Wyoming Football: News and Notes Ahead of New Mexico
LARAMIE -- Craig Bohl said he wanted to look at the film before making a final judgement on a dismal passing performance last Saturday night in an unthinkable 22-19 victory over visiting Appalachian State.
"Well, first of all, I think we need to credit App State's back end," Wyoming's head coach said Monday during his weekly press conference in Laramie. "Their guys on the back end were much more talented than what I thought. There wasn't a lot of space there."
Andrew Peasley completed just 5-of-15 passes for 31 yards a week after sitting out against No. 4 Texas with an AC sprain in his throwing shoulder. The 6-foot-2, 218-pound senior did scramble for a nine-yard touchdown in the second quarter, but he also lobbed a pass to DQ James out of the backfield that was bobbled and pick-sixed, courtesy of Mountaineer cornerback Tyrek Funderburk.
The throw was behind James. He couldn't make the adjustment. The visitors took a 19-7 lead with 11:42 remaining in regulation.
The offensive stats were ugly:
* Seven first downs
* Zero catches from a tight end
* 208 yards of total offense
* 3-of-12 on third down
* Two sacks
* Four tackles for loss
* 19:35 time of possession
"We had a hard time getting open," Bohl continued. "Some of our balls weren't thrown exactly right. We did have some protection problems. So, it was a kind of a combination of a lot of things. But I'm convinced App State is a really good football team and their guys run well. They tackled well and we had a hard time with spacing.
"We're working hard on that this week."
Former Wyoming wide receiver Tanner Gentry is on campus today, according to a source. He will take part in team meetings and observe practice.
That can't hurt, right?
Josh Allen's favorite target capped his Wyoming career with 2,815 yards on 180 receptions. He also hauled in 20 touchdowns, including 14 during the 2016 campaign. Gentry, who's younger brother, Gunner, is currently on the UW roster, signed with the Chicago Bears as an unsigned free agent in '17.
"Certainly we need to improve in the passing game," Bohl said. "We had been on a good trajectory, but our yardage and completion percentage needs to improve. We need to improve a little bit on third down to stay on the field."
New Mexico, the Cowboys' homecoming opponent this Saturday, allows 244.2 yards per game through the air, which ranks the Lobos 93rd out of 133 FBS programs. The visitors have just five sacks through four games and have given up 11 passing touchdowns.
Can Peasley and Co. take advantage?
The Pokes and Lobos are scheduled to kickoff at 2 p.m. Mountain Time. The game will be streamed on the Mountain West Network.
Here are some other tidbits from Bohl's Monday meeting with the press:
* Junior cornerback Tyrecus Davis was injured against App State. How severe? Bohl said "we're in hopes that Tyrecus will be back, but right now I'd say it would be questionable." If Davis can't go, Bohl said Kolbey Taylor and Jakorey Hawkins will start against the Lobos. Davis has 12 tackles, four pass breakups, a forced fumble and two recoveries through three-plus games.
* "He's getting close." That's what Bohl had to say when asked if wide receiver Will Pelissier is nearing a return from a hand/finger injury he sustained in fall camp. "We're going to find out a little bit more today," Bohl said. "I know he was running on the sidelines the other day. They timed him at over 22 miles per hour, which is one of the fastest guys around."
* Buck Coors made his return to the field against the Mountaineers. The sophomore safety registered a tackle on special teams early in the fourth quarter. Coors, a 5-foot-11, 191-pound Colorado product, suffered a broken hand in camp, the same day Pelissier went down. He then underwent his sixth -- yes, sixth -- surgery since arriving on campus in 2020. Stay tuned for a story on Coors this week.
* Bohl credited the defense with stiffening in the red zone and his special teams unit for ultimately blocking a fourth-quarter field goal and turning that into points against App State. DeVonne Harris was credited with the swat and Hawkins took care of the rest, racing 62 yards down the sideline to give the Pokes a 20-19 lead with just under two minutes to go. He also raved about running back Harrison Waylee, who broke a 75-yard touchdown run late to give the team life. He finished with a game-high 156 yards and Bohl said he hit 22 miles per hour on his scoring run, one mph faster than his touchdown run at Texas a week ago. There was an "X factor," though, if you ask the head coach. "Just our team's resolve and belief to win, that was certainly exceptional," he said.
* Bohl said he has been "really impressed" with UW's defensive line through four games. That unit has accounted for eight of the team's nine sacks this fall, including a team-leading two from Harris off the edge. The Cowboys are also holding their opponents to just 3.8 yards per carry. "We felt like we could leverage that, not only the defensive tackles, but the defensive ends," he said. "That has taken some pressure off our back-end guys and linebackers. We're getting good passing pressure and we'll need to continue to leverage that defensive front."
* Mountain West play is upon us. There's a different feeling around the building with New Mexico coming to town. "This is one of the goals that our team has is to establish ourselves," Bohl said. "We say '1-0' but our players have always looked to try to have an opportunity to win the Mountain West. Each one of these games is so critical and we're glad we have the Lobos at home."
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