Despite Loss at Oregon, Wyoming Football Has a Bright Future with Craig Bohl

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The Wyoming Cowboys went into No. 2 Oregon’s imposing home, Autzen Stadium, and did something only USC in 2011 and Stanford the last two seasons accomplished. Wyoming held the Ducks without a first-quarter point.

There was just far too much working against the Cowboys in Saturday’s contest and Oregon rolled to a 48-14 win. But more so than in the previous two games of the Craig Bohl era, both wins, Wyoming football proved that its future is bright under its new, championship-winning head coach.

On the same day that Bohl’s new team went into Autzen Stadium and stood toe-to-toe with the national championship contenders for a quarter, his old team, North Dakota State, hosted College Gameday.

That’s perhaps the most telling indicator of just how great the heights Bohl coached the Bison to in his run there. He built the program into something so strong, it could attract ESPN’s flagship show to Fargo for two straight seasons.

Bohl has work to do if College Gameday is ever going to make it out to Laramie, Wyoming, the highest elevation in the FBS. But he’s laying the foundation in short order.

North Dakota State’s run of three national championships under Bohl were won with an old-school philosophy of run-based, power offense complementing a tenacious defense.

Defense has certainly been the first part of the equation Bohl has emphasized in his brief tenure leading Wyoming football. The Cowboys held Week 1 and 2 opponents Montana and Air Force to 25 combined points.

While the nation’s most explosive offensive team proved too much for the Cowboys over four quarters, that first quarter was an indication of just how much Bohl has been able to transform Wyoming in a short time.

Offensively, no one is going to confuse Wyoming football for Oregon any time soon. The Cowboys have yet to score in the 20s in any of their three games this season.

However, they gained 439 yards against the Ducks on Saturday.

“I definitely feel like we’re encouraged,” running back D.J. May said in the postgame press conference via GoDucks.com. “We got some things accomplished today. We still have a lot to learn, but we definitely got better today.”

And Wyoming football will only continue to get better under Bohl. The Cowboys could be surprise contenders in the Mountain West’s Mountain division this season. If they aren’t this year, they will be soon.