Thanks to a particularly polarizing quarterback, Wyoming football left their mark on this year’s NFL draft. Now former Cowboys signal caller, Josh Allen, was taken with the 7th overall pick by the Buffalo Bills, and naturally it is always difficult to go about replacing any player of that caliber, but even more so the maestro of the offense. Predicted to win eight games for a consecutive season, they open the season as 5 1/2 point favorites over the New Mexico State Aggies.
Unfortunately, two key returners will miss the entire upcoming season with injuries, and will each apply for a medical redshirt. Running back, Trey Woods, along with defensive tackle, Javaree Jackson, hope to retain their three remaining years of eligibility, and their absence will be surely be felt throughout the season. These type of injuries not only affect the team but also affect college football betting odds of the them in any sports book out there online or Vegas.
Even with the departure of Allen to the NFL, the Cowboys look to make a bowl game appearance for consecutive seasons for the first time in nearly 20 years. Though it remains to be if the offense can overcome the loss of both Allen to the draft and a promising back with experience in Woods, the defensive unit that carried the Cowboys last season returns a host of key contributors.
One such player, senior safety, Andrew Wingard, is a preseason second team All-American on defense, and for good reason. The Jim Thorpe Award is presented at the conclusion of each college football season to the player voted on as the best defensive back in the country. Wingard was on the Thorpe Award watch list in both the 2016 and 2017 seasons, having been a semifinalist in 2016. He enters his senior campaign as the fourth leading tackler among active college football players in the FBS at 9.41 per contest, and second in solo tackles, having averaged 5.85 per contest. Wyoming is banking on another stellar season from him and hope the defense can counter any offensive deficiencies.
Even with the many pressing questions on the offensive side of the ball, the Wyoming Cowboys are favored to win eight of their games, albeit by a narrow margin in two of those predictions. Still, if they could capitalize on being heavily favored in six games, that is enough to propel them to a consecutive bowl game appearance.
Two match-ups in particular will each provide a monumental opportunity for head coach Craig Bohl and his ‘Boys to make a major statement. They will travel to take on SEC foe Missouri on the road on the third game of the season. Missouri quarterback and first team All-SEC selection, Drew Lock, led the nation is passing touchdowns last season with an astounding 44, en route to racking up nearly 4,000 yards through the air in the process. It will be a tall order, but with a top tier defense, the Cowboys could rope in a mammoth upset.
MWC favorite and preseason top-20 ranked Boise State of blue turf fame visits Wyoming on September 29, in what will be a raucous environment. It’s worth noting that the last time that the Boise State Broncos visited Wyoming in 2016, the Cowboys rode off into the sunset with a victory in a 30-28 stunner.
If Wyoming, who led the nation in turnover margin in 2017, can continue to play well defensively and protect the ball, Cowboys fans are in for another fun ride to another bowl game.