Wyoming Spring Football Points of Focus: Rush Defense

Published: Apr. 20, 2023 at 12:09 AM CDT
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - Entering last season, a lack of experience was a concern for the front seven of Wyoming’s defense.

That’s no longer the case.

Multiple key starters are returning, including the tandem of Jordan Bertagnole and Cole Godbout in the trenches.

“When you know, when you just feel what they’re gonna do, and so you can just adjust or just work off that, it’s really important just so we don’t have any gaps in our defense,” said returning Graduate Cole Godbout.

“Yea, it’s gonna be fun. Me and Cole are like two peas in a pod, we always are doing everything together, so it’s a good time and to have him back is gonna be huge because he’s an extremely talented player,” Redshirt Junior Jordan Bertagnole said.

The front four of Braden Siders, Godbout, Bertagnole, and devonne Harris will all be back in the brown and gold. Behind them, Easton Gibbs, Shae Suiaunoa, and Cole Demarzo return as well.

While learning on the job, the defense allowed 153.5 rush yards per game (73rd in CFB), and 1.3 rushing touchdowns per game (45th in CFB). Those numbers could be in for a boost behind the strength of one word: confidence.

“I think it means a lot. I mean, last year we started off with a lot of guys that were really young, everybody knew that. Played really well, but it’s definitely a different stage coming back with a lot of older guys that have that game experience. It’s not really like ‘getting the jitters out’, it’s kinda more like ‘let’s start fast, let’s go do this thing,’” said Junior Easton Gibbs., who tallied 121 tackles last year.

“I think a lot of us gained a lot of confidence from last season. I think it helps, that firsty game against Illinois, like Easton was saying, we had to get some jitters out, for sure. I think as a whole defense we have a ton of confidence,” said Braden Siders, who led the team with 13.5 tackles for loss last year.

While the injury bug has changed the picture for much of this group, most expect to be full-go by summer and are preparing for the season ahead.