There is a lot to think about this years Wyoming football team. Some good, some bad. The bottom line is that the Pokes enter conference play 2-2 and have a lot to improve on still, that is obvious. I still like what I have seen from this years team, now it is about putting it all together and learning how to win. It is possible that over the last 4 or 5 years of losing that these guys just aren’t familiar with being in winning situations and they need to learn how to come out on top. I think last week’s loss will be a big time learning experience and to open conference play, the Pokes get to play for the Bronze Boot. They should come out ready to go and hopefully show the conference what they are made of. Here is what I think as we head into Week 5.
1. Last week’s loss was not good, but that doesn’t mean the season is over.
I think that I agree with every Wyoming fan out there that last week’s game at Eastern Michigan was a huge let down. The defense did everything they could to help a struggling offense, but in the end it wasn’t enough. Intercepting 4 balls, leading to 24 points and losing is inexcusable. Wyoming was clearly the better team last week and the offense didn’t show up. A blocked field goal, which should have never even been attempted if it weren’t for a false start from the ½ yard line, and 2 very costly fumbles was the bulk of the disappointment.
With that being said, this season is far from over and there are a number of winnable games on the schedule, starting with our first 2 conference games. I think Wyoming will be able to compete with both Colorado State and Air Force, who happen to be two of their biggest rivals. If they can find a way to win at least one they are going to put themselves in position to still go Bohling. I hate to say it, but Wyoming needed last week and when the season is over, it may sting more than ever. I hope the Cowboys can make up for it in the next two weeks.
2. The way the defense played last week, on the road, was very encouraging.
As mentioned in number 1, the defense played better than they have in recent years. Four interceptions, 2 TD’s, and all 24 Wyoming points came after turnovers. Did they play perfect, no. But they gave their team a chance to win the game and even produced points. I think they will continue to get better as the year goes on and if the offense can follow suit, good things will happen. I was very excited for the defense after last Friday. I would like to see more from the linebackers going forward, but the defense has gotten better each week
3. The offense needs one more guy to step up.
The offense right now consists of a very heavy dose of Josh Allen, Brian Hill, Tanner Gentry, and Jake Maulhardt. They are missing at least one more guy. Sure, some guys have been there at times, but the offense needs that one guy with consistency. I would like to see that guy be Jacob Hollister, he has been okay this year, but I thought he would have a much bigger role after the way he ended 2015. I think the offense can take a big step if they get Jacob Hollister involved, he has shown in the past he can be dangerous in the pass game.
Other candidates to be that next guy are: WR CJ Johnson, WR Austin Conway, and RB Shaun Wick. There is one more area on offense that absolutely HAS to step up, but we will get to that in a at number 4.
4. The offensive coaching staff needs to make changes, or at the very least, adjustments.
I hate to say it, but changes/adjustments need to be made on offense. I am in no way suggesting anyone needs to be fired, a decision like that is way above my pay grade. But the play calling, especially in the second half has been underwhelming. The biggest issue I am seeing is that halftime adjustments on offense, don’t seem to be made. We have seen it a number of times where certain things in the first half will work and other things won’t and when the Cowboys come out for the second half they still run the same plays that didn’t seem to work. I would like to see the playbook open up, I would love to see Brian Hill get more off tackle carries, and I think Jacob Hollister needs to get involved. The play calling since Bohl has been in Laramie has been the biggest disappointment to me, it needs to step up and it needs to step up starting this week.
5.When The Bronze Boot is up for grabs, anything can happen.
It is rivalry week! This game is always circled on the schedule and when the Pokes play their neighbors to the south games can be fun. I think Wyoming matches up well with CSU this year and they are down compared to the last couple years. I would love to see the Cowboys come out with a chip on their shoulder because of last week and because it feels like they get very little respect. They don’t necessarily deserve anyone’s respect because of the last few years, so it is time for them to go out demand it.