Wyoming Cowboys

QB transfer will play safety for the Utah Utes

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When quarterback Jason Thompson transferred from the Wyoming Cowboys to the Utah Utes last year, he did so to play under former head coach Dave Christensen, who was named Utah’s offensive coordinator.

After only one year in Salt Lake City, Christensen left the program to become the offensive line coach and run game coordinator with the Texas A&M Aggies.

Thompson’s time as a quarterback also ran its course in Utah. The junior will change positions during spring practice, according to Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham.

Thompson is already accustomed to making position switches. As a true freshman, he started one game at running back and another at quarterback.

The Utes lost both of its starting safeties, Eric Rowe and Brian Blechen, to graduation after the 2014 campaign. Thompson will have an opportunity to compete for playing time after sitting out the past two seasons.

No. 2 Oregon continues to win despite losing time of possession

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Oregon opponents shouldn’t worry about trying to win the time of possession battle. The Ducks don’t care how long you hold they ball. Oregon expects score as soon as its gets the football.

The No. 2 Ducks’ 48-14 victory over the Wyoming Cowboys proves a team can hold the football the majority of the time and still not come close to defeating Oregon.

Former Oregon head coach Chip Kelly never cared how long Oregon had the ball on offense. Current head coach Mark Helfrich operates with the same philosophy.

Craig Bohl‘s squad held the ball 15 minutes longer than Oregon. Yet Oregon still accumulated 556 total yards of offense. Only one Oregon drive lasted longer than five minutes, and that came in the fourth quarter while the Ducks led 42-7.

Quarterback Marcus Mariota is the maestro of the Ducks’ offense. Mariota continued his march toward an appearance at the Heisman Trophy presentation in New York City with another stellar performance against the Cowboys. The junior signal caller was 19-of-23 passing for 221 yards. He has yet to throw an interception during Oregon’s 3-0 start to the season. Mariota also finished second on the team with 71 rushing yards on five carries.

The downfall of Oregon’s nonchalant attitude toward time of possession is leaving its defense on the field to yield massive amounts of yardage. Wyoming amassed 439 yards of total offense. A far more talented team on offense will give Oregon troubles at some point this season once its ability to control the football results in points.

Until then, Oregon remains one of the best teams in college football. And the Ducks will continue to score in bunches while allowing opponents to take as long as they want on offense.

Halftime: No. 2 Ducks overcome slow start to fly past Cowboys

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The Wyoming Cowboys gave the No. 2 Oregon Ducks a scare in the first quarter before Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota took over during the second frame. Oregon entered halftime with a 27-7 lead.

But an opponent can never underestimate a team lead by Craig Bohl.

During Bohl’s final four seasons at FCS-power North Dakota State, the Bison beat Kansas, Minnesota, Colorado State and Kansas State. Bohl is looking for his first marquee win as the head coach of the Wyoming Cowboys, and he preferred it came at the expense of the No. 2 Oregon Ducks.

The Ducks had their hands full with the visiting Cowboys during the opening frame. Wyoming took an early 7-0 lead on an 18-yard touchdown pass to Tanner Gentry from quarterback Colby Kirkegaard.

Mariota responded during the first play of the second quarter. The quarterback bolted 15 yards to find pay dirt.

It was Mariota’s next touchdown run, though, which ignited the Ducks’ offense. With Oregon leading 13-7, Mariota rolled to his right and took off toward the end zone before he showed Oregon fans his best impersonation of Superman. The lead was extended to 27-7 before the half when Mariota found Devon Allen in the end zone for a 16-yard touchdown connection. Mariota finished the half with 149 passing yards and 58 rushing yards.

Wyoming simply doesn’t have the athletes on either side of the ball to keep up with the Ducks. The Cowboys executed their game plan in the first half. Bohl’s team held the ball for over 20 minutes. But they only managed one score. Wyoming will have to play mistake-free football and slow Oregon’s offense in the second half to have a chance against Mariota and his Ducks.