Redskins

Wyoming loses another close game 28-27

Wyoming loses another close game 28-27

LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) Wyoming is learning that there is a fine line between winning and losing.

Four of Wyoming's six games so far this season have been decided by no more than three points. The Cowboys have won just one of those games.

On Saturday night, Wyoming fell to Air Force 28-27 after leading 27-21 going into the fourth quarter. The Falcons scored midway through the final quarter after a 16-play, 67-yard drive while the Cowboys managed just two first downs and 32 total yards.

``We didn't execute well enough to win the football game in the second half,'' Wyoming coach Dave Christensen said.

In 2011, Wyoming won all four games decided by three points or less during an 8-5 season in which it earned a bowl berth.

Against Air Force, Wyoming (1-5, 0-2 Mountain West) played without starting quarterback Brett Smith, who was scratched just before the game because of an undisclosed injury. Entering the weekend, Smith was ranked ninth in the nation in total offense, averaging 336 yards a game.

Smith was replaced by freshman Jason Thompson, who passed for 195 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 75 yards.

``You never know what you're going to get when you put a true freshman in at quarterback,'' Christensen said. ``I'm real proud of Jason, he ran the offense extremely well.''

For the second straight week, Wyoming faced and held in check the nation's leading rusher.

Air Force running back Cody Getz, who entered averaging 177.4 yards a game, was held to just 41 yards on 10 carries. He left the game late in the third quarter with a lower left leg injury. The previous week, Wyoming held Nevada's Stefphon Jefferson, who was averaging 175.4 yards a game, to 78 yards.

The Falcons entered the game averaging 389.6 rushing yards a contest - second in the nation.

Wyoming held Air Force to 230 rushing yards on 51 carries.

``It seemed like we held their run game at bay a little bit for them averaging 400 yards coming into the game,'' Cowboys linebacker Korey Jones, who had 10 tackles, said. ``But all that goes out the window when you lose.''

The Cowboys gave up two long TD passes - a 41-yard strike from Connor Dietz to Don Strickland and 46-yard score from Dietz to Ty MacArthur.

Still, the Cowboys led 27-21 entering the fourth quarter, thanks to a 9-yard run by Shaun Wick, 4-yard TD pass from Thompson to Chris McNeill, 1-yard run by D.J. May and two field goals by Stuart Williams.

When Dietz was shaken up after being tackled on Wyoming's 5-yard line on a short run, backup Kale Pearson came in on third and goal, faked a handoff and sprinted around the right end, diving for the pylon at the front corner of the end zone. He was initially ruled out of bounds, but a review of the play revealed that he got the ball over the pylon for a touchdown.

``I knew it was going to be close,'' Pearson said. ``I knew it right when I turned around I would have to dive. I was just happy the coach had faith in me to run a bootleg.''

Dietz returned on Air Force's next possession and finished the game.

Christensen was visibly upset with Falcons coach Troy Calhoun after the game.

Christensen later questioned whether Dietz was injured, noting the quarterback walked about 20 yards before taking a knee near the Falcons sideline. He said the several minutes that trainers attended to Dietz gave Air Force time to strategize the next play.

``There was nothing wrong with that player except that his helmet came off,'' Christensen said. ``And I have a real problem with that.''

About eight minutes remained in the game, and the Falcons had all three timeouts remaining.

Before Pearson entered, the referee announced that Dietz, by rule, had to leave the game because his helmet came off.

``In this game we're supposed to be ethical and that's not ethical,'' Christensen said. ``I don't know what they teach at Air Force, but I'm not going to teach that to my kids. I want my guys to get off the field when they're hurt, and we don't want to stop the game.''

Calhoun declined to discuss incident in detail with media.

However, he characterized the conversation with Christensen as ``probably not a conversation that I'd have with my mom. not that kind of dialogue.''

Wyoming outgained Air Force 447-371 and had an 11-minute advantage in time of possession, but the Cowboys failed to score in the final quarter.

Thompson, who completed his first nine pass attempts, failed to complete any of his three attempts in the fourth quarter. He finished 23 of 36 with no interceptions.

``A few balls got away from me that if I would have gotten to our receivers, it probably would have made a big play,'' Thompson said.

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Roster competition, Brown vs. Pryor

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Roster competition, Brown vs. Pryor

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, June 23, 33 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.  

The Redskins week that was

A look at some of the most popular posts and hottest topics of the week on Real Redskins  and NBC Sports Washington.

Post-minicamp Redskins 53-man roster projection—Defense—NFL coaches and others like to tell you that competition determines who wins roster spots in the league. And that may be true to an extent. But many roster spots are predetermined by a player’s contract situation and/or draft status. It is unlikely that an undrafted player like Fish Smithson will win a roster spot over Troy Apke even if the former outperforms the latter in every way during training camp. Apke was a fourth-round pick and they aren’t going to give up on him in favor of an undrafted player. It would cost $3.2 million in dead cap to cut Stacy McGee and only $150,000 to move on from Ziggy Hood so McGee will win a “competition” that is even remotely close. (Offensive projection here)

Redskins will 'have it out' for Terrelle Pryor at training camp—While this is something that could add a little spice to the Jets’ visit to Richmond, don’t look for much of anything to happen. Zach Brown might give a little extra shove to Pryor here and there but he’s not going to do anything that will draw blood or even cause a deep bruise. If nothing else, a big hit on Pryor would invite retaliation by the Jets on Josh Doctson or Paul Richardson. And that might lead to more retaliation and you end up with a brawl like the Redskins and Texans had a couple of years ago.

Trent Williams very much of approves of Smith and Guice—Williams is going into his ninth NFL season and he has yet to be on the winning side of a playoff game. He thinks that Alex Smith and Derrius Guice can help change that. 

The curious case of Alex Smith and the NFL Top 100 list—I normally greet this list with a big yawn and this year was no exception. But I do find the omission of Smith, who led the NFL in passer rating and was third in adjusted net yards per attempt, odd. In an update to this post, the NFL released the names of the top 10 players and Smith is not on it. He shouldn’t be, but he should be somewhere on the 100, perhaps in the middle of the pack. The only Redskins player to appear on the list was Trent Williams at No. 57.

The Redskins' best players who are 25 or younger—It’s likely that nine players who are 25 or younger will line up as starters for the Redskins this year. I don’t have a rundown of how that compares to the rest of the league but it’s notable that in the last two years six of them have replaced players who were either approaching age 30 or over it. I’ll engage in some speculation here and say that five of the young players—Daron Payne, Derrius Guice, Preston Smith, Jonathan Allen, and Montae Nicholson—are good enough to potentially make a Pro Bowl at some point in their careers. 

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCSand follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCSand on Instagram @RichTandler

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Timeline 

Former Redskins defensive tackle Dave Butz was born on this date in 1950. 

Days until:

—Training camp starts (7/26) 33
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 47
—Roster cut to 53 (9/1) 70

The Redskins last played a game 174 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 78 days. 

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GM Brian MacLellan: Capitals are close to re-signing John Carlson

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GM Brian MacLellan: Capitals are close to re-signing John Carlson

DALLAS—The Caps are “really close” to signing star defenseman John Carlson to a long-term extension, GM Brian MacLellan said Friday night.

“We’re getting closer,” MacLellan said following the first round of the NHL Draft. “Hopefully we can get it done here over the next few days. We’re really close.”

Earlier in the day, the Caps cleared significant space under the salary cap ceiling by trading Philipp Grubauer and Brooks Orpik to Colorado for a second round draft pick (47th overall). 

That space will now be used to lock up Carlson, who could become the best defenseman on the open market if he were to reach it.

MacLellan met with Carlson’s agent, Rick Curran, here on Thursday night.

MacLellan did not divulge any figures, but it’s expected that Carlson’s new contract could come in at eight years and $8 million per—or perhaps a bit more. 

He earned $4 million last season.

Carlson had a career year in 2017-18 and was critical during the Caps' run to the Stanley Cup. He led all defensemen in the regular season with 68 points (15 goals, 53 assists). The 28-year-old also skated a career-high 24:47 per game.

MacLellan has long said that re-signing Carlson was the Caps’ top priority this offseason. And now it looks like that could happen within days, assuming the talks do not hit any snags.

“We’re going to do our best to sign John,” MacLellan said. “We’ve said it all along. We waited until the end of the year. We’ve had discussions. We’re close and hopefully we can close the deal here over the next 24 hours.”

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