Inside John Hoyland’s red-hot start to 2023

Published: Sep. 13, 2023 at 3:06 PM CDT
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) -The Cowboys picked up another win on Saturday to move to 2-0 in the young season.

It wasn’t the prettiest overall performance against Portland State, but what’s indisputable is the scorching hot start of kicker John Hoyland. He hasn’t missed a kick thus far-- and with his 56 yard field goal against the Vikings, Hoyland has hit from that distance in consecutive games. The junior said he loves the fact that his coaches have such confidence in him to make those kinds of kicks.

”It just feels good to help out the team any way I can. I mean, when they send me out there to hit those long field goals they trust me to make them. So being able to make those and celebrate with my teammates, that’s a really great feeling,” Hoyland said.

Following Saturday’s contest, Hoyland sits at a perfect 10-10 on attempts this year. He hit the 56 yarder and four extra points against Portland State, and in Week 1 he was a crucial part of helping Wyoming down Texas Tech. His first make from 56 got the team on the board after falling in a 17-0 hole, and his second field goal try gave them a 20-17 lead late in the game.

The teams ultimately went into overtime where the Cowboys prevailed, but when Hoyland was called upon in the clutch moments he delivered. That earned him Mountain West Special Teams Player of the Week in Week 1, as he continues to live up to the high expectations placed on him entering the season.

Most notably, Hoyland was named to the Associated Press Preseason All-America second team, and has earned several other preseason awards including All-Mountain west and the Lou Groza Award watch list.

These performances don’t happen without a meticulous training regimen, and before the season Hoyland talked about the measures he took to prepare for the big moments.

”I put a lot of emphasis this offseason on flexibility work. Just becoming a little bit more-- my range of motion just a little bit better. Strength work obviously, getting more explosive in the hips and the leg. And yeah, just keep on working on the mental game. Go over what I do in which scenario, and just make it as game realistic as possible,” Hoyland said.

He will kick in his first road environment of the season when Wyoming travels to face Texas on Saturday.