Bohl: ‘Saturday’s scrimmage is really going to be important’
* University of Wyoming Athletics media relations release
LARAMIE -- It was an upbeat Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl who addressed the media Thursday night after practice as the Cowboys wrapped up the 11th of 15 spring practices.
The Pokes practiced under great weather conditions in War Memorial Stadium on Thursday, and for the second straight practice the head coach talked about the positive play he saw from the key positions of quarterback, middle linebacker and offensive line.
“We put our quarterbacks under a lot of pressure on third-down sets today,” said Bohl. “I thought our offensive line performed better. Andrew Peasley is really beginning to execute our offense better. Even though Andrew is an older player, I would say it’s kind of like learning a new language. The terminology and some of the ideas within our pro-style offense is really quite different than what Utah State did (Peasley’s former school) and so there is a (learning) curve there. He’s really embraced it, and I thought he probably had his best day as far as his decisions and where he was putting the ball. Treyton Welch made a couple nice catches today, as well.
“Defensively, Easton Gibbs is transitioning well at the MIKE (middle linebacker) spot. A young guy on the offensive line who has impressed a lot of us is Jack Walsh. He’s playing a couple different positions. He’s got a really good football I.Q., particularly for a freshman, and he takes coaching well.”
Peasley transferred to Wyoming in January from Utah State, with two years of eligibility remaining.
He brought with him two years of extensive playing experience in the Mountain West Conference. In the COVID season of 2020, Peasley earned Mountain West Offensive Player of the Week honors in his first career start against New Mexico, leading the Aggies to a 41-27 home win. He completed 14 of 21 passes for 239 yards with three touchdown passes and also recorded his first career 100-yard rushing game, carrying the ball 11 times for 118 yards against the Lobos. Among his runs was a 62-yard touchdown scamper.
For the 2020 season, he completed 37 of 69 passes for 391 yards and four touchdowns in the five games he played, starting two of those games vs. New Mexico and Air Force. He added 195 rushing yards on 22 carries for an 8.9 yard average per rush and accounted for 586 yards of total offense.
In 2021, Peasley entered a road game at Air Force early in the third quarter with Utah State trailing 20-31. He proceeded to complete 10 of 15 passes for 195 yards in the second half and threw three touchdown passes of five yards, 37 yards and 72 yards to lead the Aggies to a 49-45 come-from-behind victory.
Peasley also rushed for 29 yards on five carries against the Falcons. For the season, he completed 28 of 51 passes for 415 yards and rushed for 161 yards on 25 carries for 576 yards of total offense.
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Gibbs of course is coming off an outstanding season in 2021 that saw him rank second for the Cowboys in tackles, with 90 from his weak-side linebacker position. He also was credited with 7.0 tackles for loss, 2.0 sacks, four pass breakups, one forced fumble and one quarterback hurry. This spring, Gibbs has been moved to the middle linebacker position left vacant by former Wyoming All-American Chad Muma.
Welch is entering his junior season at tight end for the Pokes. He caught 19 passes for 163 yards and two touchdowns in 2021, including a game-winning catch against Montana State in the season opener. He has added about 10 pounds to his frame from last season.
Walsh is a redshirt freshman offensive lineman from Palatine, Ill., which is located in the northern part of the Chicago-metropolitan area. Walsh is 6’3” and 302 pounds. He played at Fremd High School and helped lead his team to the second round of the 2019 Class 8A state playoffs -- the largest classification in the state of Illinois. His father, John Walsh, lettered for the Wyoming Cowboys in 1988 as a reserve offensive lineman and was part of Wyoming’s 1987 and ‘88 Western Athletic Conference Championship teams.
While Bohl is seeing some players starting to rise at their respective positions, he reiterated that he is not planning on releasing a depth chart after spring football. With that said, Wyoming’s upcoming closed scrimmage on Saturday, April 23 is one that the head coach emphasized will be a key scrimmage in evaluating players.
“A big, big scrimmage this coming Saturday. We’ll evaluate the Spring Game, but Saturday’s scrimmage is really going to be important,” said Bohl. “We probably will not release a depth chart this spring simply because there is still going to be some transition. But things are starting to sift out. I’m not going to make a lot of comments on how guys are sorted out, but Saturday will be important and today (Thursday) was important.
“We should have a pretty lengthy scrimmage Saturday. We’ll probably schedule about 77 plays again. That will be our last scrimmage, and then of course we’ll have the Spring Game (Saturday, April 30), which all the fans are going to be able to attend.
“With the Spring Game, there is some evaluation to it, but a lot of it has to do with giving our players an opportunity to play in a game-like situation where there are fans in the stands, officials, no coaches on the field and somewhat of a buzz in the air and that has an impact, particularly for the young guys.”
When asked about the format for Wyoming’s Brown and Gold Spring Game on Saturday, April 30, Bohl said that he and his coaching staff have not finalized a format. But in order to make the game competitive and entertaining for fans, he said they generally like to balance out the teams with the number one offense on one team and the number one defense on the other with the some players transitioning between the two teams.
On the injury front, Thursday was a good day with no new injuries occurring in the practice and a few players returning from previous injuries.
Bohl did say during Thursday night’s media session that it has been confirmed that sophomore running back Jeremy Hollingsworth had suffered a torn ACL in a knee.
“We’re disappointed for Jeremy,” said Bohl. “He was adding some really positive things at the running back position. Dawaiian McNeely missed the first couple of practices this spring but he’s out there now. Titus Swen, who I’ve mentioned before, is having an excellent spring. I think we have a really good stable of running backs. “
A couple players who did not finish Tuesday’s practice due to minor injuries did return on Thursday. Those players who returned Thursday included senior offensive lineman Eric Abojei and sophomore linebacker Shae Suiaunoa. Sophomore nose tackle Gavin Meyer, who suffered a leg injury on Tuesday, and senior transfer cornerback Deron Harrell, who was evaluated for a concussion after Tuesday’s practice, did not participate on Thursday.
Four Remaining Spring Practices
The Cowboys will conduct a closed scrimmage on Saturday, April 23. They will also practice next Tuesday and Thursday leading up to the annual Brown and Gold Spring Game on Saturday, April 30 at 2 p.m. in War Memorial Stadium.
The April 30 Spring Game will be free and open to the public. All other spring practices and scrimmages are closed.
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