Sunday, October 12, 2008

Play of the Game: Stutzriem to Bolling

UW photo service
Wyoming receiver Greg Bolling hauls in an 18-yard touchdown pass against Utah. Pictured below is quarterback Chris Stutzriem.

By Richard Anderson

Easily the highlight for the Cowboys in Saturday‘s tough 40-7 loss to Utah at War Memorial Stadium came in the fourth quarter when third-string quarter Chris Stutzriem hit junior wide receiver Greg Bolling for an 18-yard touchdown pass.

Not only was it the only score for the Cowboys against the No. 13 Utes, but it is the only touchdown in four Mountain West Conference games for Wyoming. In the four losses, the Cowboys have been out-scored 131-10.

So what does it mean for Stutzriem and Bolling? It could be more possible playing time for the red shirt freshman quarterback and if nothing else, at least a touchdown in the season stats for Bolling, who has other wise struggled this season.

Bottom line for Stutzriem, though, is it was still a loss for the Cowboys.

The touchdown was a good feeling, but it still wasn’t great because we got a loss,” Stutzriem said.
It was the second time that all four Wyoming quarterbacks played in the game -- the other was in the 45-16 loss to Bowling Green.

After the game, Wyoming head coach Joe Glenn admitted that the quarterback carousel will likely have to continue until one quarterback steps up ands gets the job done.

Would Stutzriem like to be the starting quarterback in the future? Of course. If he is not, he said he will support whomever it is.

“I believe in all four of these guys. (Ian) Hetrick, Dax (Crum), (Karsten) Sween, we can do it,” Stutzriem said. “People have to realize that it takes time. But hopefully I do get to play, but if not, I’m going to back the guys just like they would back me.”

With Sween struggling, Crum and Hetrick also took a few snaps before Stutzriem got his chance in the fourth quarter. He said he just did his job, despite waiting on the sidelines in the whirling wind and cold.

“You have to be ready. That is the part about being a backup quarterback,” Stutzriem said. “You always have to be ready. “We’re D-1 athletes for a reason; we have to be ready to go and take the opportunity as we get it.”

Like all of the Cowboys who talked to the media after the loss, Stutzriem was disappointed not only with the outcome, but with how the Wyoming offense is performing. The Cowboys again had five turnovers in the game -- three interceptions, one fumble and one muffed punt return. Utah also blocked a punt for a touchdown.

“It was tough. We were ready for this game, we had a good game plan, coaches did a great job of getting us ready,” Stutzriem said. “But we lost another tough one. If anything, we ended on what I believe was a good note.”

Observing from the sidelines, Stutzriem said they are not doing the little things they have to do to be successful.

“Sometimes plays are there and were not catching it, we’re not making the throws. We have good players we just have to do the little things., then that will take care of the big picture.”

Bolling’s touchdown catch was his first of the season and only his 14th reception for 130 yards. Those statistics lead the Cowboys. It certainly isn’t the type of season he had envisioned as he made his way back to the program after academic struggles last spring.

Then again, other than a decent running game, there isn’t much to celebrate offensively for the Cowboys this season.

“We have to go back to the fundamentals and basics and try to take care of the ball. That’s No. 1,” Bolling said. “After that, it goes to our assignments. We have too many holding penalties that stop drives. We just can’t have that, especially against a Top 15 team in the nation, they are going to hurt you. We have to clean up the little things.”

With the way things are going offensively for the Cowboys, even Bolling’s touchdown catch was questionable if he got at least one foot in bounds on the sidelines of the end zone.

“Anybody will think they got their feet in when they (officials) are out their with two hands up and saying touchdown. We’ll look at it on film. Either way it goes, it is a touchdown in the stat book for me,” Bolling said. “Hopefully that can get us going a little bit, a little momentum in the fourth quarter. Hopefully it carries over in two weeks against TCU.”

When asked if the Stutzriem to Bolling connection could continue, Bolling said he has faith in the young signal caller and all of the quarterbacks.

“He came in and did a wonderful job,” Bolling said of Stutzriem. “I think all of the our quarterbacks have the capability to play. Even though sometimes things don’t got the way that they ant to, I think all of our quarterbacks are capable. Stutz came in and did a good job of moving us down the field. I think that is good for his confidence, as well as for the team.”

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