BOISE, Idaho -- Wyoming's head football coach strolled into the team's press conference today with a branding iron in his right hand.

Craig Bohl said he busts it out every time the Cowboys play in a bowl game.

Why?

Simply, it's a family thing.

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"That's a branding iron that my great, great grandfather had," he said with a smile. "I have some cattle now and that's our brand. What I've done through the years, whenever we make a bowl game, I load it up on the equipment truck and bring it. My family gathers around. So, that's what it's there for."

Here are a few tidbits from today's official Famous Idaho Potato Bowl presser:

* Chad Muma started his career on the blue turf of Legend High School in Parker, Colo., and will wrap up his tenure at UW against Kent State Tuesday on the famous blue field inside Albertsons Stadium. Has he taken any time to reminisce? "I don't think that's really part of my personality," the Cowboys linebacker said. "I've just been focused about this week and this game. I've enjoyed the little things here and there, and to be able to have those conversations when I can, but primarily, I've just really been focused on the game and going out there and ending my career on a good note."

* Bohl wants you to know bowl games are important -- all of them. Yes, he also understands your frustration. Wyoming had much higher preseason expectations than returning to Boise in mid-December. However, he said this game is important for him and his players. "You know, it's interesting, several years ago I was on the NCAA competition committee and we were staging different events," he said. "You know, I had heard some clamoring out there, somebody said, 'there's all these meaningless games." To these fellows that are sitting on to my left (Xazavian Valladay and Muma), and all the members of our team -- and I'm sure the members of the Kent State team -- there are no meaningless bowl games. It's a great experience for our players. Many times I think we forget why we're doing this, for the betterment of the student-athlete to be able to be at these type of games and experiences and to go to different parts of the country. So, I just want to get off my soapbox, but do say that all these games are so important." Noted.

* The Golden Flashes, led by MAC Player of the Year, Dustin Crum, operate at break-neck speed. A snap every 10 seconds or so. That fast. How does Muma and Co. plan to slow that down? "it's just about the communication," he said. "I think that's the biggest part ... There's not a lot of different looks that they get, but when they do, it's coming quick. So it's just being able to align quickly, communicate and I need to just make sure everyone on the defense is on the same page."

 

MORE UW FOOTBALL NEWS:
* Gear up for gameday: Kent State

* 3 keys to beating the Flashes

* QB Dustin Crum straw that stirs Kent State's drink

* Which Wyoming team will show up in Boise?

 

* How critical will it be for the Cowboys to rack up time of possession and keep Crum and Co. on the bench? "I think is a very important deal for us on our offensive side of the ball to, you know, create big plays and keep our defense off the field," Valladay said. "We're very aware of it as an explosive offense." He's not kidding. Kent State is ranked No. 8 in the nation in total offense, averaging nearly 483 yards per game. That's an average of 6.4 yards per snap. The Flashes have also found the end zone 52 times. For comparison sake, UW's offense is rated 98th in the country, averaging just 361 yards per outing. That's 5.6 yards a play and the Pokes have scored 20 less touchdowns.

* Valladay is just 16 rushing yards away from reaching the 1,000-yard mark for the second time in his career. This season he became the No. 2 rusher in program history with 3,195 yards. He's just 1,092 yards behind Brian Hill. Will he reach that milestone? Depends. Is he coming back next year? He has yet to announce that decision. Does reaching 1,000 yards this season mean much? "No, not really," Valladay said. "I just, you know, have my mind set on winning football games, just enjoying this experience with my team and my coaches and all the Wyoming's fans."

* Wyoming has shuffled the depth chart in Boise a tad. Rudy Stofer will start ahead of super senior Alonzo Velazquez at left tackle on the offensive side. On D, Keonte Glinton will start at nickel after Keyon Blankenbaker entered the NCAA Transfer Portal. Blake Harrington will serve as the backup at that spot. "Keonte is an excellent nickel," Bohl said. "... He's going to get tested." Blake Harrington will backup Glinton in Boise. He's a junior from Porsper, Texas. Speaking of prosper ... "He's a guy who is unbelievably smart," Bohl said. "He's wickedly smart and he always seems to be in the right place at the right time ... Harrington is not going to play in the NFL, but he's going to go pro at something else and I think he'll probably be a CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Good for him."

* Wyoming will play on ESPN Tuesday for the first time this season. The ESPN -- not with a "plus" on the end. Bill Roth will do play-by-play and what should be a very familiar name will serve as the color analyst -- Kelly Stouffer. The Scottsbluff, Neb., product played his college ball at Colorado State where he was the quarterback from 1984-86. He was the No. 6 overall pick of the Seattle Seahawks in the 1987 NFL Draft. How did Stouffer do in the Border War? 2-1. Wyoming won 43-34 in '84.

University of Wyoming’s Top 50 Football Players

During the summer of 2021, 7220Sports.com counted down the Top 50 football players in University of Wyoming history, presented by Premier Bone & Joint Centers, Worthy of Wyoming.

The rules are simple: What was the player's impact while in Laramie? That means NFL stats, draft status or any other accolade earned outside of UW is irrelevant when it comes to this list.

This isn't a one-man job. This task called for a panel of experts. Joining 7220's Cody Tucker are Robert GagliardiJared NewlandRyan Thorburn, and Kevin McKinney.

We all compiled our own list of 50 and let computer averages do the work. Think BCS -- only we hope this catalog is fairer.

Don't agree with a selection? Feel free to sound off on our Twitter: @7220sports - #Top50UWFB

- University of Wyoming’s Top 50 Football Players