Rivals.com Preview: Wyoming #83

This seems low for Wyoming, but can you blame Rivals for this ranking since the Pokes started 4-1 and then did not even go to a bowl game?

83. WYOMING 2008 Schedule

COACH: Joe Glenn (26-33 in five seasons; 184-92-1 in 23 seasons overall).
LAST SEASON: 5-7 overall, 2-6 in Mountain West (tied for seventh)
FINAL 2007 RIVALS.COM RANKING: 82nd.

Fletcher

KEEP AN EYE ON: LB Weston Johnson showed signs of breaking out last season as a sophomore, when he had 26 tackles. The staff feels his time is now. Johnson is a talented athlete with speed, which should translate into playmaking ability from his spot on the strongside. He’s also a bright kid who rarely is out of position. Senior offensive tackle Kyle Howard has great size (6-7/312) and has started 28 games in a row. Howard is the best player on a line that returns all five starters.
STAR POWER: Junior defensive tackle John Fletcher already is being mentioned as an Outland Trophy contender – and with good reason. Fletcher, a 6-6, 280-pounder, is a wrecking ball vs. the run. He also can bring the heat in the Cowboys’ 3-4 scheme. Witness his 10.5 sacks in 2007, which ranked 11th in the nation.
STRENGTHS: Tailbacks Wynel Seldon and Devin Moore rushed for a combined 1,519 yards last season. Even better: Every line starter is back for what could be a punishing ground game. Junior quarterback Karsten Sween is a veteran hand, but he has had to fight off competition and could lose his job to junior college transfer Dax Crum or senior Ian Hetrick. The front seven on defense looks stout, led by Fletcher up front. The linebackers look stellar. Keep an eye on redshirt freshman linebacker Gabe Knapton, who looks headed for a good career. Linebacker Ward Dobbs is a veteran who must steady the ship.
WEAKNESSES: The offense is in transition after ranking last in the conference in 2007 and flopping numerous times late in games. Glenn canned coordinator Bill Cockhill and hired Bob Cole, who had spent the past three seasons at Division I-AA Florida A&M. The plan is to simplify the scheme, emphasizing the ground game and a precise, short-passing attack. But if foes crowd the line to snuff the run, does Wyoming have a deep threat to stretch the field? Will the quarterback spot become a jumbled mess, killing any chance at continuity? The secondary is being retooled, so it’s vital a strong front seven excels. There also is hand-wringing over the kicking and punting with standout Billy Vinnedge gone.
THE BUZZ: The consensus in Laramie is that this is a make-or-break season for Glenn. His move to fire his offensive coordinator was criticized by some and smacks of a coach on the edge. But even an improved offense that looks capable of wearing down foes with the ground game won’t matter if Wyoming can’t pass consistently. The Cowboys also need to eliminate many of the MWC-high 31 turnovers they committed in 2007. The postseason looks like a long shot as the winds of change whip up on the Wyoming plains.

– TOM DIENHART
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: