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Wyoming Cowboys Offensive Preview

Wyoming has youth and under-performing vets littered all over the two-deep. This is a good opportunity to flash our SEC credentials.

NCAA Football: Air Force at Wyoming
Wyoming Cowboys
Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

Wyoming Cowboys

Projected Offensive Rank: 107th

[note: all stats are from 2018]

NCAA Football: Air Force at Wyoming
Sean Chambers
Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

Quarterback

Sean Chambers – R-FR: 15-25 (60%)/266 yards/3 TDs/0 INTs/0 sacks/10.6 ypa

Tyler Vander Waal – SO: 120-246 (48.8%)/1,310 yards/5 TDs/4 INTs/24 sacks/4.04 ypa

Vander Waal has the experience but Chambers has the upside. In 4 games, the redshirt freshman went 3-1 and won all 3 games that he started. He was lost for the season at the beginning of November, right when he was starting to hit his stride. Vander Waal did an admirable job as his replacement, but as you can see, having a completion percentage under 50% is not great. Chambers is not much of a passer, but you’d prefer his dual-threat ability to the statue-like nature and erratic tendencies of Vander Waal.

NCAA Football: Air Force at Wyoming
Xazavian Valladay
Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

Running Back

Xazavian Valladay – SO: 71 rushes/396 yards/3 TDs/5.58 ypc/45.1% OPP rate/1 fumble

Trey Smith – R-SR (Louisville): 50 rushes/263 yards/4 TDs/5.26 ypc/46% OPP rate/0 fumbles

Titus Swen – FR: x

Fullback

Skyler Miller – JR: x

Jaylon Watson – SR: x

This is the other reason why you want Chambers: Creating a ground threat when your three best running backs are an untested sophomore, a grad transfer, and a freshman. Titus Swen made some noise in fall camp, but not enough to unseat Valladay. There’s a chance he works his way to the top spot eventually, but Bohl and OC Brent Vigen are going with the guy who has the most seniority in their system to start the season.

NCAA Football: Texas State at Wyoming
Austin Conway
Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

Z-Receiver

Austin Conway – SR: 54 targets/32 catches (59.3%)/250 yards/1 TD/7.8 ypc/4.6 ypt/20.3% target rate

Dontae Crow – JR: 1 target/0 catches (0%)/0 yards/0 TDs/0 ypc/0 ypt/0.4% target rate

F-Receiver

Raghib Ismail, Jr. – SR: 48 targets/24 catches (50%)/267 yards/2 TDs/11.1 ypc/5.6 ypt/18% target rate

Wyatt Wieland – R-FR: x

X-Receiver

John Okwoli – SR: 6 targets/3 catches (50%)/31 yards/0 TDs/10.3 ypc/5.2 ypt/2.3% target rate

Ayden Eberhardt – JR: 9 targets/5 catches (55.6%)/46 yards/0 TDs/9.2 ypc/5.1 ypt/3.4% target rate

Gunner Gentry – SO: x

Tight End

Josh Harshman – R-SR (2017): 20 targets/12 catches (60%)/136 yards/0 TDs/11.3 ypc/6.8 ypt/6% tr

Nate Weinman – SO: 2 targets/0 catches (0%)/0 yards/0 TDs/0 ypc/0 ypt/0.8% target rate

Jackson Marcotte – R-FR: x

Take all the returning pass catchers who played in 2018, roll them into one guy, and here’s their stat line: 120 targets, 64 catches (53.3% catch rate), 594 yards, 3 TDs, 9.28 ypc, 4.9 ypt

Just for reference: Johnathon Johnson BY HIMSELF: 89 targets, 59 catches (66.3% catch rate), 737 yards, 5 TDs, 12.5 ypc, 8.3 ypt

The Cowboy receiving corps is light on game experience and production, and the Tiger secondary needs to absolutely take advantage of this. Bottle up the ground game, force them to pass to move the ball, and this game should be over quickly. If DeMarkus Acy ever wanted an opportunity to exorcise his Liberty Bowl demons, this is a prime opportunity to do so.

Left Tackle

Rudy Stofer – SO: 7 career starts

Frank Crum – R-FR: x

Left Guard

Patrick Arnold – SO: 4 career starts

Eric Abojei – SO: 5 career starts

Center

Keegan Cryder – SO: 12 career starts

Latrell Bible – FR: x

Right Guard

Logan Harris – JR: 14 career starts

Blayne Baker – R-FR: x

Right Tackle

Alonzo Velasquez – JR: 15 career starts

Gavin Dunayski – SO: x

Ten gentlemen on the offensive line two-deep: 8 underclassmen, 57 starts between the ten of them. Inexperience does not necessarily equate to “bad,” but with the implied talent advantage of an SEC vs. Group of 5 team, plus the experience on our depth chart, our d-line needs to feast in the backfield and tee off on passing downs.

On paper, the Tiger defenders have the advantage against Wyoming’s offense across the board, and a good night of execution should keep the Cowboy attack hemmed in for 60 minutes.