Wyoming Football: News and Notes Ahead of Utah State
LARAMIE -- It has become commonplace for Craig Bohl to text back and forth with NFL general managers.
That will happen when you coach guys like Josh Allen, Logan Wilson, Chad Muma and many others.
Wyoming's ninth-year head coach said Monday that the Utah State game reminded him of another message he once received.
"He texted me the picture and said, 'what are you doing running around the stadium with a rifle?' It was unloaded," Bohl joked about Jim Bridger's rifle, the traveling trophy awarded to the winner of this annual game. "It's a big sucker and we have it in a really nice, fancy case."
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That weaponry does indeed reside in Laramie, for now. Last November in Logan, the underdog Cowboys limped into Logan and took out some serious aggression in a 44-17 rout of the eventual Mountain West champions. Titus Swen rushed for 169 yards and two touchdowns on just 15 carries. He busted a 98-yarder and averaged 11.3 yards per attempt.
Led by Muma, the Cowboys' defense held the Aggies' high-powered offense to just 362 yards of total offense and forced three turnovers.
One of those was an interception from the right arm of Andrew Peasley into the chest of UW safety Isaac White. Peasley, of course, is now the Pokes' starting quarterback.
Bohl and Co. have said numerous times that they really loved the game plan heading into that game. The proof is in the pudding.
What about this time around?
To say we feel good about the game plan, yeah," Bohl said. "Now, this week is going to be important that we continue to embrace it and dot our I's and cross our T's."
What's the biggest difference between last year's USU squad and the one that will head into War Memorial Stadium with a 3-4 overall record and winners of two straight?
A mobile quarterback, Bohl said, adding that he has no idea if regular starter Cooper Legas will be under center or not after suffering a concussion in last Saturday's victory at Colorado State. Former Wyoming QB Levi Williams also suffered a high ankle sprain in Fort Collins and his status is also unknown. Senior Logan Bonner was lost for the season with a foot injury earlier in the campaign.
Bishop Davenport was inserted during the 17-13 win over the Rams. The true freshman from Texas completed 3-of-9 throws for 41 yards and added 29 rushing yards, including a four-yard touchdown run to give Utah State a lead in the third quarter.
Davenport Monday was named the conference's Freshman of the Week.
So, who will Bohl prepare for?
"We're going to play who's out there and I think they are who they are," he said. "Certainly, you know, they've changed a little bit when Bonner went down. (There's) more quarterback runs, so that's a challenge in itself. There's other elements there, but I think between those three, we're probably going to have a pretty static game plan."
Here are some other news and notes from Bohl's Monday press conference:
* Defensive tackle Cole Godbout, nickelback Keonte Glinton, offensive guard Emmanuel Pregnon and wide receiver Will Pelissier were not listed on this week's depth chart. Bohl said last week that Godbout and Glinton could miss an extended amount of time with unspecified injuries. The other two were listed as probable, according to the head coach.
* Safety Wyett Ekeler was injured on the first defensive snap of the game against New Mexico. He took a helmet-to-helmet hit and dropped to the turf. Bohl said Monday he is still in concussion protocol but should be cleared for Saturday night's meeting with the Aggies.
* It's no secret this game has some serious intrigue for a number of reasons, the top being the quarterback swap that took place in the offseason. Peasley appeared in 19 games for the Aggies during his tenure in Logan. The junior is downplaying this one, calling it "just another game." Here's Bohl's take on this reunion. "You know, this is about our program," he said. "I'm sure he's going to do everything he can to just put those individual feelings aside. I do know he has great respect for a lot of the players that are there and coach (Blake) Anderson, so it's not like there are ill feelings that he has. I think he's got great respect and we anticipate that Andrew is going to play well."
* It is unclear whether or not Williams will play in his return to Laramie. Sources say the sophomore will attempt to play but is dealing with significant bruising around his right ankle. Bohl did not mention Williams during his Monday press conference.
* The Cowboys utilized the bye week to rest and work on fundamentals, per Bohl. They also "tweaked" some things on offense, defense and on special teams. "We looked at our total program and then looked at where we're at," he said, without getting into specifics. Last week, red-zone offense was a topic of discussion amongst the staff. UW has 19 trips inside the opponent's 20-yard line. Ten of those have ended with John Hoyland field goals, eight have resulted in a touchdown. Good results, not great, yet the Cowboys are ranked 15th in the country in this category.
* Utah State has a commanding lead in the overall series, boasting a record of 40-27-4 against the Pokes. Since Bohl arrived in 2014, UW has won just three games. These two didn't meet in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
* Bohl said he took some time on his one free Saturday to watch some Mountain West football. He caught most of the Utah State-CSU game and checked in on Air Force's rout of UNLV. What are his thoughts on a whacky conference season so far? "There's a lot of balance and a lot of good players," he said. "Anybody can beat anybody on Saturday ... I mean, everybody seems to have a Saturday where if you're not playing your best, you're going to get beat. So that's why we tell our players that the most important game is the next one that we have to play."
* Has Bohl asked Peasley for any inside info on the Aggies? "You know what, I talk to Andrew about a lot of stuff," he said. "And, you know, every year is different. They're doing different things, we're doing different things."
* Bohl spoke extensively about his relationship with Peasley, adding that he had the team captains over to his house for dinner last week. The junior QB said Bohl makes a great steak. Bohl said Peasley makes a great leader. "I can't tell you enough how much I've personally enjoyed working with Andrew," he said. "He's been a great fit. I mean, here's a guy whose family is all ranchers and he's a small-town guy. He embraces Laramie. I mean, he was elected captain by a wide margin and that's tough to do in a short amount of time."
* So, is it safe to say Bohl's offseason "Help Wanted" social media ad seeking a new quarterback worked out? "Let's not talk about the help wanted ad," Bohl joked. "That's in the past -- history. I don't know if I'll do that one again. We're just going to leave it at that."
* Wyoming and Utah State are set for a 7:45 p.m. kickoff Saturday night inside War Memorial Stadium and the game will be televised by FS2.
* Make sure to check out the 7220sports.com Kickoff Show at 5 p.m. Mountain Time on 1290 AM KOWB. You can find last week's episode right HERE.