2007 Wyoming Preview - Offense

Posted Jul 17, 2007

Preview 2007 Wyoming Cowboy Offense

Wyoming Cowboys

Preview 2007 - Offense

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

What you need to know:
The offense wasn't consistent and did nothing against the good teams (averaging 8.5 points against Boise State, New Mexico, TCU and BYU), but there's plenty of hope for a big turnaround with a good pair of backs in powerful Wynel Seldon and speedy Devin Moore, a strong receiving corps with Michael Ford, Hoost Marsh, and emerging deep threat Greg Bolling, and a great quarterback situation with three possible starters led by rising star Karsten Sween. The one issue could be the offensive line that returns just two starters and has question marks at guard.

Returning Leaders
Passing: Karsten Sween
128-212, 1,304 yds, 9 TD, 8 INT
Rushing: Wynel Seldon
156 carries, 610 yds, 1 TD
Michael Ford
60 catches, 674 yds, 4 TD

Star of the offense: Sophomore QB Karsten Sween
Player that has to step up and become a star: All the guards
Unsung star on the rise: Sophomore WR Greg Bolling
Best pro prospect: Junior OT Kyle Howard
Top three all-star candidates: 1) Sween, 2) WR Michael Ford, 3) WR Hoost Marsh
Strength of the offense: Receivers, quarterback
Weakness of the offense:
Offensive line


Projected Starter
Despite being out this spring recovering from knee surgery, sophomore Karsten Sween is the main man for the offense and the one who could take Wyoming to another level. While he struggled a little too much late in the year, regressing after a terrific four-game stretch once he took over the starting job four games into the season, he has good size (6-2, 204 pounds), decent mobility, and is about to emerge as a star. He completed 60% of his passes for 1,304 yards and nine touchdown with eight interceptions, and will get more consistent with more time.

Projected Top Reserves: With Sween out for most of the spring, junior Ian Hetrick stepped up and produced. The JUCO transfer showed a great command of the offense highlighted by a terrific spring game. While he'll be given a slight look for the starting spot, he'll be the number two. Now the the coaching staff knows it has another option.

6-2, 218-pound senior Jacob Doss was the starter going into last year, and wasn't bad completing 62% of his passes for 826 yards and seven touchdowns with five interceptions. While he was solid, and showed more rushing skills than Sween, he failed to lead the team to close wins, losing four straight by a touchdown or less. He's good enough to start if needed.

Watch Out For ... Sween to be on a bit of a short leash. He's still a young player who'll make big mistakes, but with the way Hetrick played this spring, and with Doss a good third option, he has to start out hot.
Options. While there's a clear 1-2-3 pecking order, all three quarterbacks can lead the team and move the offense.
Interceptions. They've been a problem for several years for UW passers, and last year was no different throwing 13 with 17 touchdown passes. Passing efficiency has to be a key to winning the close games.
Outlook: It's a great situation with a senior backup, a strong junior number two, and a great sophomore who just needs a little more time to grow into the role. There's not much in the way of rushing skills to work with, but with the receiving corps the starter will have to work with, the big numbers should come.
Rating: 6.5

Running Backs

Projected Starters
Wyoming, for the most part, has co-starters at tailback in juniors Wynel Seldon and Devin Moore. Seldon led the team with 610 yards with a touchdown, but he only averaged 3.9 yards per carry and had just one 100-yard game (in the win over Colorado State). He's a powerful back, but he's not great at getting his own yards. If he's not getting the hole, he's not making anything happen. The 5-10, 182-pound Moore is just the opposite. A speed back who was second on the team with 574 yards with three touchdowns and a gaudy 7.2 yards per carry, he's the home run hitter in the rotation with the speed to turn the corner that Seldon doesn't have.

Projected Top Reserves: It'll be hard to see time with Seldon and Moore taking most of the carries, but sophomore Jimmy DeAndrea will push for a little bit of work. He hasn't been healthy throughout his career, but now the 205-pound back is ready to provide good between the tackles power. However, he'll likely be mostly a special teamer with the addition of top recruit James Davis, who has a great mix of both speed and pop. He's a five-yard run waiting to happen with a nose for the goal line.

Watch Out For ... Moore to get more work. He's too explosive and too dangerous to not get the ball in his hands at least 15 times a game. Expect a more even split between Seldon and Moore.
The 1-2 tandem. The Cowboys have a near-perfect combination of thunder and lightning in Seldon and Moore, able to do what's needed to keep the ground game moving. However ...
That's not necessarily a good thing in a one-back set. Unless these two are in the backfield at the same time, the defense knows what's coming depending on which back is in the game. There's no worrying about Seldon doing much on the outside, and there's no concern about Moore on the inside.
Outlook: Even with some 40 sacks taking away plenty of yards, the Cowboys still averaged a solid 132 yards per game on the ground. Seldon and Moore will combine for around 1,500 yards, while the hope will be for DeAndrea, Davis, or redshirt freshman Darius Terry to add more options to the attack.
Rating: 6


Projected Starters
The receivers should be a plus with most of the key targets returning, and the emergence of a new potential star in sophomore Greg Bolling at the outside Y. He's 6-2, 180 pounds, and tremendously fast. While he only caught one pass for no yards last season, he was a different player this spring when he was virtually uncoverable. Don't be shocked if he emerges as the team's top scoring receiver.

Back as the team's number one receiver at the outside X will be 6-2, 203-pound senior Michael Ford, who caught 60 passes for 674 yards and four touchdowns. The question going into last year was whether or not the deep threat could become a consistent target, and he showed that he could be a main man with 12 catches for 110 yards against Syracuse.

Back at the inside Z will once again be senior Hoost Marsh, who caught 23 passes for 280 yards and three touchdowns averaging 12.2 yards per grab. He's mostly made his mark as a punt returner, but he's a dangerous playmaker as a receiver when he gets the ball on the move.

While several tight ends got a chance to show what they could do this spring, the job will go do senior Wade Betschart when he's back this fall after missing the spring healing up. The 6-3, 250-pound veteran made 18 catches for 146 yards and two touchdowns, and is a solid blocker.

Projected Top Reserves: The Cowboys are loaded at tight end with junior Chris Sundberg the number two, and a tight end when Betschart is at H-Back, and sophomore Jesson Salyards, who wasn't able to step up this spring spring, when Betschart and Sundberg were out, suffering a concussion. Both can catch the ball, both can move, and both are willing, if not dominant, blockers.

At receiver, 6-2, 192-pound junior Kyle Jacobo is a great possession target behind Marsh on the inside, catching ten passes for 74 yards and a touchdown. While he isn't a top-level receiver who'll scare anyone, he's a good veteran who can fill in and be a reliable route runner.

Looking to get his feet wet to become the starter on the X next year will be 6-1, 185-pound true freshman Travis Burkhalter. The speedster got to school early, and while he's raw, having played quarterback in high school, he has tremendous upside.

Watch Out For ... Bolling. He has the other gear and the type of all-around talent missing in the corps. Yeah, there's talent at each spot, but Bolling has the potential to be great.
The starters. Ford is a strong number one, Marsh does everything well, Bolling is the rising star, and Betschart is one of the better receiving tight ends in the league. Finding production out of this group won't be a problem.
Reliable receiver depth. It's there at tight end, but it's questionable at wide receiver. Darion Donnelly stepped up at times this spring, and Jacobo is a reliable veteran, but there's a big drop-off from the ones to the twos.
Outlook: Very quietly, this could grow into one of the Mountain West's most dangerous receiving corps. There's a terrific blend of veterans and promising young players, with more than enough good targets to spread the ball around. There are three good tight ends, three good deep threats among the starting receivers, and good role players who know what they're doing.
Rating: 6.5

Offensive Linemen

Projected Starters
The tackles are more settled than the interior led by 6-7, 312-pound junior Kyle Howard on the right side. The former guard will take a step over. One of the team's best run blockers last year, now he has to round out into an all-around player who can protect the passer on a consistent basis. He has the size, but he has to prove he has the feet.

6-5, 281-pound sophomore Ryan Otterson will get the first look on the left side, taking over for all-star Chase Johnson. While he has to hit the weight room and get bigger and much stronger, he has to do it without losing his athleticism. He'll be terrific against speed rushers, but he has to be more of a pounder. Adding more to his frame will do that.

Junior Tim Bond can play either guard or center, and will likely start out in the middle after filling in for three games before spending the second half of the year at right guard. At 6-4 and 296 pounds, he has good size and will be great for the ground game.

The guards are up in the air with several players looking to fill the two spots. Most likely, it'll be redshirt freshman San Sterner on the left side, and sophomore Russ Arnold on the right, but that could change in a heartbeat. The 288-pound Sterner appears to be more of a sure thing to start after playing well, and consistently, this spring. He still needs time, but he's extremely talented. Arnold, like Sterner, isn't huge at 287 pounds, but he's tough and versatile enough to play center if needed. While he's not the prospect Sterner is, he should be steady.

Projected Top Reserves: Even if the Sterner and Arnold are set at guard, they'll be pushed for time by 321-pound sophomore Zack Kennedy and 304-pound Jack Tennant. Tennant has the better chance to grab the starting job, playing behind Arnold on the right side, but he got hurt in spring ball and fell behind in the race. Kennedy brings plenty of size, but he's not nearly the blocker that Sterner is.

Howard was out for a time this spring with an injured finger, which allowed 6-6, 288-pound redshirt freshman Garrett King to step in to see action at right tackle. That might be a blessing in disguise, since he's now ready to step in at either tackle spot if needed.

Watch Out For ... the starting five to need a little while to come together. With only two returning starters, and problems this spring with minor injuries, there wasn't much of a chance to form a cohesive group.
Young talent. Tackles Ryan Otterson, Garrett King and Nick Brousseau, guard Jack Tennant, and center Erik Kottom will form the base for a great front wall two years from now. The program has upgraded the talent level.
Veteran depth. The starters are hardly solidified, much less the backups. While there's competition at several spots, there's not a lot to rely on if a rash of injuries hits. 
Outlook: The line struggled last year allowing 40 sacks, but it was good for the ground game. Expect more of the same with several good, young, tough blockers who'll be more physical than their size early on, but should struggle to keep the quarterback clean. Even so, there's excellent potential with Otterson a good one at left tackle and Howard a nice piece to build around.
Rating: 5.5


Related Stories
2007 Wyoming Preview
 -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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