What’s wrong with Sean?
LARAMIE – Saturday night in steamy San Marcos, Craig Bohl said he wanted to reserve judgement and look at the film before dissecting the latest performance from his redshirt freshman quarterback Sean Chambers.
Sunday, he did just that. Monday, the verdict was in.
Well, sort of.
Bohl put plenty of the blame on Chambers, but quickly added
that the receivers – and their “difficult route tree” – sometimes led to missed
Chambers has completed just 14 passes through two games for
195 yards. Wyoming is one of just nine Division-I schools who has yet to throw
a touchdown pass this season. Chambers has hit just over 41 percent of his
“Those numbers got to improve, and we’re going to work hard
on that over the course of this week,” Bohl said at his weekly press conference
Monday in Laramie.
So, what gives?
Is this a mechanical issue or a mental one?
Chambers said it’s “lots of stuff.”
When he sets his feet, this happens:
“There are lots of variables out there,” Chambers said
Saturday night, minutes after the Cowboys knocked off Texas State 23-14 to move
to 2-0 on the season. “The bottom line is, I have to get receivers the ball. I
have to make plays. That’s the bottom line.”
Against the Bobcats, Chambers sailed several passes over receivers’ heads. He tossed the first interception of his young career, though it was a last-second Hail Mary into the end zone to close the first half. He never got in a rhythm. Dropped balls didn't help either.
Chambers said his "happy feet" sometimes get the best of him.
Bohl said he wants his signal caller to reach the 60-percent
completion range. That’s easier said than done.
“There were some other throws that Sean has just got to get
his feet settled, take his correct read and get that percentage up …,” Bohl
said. “… any time you’re throwing at that rate, it’s going to be hard to win a
lot of games unless you’re running the ball really effectively, which we are.”
But how long can the Cowboys rely on the running game
carrying the load?
San Diego State boasts the No. 8 rushing defense (48.5 yards
per game) in the nation to this point. Air Force comes in at 19th (75
yards per game). Boise State is in the Top 50. So is Tulsa and New Mexico.
Bohl said following the Texas State game that Wyoming’s
rushing attack is its “ace in the hole.” He added that it might come back to
bite them sooner rather than later if they can’t get the passing game fixed.
After a 6-for-16 performance in a week-one upset of Mizzou,
Bohl said he wasn’t concerned about Chambers’ ability to throw the ball but
wanted to see a more balanced attack in San Marcos.
So, what did the Cowboys’ staff do?
They ran the ball nine straight times to begin the contest.
Chambers didn’t attempt his first pass until the 5:19 mark
of the first quarter. That was on Wyoming’s third drive of the game.
Chambers has made a name for himself just five starts into
his career as a quarterback who can improvise and bust the big play. Everyone
knows he can run, but with nine guys in the box, that element of his game could
soon become an afterthought.
The Cowboys’ offense is predictable to this point in the
season. Bohl knows it. So does Chambers.
“Certainly, we need to score more points,” Bohl said. “We
have to throw the ball better than we did.”
Sophomore wide out, Gunner Gentry, was on the receiving end of Chambers’ highlight throw of the night – a perfect 44-yard strike down the far sideline.
No happy feet here:
Gentry said that was a glimpse of what the young gunslinger
can do. He thinks fans will see plenty more of that as the season moves
“We just need to play in some live games together and get a
chemistry down,” Gentry said. “We are getting there.”
However, late in the game, Chamber rolled to his right and lobbed a pass toward the end zone. It was badly under thrown. If not for the 6-foot, 7-inch Jackson Marcotte reaching out over a defender, this ball could’ve been picked off, thwarting a crucial scoring drive.
Chambers said nerves aren't to blame for his early misfires. The moment isn't too big for him, either.
There are a couple of indisputable facts, heading into week three.
One, Chambers is 5-0 as a starter. Two, he rarely puts his
team in a bad spot with turnovers. And last, but certainly not least, this team
believes in him. There is zero doubt about that.
This is his team.
Those, as Bohl likes to say, are the things he “can’t coach.”