LARAMIE — Wyoming has a little more time than usual before its next game. Head coach Craig Bohl, his staff and his players plan on using every bit of it to their advantage.
The Cowboys enter their second bye week of the season with their bowl hopes still intact following a 24-9 win over San Jose State on Saturday. The victory gave Wyoming its first winning streak of the season, one the Cowboys won’t get a chance to extend until Nov. 17 when Air Force visits War Memorial Stadium for the Cowboys’ home finale.
“I think we’ll use this week to maintain our health so we can keep trying to win these last two games,” linebacker Logan Wilson said.
That’s part of the plan for the open date. Bohl said he felt like his team is “pretty doggone healthy” considering how late it is in the season, though there are a few players the Cowboys are trying to get back to full strength.
Logan Harris got the start in place of true freshman Zach Watts at left guard against SJSU and remained at the top of the depth chart this week as Watts continues to nurse a patellar injury. Bohl said Watts will likely practice on a limited basis this week before a determination is made on his availability.
The week off should make Rocket Ismail Jr. probable for Air Force, Bohl said, after the junior receiver missed last week’s game with a knee injury. Freshman Miles Williams, a contributor on special teams, is going through protocol after suffering a concussion against SJSU.
Bohl said cornerback C.J. Coldon’s strength is “still lacking a little bit.” The redshirt freshman hasn’t played since taking a hit to his arm against Missouri on Sept. 8.
Bohl said his players would divide most of their time Monday between meetings and workouts before returning to a full-scale practice Tuesday. Wyoming will also practice Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday with coaches being in and out during the week to take advantage of the current evaluation period in recruiting.
Football Bowl Subdivision programs are allowed 42 days from September to November where coaches can watch a recruit at his school once during that time. Bohl said he and his staff will disperse beyond their primary footprint of Wyoming, Colorado and Nebraska and also hit Texas, California and Chicago to evaluate prospects.
“I think in our geographical area, we’ve got a pretty good pulse on where our guys are at,” Bohl said. “We’ll probably stretch our wings a little bit.”
That doesn’t mean there won’t be time for Wyoming to begin its initial preparation for Air Force, which is churning out its usual amount of yards on the ground with its triple-option offense. The Falcons, who have finished in the top 5 nationally in rushing yards each of the last three seasons, are 14th in the FBS at 241 yards per game on the ground heading into this week’s game against New Mexico.
The Cowboys have had as much success as anybody slowing Air Force down recently. Wyoming has won two in a row against the Falcons, holding them to 176 rushing yards and 3.6 yards per rush during that time.
Wyoming would like to continue that trend as it tries to stay in the postseason picture, which is why the Cowboys will take all the extra time they can get in preparing for one of college football’s more unique offenses.
“(Air Force) coach (Troy) Calhoun and the schemes that they do are really, really challenging,” Bohl said. “They’ve forgotten more about defending the triple option than what we know. I think we’re pretty adept at that, but it’s a big, big challenge. We’ll take advantage of the time we have.”
Game time set
Wyoming announced Monday that the Air Force game on Nov. 17 will kick off at 2 p.m. and be broadcast on ESPNEWS.