2007 Wyoming Preview - Offense
Wyoming Cowboy Offense
Preview 2007 - Offense
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2006 CFN Wyoming
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.
Passing: Karsten Sween
128-212, 1,304 yds, 9 TD, 8 INT
Rushing: Wynel Seldon
156 carries, 610 yds, 1 TD
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
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:
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.
Strength: Options. While there's a clear 1-2-3 pecking
order, all three quarterbacks can lead the team and move the
Weakness: 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.
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
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
Strength: 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.
Weakness: 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
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
Strength: 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.
Weakness: 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
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
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
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.
Strength: 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.
Weakness: 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.