‘Dogs well aware of what Chambers brings to table
LARAMIE -- Wyoming tired all it could to mimic Air Force's triple-option attack over the previous two weeks.
Cowboys back-up quarterback Jayden Clemons, who stands 6-foot-1 and weighs 208 pounds, did his best Haaziq Daniels impression in practice, pitching the ball and diving into the laps of defensive ends and outside linebackers.
Fresno State is going through something similar this week.
They know full well what starter Sean Chambers brings to the table.
Replicating that in practice, however, is no easy task.
"Whenever you have to play athletes who have their hands on the ball (it's tough)," Fresno State defensive coordinator William Inge said. "Probably the biggest thing that we also have is, we get the get that in our own practices going against some of our quarterbacks. There's definitely going to be some carryover as we prepare for someone who can make a lot of plays with their feet."
Inge is referring to Oregon's quarterback Anthony Brown, who rolled up 56 rushing yards on 16 carries and added a touchdown in the Ducks' 31-24 win. Two weeks later, UCLA's Dorian Thompson-Robinson scampered for 67 yards on just 13 rushes.
The only likely quarterback on Fresno State's roster who could imitate Chambers size and speed is Jaylen Henderson, a 6-foot-3, 204-pound freshman.
There's another reason this Bulldogs' staff should be all too familiar with Chambers.
Wyoming's redshirt sophomore signal caller calls Kerman, Calif., home. That's roughly 16 miles west of Fresno. The Bulldogs offered him a scholarship in 2018.
It was too late.
Chambers already had his heart set on Laramie.
That's in the past. The present, according to Fresno State head coach Kalen DeBoer, will be about limiting what Chambers does with his legs Saturday when the Bulldogs visit Laramie.
Chambers has thrown for nearly 900 yards through five games. He has six touchdown passes to his credit and is completing 54% of his passes. He hasn't relied on his legs as much this fall, but has still rushed for 111 yards and three scores.
"What he also does a good job at is not just getting the yards (on the ground), he's making better decisions," DeBoer said. "They are not turning the ball over, which is allowing them to win football games. Then, he does a good job of keeping his eyes downfield as he's creating."
Chambers did plenty of that in Colorado Springs.
Under duress for a majority of the night, time and again UW's quarterback was forced to improvise. He did that on the Cowboys' second and final scoring drive of the game when he avoided pressure, ducked under the rush, stepped up in the pocket and found Ayden Eberhardt for a 13-yard gain.
That's what DeBoer saw on film, too.
"His eyes are downfield looking for a way to convert," he said. "You know, if it's a 3rd-and-8 and he knows he can't get it maybe by running, he'll press the line and then maybe find someone or spin out of a tackle and then still fight to find a way to get them the first down. So there's different ways that he's getting it done."
DeBoer said Chambers' growth and development are apparent since he used to scout him at Kerman High School when he was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Fresno State. DeBoer said he looks bigger, his leadership remains.
The 'Dogs DC has preached the art of wrapping up over the past two weeks. He calls it "squeezing with violence" while also driving the feet. He knows that what it will take to bring down the 6-foot-3, 225-pound QB.
"He does a good job being able to spin off and trying to fall forward, so we're definitely going to have to get our money's worth this Saturday. Often, when he's scrambling and he's falling to the ground, he's falling forward. And as long as he's falling forward, he's falling for two or three more yards," he said. "... We want to put them in scenarios -- or put us in scenarios -- here we can go be great.
"We need to be able to stop the run and defended, and force him to have to make some plays with his feet and his arm, which obviously he is doing a better job at, as well."
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