Wyoming Football 2011: Offensive Preview

There were two big moves effecting the Wyoming offense: First it was offensive coordinator Marcus Arroyo who left Wyoming to take the quarterback coach position at Cal, and he the replacement was Gregg Brandon, and the second big move was the transfer of two-year starter Austin Carta-Samuels. Wyoming also lost their most experienced quarterback in Emory Miller who decided to transfer this past June

Brandon was the head coach at Bowling Green from 2003-08 and took over for Urban Meyer when he left for Utah and was Meyer's offensive coordinator prior to being the head coach at Bowling Green. While the head coach Brandon kept the spread option offense, but the success slowly dwindled after two bowl games in two years.

Now, Brandon must work his magic to find a quarterback to run his offense. Brandon has three quarterbacks to pick from in Brett Smith, Adam Pittser and the most recent is junior college transfer Colby Kirkegaard who joined the team for fall camp.

Smith and Pittser have zero division one experience as both are true freshman, Smith was on campus for spring ball and has a leg up on Pittser. Kirkegaard has more experience at a higher level due to his junior college experience, but is the least familiar with the team and system. Wyoming needs whoever to be the starting quarterback to not turn the ball over and rely heavily on running back Alvester Alexander who rushed for 792 yards and 14 touchdowns. However, according to the post spring depth chart it is not Alexander who is listed as the starting running back, but it is former walk-on Brandon Miller. This could be due to Alexander having an injury during spring ball, but look for Alexander to be the starting back and push for 1,000 yards on the year. Having Miller on as a quality backup is something Wyoming needs if they want to help out the very green quarterbacks.

The offensive line will be key for Wyoming, because they will need to protect the new quarterback to give them a chance to succeed. The line has four upper classman with only the center being a sophomore. Having that experience, even on a bad 2010 team, should help stabilize the front seven that they will be going up against.

The wide receiver position is also a key area because with these new quarterbacks timing is imperative. With three quarterbacks in the race it will be tough for the receivers to get any type of solid chemistry. Wyoming lost their top two receivers from 2010, so the top returner is Chris McNeill who had 28 catches for 257 yards and three touchdowns. The next most experienced is Mazi Ogbonna who only hauled in 18 receptions, 183 yards and one score.

With this type of inexperience at wide receiver the running game will be asked of a lot this year, but that could be a double-edged sword because it is possible that Wyoming maybe forced to throw the ball to play catch in certain games. With Wyoming running a spread attack they will be going seven or eight receivers deep. 

There is a lot of inexperience at the wide receiver spot which could make things interesting. One thing Wyoming will need to do is to improve off of their minus-two turnover margin from 2010, but that could be difficult. 

The best position group is the running game and offensive line, so Wyoming will need to establish the run game early on and then open up the passing am, so cliche I know. They have the talent at the running back spot to cause defenses trouble, but overall they will need to have a passing game to have a successful 2011 season.

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