Wyoming Preview 2006

Posted Aug 7, 2006

Thud. Big Thud. After one shocking Las Vegas Bowl win over an indifferent UCLA team that lost its starting quarterback right off the bat, Wyoming was suddenly everyone's "it" team. Head coach Joe Glenn was being hailed as a rising superstar, the Cowboys were supposed to be a threat in the Mountain West race.   

Offense | Defense | Depth Chart | Further Analysis

After one shocking Las Vegas Bowl win over an indifferent UCLA team that lost its starting quarterback right off the bat, Wyoming was suddenly everyone's "it" team. Head coach Joe Glenn was being hailed as a rising superstar, the Cowboys were supposed to be a threat in the Mountain West race.   

We seemed to be the only ones who saw the potential for a mediocre season predicting UW would go 5-6, and that followed with a saturation bombing of anger from the rabid Cowboy fans that matched all the passion of even the biggest SEC of Big Ten schools. 

The fan base might not be huge, but it wants a winner and will go nuts if Glenn really can turn this program around. Unfortunately, it didn't happen last year, and it's not going to happen this season thanks to the way the schedule plays out along with several major issues on both sides of the ball.

Head coach: Joe Glenn
4th year: 15-20
22nd year: 173-79-1
Returning Lettermen:
Off. 19, Def. 24, ST 0
Lettermen Lost: 27
Ten Best UW Players
1. SS John Wendling. Sr.
2. OT Chase Johnson, Sr.
3. RB Wynel Seldon, Soph.
4. LB Ward Dobbs, Soph.
5. RB Joseph Harris, Sr.
DT Mike Groover, Sr.
C Jason Karcher, Sr.
8. RB Ivan Harrison, Sr.
9. WR Michael Ford, Jr.
10. PR/WR Hoost Marsh, Jr.

2006 Schedule
CFN Prediction:

9/2 Utah State
9/9 at Virginia
9/16 Boise State
9/23 Air Force
9/30 at Syracuse
10/7 at New Mexico
10/14 Utah
10/21 Colorado State
10/28 at TCU
11/4 San Diego State
11/9 at BYU
11/18 at UNLV

2005 Schedule
CFN Prediction:
2005 Record: 4-7

Preview 2005 predicted wins

9/3 at Florida L 32-14
9/10 UL Monroe W 38-0
9/17 at Air Force W 29-28
9/24 at Ole Miss W 24-14
10/1 UNLV W 42-17
10/8 TCU L 28-14
10/15 New Mexico L 27-24
10/22 at Colorado St L 39-31
11/5 at Utah L 43-13
11/12 BYU L 35-21
11/19 at San Diego St L 34-21

Winning away from Jonah Field has been tough for UW under Glenn with a 4-12 regular season record, and five of the final eight games this year are on the road. That means the team will have to be nearly perfect at home, but there will be nasty battles with Utah, Boise State and Colorado State to deal with.

The team has an interesting mix of huge strengths and glaring weaknesses. The backfield is loaded with three great running backs, but the receiving corps is average at best and there's a four-way battle going on to figure out who the starting quarterback will be. The defensive line is one of the worst in the Mountain West, but the linebacking corps in the new 3-4 scheme should be excellent. John Wendling is one of the nation's better safeties, but corner will be a big question mark.

There is speed in some spots and there is promise for the offense to grow into an explosive force if everything breaks right, but can this be a bowl team? Can Glenn pull the program up from its nosedive following a brutal six game losing streak that closed out last year? It's possible if there's a hot start because ...

The Schedule: ... UW plays three home games in the first four and needs to beat Utah State, Boise State and Air Force. A road trip to Syracuse is a toss-up, and it has to be good enough to win at New Mexico to have any dreams of a winning season. This isn't a good enough team to beat TCU or BYU, so those games might as well be on the road. San Diego State and at UNLV are very winnable.

Best Offensive Player: Senior OT Chase Johnson. The massive 6-8, 325-pound senior has grown into a solid all-around blocker who should challenge for first team all-star honors. He leads a good starting front five that should be the best yet in the Joe Glenn era.

Best Defensive Player: Senior SS John Wendling. The big, fast tackling machine suffers from playing in the same conference as Utah's Eric Weddle. At 6-1 and 222 pounds with sub-4.4 speed, he's a sleeper pro prospect who'll get more and more attention as the year goes on from the scouts.

Key player to a successful season: Junior QB Jacob Doss. He'll have to battle with Karsten Sween, Stinson Dean and Ian Hetrick to win the starting job, but he has the most experience and appears to be the most ready to step in for the Bramlet brothers who held the gig for so long. Keeping interceptions to a minimum will be the biggest key.

The season will be a success if ... UW gets back to a bowl game. If the team is any good, it should beat Utah State, Air Force and San Diego State, and it needs to win road games at Syracuse, New Mexico and UNLV. A big upset here or there will also be a must.

Key game: Oct. 7 at New Mexico. With the Mountain West big boys still ahead, Wyoming has to beat Air Force in the conference opener and come up with a victory in Albuquerque to be a relevant player in the title race. Last year the Lobos won 27-24 helping the freefall that was the disastrous second half of the Cowboy season.

2005 Fun Stats: 
- Fumbles: Opponents 27 (lost 6) - Wyoming 15 (lost 13)
- Penalties: Opponents 87 for 667 yards - Wyoming 65 for 600 yards
- Fourth quarter scoring: Opponents 94 - Wyoming 55

The Last Time Wyoming…
…played in a bowl game…2004 (Las Vegas Bowl v. UCLA)
…missed a bowl game…2005
…pitched a shutout…2005 (UL-Monroe)
…was shutout…2004 (Texas A&M)
…scored 50 points…2004 (UNLV)
…went undefeated…1956
…won a conference title…1993 (share, WAC)
…had a 3,000-yard passer…2003 (Casey Bramlet)
…had a 1,000-yard rusher…1998 (Marques Brigham)
…had a 1,000-yard receiver…2005 (Jovon Bouknight)
…had a first-round draft choice…1976 (RB Lawrence Gaines and DB Aaron Kyle)

Related Stories
Utah Preview 2006 - Defense
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  Aug 7, 2006
Wyoming Preview 2006 - Offense
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  Aug 7, 2006
Wyoming Preview 2006 - Further Analysis
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  Aug 7, 2006

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