Making the grade: UW vs. Idaho
LARAMIE – We all get graded, right?
Whether it’s in school, at work or your significant other, we are always under some sort of pressure to learn and produce results.
So, let’s see what Wyoming’s final grades were after a 21-16 win over Idaho Saturday at War Memorial Stadium.
Your grade isn't likely to be too high when you complete just four passes in a 60-minute college football game. Wyoming's redshirt freshman quarterback, Sean Chambers, had another rough outing in week 3, attempting just 12 passes and taking on 50 passing yards. Typically, when Chambers struggles under center he makes up for it with his feet. Against Idaho, he rushed for a season-low 26 yards. Chambers has yet to throw a touchdown pass this season and has only completed 18 passes. Wyoming's passing offense ranks 128th out of 130 FBS teams. Of course, that isn't all on Chambers. If there is one positive to take from Saturday, it's that the youngster is still unbeaten in six starts as the Pokes' signal caller. It isn't always pretty, but the kid wins. There's no denying that.
RUNNING BACKS: B
If it wasn't for the Cowboys rushing attack, the season record just might be reversed. The same can be said for the scoreboard Saturday in Laramie. Trey Smith, who was starting for the injured Xazavian Valladay, busted an 80-yard dash to the end zone in the third quarter to put Wyoming in the lead for good. The Louisville transfer finished with a career-high 152 yards on just 17 carries. He also scored twice. True freshman Titus Swen had a solid day, recording 52 hard-fought yards on 14 carries in a back-up role. The Cowboys have the 30th-ranked rushing attack in the nation, averaging 241.3 yards per game.
WIDE RECEIVERS/ TIGHT ENDS: D
Wyoming's wide receivers technically snagged two passes against Idaho, and tight end, Jackson Marcotte, caught one pass for 23 yards. Swen also grabbed one out of the backfield. One "pass," a shovel to Dontae Crow, was also considered a pass. It wasn't a pretty outing for this group. When Chambers did put it in their vicinity, a number of passes were dropped. Other times, receivers just didn't have a chance. This group, along with Chambers, have not been in sync yet this season -- to say the least. Wyoming's passing attack has tallied just 245 passing yards through four games. Air Force just jumped them in the NCAA standings. Not ideal. This isn't all on the receivers or Chambers. Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl said Monday it's "the perfect storm" of issues. Hopefully for Wyoming fans, the clouds part soon.
OFFENSIVE LINE: C
Wyoming center, Keegan Cryder, knocked his man off the ball and peeled back to hammer a charging linebacker during Smith's game-changing run in the third. It was a big time play from a big time player. The Cowboys offensive line had another solid day in the run game, but Bohl was quick to point out Monday that they also had plenty of lapses, allowing too much pressure to get to Chambers. This unit has allowed just two sacks and has been a real bright spot in the early going, but Bohl said you can't grade their performance on sacks alone. Idaho, an FCS opponent, was supposed to be an easy target Saturday. They were 27-point underdogs. Bohl said they deserve some credit, too. Their undersized front four did a nice job, applying pressure and allowing just 5.0 yards per rush and holding the Cowboys to 4-of-13 on third down.
DEFENSIVE LINE: B+
Garrett Crall recorded 1.5 sacks. Josiah Hall and Solomon Byrd also got to Idaho quarterback, Mason Petrino Saturday afternoon. Victor Jones also picked up 0.5 sacks. Wyoming tallied four sacks, following a five-sack performance a week prior at Texas State. Even more impressive, the defensive line played a major role in holding the Vandals big running backs to just 2.3 yards per carry. That was 40 totes for just 93 yards, that includes a 15-yard rushing touchdown for Roshaun Johnson. This group continues to impress despite being young nearly across the board.
Logan Wilson moved into seventh place all time on the school's tackle list with another 11-stop performance Saturday, passing Ward Dobbs and Lucas Wacha. The Cowboys registered nine tackles for loss against the Vandals and held their tight ends in check all afternoon. Wilson was the best linebacker, flying around the field and making big stops. Fans have grown accustomed to watching that from the three-time team captain from Casper. Cassh Maluia had five tackles and a tackle for loss, and Chad Muma finished with four stops.
SAFETIES/ CORNERS: C-
Think Wyoming's passing offense had been bad? The Cowboys have given up 1,027 yards of passing offense in just three games. That is also ranked 128th out of 130 teams in the country. They have given up 80 completions and opposing teams average 342.3 yards per game through the air. Not good. Wyoming, without the services of senior cornerback, Antonio Hull, for a second straight week, allowed Petrino to complete just 15-of-33 passes for 184 yards., however, he sustained drives all afternoon thanks to wide open targets. Keyon Blankenbaker, the Cowboys' nickel back, knocked down three passes out of the team's seven on the afternoon. For the first time this season, Wyoming failed to earn a takeaway. The Pokes are plus-6 in that category.