Wyoming Football: News and notes ahead of Boise State
LARAMIE -- If you had this mid-November meeting between Wyoming and Boise State circled as being the biggest game in the conference this fall, go out and buy a lottery ticket immediately.
Let's be real, you didn't. I didn't. Craig Bohl didn't.
Featuring one of the youngest rosters in the country, fresh off of losing numerous impact players to the NCAA Transfer Portal and introducing a new quarterback, who was third string, at a rival school no less, didn't offer much promise.
The voters agreed, picking the Cowboys to finish just ahead of the downtrodden New Mexico Lobos in the preseason polls.
Standing behind the podium Monday afternoon, Bohl capped his weekly press conference with a pep talk.
"Isn't this great though? For you guys, too?" he said. "Here we are, late in November, and you have something to write about. At the beginning of the year you probably said, 'Hell, by now we're going to sack the bats ... Some of you guys probably thought by now you'd be sacking the bats and saying, 'Well, let's turn the page.' These guys -- not so fast, my friend."
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A quick Google search offers up all kinds of meanings behind the term "sack the bats." I don't think any of those refer to what Bohl was saying. He added starting right tackle Frank Crum had never heard the term. Neither have I.
Let's go out on a limb and say it means no one had much hope for this squad.
Wyoming is 7-3 overall and features a 5-1 mark in Mountain West play, heading into its final home game of the 2022 campaign. Boise State, always the frontrunner in this league, waltzes into Laramie a perfect 6-0. A Cowboys win would put them atop the Mountain Division and give them the head-to-head over the Broncos.
The visitors win, it's all over but the crying.
Kickoff is scheduled for 5 p.m. and the game will be televised on CBS Sports Network.
Here are some other notes from Bohl's Monday presser:
* Your eyes weren't deceiving you. Yes, that many players limped off the field inside Canvas Stadium last Saturday night, including starting quarterback Andrew Peasley, who Bohl said Monday is in concussion protocol. His return for this week's game is uncertain. The same can be said for defensive tackle Jordan Bertagnole, cornerback Cam Stone and wide receiver Will Pelissier. "It was like a MASH unit," Bohl said. "I mean, there were all kinds of players that went down. I don't have a lot of hard answers as far as where they're at. A lot of these guys are day-to-day." Wyoming is also still without starting nose guard Cole Godbout and nickelback Keonte Glinton.
* With those guys listed above out of the mix throughout the tilt in Fort Collins, others stepped up, mainly Jayden Clemons, who completed 7 of his 11 passing attempts for 90 yards, including a 32-yard go-ahead touchdown strike to Alex Brown. Clemons also had a 14-yard rushing touchdown and picked up two key third-down conversions with his legs. Gavin Meyer and Caleb Robinson filled in for Bertagnole and Brown stepped in for Pelissier. Jakorey Hawkins and Deron Harrell manned the islands in place of Stone.
* If Clemons is indeed the starter Saturday, who will serve as his back-up if Peasley can't suit up? Bohl said Hank Gibbs, the 6-foot-5, 237-pound redshirt freshman from Arkansas, will get the call.
* "Next man up." Every coach utters that phrase once a player can't go. That, Bohl said, is just one aspect of this young team he has enjoyed coaching so much this fall. "Great job by players stepping up that were somewhat unknown," he said. "They made big plays in a big, big game. I can't say enough about our players. They have been a really enjoyable team to coach. I mean, they just, I don't know, you look out there and there are just a lot of blue-collar guys that are buying in and they are playing really hard."
* Bohl joked that he wished Dirk Koetter would've just stayed on the golf course. He hasn't. The former Boise State coach, who was serving in a consultant role, became the Broncos' interim offensive coordinator in late September after a stunning 27-10 setback at UTEP. Boise State was 2-2 at the time. Since, the guys in blue have rattled off five victories in their last six outings. "You know, he made some in-season decisions and, typically, those usually are crash-and-burn decisions," Bohl said of Andy Avalos' coaching shakeup. "This one has been a home run."
* What has been the biggest change since Koetter entered the fray? Bohl summed it up in two words: Taylen Green. Boise State's freshman quarterback has thrown for 1,300 yards and seven touchdowns in parts of seven games this fall. The 6-foot-6, 220-pound Texan has added nearly 300 yards and six more touchdowns on the ground. Oh, by the way, he is also completing nearly 66% of his passes. "He's not average or good, he is an outstanding quarterback," Bohl said, adding serious emphasis. "He's reminiscent of a young Josh Allen." Woah.
* OK, there have been a few other changes since Koetter's return. "I think they streamlined some things up front," Bohl said. "I looked at some of the plays and things like that and what they're doing right now, they're on point and they ID things correctly. They have gap schemes, they have elements of quarterback run, they're able to throw the ball and have good receivers, capable receivers. They're very explosive and they score a lot of points."
* Wyoming hasn't scored a single point in the first quarter in any of its last four games. That's an issue. Digging out of early holes against New Mexico, Utah State, Hawaii and CSU is one thing, Boise State is quite another. "I think maybe we're just trying to find our way," Bohl said. "We have openers, we script stuff, but you know, sometimes it's not so much, you want a first drive to score but you want to get some first downs to flip the field. That did not happen (against the Rams.) ... But this team we're playing, we're going to need to be on our A-game. We have to go out and execute, make plays and and start faster. And we need to start fast on defense, as well." The Broncos have outscored their opponents just, 62-44. Since Koetter joined the staff, Boise State's number has jumped to 52-23.
* Bohl wants you to get to Laramie Saturday night. Yes, it will be cold. Early forecast is calling for temps below freezing. Still, he knows the importance of home field advantage, especially in this meeting. "Our fans are great, our students are great," he said. "I know they may be having Thanksgiving break, but I'd like them to stay, hang around, maybe go down to the (Buckhorn Bar & Parlor). I don't know, the (UW) President may call me up and say I probably shouldn't have said that, but our students make a big difference. Our fans do, as well. It's going to be cold, but we're hearty people here. I think it's going to be a heck of an atmosphere ... I think it can be a really special night."
Just The Facts: Size Doesn't Matter For Wyoming's War Memorial Stadium
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