September 30, 2012
The Good, Bad, and Ugly
The Cowboys are resting and preparing for Nevada during the bye week and looking for ways to improve their play heading into the conference schedule.
The 1-3 start isn't the ideal beginning the Pokes wanted, though there is time to make ammends on the slow start and they built some momentum with a late victory over Idaho.
GoWyoGo.com takes a look at the good, bad, and ugly in the first third of the season already in the books.
1. Brett Smith's Talent - Despite missing 4 1/2 quarters of football, it is evident Smith is elevating his game from his freshmen season.
The 6-foot-3 signal caller has thrown with better accuracy and shown improved arm strength from last season.
With him in the lineup, the Cowboys offense appears to be heading in an upward direction and looks to be as prolific as it's been in several seasons.
2. Cowboy Receiving Corp - The play of Chris McNeill and the probable return of Robert Herron next week, Smith has two exceptional weapons to make the offense go.
The Pokes have a number of secondary receivers with ability in Jalen Claiborne, Dominic Rufran, and Trey Norman coming along.
Both McNeill and Herron already have had big games with McNeill amassing over 200 yards against Idaho and Herron over 170 against Texas.
The corp looks to be heading in the right direction and should continue to improve.
3. Tim Gleeson - After a tough start at Texas, Gleeson is showing a strong leg and averaged 48.6 yards on five punts against Idaho.
He has also shown good hang time and if the special teams can do their part on coverage, he can be a weapon in setting field position.
1. Cowboy Run Defense - Wyoming has given up over 200 yards rushing in all four games and has struggled stopping offenses on the ground.
The Cowboys want to compete in the first division of the Mountain West they must find away to improve in the trenches. Finding the edge in improving run defense should help the rest of the defense elevate their games.
2. Pass Pressure Defense - The Cowboys need to find away to put more pressure on the quarterback. They've picked up only four sacks to-date and the overall pressure on the opposing team's passer has been sparse.
1. Loss to Cal Poly - Losing to a FCS team in your home field doesn't bold well for fan enthusiasm. While the Cowboys played without Smith and likely would have won with him in the lineup, the loss to the Big Sky school isn't sitting well.
2. Brett Smith's Injury - The controversal hit by Toledo on Smith in the fourth quarter of a UW loss had it's effects. The Pokes possibly dropped two games they should have had won with him on the field.
Smith sat out a crucial late game drive against the Rockets that may have ended in a game winner, while the effects of losing to Cal Poly doesn't need much explanation.
Ten Players To Watch
1. QB Brett Smith - He looks to be headed to a big season statistically and should keep the Cowboys in games with his talent.
2. WR Chris McNeill - Following the eight catch and 219 yard performance versus Idaho, he is on his way to a prolific season.
3. WR Robert Herron - His return to the lineup increases the possibilities for the Cowboy passing attack.
5. RB Shaun Wick - The freshmen is emerging as the top running back and should start clicking more with game experience.
6. S Luke Ruff - He's off to a good start from safety and continues to lead the secondary.
7. CB Blair Burns - The sophomore as been close on a couple of pick sixes. It's a matter of time before big plays happen.
8. DT Mike Purcell - Despite the Cowboys struggles on defense, Purcell has been a constant on the defensive line.
9. LB Korey Jones - Registered double digit tackles against Texas. He's been all over the field.
10. LB Ghaali Muhammad - The linebacker seems to be hitting his stride in his final go around after a solid performance last weekend.
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