Monday news & notes
LARAMIE -- Craig Bohl said he spent his own "24-hour rule" sleeping like a baby after Wyoming's stunning 17-16 loss to New Mexico Saturday night in Las Vegas.
That rule, of course, is to be happy or upset about your performance the game prior. After that, it's on to next week.
And, you do know how babies sleep, right?
"I gnashed my teeth a bit," Bohl said during his weekly press conference Monday afternoon. "I'm not going to B.S. you guys, that was a hard loss. (Tim) Harkins (Wyoming's Sports Information Director) told me to get a bottle of water after the game. I was fuming mad and upset.
"I slept like a baby. I woke up and cried every 30 minutes that night."
It's easy to see why:
- New Mexico entered the game on a 14-game losing streak, the worst mark in the nation. They had also dropped 20 straight Mountain West games.
- Wyoming was 1-of-11 on third down. Four of those were four yards or less.
- The Cowboys scored zero touchdowns in four trips to the red zone.
- UW's special teams coverage gave up 136 yards on four kick returns, including a 72-yarder from Emmanuel Logan-Greene.
- Wyoming's passing offense totaled 91 yards on just five completions.
That pretty much sums it up.
But to make matters even worse, starting quarterback Levi Williams left the game late in the fourth with a shoulder injury. His status is up in the air for Saturday, though Bohl said the redshirt freshman plans to practice today.
Bohl was candid about the upset loss to the Lobos. He gave them plenty of credit, but was honest in the assessment of his own team -- and coaching staff.
"I thought they had a really good game plan," Bohl said. "They played hard and we got outcoached. My dear friend Rocky Long had told me a long time ago he really wasn't crazy about being a head coach and that he'd just as soon be a defensive coordinator. He thought about retiring. I wish he would've made that decision and eaten some chip and guacamole and drank margaritas instead of calling defenses against us because I thought they did a good job.
"You know what, their guys were ready to play and we weren't. That's disappointing for me personally as a head football coach."
Here are some more news and notes from today's press conference:
- Wyoming's starting linebacker Charles Hicks was injured in Las Vegas. He will miss Saturday's Boise State game. Easton Gibbs, a redshirt freshman, who finished with 10 tackles against New Mexico, is now atop the depth chart.
- Xazavian Valladay didn't travel with the team to Las Vegas last weekend. He is still healing up from an apparent leg injury. He is listed as Trey Smith's back-up on the depth chart. Bohl said he isn't sure if Valladay will be 100 percent or play a smaller role against the Broncos.
- Keyon Blankenbaker is still dealing with a nagging hamstring. The Cowboys' nickel back will play if he's able to, according to Bohl.
- Chad Muma was ejected from the game Saturday night for a targeting call. Aaron Bohl, UW's linebackers coach, praised the junior captain for helping out and coaching up Gibbs and Shae Suiaunao. Muma was taken out of the game in the second quarter for that helmet-to-helmet hit so he will not miss any playing time against Boise State.
- Bohl has a Top-25 vote in the coach's poll. He penciled in the Broncos this week, despite the Broncos not playing the last two weeks because of COVID-19 concerns.
- UW's head coach says Boise State is as "good as advertised." He mentioned solid tackling, strong quarterback play, speed at the skill positions, and yes, trickeration on offense.
- No one took Saturday's loss harder than sixth-year senior running back Trey Smith. The Louisville transfer fumbled late in the fourth quarter with the Cowboys inside the Lobos' five-yard line, looking for the go-ahead score. Smith apologized to his teammates, coaches and the entire State of Wyoming after the game. "In his heart, he bleeds brown and gold," Bohl said. "He's a program guy, not an 'I' guy. He epitomizes what a program guy is. He had tears in his eyes. He's a ultra-competitive guy. He felt really bad. That's football, though."
- On their last offensive possession -- with back-up freshman quarterback Gavin Beerup under center -- Wyoming threw the ball four straight times from the Lobos' 44-yard line. The Cowboys had two timeouts and 1:44 on the clock to play with. Instead, 25 seconds ticked off the clock and Brandon Shook picked off a Beerup pass. Shook plays for New Mexico. He was also named the MW Defensive Player of the Week today. He also caused the Smith fumble near the goal line. I asked Bohl if he had that series to do over again, would he? "We had a long discussion about that yesterday," Bohl said, adding that, of course hindsight is 20/20. "Some of what encouraged us a bit is, remember when Gavin went in it was a third and long and he threw a strike from one sideline to the other. Then he popped a run. We felt good about it." Bohl said he figured the Lobos would be playing "soft coverage," which they did, he said. "We just couldn't convert a couple of passes." John Hoyland, Wyoming's walk-on freshman kicker, told me after the game his range was roughly 50 yards, though he had been making them from 52 in practice. The Pokes needed roughly 15 more yards to get into Hoyland's range.
- Why did Williams struggle throwing the ball Saturday night? Bohl said he wasn't getting his feet set. He had the same problem with Josh Allen, only No. 17 could throw from every angle under the sun, Bohl added.
- Is the criticism of Williams on social media and elsewhere warranted? "Shoot, he's a young guy," Bohl said. "Hell, he doesn't shave right now. We're going to keep encouraging him. He's not out there trying to throw a pick or not set his feet right. We're going to keep coaching him. He's a guy we've been happy with ... We've got to get him better though."
- If Beerup starts Saturday, how much of the playbook does the freshman know? "Not a whole lot," Bohl said, adding that he is smart and as far along as any other freshman signal caller would be at this point.
- Bohl also touched on the Cowboys' early signing day, which is set to take place Dec. 16. Bohl said the focus has been on landed more running backs, safeties, a corner and absolutely the defensive tackle position. Bohl said he hopes to sign "around 14 players." As far as that goes, rivals.com already has the Pokes' with 16 hard commits. Bohl hinted that another one could be coming soon.