Wyoming Football: News and Notes Ahead of App State
LARAMIE -- His answer was wordy, cliché and, most importantly, true.
What was Craig Bohl most proud of Saturday night as the Cowboys went toe-to-toe with the fourth-ranked team in the land through three-plus quarters?
"The competitiveness of our guys. They went out and they competed," Wyoming's 10th-year head coach said Monday during his weekly press conference. "It wasn't like they had a deer-in-the-headlight look. Then, also, even when we got down -- and there was a cascade of events that happened just, like, on a dime -- our offense went out and, you know, we were going to be out of the game, but we marched down the field and came up with a touchdown that was called back.
"That's just an indication that they stay in the fight.
The oddsmakers called Texas a 30-point favorite in this one. Coming off a 34-24 road upset over then No. 3 Alabama, it was justified.
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The fact the visitors were starting a back-up quarterback, Evan Svoboda, didn't help matters. The sophomore had yet to even attempt a pass at the FBS level before he waltzed into Darrell K. Royal Stadium and a capacity crowd of more than 100,000.
Wyoming also played without its top cover corner. Kolbey Taylor was suspended one game for a violation of team rules.
This one had all the makings of a blowout.
This was a 10-10 game after 45 minutes.
A harmless-looking screen pass to Xavier Worthy changed that in the blink of an eye. The Longhorns' speedy receiver snagged the throw and quickly beat Tyrecus Davis to the perimeter. He outraced Wyett Ekeler and juked Isaac White before cruising into the end zone, sparking Texas' second consecutive 21-point fourth quarter en route to a 31-10 victory.
"I've seen other teams, when those events happen like that, there's some fingers pointed on the sideline, there's some grumbling," Bohl said. "We had none of that and guys stayed competitive.
"That's the overarching theme that I think about with this football team. It's a more mature football team that plays as a team."
Here are some other tidbits from Bohl's meeting with the media:
* There's no QB controversy in Laramie. If Andrew Peasley can play this Saturday against visiting Appalachian State, Bohl said, he will. The Cowboys senior QB suffered an AC sprain in his right shoulder late in the third quarter of a Week-2 win over Portland State. Svoboda got the nod in Austin and completed 17-of-28 passes for 136 yards and an interception in the loss. Bohl said Peasley is "day-to-day" and will be evaluated throughout the week. Read more about Peasley's injury HERE.
* Will Taylor be available against the Mountaineers? That's less clear. "It's still to be determined," Bohl said, referring to the 6-foot-4 sophomore from the Houston area. "I'm not going to get into specifics ... I don't believe he'll practice today, but we'll see as the week goes along."
* Bohl said his team escaped Austin without any serious injuries. That doesn't mean guys weren't a few bangs and bruises, though. "I can tell you, when they walked on the plane, I mean, they were limping," he said. "... It was a dogfight. So, our guys laid it on the line, they're beat up, but it's not like they're injured to the point where they can't play."
* Running back Harrison Waylee made his UW debut in Austin. It started with a bang, too. The junior transfer from Northern Illinois broke off a 62-yard touchdown run on just the fifth play from scrimmage, outracing the UT secondary in the process. Waylee, who finished with 110 yards on the ground against the 'Horns, underwent "knee reconstruction" this offseason, per Bohl, and was unavailable for the first two games. Bohl said his knee was going to be monitored after this one. So far, so good. "That came out fairly well," he said.
* Where was Sam Scott on Saturday night? Bohl said some of it is "running back by committee" but "you'll see these other guys sprinkled in with what kind of skill set they bring." Waylee, Bohl added, has separated himself from the pack and is the lead back going forward.
* Wyoming again deployed a different look on defense Saturday than we have grown accustomed to in the Bohl era. More three-man fronts, dropping eight into coverage. The goal was to limit explosive wide outs A.D. Mitchell and Worthy. It worked through the first three quarters, too. Worthy had just three grabs for 12 yards. Mitchell, three for 30.
* Bohl said he didn't really know what to expect from Svoboda Saturday night. He knows his skillset and what he has done in practice, but it's a whole new ball game in that environment inside DKR. "As you guys know, that stage, that's a different animal," he said. "But, you know what, I talked to him about once you get out on the field, you're not playing against 100,000 people, you're playing against the Texas Longhorns, who are pretty imposing. But he was not disjointed at all. It wasn't like he had to calm down. He went through his progression and reads. He can play a little bit better, but by and large, he was on point."
* Early thoughts on App State, which enters this one at 2-1, its lone blemish a double-OT loss to No. 17 North Carolina on the road. "They play with a chip on their shoulder," Bohl said. "They're a really physical team and they play with great discipline. They have more scholarships now and, you know, they have a winning attitude. They're not afraid to go on the road."
* Stay tuned to 7220sports.com throughout the week for plenty of coverage of the Cowboys and their Week-4 opponent.
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