Preview 2017: Is Wyoming Football Cool?
With a great offense and a stellar quarterback, have Craig Bohl and Josh Allen made Wyoming cool?
Now that’s the Craig Bohl we’ve all been waiting for, and now, Wyoming football is becoming … cool?
It’s the program that hadn’t won a thing for a long, long time in a college town in the middle of nowhere. But even with the remote location, and even with the UPS color-schemed uniforms – the bright yellow jerseys absolutely rule – Wyoming appears to be on the verge of becoming a fun major player on a consistent basis in the Mountain West.
It’s what Bohl was hired on for.
He created a dynasty at North Dakota State with three straight national titles – and embarrassing wins over FCSers along the way – without a whole ton of top-shelf talent. So it made sense that he could turn around a program that struggled to bring in star prospects and might need to win because the systems and coaching were better.
And that’s now the hope in Year Four. At NDSU, it took four seasons to rise up into a superpower after stepping up in class to the Missouri Valley Conference. Now it’s Bohl’s fourth year in Laramie, and there’s plenty of reason to be fired up.
Even when the team stunk under Bohl’s watch in the first two seasons, there were times when it was a whole lot of fun when the ground game was hitting home run after home run.
But last year, it all came together with the rushing attack to go along with the potential NFL franchise-making quarterback in the improbable run to the Mountain West title game.
Wyoming still has a long way to go under Bohl. It needs to be more consistent, the defense has to be far better and consistent, and losing four of the last five games wasn’t fun, but if it can have the reputation for cranking up the devastating offense, and if Bohl can be the seen as the coach to play for if you want to be an NFL quarterback, look out.
First, Bohl helped turn Carson Wentz into the No. 2 pick in the draft – at least he set him on the right path – and now he has the next star in Josh Allen to add to the resume.
Allen probably would’ve been the first or second quarterback taken in the 2017 NFL Draft – and might have been No. 1 overall. One more massive season out of Allen, and quarterbacks with the right measurables might have to take a look at Wyoming.
It all starts with Allen. With a new group of running backs trying to replace Brian Hill’s lost production, and with the top three receivers gone, Allen has to make everyone around him better. With four starters back on an O line that’s been amazing for the ground game over the last two seasons, the protection will be there.
The defense needs a whole bunch of work, especially against the run, but experience isn’t a problem. The line will get into the backfield, but it was way too soft against the run. Fortunately, the secondary is loaded with hitters – led by, arguably, the best safety tandem in the Mountain West in Andrew Wingard and Marcus Epps.
But can Wyoming get better and make winning consistent and expected? Being okay is good, but for a coach and a staff known for winning titles, it’s okay now to expect more.
And to look good doing it.