By Scott Hansen
The University of Wyoming, surrounded by the picturesque Front Range, is located in Laramie at an elevation of nearly 7200 feet. War Memorial Stadium features the highest elevation of any stadium in college football and seats 29,181 spectators.
The Cowboys are coached by Craig Bohl, who is in his fourth season as head coach after coming over from North Dakota State, Bohl is 16-26 overall since arriving in Laramie, but was named the Mountain West Coach of the Year last season as the Cowboys claimed the Mountain West Conference Championship.
Wyoming is led by junior quarterback Josh Allen, who is considered by many scouting observers to be a first-round talent for the National Football League. This may be either a Carson Wentz situation with some legitimacy to it, Wentz played under Bohl at North Dakota State, or a stretch as some scouts get overzealous on certain prospects early in the process.
In 2017, the 6’5, 233-pound junior from Firebaugh, CA has been less than stellar, albeit against tough non-conference competition including losses to Iowa and Oregon. Allen has three touchdown strikes this season compared to three interceptions. The offense has sputtered thus far, averaging only 17.8 points per game.
Freshman Trey Woods is the leading rusher for the Cowboys. He will likely push for 1,000 yards this season as the Cowboys, defending Mountain West champions, get into conference play. Woods averages nearly seven yards per carry and is likely to see his workload increase as the weather changes in Laramie.
Sophomore C.J. Johnson out of Bellevue West in the Omaha area is a big play receiver to watch. He and Allen may get something rolling here within the next few weeks. Watch this space. The Cowboys absolutely got a steal in the recruiting process with Johnson.
Logan Harris, a 6’3, 300-pound true freshman from Torrington, WY, will start at center. Harris, the state high school shot put record holder, looks to contribute to a young offensive line that includes only one senior. UW has averaged 17.8 points and 269.5 yards, and has converted only 33 percent of third-down attempts through four games.
Defensively, the Cowboys allow 23.5 points and 366 yards per game and rank 56th in total defense.
Carl Granderson, a 6’5, 240-pound defensive end from Sacramento, CA, leads the Pokes defense. Granderson has registered six tackles-for-loss this season and has three sacks.
Sophomore defensive tackle Youhanna Ghafan was a major recruiting score out of Grand Island, NE. Ghafan is 6’5, 295 pounds and is extremely athletic for his size. Safety Andrew Wingard, a junior, leads the team in tackles and has two interceptions to tie for the team lead as well.
Wyoming comes in with a record of 2-2 overall and 1-0 in conference play, In each of the two prior meetings, the home team defended its turf by earning victories.
Photo by Casper Star Tribune of his days at Torrington High Schools in eastern Wyoming. Erin Cassity, librarian at Incarnate Word.