The Pokes were a little bit good, bad, and ugly on Saturday during their road trip to Ohio. In today’s college football a win is a win even if it is a bit ugly and it’s hard to complain about Saturday considering the Pokes were ten point dogs and matched their win total from last year in the first three games of the new season. Don’t look at the three down portion of this list as a series of complaints but as constructive criticism meant to help the Pokes acheive the goals they wish to reach this year. Now on to the list!
Kick Block Unit
Two blocked kicks denying the opportunity for Bowling Green to score four points was obviously huge in the one point victory. Both Biezuns and Gabe Knapton’s “beard of doom” got their hands on the extra point that sealed the win in the closing seconds. It was an unreal turn of events and shows you that extra points are never automatic (just ask Tony Romo). It also shows this Wyoming team has real drive and a never say die attitude which is good. Knapton in the post game interview said he switched places with Biezuns on that extra point so he would have a better chance to block the kick. I would say that was a very wise choice! Wyoming under Dave Christensen has quietly become Virginia Tech lite in the kick blocking department blocking four kicks in 2009 and 2010 with three already in the 2011 season.
Ogbonna quietly had a good game with six catches for 79 yards which improved him to second on the team in receptions with 14 on the year. This is a great sign for Ogbonna as the JUCO transfer only had 18 catches all of last year. Most of his catches this year have been underneath routes that kept drives alive and perhaps this is a role he can thrive in. The Pokes have plenty of speed on the outside with McNeil, Herron and Rufran so there is room for Ogbonna to become a solid possession receiver in the mold of David Leonard. His improved play will be vital for the offense as we progress into Mountain West play.
All things considered the Pokes did a good job on the road given the level of youth on the team. Brett Smith did very well overall in his first road start even though his decision making and reads seemed to be a bit slower than they were at home. Turnovers were not a widespread problem with just a single fumble being the lone setback and the Cowboys did not have an excessive amount of penalties with only four flags for 29 yards. This road victory should provide confidence to the team and having been put in a tough situation in their first road test the next road game in Logan, Utah against Utah State will be easier to mentally prepare for.
What is that old saying? The only thing the prevent defense does is prevent you from winning the game. Luckily the Cowboys blocked the extra point because Bowling Green may very well have won the game in OT with big Moe on their side. The fact that the defensive coaching staff switched to a soft prevent defense when the base defense basically shut down the Falcons in the second half is laughable. On the first five drives in the second half playing the normal base defense the Cowboys did not allow a single point to Bowling Green. Under the soft prevent defense that was used starting at the 5:49 mark Bowling Green Had scoring drives of 67 and 89 yards cutting through our defense with ease. Hopefully the coaching staff will learn from this and next time they will keep the prevent defense where it belongs stashed away in the back corner of the locker room.
Wyoming on both sides of the ball played wildly inconsistent at times. The offense needs to do a better job of moving the ball on a more consistent basis. The offense right now is like a mining town, boom or bust. Either we score or we go three and out, it would be nice to see the offense get a few first downs to help flip the field for the defense. The good news is even with these inconsistencies they pulled out the win but it is something that needs to be cleaned up for future games. This is easily fixable as some of this inconsistency was due to coaching decisions like the prevent defense and some was due to the execution of the plays and schemes. These kinks will need to be worked out if the Cowboys have any chance of winning their final two non-conference games before Mountain West play opens.
500 Yard Club
Partly because of the two points listed above, for the second time in three games the Wyoming defense has given up over 500 yards of total offense. Allowing this amount of yardage is not at all ideal and will not cut it in the remaining games on the schedule. The Wyoming players and coaches need to make sure they prepare, preform and adjust like they did against Texas State. The offense is bound to have a bad game or two at some point and a defense that gives up huge amounts of yardage on a regular basis does not give the team a chance to win.
Topics: Beard Of Doom, Blocked Kicks, Bowling Green, Chris McNeill, Dave Christensen, Dominic Rufran, Gabe Knapton, Josh Biezuns, Kill The Prevent Defense, Mazi Ogbonna, Robert Herron, Virginia Tech, Wyoming