The 2015 season opener for the Wyoming Cowboys is only eight days away. As the Cowboys wrap up the fall camp portion of their preparations, they now shift their focus to the opener versus the University of North Dakota on Saturday, Sept. 5 in Laramie.
Following Friday morning's practice, head coach Craig Bohl gave his assessment of the Cowboys as they completed their 24th practice of fall camp.
"We're pleased! As a coach, there are always things you've got to fix, but we're pleased with the trajectory of this team," said Bohl. "This team is more athletic. They understand our systems better, and they are more confident, so I'm pleased. But there is more work to be done."
Bohl also provided media, who he met with after practice, a summary of Friday's practice.
"We were in half pads today, and I thought we started out practice with really good tempo," said Bohl. "We spent some more time on the kicking game again today.
"I thought our quarterbacks were really throwing the ball well, particularly Cam (Coffman). He had a good rhythm.
"At running back, Brian Hill's legs look really good, and I think our second team offensive line is starting to come around, which is good for depth at that position. Zach Wallace is a true freshman, who we are really encouraged by his play -- to the point we feel comfortable with him playing on either side at tackle.
Hill had been held out of some recent practice due to tightness in his hamstrings. Wacha pulled a hamstring on the first day of fall practice and was only able to return late last week. In regard to the kicking game, Bohl was asked what he was looking at when evaluating the kickers who are currently in camp.
"I feel good about our kick-off game and our punt game," said Bohl. "At the place-kicking position, we're rotating several guys. We're looking for more consistency. They can all hit a 53-yarder once every two times, but what we're looking for is the guy who can nail the 40-yarder time after time after time, and we're not there yet. We rotated a couple guys through there today, and we'll put some pressure on those guys to perform tomorrow."
The Cowboys will have a closed scrimmage on Saturday, that will be an opportunity for some younger players who may be redshirting an opportunity to play in a game situation. The players and coaches will not be meeting with media after Saturday's practice. The players will get their first time off following Saturday's practice since opening fall camp on Monday, Aug. 10.
"We'll look at some of the guys who didn't get a lot of scrimmage reps last week," said Bohl. "We're going to give them a chance to show what they can do, and a lot of those guys are on the scout team. The amount of full-contact work for our experienced players is going to be very minimal."
With fall camp wrapping up this weekend, Bohl was questioned about who were some of the biggest surprises of fall camp.
"I'd say Josh Harshman is a big surprise," said Bohl. "He'll be a guy who will play this year. Josh was a very talented quarterback and defensive player out of Natrona County. The tight end position was somewhat foreign to him. We thought he had the potential to be a good tight end, but he has exceeded our expectations. The progression of Zach Wallace (offensive tackle) is another guy. We're really pleased with his progress. Over on defense, (Andrew) Wingard (free safety) is a guy who we had high expectations for, and he is going to see significant playing time, as well."
"We'll continue to take a look at Kellen Overstreet at running back and try and determine whether we're going to play him or redshirt him. Over on defense, there are a couple guys in the secondary that we'll take a hard look at, as well."
The head coach was also asked who he sees potentially serving as Wyoming's kick-off and punt-return specialists.
"We're very close to finalizing our return men," said Bohl. "You'll see D.J. May back on kickoffs. I don't know who will be opposite him just yet. Right now at punt returner, Tanner (Gentry) would probably be our man. Some of the other guys are doing well, but we want to have a sure-handed guy back there for the first ball game."
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 Schedule
Date Opponent (Special Events) Time (M.T.) Television
Sat., Sept. 5 NORTH DAKOTA (# Multiple Events) 2:00 p.m. No TV
Sat., Sept. 12 EASTERN MICHIGAN (% Multiple Events) 2:00 p.m. ROOT SPORTS
Sat., Sept. 19 at Washington State 6:30 p.m. PAC-12 Networks
Sat., Sept. 26 NEW MEXICO* (Ag Day, Family Weekend) 1:00 p.m. ROOT SPORTS
Sat., Oct. 3 at Appalachian State TBA TBA
Sat., Oct. 10 at Air Force* TBA ESPN Networks
Sat., Oct. 17 NEVADA* (Homecoming) TBA ESPN Networks
Sat., Oct. 24 at Boise State* TBA ESPN Networks
Fri., Oct. 30 at Utah State* 8:15 p.m. ESPN2
Sat., Nov. 7 COLORADO STATE* TBA ESPN Networks
Sat., Nov. 14 at San Diego State* 8:30 p.m. CBSSN
Sat., Nov. 21 BYE
Sat., Nov. 28 UNLV* Noon ROOT SPORTS
Sat., Dec. 5 MW Championship Game+ 5:30 p.m. ESPN2
BOLD AND CAPS Indicate Home games *Indicates Mountain West Conference games Additional game times will be announced at future dates.
# Special events for the Sept. 5 game versus North Dakota include: Celebrate Energy Day and Hall of Fame Weekend
% Special events for the Sept. 12 game versus Eastern Michigan include: Band Day, Fan Fest and Military Appreciation Day
+The Mountain West Football Championship Game will be played at the home stadium of the divisional champion with the highest national ranking.