Pokes Practice Report: It’s hitting season
LARAMIE -- It's officially hitting season on the High Plains.
And so far, Craig Bohl likes what he sees from his eager roster, which is littered with youngsters and unproven players.
"It was pretty aggressive," Wyoming's ninth-year head coach said Friday, the first day his team sported full pads. "... So, it was a good day. I don't think anybody was injured, but, I mean, the level of intensity certainly was different."
You can only do so much evaluation in gym shorts. That all changed today, and it started up front.
"I really was pleased with our first offensive line," Bohl said. "I thought they probably executed (the best) and it was significantly better than the two's, so I'm encouraged with that."
That first group is believed to be left tackle Eric Abojei, left guard Emmanuel Pregnon, center Nofoafia Tulafono, right guard Jack Walsh and right tackle Frank Crum.
Another position group that impressed Bohl Friday is the edge rushers. Wyoming's defensive ends accounted for just 10 of the team's 24 sacks in 2021. Not one end on this roster was responsible for one of those.
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"We also saw some sparks at the defensive end position," Bohl said. "... (Oluwaseyi Omotosho) made a couple of nice rushes and so did Sabastian (Harsh). I think Sabastian is learning how to play defensive end more, which is encouraging. You know, for us to generate some pressure with our down guys is going to be important."
Here's some other news and noted from practice No. 3 on the North 40:
* Athleticism, players around the football and more explosion equal turnovers, Bohl said Friday. Wyoming forced just 10 interceptions last fall to go along with five fumble recoveries. That number needs to rise dramatically in 2022. "When we fall off in that area that has a marked difference and particularly if you're not going to be throwing the ball 70 times and you're just trying to just outscore people with tons of plays and beat them 48-46," Bohl said. "Takeaways are important."
* Sometimes watching a player blossom off the field is as satisfying -- or more so -- than stats and accolades, Bohl said. Who are a few of those guys who are doing both? Two of them lineup on the Cowboys' defensive front -- Cole Godbout and Jordan Bertagnole. "I've seen a whole maturation process there, certainly," Bohl said of the two tackles. "You know, years of experience has had a big impact." Another guy who has stepped up into a leadership role, according to Bohl, is cornerback Cam Stone. The sophomore from Rosharon, Texas has become the leader of the secondary, per cornerbacks coach, Benny Boyd.
* Bohl also mentioned Andrew Peasley in that same breath. The Utah State transfer has made an immediate impact on his teammates and is battling for the starting quarterback spot this fall. "For the short amount of time he's been here, he has provided some really good leadership," Bohl said.
* Wyoming will take part in 25 fall practices in preparation for the 2022 season, which kicks off Aug. 27 in Champaign, Ill. College football didn't always operate this way. Anyone remember two-a-days? Bohl sure does -- and he doesn't miss them. Especially when it comes to the threat of injuries. "Whoever invented two days, some coaches say should be shot," Bohl joked. "The one benefit of two-a-days is it made somebody completely get out of their comfort zone. Mentally, it attacks you and you went down to the mat. The downside of it is, you had guys who were on the mat."
* Stay tuned to 7220sports.com for all your Pokes news throughout fall camp and the season ahead. You can download our free mobile app right HERE. You can also subscribe to our daily newsletter right HERE.