this one out.
* Bohl said Andrew Peasley is still nursing a hip-pointer injury sustained at BYU. Wyoming's quarterback completed 10-of-21 throws for 174 yards and two touchdowns, both of which went to tight end Treyton Welch. "He showed some resiliency," Bohl said of the junior signal caller. "He took some hits and played pretty good. I think he can play better."
* Television cameras caught Bohl pumping his fists and slapping hands with some members of his team Saturday after UNM kicker George Steinkamp smacked a 45-yard attempt off the right upright as time expired in the first half. Bohl called two timeouts in a row in an attempt to "ice the kicker." "There was a lot of clamoring behind me," Bohl joked. "I mean, there was a lot of booing and 'this won't work.' Some people say that doesn't work and I disagree with that. I mean, we had the timeouts that were there ... You want to get him to where he's about ready to do his run up ... I got a couple of high fives from our players. So, yeah, it worked."
* Will any true freshman see the field this fall? Maybe. Bohl isn't going to tip his hand, but added it has been a featured subject in coach's meetings. "'OK, where are some of these younger guys at? Who could we integrate?' Ideally, you know, with some of the younger guys, you'd like to get to the point where you got a couple of blowout games where you can just throw guy out there," he said. "That's not been where we're at." Bohl did say redshirt freshman cornerback Kolbey Taylor did see his first-career action at New Mexico.
* Excited about holding UNM to just 122 passing yards? Hey, it's a nice change of pace after the Cowboys were torched for 651 through the air in consecutive losses to BYU and San Jose State, but let's be realistic. Jaren Hall and Chevan Cordeiro don't line up under center in Albuquerque. The Lobos also threw the ball just 23 times and were without their top-two leading pass catchers. "Certainly, we're happy," Bohl said, "but it wasn't like you saw some dudes running out there that were like, you know, maybe we've faced with a couple of these other teams." Seven sacks didn't hurt. Neither did the two interceptions.
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