The regular season is in the books and the Wyoming Cowboys have completed the season with an 8-4 record. This is hard to deal with because it seems like just a few weeks ago we were up through the middle of the night watching the Pokes knock off Nothern Illinois. Wyoming still has two games, this weekend’s Mountain West Championship Game versus San Diego State and a bowl game to be played in a few weeks versus an unknown opponent in an unknown location. Let’s check in on some of the interesting individual and team numbers the Pokes have racked up this 2016 college football season while I hope Dave Walsh’s lawyers don’t come after me for catch phrase infringement.
Wyoming had a trio of skill players put up some pretty impressive numbers this season. Sophomore quarterback Josh Allen threw for 2,748 yards which ranked him 2nd in the Mountain West and 38th nationally. On top of that, he had 23 passing touchdowns which tied him for 1st in the Mountain West and ranked him 28th nationally.
Brian Hill had a brilliant junior campaign that saw him break his own school record with 1,674 rushing yards. This put him second in the conference behind only the great Donnel Pumphrey (1,908 yards) and ranked the hard running Hill 4th in the nation. Hill had a banner year for touchdowns too as he made it into the end zone 21 times good for 2nd in the MW and 3rd in the nation.
The third and final member of this trio Senior WR Tanner Gentry had 62 receptions for 1,132 yards and 11 receiving touchdowns. Those numbers ranked him 5th, 3rd and 1st in the Mountain West respectively and he was one of only 33 wide receivers to top 1,000 yards for the season.
On the defensive side of the ball, there are some standout numbers as well. Sophomore safety Andrew Wingard followed up his freshman season with 119 total tackles which ranked first in the Mountain West.
Three was a magic number for interceptions this season as Wyoming had three players with 3 interceptions a piece good for 5th in the Mountain West in Marcus Epps, Antonio Hull and Logan Wilson.
Lastly on the individual side, D.J. May showed that linebackers can have kick return skills as his 27.94 yards per kick return was good enough for 2nd in the conference.
When looking at the team stats one number jumps off the page. The Cowboys finished the season with the number one scoring offense in the Mountain West at 38.2 points per game which ranked them 21st in the nation.
This is an incredible turnaround as last season the Pokes were 11th in the league scoring a dismal 19.0 points per game. The offense led by Allen, Hill and Gentry doubled their production from last season and was the biggest scoring increase from the season before in FBS college football.
The 38.2 points per game saw the Cowboys score a total of 458 points which is the most the football team has scored since 1996 (464 points) and the 3rd most in a season in school history. Trailing only that 1996 team and the 1988 squad that saw the Pokes score 511 points.
On the defensive front, the Wyoming rush defense was much improved and would have finished even better if it wasn’t for the 568-yard night the Lobos put up last Saturday. The Cowboys allowed 199 rushing yards per game this season and although that may not sound significant it actually is because it is the first time since 2009 the Wyoming defense held opponents to under 200 rushing yards per game.