Sign of the Arrival of Cowboys on the National Scene: Game at Boise State on "The" ESPN

Tracy Ringolsby

Craig Bohl was upfront in his initial conversations about becoming the head coach of the Wyoming football team.

"When I sat with Tom (Burman, athletic director) I remember talking about his desire to play Cowboy Tough Football and what it embodies," Bohl said Monday. "It was not going to be a quick fix. We are at a point now where we need to put the pedal to the medal. Things are beginning to come into play. There is a foundation of building blocks for the long-term success. This is where I thought we would be.

"I always say people remember November. We are playing very meaningful games in November. That means a lot to Cowboy fans and to our program."

How meaningful? On Monday, it was announced that the Cowboys game at Boise State on Nov. 9 with kickoff at 8:15 p.m., MDT, and will be telecast on ESPN.

"We are excited about going in and playing," said Bohl. "It's going to be an 8:15 game and it's going to be on ESPN," said Bohl. "Normally these games are on ESPN2, but this is going to be on ESPN. That gives you an indication of the gravity of the game."

It is the first time the Cowboys will appear on ESPN since the 2017 Idaho Potato Bowl, which was played at Albertson's Stadium, the home of Boise State.

The Cowboys are 1-12 against Boise State, the lone win coming in 2016 when the Cowboys earned the Mountain West Mountain Division spot in the conference title game by virtue of that victory. Boise has responded with victories the past two seasons.

Bohl, however, feels things are changing.

"We have a great deal of respect for Boise State and their administration," said Bohl. "They have won a lot of football games. This is going to be a new opportunity for us. I feel confident we have a fortitude football team coming in as opposed to hoping for some things with smoke and mirrors."

MOVING ON

Assistant coach Willie Mack Garza, who was indefinitely suspended earlier this month after being charged with a DUI, turned in his resignation, it was announced on Monday. Bohl declined further comment.

Bohl said the defensive staff was juggled with defensive coordinator Jake Dickert assuming the safety coach responsibilities, and Aaron Bohl will be the interim linebacker coach, an area Dickert had been overseeing. Defensive quality control coach Adam Pilapil will move into a defensive graduate coach position, an opening created by the move with the Bohl to the linebacker job.

MEDICAL WATCH

Quarterback Sean Chambers underwent an MRI on his left knee, which Bohl said showed "structurally everything is good. We will get more information as the week goes on." Chambers sat out the second half of Saturday's win against Nevada because of a hit he took on the knee in the first half.

Tyler Vander Waal, who had been the starting quarterback to open the 2018 season but was eventually replaced by Chambers, filled in for two series in the first half, and then quarterback the entire second half. Chambers was reported to be capable of playing, but the coaching staff did not want to risk creating a bigger problem with the knee.

Bohl also offered updates on injured running backs Trey Smith and Titus Swen. 

Smith, a graduate transfer from Louisville, suffered an ankle injury in the fourth game of the season, and will likely not return until "toward the end of the regular season."

Swen suffered an MCL injury, and "may be a week ahead of (Smith). The injury he had is non-surgical which is a good thing, but a running back take a little longer (then other players) because he has to have that thrust."

Neither offensive right tackle Alonzo Velazquez nor offensive guard Eric Abojei are expected back this season following knee surgeries.

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