Wyoming Football: News and notes ahead of New Mexico
LARAMIE -- Craig Bohl said Saturday night he didn't need to wait to watch film to pass judgement on what transpired on the field in a 33-16 loss to San Jose State.
"It's going to look like we got took to the woodshed," Wyoming's ninth-year head coach said.
He eventually broke down the tape less than 24 hours later.
His eyes weren't deceiving him.
"We were hopeful we'd see something different than what I thought after the game," he said Monday during his weekly press conference in Laramie. "That was not the case."
He dished out plenty of credit to the Spartans, mainly quarterback Chevan Cordeiro and his crop of wideouts that hauled in 314 yards worth of passes. Nevada transfer Elijah Cooks snagged a team-best eight balls for 177 yards in the win. Another area that concerned Bohl was the play of his front five, a young unit that until Saturday had only given up four sacks in five games.
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The offensive line allowed just two of those in the home loss, but quarterback Andrew Peasley was under plenty of duress and the running game -- a Wyoming staple -- rolled up just 143 yards on the ground, 61 of which came on a third-quarter scramble by Peasley.
The Spartans also corralled UW running back Titus Swen in the end zone for a safety in the first quarter and thwarted another drive, stopping the Cowboys on a 4th-and-1.
"They have a really, really good defensive front," Bohl said of SJSU. "I knew that watching their tape, but when I saw them live, I was like, Whoa. I know there's going to be several of those guys who play in the NFL. And when you combine maturity, strength, explosiveness -- and then they are aggressive and they took some shots, they'll take some chances -- the more athletic you are, the more you have a chance to recover, which they did."
Bohl said his line was "out of whack and not balanced up."
That needs to change, he added, with Rocky Long's unique defensive scheme on the horizon.
"It's going to be important that they improve this week, because as you guys noted, and I have said, up until this last game that group has been steady Eddie," he said. "I mean, it didn't matter who we were playing, they got man on man and we got movement. This week, it did not happen and we've got to bounce back."
Here are some other news and notes from Bohl's Monday press conference:
* Wide receiver Will Pelissier could miss his second consecutive game after suffering a shoulder injury late in the loss to BYU. The 6-foot-3, 201-pound sophomore from Big Horn landed awkwardly after diving for a throw in the end zone in Provo. If Pelissier can't go Saturday night in Albuquerque, Ryan Marquez will slide into a back-up role.
* Bohl said Monday that Peasley suffered a "hip pointer" injury in the loss at BYU. On the first snap of last Saturday's loss to SJSU, the Utah State transfer was unceremoniously dumped after throwing an incomplete pass. He stayed on the ground and was forced to the sideline for a few plays. After the game, Peasley was not made available to the media. There was a good excuse, too. Bohl sent him right to the trainer's room. Despite the injury, Peasley did outrace the Spartans' secondary for that 61-yard run in the third. Still, Bohl admitted the plan is to not let Peasley take a bunch of hits in the running game. "He does have excellent speed, but we're trying to limit the number of hits he takes," he said. "... That gives you an idea of his athleticism and then also his competitiveness."
* A major topic over the last two weeks has been the play of the Wyoming secondary. In back-to-back losses, that unit has given up 651 passing yards. It hasn't been pretty. Here's Bohl's explanation for the massive amount of yardage. "It's just been, you know, frustrating," he said. "We're going to work really hard this week. It's not like we've had blown coverages where the guys are wide open. You know, there are times when the ball's going up in the air, we're there, but we've got to do a better job and be much more aggressive with the contested plays. That's been disappointing."
* A more effective pass rush would certainly help in that department. "Obviously, if you leave your corners hanging out to dry or your secondary hanging up (it's not good) because one time there was a third down and 20 and the quarterback just had too much time," Bohl said. "There's some give and take, you try to make sure you corral a guy without losing contain." Wyoming recorded a pair of sacks and was credited with 10 quarterback hurries. Cordeiro eluded pressure a number of times in the loss.
* The Cowboys have already played six games this fall. For comparison sake, that was SJSU's fourth game. After Saturday's tilt in New Mexico, UW has its first bye week of the season. It couldn't come at a better time, though the team is not quite at the finish line just yet. "It's been a challenge to go through this," Bohl said of the early portion of the 2022 schedule. "But that's college football, and we're playing the schedule that we have. This game is going to be really important for us."
* Bohl said this early slate of games has been taxing. Wyoming has wins over Tulsa, Northern Colorado and Air Force. The losses have come against Illinois, BYU and San Jose State. Those six teams have a combined record of 19-10. The Cougars, Spartans, Falcons and Illini all have just one loss on the season.
* The last two meetings with the Lobos have been memorable ones. Not in a good way, either. In 2020, these two met inside Las Vegas' Sam Boyd Stadium. New Mexico, at the time, owned the longest losing streak in the FBS at 14 games. It had lost 20 straight against Mountain West opponents. That all came to a halt that night on the outskirts of Sin City when the Lobos stunned the Pokes, 17-16. UNM limped into Laramie last fall and came away with a 14-3 victory. The Cowboys rolled up just 255 yards of total offense and turned the ball over twice in the upset. Certainly this game means a little something extra for Bohl, right? Well, if it does, he's not admitting it. "We've had a difficult time matching up with these guys," he said. "So this is a big, big challenge for us."
* Stay tuned to 7220sports.com throughout the week for more on the Cowboys meeting with New Mexico. You can download our free mobile app right HERE. You can also subscribe to our daily newsletter right HERE.