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College Football

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There’s a general regression expected whenever a team like Wyoming loses a top NFL Draft pick, but considering the Cowboys were 8-5 overall, there may not be much of a drop off. In fact, their over/under at 5Dimes Sportsbook is 6.5 wins, which is almost in the same range they finished with Josh Allen. But with 18 returning starters, everyone outside of the quarterback should keep this team relevant in the Mountain West and that’s seen in +2200 odds to win it, fifth best. 

That said, the offense still wasn’t good with Allen under center, scoring 23.5 points per Game last year. So whoever opens the season as starter doesn’t have much to live up to. That’ll be redshirt freshman Tyler Vander Waal or former backup Nick Smith. Early signs pointed to Vander Waal, but it probably won’t make much of a difference anyway. The options are limited outside of wide receiver Austin Conway (58 receptions, 520 yards), who returns with James Price and tight end Tyree Mayfield. The running Game is the most important aspect for this offense that averaged a terrible 3.2 yards per carry. The line is expected to be better, but two freshmen are slated to start on the inside, which could lead to early problems. Running back is a toss up between Trey Woods and Kellen Overstreet, both of whom were limited in the spring due to various ailments.

The big thing for Wyoming is that its defense could be just as good after allowing only 17.5 points per Game. If the Cowboys don’t fall off defensively, that’ll make up for anything the offense doesn’t do. The line is loaded with Carl Granderson on the end and Youhanna Ghaifan at tackle. Logan Wilson is an all-Conference performer at linebacker and while the secondary loses a couple cornerbacks, senior safeties Andrew Wingard and Marcus Epps are two of the best in the conference, starting since they were freshmen. This defense crushed everyone but Oregon last year and as long as that remains the case, seven or eight wins will be possible.

Of course, the Cowboys have a couple interesting non-Conference Games to open the season against Washington State and Missouri, both high-flying offenses. Even NMSU in the opener isn’t a free Game as Wyoming is less than a touchdown favorite. As long as they get one win out of those three that could be enough for the over if the Cowboys can reach six wins in MWC play. OUtside of the trip to Fresno, none of their MWC road Games are against top competition and even the home Schedule is favorable outside of Boise. In fact, the Cowboys have one of the more favorable Schedules in the Conference with Hawai’i and SJSU in cross-division play. As long as the new quarterback doesn’t give the ball away multiple times each Game, Wyoming will be competitive and get wins against weaker teams in the conference. That could lead to seven regular season wins, the same as last year with Josh Allen.


2018 Wyoming Cowboys Football Schedule

Aug. 25 at New Mexico State 

Sept. 1 vs. Washington State

Sept. 8 at Missouri

Sept. 15 vs. Wofford

Sept. 29 vs. Boise State

Oct. 6 at Hawai’i

Oct. 13 at Fresno State

Oct. 20 vs. Utah State

Oct. 26 at Colorado State

Nov. 3 vs. San Jose State

Nov. 17 vs. Air Force

Nov. 24 at New Mexico

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