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ACS Ready for Next Challenge


Staff member
Austyn Carta-Samuels didn’t get to see TCU’s 55-28 win over Utah live, but he was able to catch the replay the next day.

As Wyoming’s starting quarterback settled in and started to watch the game, he realized he had made a big mistake.

The announcers were lauding TCU’s defensive play. They were replaying defensive hits on Utah freshman quarterback Jordan Wynn often with a comment about how good the defense is or how much Wynn must have felt the hit.

All of this didn't exactly sit well with Carta-Samuels.

“To be honest, I don’t like to watch live games with commentary just because that will get you psyched out,” Carta-Samuels said. “They’re the No. 4 team in the country and I think they’re one of the top-5 defenses in the country and to hear those announcers go, ‘Oh my, look at this and look at this.’ It scares you a little bit playing quarterback.”

Carta-Samuels, Wyoming freshman starter, will get to experience TCU firsthand in Laramie, Wyo., this weekend. He's already played the other top teams in the conference -- BYU, Utah and Air Force -- but he said after watching TCU on film, there’s not a team he’s faced that compares to the Frogs' team speed.

“It’s an exciting opportunity ahead,” Carta-Samuels said. “Personally, I think TCU is faster than all of those [Mountain West] defenses. I don’t know whether they’re at the same level I think they are, but it will definitely be [an] awesome chance for me to get my feet wet in a situation like this.”

Carta-Samuels and the Wyoming offense didn’t fare well against the other top teams in the conference. They were outscored 84-10 and were shut out against Air Force and BYU. Those three games game produced the three lowest offensive outputs for the Cowboys this season.

And TCU has beaten all three.

Carta-Samuels said having the experience of playing those games prior to facing TCU should help him understand what works and what doesn’t. He said the fact that the offense wasn’t able to do much in those games has actually given him patience, something he knows he’ll need against a TCU team that allows just 12.9 points per game and 244.90 yards per game.

“What I’ve been able to do better after playing those three games is cope with my frustration a lot because I get frustrated when we’re not moving the football,” Carta-Samuels said. “I maybe let it affect me a little bit in the past. I know how that feels, coach knows how I am when that happens and so this Saturday, if things don’t start off the right way, we know how to deal with that. I can learn from the mistakes that I made in those other games and take it into this one.”

Wyoming coach Dave Christensen said his faith in Carta-Samuels never wavered despite the lack of offensive production against those opponents. He chalked them up as learning experiences that will only help Carta-Samuels as he gets older.

Wyoming saw some of that experience pay off last weekend as Carta-Samuels led the Cowboys back from a 21-point deficit in the fourth quarter against San Diego State, which put Wyoming one game away from bowl eligibility with two games to play.

“He’s done a nice job and he’s tried to make a lot of things happen and last Saturday a bunch of other guys started making plays,” Christensen said. “He improves daily and weekly and the more experience he gets the better he’s going to be.”

Carta-Samuels knows this weekend’s game will be an uphill battle, but he’s eager for the opportunity. After playing four top teams already this season, including Texas, Carta-Samuels said he feels he’s ready to face this challenge.

“They’re unbelievable. They’re a special team, no doubt,” Carta-Samuels said. “You have an opportunity to beat the No. 4 team in the country, to play with the No. 4 team in the country. Jerry Hughes on the defensive line. Everyone’s probably predicting him to sack me eight times on Saturday, so you have an opportunity to get away from that and beat that. It’s just a lot of good things ahead of us. And while I’m not accepting a loss at all by any means, I expect to win, but you lose to the No. 4 team in the country and that’s what everyone expected.”
I guess that's a good way to look at it. He seems pretty realistic. If he knows they'll be after him all night long and is prepared for it, maybe he'll be able to mentally prepared enough to stay sharp despite it all.

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