Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wyoming Cowboys 2010 Review

Wyoming Cowboys
2010 Record: 3-9 (1-7), Tied 8th Mountain West
2010 Bowl Game: None

     What happened? That's what a lot of folks in Laromie are asking these days, as after the 1st season of Wyoming football under Dave Christensen, things were looking up. The floor fell out last season, and the Cowboys had the distinguished mark of being the one and only school in Amercia to actually lose to New Mexico. That's just great for Cowboy fans.
     Austin Carta-Samuels was supposed to be the next big thing at Wyoming for the QB position, the best thing since Randy Welniak, but that never worked out, and Carta-Samuels took a huge step back last fall, and eventually left school altogether. ACS passed for 1702 yards and 9 TDs to 8 picks, not what folks were expecting in year two after an impressive freshman campaign the season before. Now the Cowboys are stuck building from scratch, as nobody with any experience returns for next fall.
     The weight of the offense now falls on Alvester Alexander, who led the Cowboys in rushing as a sophomore with 792 yards and 14 TDs. He is a credible runner, but with no QB, it will make it easy for opposing defenses to stack 8 in the box to attack him next fall until any threat of a passing game can develop. There is no depth behind him to speak of, so it's all on him.
     The receiving corps was thin on production last fall, as only three receivers managed to grab 20 or more passes for the Cowboys. David Leonard led the team with a line of 47-452-3. He was followed by Zach Bolger (28-446-3), and Chris McNeill was the last in the group, with a line of 28-257-3. Only Bolger (15.93) averaged more than 10 yards per catch.
     Defensively, Wyoming gave up 25 points or more in each of their final 6 games last fall. The defense gave up 412 yards per game last season, and it was even against the pass and the run. Wyoming was not adept at stopping much.
     Six defenders averaged 5 tackles or more per game, as the Cowboys were forced to play chase much of the time. Chris Prosinski led the team with 108 tackles. He was followed by Shamiel Gary (94), Brian Hendricks (80), Ghaali Muhammed (75), Gabe Knapton (67), and finally Josh Biezuns (61).
     Biezuns, a junior DE, led the team with 10.5 TFLs, but nobody else came close to supporting him up front. The Cowboys collected 58 TFLs, but the offense gave up 104. Biezuns also led the team in sacks with 6.5, but the Cowboys only had 20 sacks for the entire season.
     Tashaun Gibson led the team in the secondary, as he knocked away 9 passes on the season. The only other defender that had at least 5 passes defended on the season was Prosinski, with 5. Gipson picked off 3 passes on the season to lead the Cowboys, but the team only picked off 9 passes all season.
     Ian Watts was a solid piece to the puzzle, as he knocked in 8 of his 10 FG attempts on the season, but he did miss 2 PATs on the season, but still managed to hit 22 of 24, which was a fairly low number of tries. Austin McCoy did try 4 PATs, and he hit all of them. Both return next fall. McCoy was also very solid as the punter, as he averaged 42.81 yards per punt on 5.1 per game. Muhammed was decent as the kick return man, averaging 23.18 yards per return, but was not spectacular. The Cowboys only managed to return 6 punts all season long.
Final Notes
     2010 should have been a season in which the Cowboys built on what they had started in 2009, but the wheels came off the wagon, and the foundation crumbled. 2011 should be a turning point for the staff, but with the major issue at QB, it's hard to see how things can get better right now. This is a major stay tuned situation.

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