Tuck’s Takes: Wyoming Corners Are Thriving On The Island
LARAMIE -- Craig Bohl has said multiple times this spring that if he has just one lockdown cornerback his defense can utilize a number of blitz packages.
He might have two.
Tyrecus Davis, along with the unquestioned MVP of spring camp, Kolbey Taylor, both snagged interceptions off the right arm of Andrew Peasley Saturday afternoon at the annual Brown and Gold game inside War Memorial Stadium.
"It's good to see we have some corners stepping up and making plays," Peasley said, adding that he should've thrown the ball away instead of into the awaiting arms of Taylor. "(They've been doing that) all spring ball. They've been playing really well."
The Navarro Community College transfer made an immediate impact, stepping in front of a Peasley heave on the final play of the first half and racing down the sideline for a 42-yard touchdown.
He gave Ryan Marquez five yards of cushion. That gap closed quickly. A poor throw from the far hash didn't hurt, either.
Bohl said he warns his quarterbacks about tosses like that on the high plains.
"He hung the ball out there with Tyrecus," Wyoming's head coach said. "I've talked to him about that. You play in Wyoming and the wind is going to be blowing. You're on one hash and you're throwing it out to the bottom and the numbers to the other hash. Those corners are going to have a chance to make a play and he did."
Taylor, a 6-foot-2, 186-pound sophomore, also thwarted a Peasley-to-Marquez connection in the third quarter. He beat the senior receiver to his spot and won the hands battle.
The former three-star recruit from the Greater Houston Area appeared in eight games for the Cowboys in 2022. He finished with just three tackles, serving a reserve role behind Jakorey Hawkins and Cam Stone.
You might recall, Taylor was ejected early in the Arizona Bowl for targeting.
He was all smiles on Saturday.
"I get to play fast and physical," he said with a smile. "It gives me great confidence, you know? I believe and trust my techniques and stuff."
Davis tallied 32 tackles, broke up eight passes and snagged two interceptions during his final JUCO season. He was named to the All-Southwest Second Team. The 5-foot-10, 181-pound Greenville, Texas product appeared in 26 games at Navarro during his three-year stint. That included 80 tackles, 13 pass breakups and five picks, including one for a score.
Davis joked that he has never been in a press conference before. He was nervous behind the mic -- not on the field.
"They got real big," he said, referring to his eyes when he saw that second-quarter toss floating his way. "I knew it was coming, but they got real big. I was just trying to get our team on the board, get us some points."
Depth has been an issue at the corner spot. It appears that is a problem of the past.
"Oh, we're going to see how that goes," Bohl said. "You know, there was some good things they certainly did today. I'll watch the tape, but we've got two competitive guys out there."
* Fumbles. There were way too many of those Saturday, beginning on just the second snap of the afternoon when quarterback Evan Svoboda mishandled the exchange with back-up center Luke Sandy. Sam Scott also lost a fumble when he was met in the backfield by tackle Jaden Williams. Rock Springs product Isaac Schoenfeld also lost control of the ball inside the red zone, courtesy of a Brent VanderVeen hit.
* Have a day Isaac Sell. The walk-on from Laramie was the leading receiver Saturday, snagging eight passes for 79 yards. He even hauled in a 30-yarder from Svoboda, making a nice adjustment on the ball. "It's a super surreal moment," the sophomore said. "I mean, being a kid from Laramie, I feel like this is a moment that a lot of kids envision in their heads. Being able to fulfill that is a pretty exciting feeling." There's always a star in the spring game. Offensively, it was Sell.
* We already knew the defensive tackles room was loaded. Cole Godbout and Jordan Bertagnole are the top inside tandem in the Mountain West. There are some guys behind them, too, as we saw last year with Ben Florentine, Ethan Drewes (He's made the move to the offensive line this spring), Gavin Meyer and Caleb Robinson. Saturday, 6-foot-4, 278-pound redshirt freshman Jaden Williams spent an awful lot of time in the Brown team's backfield. He racked up a game-high six tackles, including four for loss and a pair of sacks. He also forced that Scott fumble in the first half.
* Starters galore sat this one out. Wyoming didn't have the services of its top-three running backs Dawaiian McNeely, DQ James and Northern Illinois transfer Harrison Waylee. Bohl said Waylee will have to undergo offseason surgery on his knee. He called it "somewhat simple." Frank Crum, Caden Barnett, Will Pelissier and Caleb Driskill. That's just on the offensive side of the ball. Treyton Welch and John Michael Gyllenborg were also limited. On defense, the Cowboys were without Jakorey Hawkins, Easton Gibbs, Shae Suiaunoa, Deron Harrell and Godbout.
* Running back LJ Richardson saw his first carries in a UW uniform Saturday. He finished with 52 yards on six attempts and scored on an eight-yard run in the first half.
* John Hoyland, currently the Cowboys' lone placekicker, drilled a pair of field goals from 27 and 32 yards out.
* Buck Coors hauled in an interception on a long ball from Evan Svoboda in the third quarter. The safety made a beautiful over-the-shoulder grab in the end zone. He returned the pick 15 yards and in the process teammate Wrook Brown de-cleated wide receiver Caleb Merritt. He told me he feels fine, but is currently on his way to concussion protocol. I asked Bohl if he was going to scream at Brown for the big blow. "I yelled at when I was up in the press box," Bohl joked, adding that Brown is an aggressive player and it's a "teachable moment."
* Bohl told you he was going to utilize his tight ends this season. Wyoming certainly did just that on Saturday. Gyllenborg snagged two balls for 31 yards, including a 27-yard catch to get the Gold team inside the red zone. Welch also finished with a pair of catches for 28 yards. One of those was a 25-yarder that landed his team inside the five-yard line. "J-Mike is really fast. He's one of our fastest tight ends," Peasley said. "Treyton has the strongest hands, in my opinion. Both of those two together, you know, they're going to be deadly. They're going to be a great escape for me, matchup wise."
* The quarterback play Saturday was a "mixed bag" if you ask Bohl. Peasley started off strong, but finished the day just 9-of-20 for 100 yards and those two interceptions mentioned above. Svoboda, who is vying for the back-up role, connected on 10-of-18 throws for 74 yards and a pick. Jayden Clemons was 13-of-20 for 102 yards. He was "sacked" three times.
* Ran into incoming transfer Ayir Asante before the game. The New Jersey native, who capped his four-year career at Holy Cross with 1,722 receiving yards, said he was in meetings Friday in Laramie and is getting up to speed with the offense. He will be here with the rest of the team and incoming recruits in early June.
* Attendance wasn't kept Saturday, but the lower sections of War Memorial Stadium were littered with fans on a windy, 60-degree day in the Gem City.
* By the way, the Gold team won this one 17-10.
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