LARAMIE -- Jay Sawvel said after Saturday night's Arizona Bowl victory he expects to have a new offensive coordinator hired by the weekend.

Who will that guy be? That remains a mystery.

What that guy will be tasked with upon arrival is all but set in stone.

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"The most difficult offenses to defend are ones that have the ability to run it and throw it," Wyoming's new head coach said. "Going forward, we have to be honest in the fact that we have to be able to win a game throwing the ball for 315 yards. You're going to have to do that at some point."

Passing? Throwing the ball for 315 yards? What?

Andrew Peasley accomplished that feat just one time during his two-year stint in Laramie. That came in a 42-9 rout of Hawaii last November. The senior signal caller completed 14-of-17 throws for 319 yards and three touchdowns.

Those stats were aided by a 44-yard scoring strike to Ryan Marquez and an 89-yard heave to John Michael Gyllenborg that gave the Cowboys an early 14-0 lead. Peasley also added a 40-yard touchdown toss to Wyatt Wieland.

The last Wyoming quarterback to surpass 315 yards through the air before that was Levi Williams. During the 2020 Border War meeting with Colorado State inside an empty Canvas Stadium, the then-freshman threw for 321 yards in a 34-24 loss to the Rams.

In fact, a Cowboy QB eclipsed 300 yards through the air just eight times during Craig Bohl's 10-year tenure on the high plains. Colby Kirkegaard is responsible for three of those during the 2014 season, Bohl's first at Wyoming.

Josh Allen accomplished that only twice.

Don't get too excited, Sawvel still knows where the Cowboys' bread is buttered.

"By the same token, if you base your whole offense (on throwing) and that's what you're going to do every week, you're going to be really disappointed with that narrative, as well," he added. "So, there's the physicality to it, the emphasis on being able to run the ball to it, all those things. Those are foundational with any team that is good."

 

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Sawvel said look no further than the four teams who made it to the College Football Playoff.

Michigan rushed the ball 183 more times than it threw it. Alabama, 236. Texas ball carriers finished with 527 carries. Quinn Ewers and Co. put the ball in the air 475 times. Washington, Sawvel said, is the only finalist that really "slings it." The Huskies still attempted nearly 400 rushes compared to 504 throws (523 as a team) off the left arm of Michael Penix Jr.

Three of the four schools featured a 1,000-yard rusher. The Crimson Tide had three players with more than 500 yards on the ground.

"To get to where you really, really want to be, there's a duality to it," Sawvel said. "You have to be able to run it when you want to and when you have to ... But then you have to be able to throw the ball in the same manner. Like, you have to be competent at it when you want to and need to. You have to be able to throw it when you have to: two-minute, end of games, 3rd-and-8. You've got to be proficient in all those things, and there's a challenge to that."

Heading into the offseason, Sawvel has already named Evan Svoboda the top signal caller on this roster. Harrison Waylee, along with the return of Dawaiian McNeely, should give the Cowboys arguably the top backfield in the Mountain West. Gyllenborg is an emerging star at tight end and the offensive line returns mostly intact.

Who will Svoboda throw the ball to?

Wyoming is losing five of its top six pass catchers -- Wieland, Ayir Asante, Treyton Welch, Marquez and Alex Brown -- to graduation.

That's another task for Sawvel and his new OC.

"Our job is to acquire and retain explosive players going forward," Sawvel added. "We need to put them in a situation where we are capable of all of that."

University of Wyoming’s Top 50 Football Players

During the summer of 2021, 7220Sports.com counted down the Top 50 football players in University of Wyoming history, presented by Premier Bone & Joint Centers, Worthy of Wyoming.

The rules are simple: What was the player's impact while in Laramie? That means NFL stats, draft status or any other accolade earned outside of UW is irrelevant when it comes to this list.

This isn't a one-man job. This task called for a panel of experts. Joining 7220's Cody Tucker are Robert GagliardiJared NewlandRyan Thorburn, and Kevin McKinney.

We all compiled our own list of 50 and let computer averages do the work. Think BCS -- only we hope this catalog is fairer.

Don't agree with a selection? Feel free to sound off on our Twitter: @7220sports - #Top50UWFB

Gallery Credit: 7220Sports.com

- University of Wyoming’s Top 50 Football Players

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