Notebook: Right tackle Brinkley Jolly starts again in relief for Wyoming
LARAMIE — Brinkley Jolly is the third player to start at right tackle for Wyoming this season, but he’s far more experienced than your standard third-stringer.
Jolly started seven games for Wyoming last season, including the Mountain West Football Championship Game and the Poinsettia Bowl. Wyoming won three of those games, including upsets of No. 13 Boise State and No. 24 San Diego State.
Saturday, he played his first snaps of 2017, starting at right tackle in Wyoming’s 42-3 defeat of New Mexico.
“It felt good,” he said. “I guess it’s kind of like old times. But it did, it felt really good to be out with my teammates and have fun doing what we love to do.”
Wyoming’s initial starting right tackle, Alonzo Velazquez, has missed the last three games with a meniscus tear, and its second right tackle, Ryan Cummings, who started the year at left guard, is hospitalized with an illness.
“We appreciate Brink,” Bohl said. “He went in and he played and we were able to play the football. It wasn’t like there was a big red flag out there: ‘We’ve got Brink in, and he can’t hold up.’ Brink did a nice job.”
Jolly started in place of Cummings last year after Cummings suffered a season-ending foot injury.
“I think it’s helped me a lot,” Jolly said of that experience. “I think it’s helped a lot more in the mental part of the game. More than I thought. Just understanding the game and how it’s played and seeing a lot of different things last season, just gaining knowledge of the game, I think really helped me.”
Jolly missed spring camp with shoulder surgery and said it took a while for him to be able to lift weights without feeling pain.
On Saturday, Wyoming’s offense had its best performance against a Mountain West team this year in terms of total yards (309).
“I had a little bit of jitters this time,” Jolly said. “A little rough. Just, it’s been a while. But I think after that first drive, I think as a whole team, we just got in the groove of things.”
Velazquez is expected to return and start for Saturday’s game against Colorado State.
Before Saturday, Dontae Crow’s last catch was in the 2016 Shrine Bowl. Now the redshirt freshman receiver from Sheridan has a 5-yard reception from Josh Allen to his name.
“I was nervous on the first ball he threw to me,” Crow said, “but that’s my second target, so it’s good to have the catch now.”
It came on a second-and-12 play with Wyoming up 35-0 on New Mexico.
“It was a bubble screen, and right when I lined up, I was like, ‘I’m getting the ball,’ just because my guy was super far off,” Crow said.
“And I was like, ‘OK, so just see if I can make someone miss,’ and they both closed on me, so I was like, ‘Just try to lower my shoulder a little bit,’ and it worked a little bit.”
Along with Austin Conway and Avante’ Cox, the 5-foot-9 Crow is part of a group of smaller, speedier receivers on Wyoming’s offense.
“I learn a lot from them both, and we all just work off each other,” Crow said. “We all bring different things. ... (Receivers coach Mike) Grant has helped me a ton, just working on my feet and everything, and then Josh is a great quarterback, so anything with him just helps me out.”
Crow, who grew up in Laramie, said he always wanted to play for Wyoming.
“It’s been a blast,” he said. “Just growing up, you always look up to the Cowboys and stuff, and finally being here is just sweet.”