Pokes News & Notes
LARAMIE -- The record doesn't always tell the tale.
That's Craig Bohl's message when it comes to the upcoming trip to Connecticut where the Cowboys will take on the winless Huskies Saturday inside Rentschler Field at Pratt & Whitney Stadium.
"I think they've got good physical ability," Wyoming's head coach said during his Monday press conference. "I'm perplexed at their record because they're big. I mean, they've got big strong guys up front. They move around well. They're big in the offensive line so we need to really prepare because we're going to play them at their very best."
UConn dropped its fourth straight game of the season last Saturday at West Point. Army scored six first-half touchdowns and gave up just five first downs in the first 30 minutes of play.
The Huskies have been shutout twice this season. Fresno State topped them 45-0 in the season opener and Purdue blanked UConn 49-0 in Week 3.
"I think the biggest thing we strive to do is take care of what we can control," he said. "The tape does bear it out -- They have good players. We're going to really focus on our preparation and what we need to do to attack the Huskies."
Here's what else Bohl had to say Monday:
* Bohl said the Cowboys are still relatively healthy after three games this season. Tight end Treyton Welch suffered an ankle injury against Ball State but Bohl is in hopes he will be ready to go against UConn. Left guard Eric Abojei didn't play in the second half. Bohl called that more precautionary. Defensive end Garrett Crall left the game in the first quarter. He later returned.
* Worried about the Cowboys overlooking lowly UConn? Don't be. Bohl said this team has set a high bar for itself -- no matter who the opponent is. "We really focus on one game at a time," Bohl said. "And then along with that, we need to improve. Our guys have high expectations of themselves. As a head coach, I have high expectations of this football team. I think we have an opportunity to be good, but we're still a work in progress."
* Bohl expects a solid effort from the home team Saturday. "Our anticipation is we're going to play a well-coached, motivated football team," he said. "So that means we have to have a great week of preparation to stay on task with what we're doing."
* UConn has used three different quarterback through its first four games. Bohl said he expects to see Tyler Phommachanh under center Saturday after the 5-foot-10 freshman completed 11-of-26 passes for 109 yards. He also carried the ball 11 times for 60 yards, including a pair of second-half touchdowns. "Well, he's a little bit of a different type of player than what the other quarterbacks are," Bohl said. "He's got great mobility and he can make plays with his legs. They have some pre-determined quarterback run game within their arsenal. You know, he had a big big touchdown against Army where it was a quarterback run ... So, you see his speed. He has the ability to to escape on bootlegs and is a dual-threat guy."
* Bohl said he is comfortable with four running backs -- Xazavian Valladay, Titus Swen, Trey Smith and Dawaiian McNeely -- carrying the ball. He was impressed with Valladay's 61-yard day that included a rushing touchdown and a big pass play for 35 yards. He likes Swen's effort between the tackles and a catch on a screen pass by Smith that went for 15 yards and got the Pokes deep in Ball State territory. McNeely, however, found the end zone from 16 yards out to record his first-career touchdown.
* Bohl was also impressed with the day punter Ralph Fawaz had last Saturday. "Ralph did a great job turning the field over," he said. "Field position had a great deal to do with our success Saturday, along with the takeaways." Fawaz, a freshman from Oklahoma, punted five times and averaged 48 yards per.
* Coaches like to nitpick. So do reporters. I asked Bohl where he still needs to see improvement going forward. The Cowboys were just 4 of 11 on third downs against the Cardinals. "You know, we've got to execute better," he said. "We're disappointed. Coach (Tim) Polasek and I spend some time on that. I think third down and makeable is going to be important for us. There's a couple times that maybe Sean (Chambers) pressed some things. We have to improve in that area if we're going to accomplish what we want to accomplish to get to 1-0."
* Bohl brought up an interesting fact: This will be the Cowboys first time playing on real grass since they faced San Diego State in 2019.
Stay tuned to 7220sports.com throughout the week for the latest on Cowboys football.