Slow starts aren’t a concern ... yet
Missouri has good athletes and may very well end up being a very good team this season. And after upsetting the Tigers in Week 1, maybe there was a hangover effect against Texas State after some of Wyoming’s players dismissed that notion earlier in the week.
But the Cowboys have gotten off to rough starts in each of their first two games. Mizzou led 14-0 after the first quarter, and the Cowboys faced a 14-3 deficit early in the second quarter Saturday. The offense in particular has been lethargic in the first quarter. Wyoming has yet to score in the opening quarter while combing for 73 total yards in first quarters so far.
Two games is probably too early to call this a trend. But if the Cowboys start sluggish next week against Idaho — a Football Championship Subdivision team that lost 79-7 to the only Football Bowl Subdivision team it’s played so far — that will be a red flag.
There’s potential there to get after the quarterback
With the likes of Carl Granderson and Youhanna Ghaifan no longer around on the defensive line, being able to generate a consistent pass rush has been a concern since for Wyoming since the offseason.
The Cowboys didn’t come close to alleviating that in the opener against Missouri, but they showed some potential against Texas State. The first half looked like more of the same with Texas State quarterback Gresch Jensen having all kinds of time to survey the field and find receivers (15 of 22, 203 yards), but that changed in the second half when Wyoming notched four of its five sacks. The Cowboys also finished with six quarterback hurries.
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The best part about it for Wyoming was the fact it didn’t always have to bring an extra defender or two to create the pressure. Only half a sack and one of those hurries came from someone other than a defensive lineman. And it was the young linemen in particular that created havoc.
Redshirt freshman nose tackle Mario Mora was disruptive on the interior with 1.5 sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Defensive end Solomon Byrd had a pair of hurries in his first game of the season.
The passing game is a liability until the Cowboys prove otherwise
Another week, and another subpar performance in the passing game for a Wyoming team that looks a lot like it did last year throwing the ball.
A week after quarterback Sean Chambers went 6 of 16 against Missouri, Wyoming coach Craig Bohl pointed out the obvious when he said the completion percentage needs to improve. It did slightly with Chambers completing 8 of 18 passes for 103 yards and an interception against Texas State, but if you’re doing the math at home, that’s a completion percentage of 41.1 through two games.
Chambers was errant again with some of his throws, mostly overthrowing receivers when he missed. But there were a handful of drops, too, by his receiving corps. Whatever the reason, Wyoming has to be able to make defenses pay when they leave receivers open while focusing too much on the Cowboys’ ground game, and right now, the Cowboys can’t do that.
Turnovers — Wyoming forced three more Saturday and scored a defensive touchdown for the second straight game — have helped bail the Cowboys out while they get little to nothing from the passing game. Until Wyoming proves otherwise, it’s a liability, particularly against the better teams on the Cowboys’ schedule.