Special Teams Work Highlights Tuesday’s Practice

April 19, 2016

LARAMIE, Wyo. -

Tuesday saw the Wyoming Cowboys practice outside in War Memorial Stadium for a two-hour session that was the final one in pads prior to Saturday’s Spring Game. Live work on special teams along with a number of team periods highlighted the 13th of 15 spring practices.

“We did some live punts and punt returns in today’s practice,” said head coach Craig Bohl. “I thought Justice Murphy did some good things returning punts. We need to find another returner this year. Tanner Gentry certainly did a good job back there last year. We will continue to evaluate that.

“We worked a lot on punt coverage because we’ve not had a chance to get outside much, and we did a lot of that work live. I think Ethan (Wood) has done a good job punting the ball.

“We also did some live kickoff returns. Austin Conway had a couple nice returns and he caught the ball well today, so we’re going to continue to take a look at Austin. Our coverage units we feel are going to be better than last year, and that is going to be important for us.”

In terms of the Cowboys’ scrimmage last Saturday, Bohl was asked what he and his staff saw after reviewing the tape from that scrimmage.

“Offensively, we were much more efficient and threw the ball better,” said Bohl. “I thought Josh (Allen) threw the ball better. There was a stretch in there when we played okay defense. It was much more of a balanced scrimmage between offense and defense than the previous one in Cheyenne, and that was encouraging.

“The other difference was in the first scrimmage we faced about 35-mile per hour winds in Cheyenne (vs. scrimmaging indoors in the second scrimmage).”

When asked to comment specifically about quarterback Allen’s development this spring, Bohl responded, “Josh (Allen) has good ability, and he has a strong arm. A lot of it is just becoming more comfortable with our passing trees and knowing where the ball needs to go. We’ve worked on throwing the ball deep quite a bit. He can certainly throw it a long way, but our (completion) numbers are not where they need to be. He will have some time to work on that this summer when the players are throwing 7-on-7 on their own and in fall camp, but for us we need to be in the mid-60 percent completion range, and we’re not there yet.”

One of Wyoming’s most experienced returning players is senior offensive guard Chase Roullier. Bohl was asked for his evaluation of Roullier’s talent and if he felt he had the potential to be an NFL player.

“Yes, we think so,” responded Bohl. “Chase has continued to improve. He’s up to 315 pounds, has good feet and understands leverage. I think he is on par with some of the guys we have coached that have played in the NFL.”

Another player that Bohl was asked to comment on was Wyoming redshirt freshman running back Milo Hall.

“He (Hall) certainly had a great scrimmage last Saturday,” said Bohl. “He ran the ball well, showed some good allusiveness and he’s got good speed.”

On the injury front, Bohl announced a potential new injury suffered late in Tuesday’s practice to senior wide receiver Jake Maulhardt and an update of an injury that occurred in Saturday’s scrimmage to senior defensive end Trevor Meader.

“We had some pretty spirited work at the end of practice today,” said Bohl. “Jake Maulhardt may have broken a bone in his ankle or his leg. I’m hopeful it isn’t that bad, but they’re going to put him through some x-rays.

“Trevor Meader is going to go in for some surgery on Wednesday and we’ll find out if there is an ACL tear there.”

The Pokes will have one final tune-up practice on Thursday leading up to the Spring Game on Saturday, April 23.

“Thursday’s practice will be a polish-up practice,” said Bohl. “We’ll continue to work on some of our schemes. We’re going to have a regular game (on Saturday) right now, unless the injury report continues to grow. There are also some organizational things we’ll do on Thursday.”

The Spring Game is scheduled to kick off at 2 p.m. in Wyoming’s War Memorial Stadium. The game will be free and open to the public.

2016 University of Wyoming Football Spring Practice Schedule

Thursday, April 21 - 4 or 4:30 p.m. (Practice #14)
Saturday, April 23 - 2 p.m. (Spring Game, Practice #15)