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2007 Wyoming Preview

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Jul 17, 2007


Preview 2007 Wyoming Cowboys

Wyoming Cowboys

Preview 2007
 

By Pete Fiutak

- 2007 Wyoming Offense Preview | 2007 Wyoming Defense Preview
-
2007 Wyoming Depth Chart | 2006 CFN Wyoming Preview 

Shhhhhhh. Here’s your deep sleeper to do big things this season.  

Too much was made over a 2004 bowl win over a UCLA team without its starting quarterback, and Wyoming never lived up to the overrated 2005 expectations falling flat on its face. The first half of 2006 was lousy, but then the mistakes and inconsistencies of the young team slowed down, and now Wyoming is poised and ready to be a thorn in everyone’s side in the Mountain West.

Head coach: Joe Glenn
6th year: 21-26
23rd year: 179-85-1
Returning Lettermen:
Off. 19, Def. 23, ST 2
Lettermen Lost: 19
Ten Best UW Players
1. WR Michael Ford, Sr.
2. QB Karsten Sween, Soph.
3. WR/KR Hoost Marsh, Sr.
4. LB Ward Dobbs, Jr.
5. CB Julius Stinson, Sr.
6. LB Luke Chase, Sr.
7. CB Michael Medina, Sr.
8. DT John Fletcher, Soph.
9. P. Billy Vinnedge, Sr.
10. RB Wynel Seldon, Jr.

2007 Schedule
CFN Prediction:
5-7

Sept. 1

Virginia

Sept. 8

Utah State

Sept. 15

at Boise State

Sept. 22

at Ohio

Oct. 6

TCU

Oct. 13

New Mexico

Oct. 20

at Air Force

Oct. 27

UNLV

Nov. 3

at San Diego State

Nov. 10

at Utah

Nov. 17

BYU

Nov. 23

at Colorado State

2006 Schedule
CFN Prediction:
3-9
2006 Record:
6-6
Preview 2006 predicted wins

9/2 Utah State W 38-7
9/9 at Virginia L 13-12
9/16 Boise State L 17-10
9/23 Air Force L 31-24
9/30 at Syra. L 40-34 2OT
10/7 at New Mexico W 14-10
10/14 Utah W 31-15
10/21 Colorado State W 24-0
10/28 at TCU L 26-3
11/4 San Diego St W 27-24
11/9 at BYU L 55-7
11/18 at UNLV W 34-26

Easily overlooked was an early four-game losing stretch with two overtime heartbreakers, a 17-10 battle against Boise State, and a seven-point loss to Air Force. The Cowboys won five of their final seven games, only losing to tremendous TCU and BYU teams, while Karsten Sween occasionally had the look of the type of quarterback to build an offense around. In other words, the hype of a few years ago is now actually warranted.

Wyoming will never be able to win all the big games on talent and it has to win the turnover battle and get most of the breaks to get by the stars in the Mountain West, but Joe Glenn coached teams always play hard and come up with a few wrinkles or two to pull off a few wins it probably shouldn’t.

TCU will have the Mountain West’s best defense, and BYU’s won’t be far behind, but the Cowboys will be almost as stingy as last year’s group that finished ninth in the nation and eighth against the pass. The offense should be fantastic if Sweed plays like he did over his first four games as the starter as opposed to his last four. The backfield, led by Wynel Seldon, should be the program’s best in several years.

To be the team that shocks the league and becomes a major player, Wyoming has to win all the games it’s supposed to, has to beat at least one of the big three (TCU, Utah and/or BYU), and has to own War Memorial Stadium. By the time everyone realizes the Cowboys might be great, they should be on their way to their second bowl game in 11 years.

What to watch for on offense: More pop to the passing game. Wyoming won against the bad teams by playing good defense and getting just enough offense to get by. However, the attack went nowhere against the defenses with a pulse. Sween has to be steadier and can’t throw interceptions like he did late in the season when he started to press, and he’ll have the receiving corps to help out with Michael Ford and Hoost Marsh, along with tight end Wade Betschart, providing good, veteran targets.

What to watch for on defense: Great corner play. Safeties John Wendling and Dorsey Golston were excellent and won’t easily be replaced. Fortunately, the corner tandem of Julius Stinson and Michael Medina should pick up the slack both in pass protection and as tacklers. Stinson, particularly, is good in the open field and excellent in run support.

The team will be far better if … it can convert on third downs. What made Wyoming’s defensive performance so astounding was how the offense rarely gave the other side of the ball much help. The Cowboys were awful on third downs converting just 32% of their chances. With Sween’s improvement, so should the ability to keep the chains moving and the defense fresh.

The Schedule: The Cowboys should be better, but the schedule will be a challenge. The non-conference slate is tougher than it looks with a good opening day battle with Virginia followed up by what should be a layup against Utah State. Trips to Boise State (considering the Broncos are rebuilding) and Ohio could go either way. TCU and BYU have to come to Laramie, but the finishing kick in conference play is a beat going on the road for three of the final four games traveling to San Diego State, Utah and Colorado State while hosting BYU. On the flip side, the Cowboys get a nice stretch of three home games in four weeks in the middle of the season.

Best Offensive Player: Senior WR Michael Ford. At 6-2 and 203 pounds, Ford’s a big target who grew into Sween’s steadiest go-to receiver. While he’s not the fleetest receiver around and isn’t a gamebreaker, he’s always good for around four catches a game. Now that he knows what he’s doing as the number one man, and with Sween almost certain to be more consistent, he should be in the hunt for all-star honors.

Best Defensive Player: Junior LB Ward Dobbs. With 144 tackles in his first two years, Dobbs has established himself as one of the team’s most consistent defenders. Now that John Wendling is gone, Dobbs becomes the leader of the back eight and needs to be even better. The Alaska native can play inside or out and rarely misses a tackle.

Key player to a successful season: Offensive tackles Ryan Otterson and Kyle Howard. Chase Johnson and Hunter Richards were big, veteran rocks on the outside who struggled all of last year in pass protection. Now they’re gone and Otterson and Howard, two more big prospects, take over. The more time they can give Sween to operate, the better the offense will be. 

The season will be a success if ... the Cowboys go to a bowl. The program took a good step last season with a young team that progressed and battled hard game in and game out. Now it’s time to finally cash in on the promise after the 2004 season and get to just the second bowl game since 1993. Anything less than seven wins will be a big step backward.

Key game: Oct. 6 vs. TCU. If Wyoming has any hope of being in the Mountain West title race, it has to be a bear at home and that starts with the conference opener. TCU will be just about everyone’s favorite to win the title, and if the Cowboys can pull off the shocker, the season’s expectations change in a big hurry.

2006 Fun Stats: 
- Sacks: Opponents 40 for 217 yards – Wyoming 29 for 193 yards
- Wyoming first quarter scoring: 35 – Wyoming fourth quarter scoring: 82
- Wyoming opponents red zone scoring: 30 of 31 chances (97%)

  

Related Stories
2007 Wyoming Preview - Offense
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  Jul 17, 2007
2007 Wyoming Preview - Defense
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  Jul 17, 2007
2007 Wyoming Preview - Depth Chart
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  Jul 17, 2007








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