Wyoming Preview 2006 - Offense

Posted Aug 7, 2006

Wyoming Cowboys Preview 2006 - Wyoming Offense

What you need to know ... The offense went in the tank as the season went on plagued by turnovers and no consistency. The normally pass-happy one-back attack could take a little bit of a turn with four excellent running back options working behind an experienced line, while the passing game will try to retool without star receiver Jovon Bouknight and without any quarterbacks named Bramlet. Jacob Doss has an inside line on the starting job, but he'll have plenty of competition and will have to look over his shoulder at Karsten Sween, Stinson Dean, and JUCO transfer Ian Hetrick.

Returning Leaders
Passing: Jacob Doss
7-13, 49 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Wynel Seldon
187 carries, 871 yds, 11 TD
Michael Ford
29 catches, 421 yds

Star of the offense: Senior OT Chase Johnson
Player that has to step up and become a star: Junior QB Jacob Doss
Unsung star on the rise: Junior WR Michael Ford
Best pro prospect: Johnson
Top three all-star candidates: 1) Johnson, 2) RB Wynel Seldon, 3) RB Joseph Harris
Strength of the offense: Running back
Weakness of the offense:
Experienced quarterback

With four good prospects ready to battle for the right to be the first non-Bramlet to quarterback the Cowboys in several years, this will be the key to the team's future. Jacob Doss knows the offense the best and he has the most experience, but Karsten Sween is a big-time talent who appears ready now. Stinson Dean can do a little of everything well, and JUCO transfer Ian Hetrick will get every shot at winning the job.
The key to the unit: The interceptions have to be kept to a minimum. Casey and Corey Bramlet threw for a ton of yards, but they also gave the ball away way, way, way too much. Corey threw 31 picks over the last two years alone.
Quarterback Rating: 6.5

Projected Starter
- Jacob Doss, Jr. - 7-13, 54%, 49 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Doss will get the first look to take over for Corey Bramlet, but he'll have a fight on his hands to keep the job. He was a top recruit for the program a few years ago coming over from SEC country, and he has been around long enough to know what he's doing. He
threw for 8,034 yards and 112 touchdowns in high school and has the live arm and athleticism to put up big numbers.

Top Backups
- Karsten Sween, RFr.
A star California high school passer throwing for 8,107 yards and 86 career touchdowns, the lefty has a big-time arm and all-star skills; now he just needs a little time and some experience. He was the number two quarterback coming out of spring ball and will get a shot to start this fall.
- Stinson Dean, Soph.
A good all-around prospect with excellent running skills and an accurate arm. He's the best rushing option of the four quarterbacks battling for the job and knows the offense after seeing plenty of practice time as the number three man over the last two seasons.
- Ian Hetrick, Jr.
The JUCO transfer will get every shot at taking over the starting job when he gets to camp. He ran a no-huddle offense for Santa Rosa Junior College in California where he threw for 3,104 yards and 30 touchdowns last season.

Running Backs
Is this the best Wyoming backfield ever? If all the parts are healthy, it might be close. Wynel Seldon proved he can be a consistent number one back, but he'll be more effective in a rotation. The return of Ivan Harrison and Joe Harris from injuries will be a big boost, while receiver/running back Devin Moore will add a home-run element to the attack.
The key to the unit: Everyone has to be healthy and has to work well in a running back-by-committee situation. Usually that's a bad thing, but it'll be a plus with so many good options.
Running Back Rating: 7

Projected Starters
- Wynel Seldon, Soph. - 187 carries, 871 yds, 4.7 ypc, 11 TD, 27 catches, 198 yds, 14.5 ypc
Seldon came into last year expecting to be a good reserve and he ended up carrying the workload. A steady scorer with four two touchdown days and three 100-yard efforts, the 6-0, 205-pound power back should be even more effective with three good runners to help keep him fresh. He grew into a reliable receiver as the season went on.

Top Backups
- Devin Moore, Soph. - 26 carries, 123 yds, 4.7 ypc, 6 catches, 63 yds, 10.5 ypc
Able to play running back or receiver, the speed sophomore could move to wide out with the return of Joe Harris from injury. While he's not all that big at 5-9 and 182 pounds, he has the moves to grow into an electrifying playmaker if he gets a little bit of room to roam. If he's not the team's fastest player, he's number two.
- Ivan Harrison, Sr. - 4 carries, 6 yds, 1.5 ypc
Expected to be the starter going into last year, the 5-7, 190-pound veteran was never right after trying to recover from knee and shoulder problems from 2004. He tried to make a go of it, but couldn't. Now the team's leading rusher in 2004 will be a key speed back even though knee injury sapped a bit of his 4.4 speed.
- Joseph Harris, Sr.
The former JUCO transfer is the team's best back when 100% healthy. He struggled through a knee injury in 2004 and missed all of last season, but now he's back and ready to be a key number two man in the rotation. In a limited role in 2004, and with the injury, he still ran for 409 yards and cranked out two 100-yard efforts.

The loss of all-star Jovon Bouknight means that Michael Ford has to become a reliable number one target at the X position after finishing second on the team in receptions. The return of Tyler Holden from a foot problem should provide an immediate boost, while punt return star Hoost Marsh has to grow into an inside role. If Evan Weatherspoon, Ryan Gallimore, and true freshman Derrick Levy aren't ready for prime time early on, there won't be much of a rotation. The tight end situation could grown into a strength with Wade Betschart and Chris Sundberg each good enough to be used far more.
The key to the unit: Scoring. Wyoming receivers caught 18 touchdown passes last season with Bouknight grabbing 12 of them and tight ends catching four.
Receiver Rating: 6

Projected Starters
- Michael Ford, Jr. - 29 catches, 421 yds, 14.5 ypc
Is he the next star Cowboy receiver? The 6-2, 203-pound junior will take over the number one role now that Jovon Bouknight is gone. While the explosion is there, the consistency has to follow. He hasn't scored a touchdown yet despite being used as a deep threat, and he all but disappeared  over the second half of the season until he caught five passes for 54 yards in the season finale against San Diego State.

- Tyler Holden, Sr. - 16 catches, 173 yds, 10.8 ypc
Holden was limited last year by a foot injury that kept him out of three games and didn't allow him to do much over the second half of the year. He should be 100% after taking all off-season to heal, and he should grow into an excellent number two target at the Y position where his tremendous athleticism should make him a dangerous weapon.

- Hoost Marsh, Jr.
Known mostly for being a fantastic punt returner averaging 10.8 yards per try over the last two seasons. Marsh will now see more work as a receiver starting at the inside Z position. One of the team's fastest players, he'll be at his most dangerous when he gets the ball in his hands and he can make defenders miss.

- Tight end Wade Betschart, Jr. - 7 catches, 72 yds, 10.3 ypc, 2 TD
The long-time veteran has to turn into more of a dangerous target. He's a good-sized blocker at 6-3 and 255 pounds with the strength to be a major factor in the running game. Now that John Wadkowski is gone, Betschart's receiving numbers will be there.

Top Backups
- Evan Weatherspoon, RFr.
The former free safety will try his hand at receiver where ha had a strong spring in place of an injured Tyler Holden. He's a physical 6-1 and 183 pounds with 4.5 speed, but he's still going to need a little time to work on being a polished route runner.
Derrick Levy, Fr.
The true freshman will get every shot at playing time at the X position behind Michael Ford. He's an extremely athletic speedster who went to Milford Academy to get noticed, and he blossomed  catching 26 passes for 480 yards and eight scores.
- Tight end Chris Sundburg, Soph. 1 catch, 5 yds
More like a big wide receiver than a blocking tight end, the 6-5, 238-pound sophomore has receiver speed and should become a fantastic safety valve to complement Wade Betschart.

Offensive Linemen
This is an experienced group that needs to be far more consistent and get more of a push for the running game. Big Chase Johnson and rising star Kyle Howard should be outstanding on the right side, while the rest of the line will shuffle around a bit with Jason Karcher moving from guard to center and Tim Bond stepping into the opening at right guard. As far as the developed depth, there isn't any with five redshirt freshmen needing to quickly become part of the rotation.
The key to the unit: The starting five has to stay healthy as long as possible. Being more physical will be important with a good group of backs that just need a little bit of room.
Offensive Line Rating: 6

Projected Starters
- OT Chase Johnson, Sr.
The massing 6-8, 325-pound senior is one of the Mountain West's best linemen and should be the anchor of the line. This is his fourth year as a starter having been one of the team's steadiest players. While he isn't always dominant in the running game, his long arms and quickness make him a good pass blocker.
- OG Kyle Howard, Soph.
Ready to step into the full-time role after starting the final four games of last year, the 6-6, 299-pound sophomore should be a good one after a little more experience. He's a smart, strong blocker who will be one of the team's better run blockers.
- C Jason Karcher, Sr.
The main man at right guard last season, he'll move to center to take over for Drew Severn. He's a solid 6-3 and 291 pounds after getting in better shape over the last year. He's a good veteran who should have few problems handling the line calls.
- OG Tim Bond, Soph.
Part center and part guard, Bond saw time in two games last year on the right side. At 296 pounds, he's one of the team's biggest linemen and needs to be a major factor in the running game now that 2005's starter, Jason Karcher, has moved to center.
- OT Hunter Richards, Sr.
The former transfer from Nebraska-Kearney ended up starting every game on the right side over the last two seasons and has grown into a steady all-around blocker. He has bulked up to 297 pounds to fill out his 6-7 frame, but his strength remains as a pass blocker.

Top Backups
- T
Ryan Otterson, RFr.
Undersized at 6-5 and 250 pounds, he'll use his tremendous athleticism to try to be a factor on the left side behind Chase Johnson. Essentially, he's like another tight end.
- C Russ Arnold, RFr.
Able to play center guard, the 6-4, 278-pound redshirt freshman could grow into a key backup. If he shines right away at center, Jason Karcher can move back to guard. He was a top recruit for the program and could be a star once he adds more weight.

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Wyoming Preview 2006 - Further Analysis
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  Aug 7, 2006
Wyoming Preview 2006 - Depth Chart
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Wyoming Preview 2006
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