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Schedule and Odds
Even though Wyoming finished with just four wins in 2012, there is some hope that a bowl game is in sight this season. After having one win in non-conference play a year ago, the Cowboys will need a quicker start to reach their goal. It will also help if some of their key players can stay healthy.
One of those is quarterback Brett Smith who missed two games due to a concussion. Those both happened to be home games and losses by a combined three points. Just think, that's how close Wyoming was from a bowl game last year. Smith still finished with great numbers totaling 27 TDs and six INTs in 10 games of work. He's joined by a nice receiving core of Robert Herron, Dominic Rufran and Jalen Claiborne who combined for 18 TDs last year. Head coach Dave Christensen is also taking over the play calling which could give the offense a boost. D.J. May will likely be the starting running back, but much like last season, it'll be more of a committee. After averaging 3.4 yards per carry as a team in 2012, they only return two starting linemen which could bring up some problems.
The defensive side of things will need to improve on last year's 33.4 points allowed per game. They struggled mightily against the run-heavy teams of Air Force and Nevada last year and need to improve in that area. With seven returning starters and multiple ones at each level, they should see some gains. Against a lot of top-level QBs, the Cowboys actually have a solid secondary led by cornerback Blair Burns.
2013 Wyoming Football Schedule
Aug. 31 at Nebraska
Sept. 7 vs. Idaho
Sept. 14 vs. Northern Colorado
Sept. 21 at Air Force
Sept. 28 at Texas State
Oct. 12 vs. New Mexico
Oct. 19 vs. Colorado State
Oct. 26 at San Jose State
Nov. 9 vs. Fresno State
Nov. 16 at Boise State
Nov. 23 vs. Hawaii
Nov. 30 at Utah State
While Wyoming's road schedule opens kind of brutal at Nebraska and Air Force (two run-heavy squads), their home schedule sets up pretty nicely for a bowl game. If all goes well, the Pokes will come out of non-conference play with three wins which is two more than last season.
Throw those in with home conference games against New Mexico, Colorado State and Hawaii and you have your six wins. It's always easier said than done, but if Brett Smith and company can stay on the field, there's no reason why this team won't make a bowl game. Playing in the Mountain division will be tough, but it wouldn't be surprising to see them pull off some road upsets. Their opening and season ending games in the MWC can both be won at Air Force and Utah State.
There's a good reason why fans are hyped for the season and six or more wins should be reasonably attainable for this group of guys even if the defense doesn't pull through entirely.
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