2008 Wyoming Cowboys Football Preview
Wyoming 2007 Record: (5-7, 2-6 MWC)
2007 Bowl: none
Wyoming Head Coach: Joe Glenn (26-33 at Wyoming, 184-92-1 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Bob Cole
Defensive Coordinator: Mike Breske
Returning Leaders for Wyoming:
- Rushing: Devin Moore, RB, 965 yards
- Passing: Karsten Sween, QB, 2,028 yards
- Receiving: Devin Moore, RB, 161 yards
- Tackles: Ward Dobbs, LB, 98
- Sacks: John Fletcher, DT, 10.5
- Interceptions: Quincy Rogers, S, 2
Other Key Returnees: G Russ Arnold, C Tim Bond, DT Fred Givens, OT Kyle Howard, LB Mike Juergens, OT Ryan Otterson, S Michael Ray, TE Jesson Salyards, RB Wynel Seldon, G Sam Sterner, DE Mitch Unrein
Key Losses: TE Wade Betschart, WR Greg Bolling, LB Luke Chase, LB Sean Claffey, WR Michael Ford, CB Michael Medina, LB John Prater, CB Julius Stinson, K/P Billy Vinnedge
Wyoming has been on the verge of a bowl game for the last couple of years, but they always fall short. The 2007 season did not end well as the Cowboys lost six of their last seven games, including the final four games when just one win would have gotten them to the six win mark. That might not have been enough for a bowl game, just as it was not in 2006, but at least they would have been eligible again.
The defense should be the strength again this year, led by a dominating line. John Fletcher, Mitch Unrein and Fred Givens were inexperienced sophomores last year when they were asked to man the line in the Cowboys 3-4 defense. Not only did they hold their own, but they made the defense very good. En route to Second Team all-conference accolades, Fletcher tallied 10.5 sacks and 14.0 tackles for loss. What they do for an encore now that they are all upperclassmen with a year of starting experience will be interesting to watch. With leading tackler Ward Dobbs and fellow starter Mike Juergens returning to the linebacker corps, the front seven will quietly be among the best in the conference. There are some concerns with the loss of both starting corners, but having three experienced safeties and a line that can pressure the quarterback will help the young corners.
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Despite ranking 22nd in the nation in total defense, Wyoming still gave up nearly 26 points per game. The offense constantly put the defense in a bad position with turnovers and the defense rarely got a break since the offense rarely spent a lot of time on the field. Most of the offenses’ problem was due to a poor passing game. Quarterback Karsten Sween had a bad sophomore slump after looking very impressive during the 2006 campaign. Senior Ian Hetrick, junior college transfer Dax Crum and redshirt freshman Chris Stutzriem are looking to take away Sween’s job and run the offense more consistently. With five starters and most of the reserves returning to the offensive line, the quarterback should have a little more time to throw. And if the passing game can even look a little better, the running game will improve greatly. Seniors Devin Moore and Wynel Seldon combined for 1,519 yards and 13 touchdowns last year…and that was when the defense knew they were coming.
The Bottom Line for the Cowboys:
Coach Joe Glenn needs to get to a bowl game this year or he might not be around next year. The Cowboys have been close year in and year out, but they need to get over the hump and win seven games during the regular season. But that will not happen without a much more consistent passing attack.
2007 Wyoming Cowboys Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 129.83 (88th in nation, 8th in conference)
Passing Offense: 192.92 (91, 8)
Total Offense: 322.75 (106, 9)
Scoring Offense: 19.42 (107, 8)
Rushing Defense: 122.75 (27, 4)
Pass Defense: 209.33 (30, 5)
Total Defense: 332.08 (22, 5)
Scoring Defense: 25.92 (49, 6)
Turnover Margin: -1.00 (112, 9)
Sacks: 2.83 (22, 3)
Sacks Allowed: 2.50 (85, 6)
By Joel Welser
CollegeSports-fans.com Senior Guest Writer
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