UW’s Peasley on Dismal Outing: ‘I Just Know That I Need to be Better’
LARAMIE -- Craig Bohl wasn't interested Saturday night in giving a full analysis of a passing game that amassed just 31 yards on five completions.
He wants to watch the film first.
Wyoming's veteran head coach mentioned numerous times he was going to take the next 24 hours to enjoy the most improbable of victories, one that took a last-minute blocked field-goal attempt for a touchdown to pull out of the fire.
"We're 3-1," he said repeatedly.
That doesn't mean he was avoiding the topic all together.
The visuals -- not to mention the black-and-white stats on the sheet in front of him -- told a dismal tale.
"Well, I think it was deficient," Bohl said minutes after the Cowboys escaped with a 22-19 victory over visiting Appalachian State. "... There's going to be a lot to look at on this tape to say we have to get better, but it's a lot easier to get better with a win than it is with a loss."
He said the lack of an early run game impacted the play-action aspect of the game. He mentioned a couple of long balls that didn't reach the intended target. There were contested catches that weren't made, Bohl added.
Andrew Peasley didn't play in Wyoming's 31-10 loss last Saturday night in Austin.
The sixth-year quarterback suffered an AC sprain in his throwing shoulder late in the third quarter a week prior. A sharp pain ended his afternoon. The zip on his throws never returned throughout the week leading up to that meeting with the then-No. 4 team in the nation.
He wouldn't play unless he was "at least 90%," Peasley said last Monday.
Did he return to the field too soon?
"No, I don't," said Peasley, who completed 5-of-15 throws for 31 yards, including tossing an interception for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter. "I was confident in myself before this game. My shoulder feels good. You know, none of the missed throws were because of my shoulder. I think they were just a little inaccurate.
"You know, I think that, like I said, we couldn't get in a rhythm. I think our offense is based on, you know, that first first down. Let's get things rolling, get things going. I couldn't do that tonight."
Peasley, who did scamper for a nine-yard touchdown run in the second quarter, completed just two passes through the first 30 minutes of Saturday night's game against the Mountaineers. That equated to 18 yards, 13 of which came on an out route to Wyatt Wieland.
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The third quarter wasn't any better.
Peasley connected on just 2-of-8 throws for 12 yards. Wyoming's offense netted just 22 yards of offense. To that point in the game, that unit was only able to mage a grand total of three first downs.
The Cowboys finished with seven on the night compared to 27 for the visitors.
Trailing 12-7 heading into the fourth, Peasley attempted a swing pass to DQ James out of the backfield. The throw was not on target, sailing behind the 5-foot-7 running back before bouncing off his hands and into the awaiting arms of App State cornerback Tyrek Funderburk, who returned the deflection 18 yards into the end zone.
Harrison Waylee gashed the Mountaineers defense for a 75-yard touchdown run on the next snap, giving Wyoming's downtrodden offense a much-needed shot of life. The ensuing 18-play drive took an unexpected turn when DeVonne Harris blocked a 47-yard field-goal try off the right foot of Michael Hughes.
Cornerback Jakorey Hawkins scooped up the ball on one hop and raced 62 yards down the sideline, giving the Cowboys a 20-19 lead with 1:52 remaining in regulation. Peasley connected with John Michael Gyllenborg on a shovel pass and running back Sam Scott helped push the tight end over the goal line to secure the 2-point conversion.
Nickel corner Wrook Brown snagged a game-saving interception deep in Wyoming territory to cap the implausible win.
Initial postgame questions centered on the miraculous turn of events that transpired over the final 15 minutes. Rightfully so. Reality, though, quickly set in.
This team ranks 124th out of 133 FBS programs in the nation in total passing offense, averaging just 129.2 yards per game. This has become a theme during Bohl's tenure in Laramie, especially since 2016 when Josh Allen threw for 3,203 yards while leading the Cowboys to the Mountain West championship game.
Did Bohl ever think about pulling the plug on Peasley and instead going to back-up Evan Svoboda, who threw for 136 yards against Texas while completing 17-of-28 passes?
"Well, we discussed some things with Evan," he said. "Now, we looked at a lot of our practice tape and Andrew performed better than Evan did. We think there's a brightness with Evan, but I was a little bit concerned maybe we need to change some tempo of the game.
"Then we went out another drive and then Harrison broke the long run."
Peasley credited the defense with bailing out the struggling offense on this night, adding with good teams, sometimes one unit has to pick up the other. He pointed to an uncharacteristic night in the penalty department. Wyoming drew a season-high eight flags for 65 yards, four of which were false starts on the offensive line.
The Cowboys entered Saturday with just 11 penalties through their first three games.
Frank Crum was asked about the criticism heading Peasley's way after this outing. His response was swift and direct.
"Whatever his stats are, I don't really care," Wyoming's senior left tackle said. "I care about the 1-0 stat. And for anybody who wants to get after Andrew Peasley, you know, we're the Cowboys and you can come attack all of us because it's not a one-man show out there. So, he doesn't deserve any flack. We all have things we have to get better at."
Peasley said despite feeling confident in his decision making against App State, accuracy was an issue. He pointed the finger at himself for this inept performance, just like he did after his debut at Illinois last fall when he completed just 5-of-20 throws for 30 yards and a pick in a lopsided loss at Illinois.
The following week he was named the conference's offensive player of the week after throwing for 256 yards and two touchdowns in a 40-37 double-overtime victory over Tulsa.
"I just know that I have to be better," Peasley said. "And I know we have to play cleaner football. You know, we didn't even get in the red zone on our own, and that's kind of embarrassing by us. I think we need to be more efficient. I mean, that's what I'm going to be thinking about all weekend.
"(I'm going to come) back Monday, happy we have a win. I'm going to enjoy it tonight with my team because we did win. I'm not going to say we got lucky, but, you know, good things happen to good teams."
University of Wyoming’s Top 50 Football Players
- University of Wyoming’s Top 50 Football Players