LARAMIE — Wyoming’s defense knows it won’t see another Kelly Bryant this weekend.
What the Cowboys don’t know is exactly which quarterback they will see first from Texas State.
Wyoming will look to keep the momentum of its upset of Missouri going when it hits the road for the first time to take on the Bobcats, who have still yet to name a starter for Saturday’s game. Tyler Vitt got the start against Texas A&M last week but was replaced by junior college transfer Gresch Jensen late in the first half.
“For now, we’re going to rotate both of those guys all the way through practice because I thought they played about the same,” Texas State coach Jake Spavital said Tuesday, according to the Austin American-Statesman. “We’ve got to keep digging deep and figure out which guy is going to be the guy.”
Texas State took it on the chin against the 12th-ranked Aggies 41-7, and the play of the quarterbacks didn’t help. Vitt was just 9 of 15 passing for 51 yards and threw two picks. Jensen had a higher completion percentage (20 of 31) but was also intercepted twice. They accounted for all four of the Bobcats’ turnovers.
Wyoming coach Craig Bohl said he doesn’t expect the two signal callers to perform the same way in the comfort of their own stadium Saturday that they did in front of more than 90,000 fans at Texas A&M’s Kyle Field.
“I think sometimes when you go into that environment — and for me personally, I’ve been there — that can be a pretty imposing environment, so that changes sometimes some outcomes,” Bohl said. “What we did see were some mesh routes where some receivers are kind of looking around. I’m sure they’ll have more timing and tempo when they’re playing at home, just like we did.”
Regardless who’s taking the snaps, Wyoming knows what style of quarterback it’s going up against. Whereas Bryant was a true dual threat for Missouri, Vitt, a sophomore who’s started six games, and Jensen are more in the mold of a prototypical pocket passer.
You have free articles remaining.
It’s not a difference in skill set Wyoming has to prepare for as much as it is how much more the Bobcats put on their quarterbacks’ plate heading into the second week of the season.
“I don’t think they’re drastically different,” Bohl said. “It’s not like you’ve got an option-style guy and a dropback guy. Now their schemes, I know typically you integrate more of your offensive playbook between your first game and your second game.”
Vitt and Jensen combined to throw for just 211 yards on 46 attempts while Jensen tossed the only touchdown between the two. Texas State had just 15 rush attempts. Having to play catch-up after falling in a 28-0 halftime hole had something to do with that, but with Spavital at the helm, the Cowboys aren’t expecting that split to change much.
The Bobcats’ first-year coach directed some of the nation’s most potent passing offenses the last handful of years as the offensive coordinator at Texas A&M and, most recently, West Virginia, which finished fourth in the Football Bowl Subdivision in passing yards a season ago.
“They like to throw a lot,” safety Alijah Halliburton said. “They didn’t really get to run a lot of plays (against A&M). They only got like 50 or so, but they throw the ball a lot. I think we’re going to have to defend, especially in the secondary.”
Wyoming allowed 423 passing yards to Missouri, including five completions of 20 yards or more. Bohl chalked that up to a combination of the Cowboys’ secondary playing undisciplined at times and a pass rush that was virtually non-existent for long stretches.
The Cowboys recorded just two sacks and didn’t hurry Bryant on any of his other 48 dropbacks — a lack of pressure that needs to change if Wyoming plans on making Vitt and Jensen uncomfortable in their home stadium.
“We’ve got to rush the passer better,” Bohl said.