Receiving yards haven’t been easy to come by, but that could be a thing of the past
LARAMIE -- Levi Williams' 234-yard passing game in the Arizona Bowl did much more than just aid in the Cowboys' 38-17 win.
It vaulted them out of the cellar.
Yes, Wyoming was the unfortunate owner of the worst passing offense in the Mountain West Conference before the freshman's big day in the desert. Even worse than Air Force, a team that averaged just 123 passing yards per game.
As you know, the Falcons don't throw the ball much. They attempted just 126 passes all season.
The Pokes don't chuck it around a lot, either. Head coach Craig Bohl, week in and week out, would joke about how his offensive scheme would not rival that of Mike Leach's anytime soon.
Wyoming completed just 120 of 256 pass attempts in 2019. That turned into an average of 136.2 yards per game.
The next worse passing team in the league, New Mexico, was still nearly 60 yards better than UW.
Bohl knows he doesn't need to have 600-yard passing days like Leach's Mississippi State team just did at LSU last Saturday, but they need to be much improved.
If Monday night's practice was any indication, Bohl's excitement was apparent. Even over a Zoom call.
"The guys we had last year who are back have taken a step forward," Bohl said ... "Unlike the practices without pads, we were able to see more today with half pads on and there are some guys making good plays.â€
Let's talk about those veterans first.
Senior Ayden Eberhardt and junior Gunner Gentry both made multiple plays in Monday's practice, according to a team press release. The media is not permitted to watch practices.
That's good news -- and hopefully a carry over for Eberhardt.
In that Arizona Bowl victory, the 6-foot, 2-inch wide out made just one catch, but it was an unforgettable one.
I'm not even going to try and describe it. Just watch this:
Eberhardt scored on that wild 51-yard heave just before halftime. That was likely the back-breaker for the Panthers.
That was only one of eight receptions on the season for Eberhardt. He amassed just 168 yards on the season.
Gentry was shutout in Tucson and snagged just six passes for 130 yards during his sophomore campaign. At 6 foot, 3 inches and 208 pounds, he will be looked upon to help lead a very young group with a Texas twang.
Devin Jennings, Alex Brown, Isaiah Neyor and Joshua Cobbs are the new kids on the block. They all hail from the Lone Star State and come with plenty of hype.
Or should we say hope?
"A couple of the young wide receivers have also been impressive," Bohl said Monday night. "They have excellent athleticism. They're very focused, and they're very competitive.
"I would say they're ahead of where a normal freshman would be."
That response came after Bohl was asked about the youth at that position. They aren't just a trio of freshman, two of them -- Brown and Cobbs -- are 6 feet, 4 inches in height. Jennings is two inches shorter.
That's a luxury the Pokes didn't have in departed seniors Raghib Ismail, Austin Conway and John Okwoli, who were all similar in size at 6-foot, 1-inch.
Taller pass catchers means a bigger catch radius. That should only help vault the passing percentage of Sean Chambers and Levi Williams.
That same press release said Jennings made a big catch on a long ball from Chambers in the Cowboys' fourth fall practice. It came on the final play from sophomore signal caller, Chambers.
Another beauty of all this is the fact that the NCAA is basically giving this season a mulligan. No one will lose any eligibility, even if they play in all eight games.
Imagine what that can do for a young corps of skill players?
"... Competition brings out the best in everyone," Bohl said. "We're going to see which guys rise to the top."