Strong Play From Defense Highlights Friday Morning Practice

Aug. 21, 2015

LARAMIE, Wyo. -

A strong performance by the Wyoming defense had head coach Craig Bohl pleased following Friday's first of two practices. Bohl complimented the play of the Cowboy linebackers and secondary to begin his post-practice meeting with media. "Our defense moved around very well today, particularly at the safety and linebacker spots," said Bohl. "It was a little bit of a mixed bag offensively today. You're going to have that as you go through fall camp.

"We're pretty much complete in installing our offensive and defensive plays, and we continue to work on our kicking game."

One defensive player that the head coach was asked to comment on was middle linebacker Eric Nzeocha, who converted to linebacker last spring after playing tight end for the Cowboys a year ago.

"Eric (Nzeocha) has improved a great deal," said Bohl. "He's really progressed as a MIKE linebacker, and it has been a significant change for him. It was a move that he wanted to make, and we had a need there. He has really good running ability, but he's never played in tight space before. That has probably been the biggest hurdle for him to overcome, but I thought the last few days that he has really made a breakthrough."

Saturday will see the Cowboys conduct their first scrimmage of fall camp. Bohl said it would not be as long of a scrimmage as his teams normally conduct in fall practice.

"We'll have a scrimmage tomorrow and right now we're planning on a scrimmage of about 42 plays, which is lighter than what we've normally done in the fall," said Bohl. "But that is an indication of the fact we've had a pretty aggressive camp. We will give work to some of the guys we think need to get extra work. We'll also hold some guys out tomorrow."

The players being held out will be some of the Cowboy veterans such as senior defensive end Eddie Yarbrough, sophomore running back Brian Hill and junior linebacker Lucas Wacha.

"Brian Hill was held out of practice today, and he won't scrimmage tomorrow," said Bohl. "But he's okay, we held him out as a precautionary measure. He's getting some tightness in his hamstrings. We'll look at holding out some other individuals, and will make those decisions prior to the scrimmage.

"Lucas is taking some reps in practice, but he's still nursing a hamstring pull. We're probably a couple days away from having him go full speed.

"We also won't have Tavita Faaiu (junior defensive end) as he is still going through concussion protocol. We anticipate we'll have him back for the first game. But he's still a couple days away from us integrating him back into full contact.

"We've had 10 concussions this fall camp, and I think we had nine all of last season. But we're starting to get those guys back."

Bohl also announced to media following Friday morning's practice that two Cowboys will be suspended for games for violation of team rules. Redshirt freshman free safety Adam Pilapil will be suspended for one game, and redshirt freshman running back Nico Evans will be suspended for two games. Bohl said he would have no further comment on those suspensions.

In terms of the decision to conduct a lighter than normal scrimmage, Bohl was asked if he thought it would enable his coaching staff to still get a good evaluation of their players at this stage of fall camp.

"This is a decision that I've wrestled with back and forth," said Bohl. "It is a balance between getting enough work in to be able to evaluate some of the players that we still need to take a hard look at and at the same time balancing that with making sure we go into our first game healthy. Any time you scrimmage, you expose your team to injury. But there is a balance that has to be struck.

"Some of our veteran players, I don't know that they need a whole lot more work. Other guys do."

"In the secondary, we need to take a hard look at who is going to be playing," added Bohl. "At cornerback, Robert Priester has proven that he can play at this level. How much work we give him in the scrimmage may be limited. But Anthony Makransky, Antonio Hull, Tyran Finley and some of the other players are all going to need to get some work in tomorrow. They're playing better. They're more confident, and they're paying more attention to detail, but tomorrow will be another step forward for those guys."

Bohl was asked if redshirt senior quarterback Cam Coffman would participate in Saturday's scrimmage.

"He'll probably get some work," said Bohl. "What we've liked from Cam (Coffman) this camp is he has a good understanding of where to throw the football and how to get us in and out of plays. He's managed the offense well. While it's his first year in our offense, he's not a first-year player. Cam has certainly displayed a passion for his work, and we've appreciated that."

At the place-kicking position, Bohl said that the team would be working more on the kicking game in Friday afternoon's practice. He described the performance of the place-kickers as inconsistent.

"We have some guys who have good ability. They can strike the ball well, but we need more consistency," said Bohl.

Fans may access additional coverage of Wyoming Cowboy football fall camp through GoWyo.com/videos, WyomingAthletics on YouTube, @wyoathletics on Twitter and wyoathletics on Facebook.

Fans interested in purchasing tickets to 2015 Wyoming Cowboy Football games may go online at www.GoWyo.com/tickets, may call the UW Athletics Ticket Office at 877-WYO-FAN1 (877-996-3261) or 307-766-4850 or may stop by the ticket office on the west side of UW's Arena-Auditorium.

2015 University of Wyoming Football Fall Practice Schedule

Monday, Aug. 10- 9:30 a.m. (Non-contact, Helmets, Practice #1) 1:00-2:00 p.m. (Media Day Luncheon in Wildcatter Stadium Club & Suites) 2:00-3:00 p.m. (Media Day Interviews on Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium)

Tuesday, Aug. 11 - 9:00 a.m. (Non-contact, Helmets Practice #2)

Wednesday, Aug. 12 - 9:00 a.m. (Shoulder Pads, Practice #3)

Thursday, Aug. 13 - 9:00 a.m. (Shoulder Pads, Practice #4)

Friday, Aug. 14 - 9:00 a.m. (Full Pads, Practice #5)

Saturday, Aug. 15 - 8:50 a.m. (Practice #6) - 3:50 p.m. (Practice #7)

Sunday, Aug. 16 - 2:45 p.m. (Practice #8)

Monday, Aug. 17 - 9:00 a.m. (Practice #9) - 3:50 p.m. (Practice #10)

Tuesday, Aug. 18 - 9:00 a.m. (Practice #11)

Wednesday, Aug. 19 - 9:00 a.m. (Practice #12) - 3:50 p.m. (Practice #13)

Thursday, Aug. 20 - 9:00 a.m. (Practice #14)

Friday, Aug. 21 - 9:20 a.m. (Practice #15) - 3:50 p.m. (Practice #16)

Saturday, Aug. 22 - 11:00 a.m. (Closed Scrimmage, Practice #17)

Sunday, Aug. 23 - 3:30 p.m. (Practice #18)

Monday, Aug. 24 - 8:50 a.m. (Practice #19) - 3:50 p.m. (Practice #20)

Tuesday, Aug. 25 - 9:50 a.m. (Practice #21)

Wednesday, Aug. 26 - 9:50 a.m. (Practice #22)

Thursday, Aug. 27 - 9:00 a.m. (Practice #23)

Friday, Aug. 28 - 9:20 a.m. (Practice #24)

Saturday, Aug. 29 - No practice Monday,

Aug. 31 - First Weekly Press Conference at Noon