What happens when you lose your 1st and 2nd string quarterbacks, the opponent scores 38 unanswered, you don't take advantage of early offensive success, and your defense doesn't touch the QB and cant get off of the field? Well, usually nothing good, but head coach Craig Bohl saw some good in a day filled with negatives.
"We didn't do tons of good things but i think there were some positive things out of the game" said Bohl after the 38-29 Loss to Eastern Michigan. Regarding the early departure of promising and athletic junior college transfer QB Josh Allen due to a shoulder injury Bohl had this to say: "Injuries do happen and we need to respond better.... I really was encourage by our rushing attack... Quite frankly, the way we were running the football, we had a shot to flip it around."
Everyone expected Wyoming's rushing attack to be effective and, unlike the opener vs North Dakota, against Eastern Michigan it was. Brian Hill rushed for 242 yards, Shaun Wick added another 76, and 3rd String QB Nick Smith (3 for 13, 0 yards) added 2 Rushing touchdowns and 65 rushing yards in a failed effort to comeback after Eastern Michigan sprinted out to a 38-7 lead.
As the score would indicate, this loss wasn't really about an ineffective Cowboy offense. The Wyoming offense did fail to take advantage of early opportunities to put up points as they made their way into EMU territory many times in the first half, but another area of concern, the kicking game, let the Cowboys down: freshman place kicker Tristan Thomson missed 2 out of 3 makeable field goals, which contributed to the Cowboys netting only 14 early points .
As disappointing as this early offensive output was, this game was more about the inability of the Wyoming defense to get stops when they needed them. The EMU Eagles 2nd string QB Brogan Roback went 17 of 24 for 330 yards and three touchdowns and no interceptions. Not surprisingly, based on the Cowboys' lack of pressure, the Eagles converted 7 out of 12 third-down attempts. Says Bohl: "Kudos to them (EMU) they had an unbalanced line they had an uncovered receiver, that one was a bust and there was another one that was a short TD but on a lot of the other ones on 3rd down the (EMU) quarterback is running around finding an open guy."
When you sat down to count Wyoming wins and losses before the 2015 campaign began did you count Eastern Michigan as a victory? Well... that is a story for another day, but it can quite easily be argued that Wyoming won't be favored in any upcoming game left on it's schedule. Bohl, however, is clearly looking to a brighter future:
"I thought as the game came along our schemes adjusted and, although we stubbed our toe a little bit on one drive, my assessment is that we did a pretty good job of blocking.... When the dust all settles that's our brand of football right there. I think that everybody that was here saw a glimpse of that and that's where we need to go."