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Oregon Football

Opponent Preview: Wyoming

July 12, 2017
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Oregon Ducks @ Wyoming Cowboys


Sept. 16th

This game will be the first time that Oregon plays the Cowboys in Wyoming. The last time these two programs faced off was in the 2014 season, the same season that Oregon made it to the inaugural National Championship, and Marcus won the Heisman trophy. That final score was 48-14 with Oregon taking the game by storm. This rematch in Laramie will show two very different teams than the two that met back in 2014.

ESPN gives Oregon an 84.7% chance of winning this game against the Wyoming Cowboys. That percentage might surprise some fans as ESPN gave Oregon an 85.6% of beating Nebraska. It's not the biggest difference but here are some factors why experts expect it to be a closer game.

Location


Not only will this be the Ducks first visit to Wyoming it will also be the first away game of the 2017 season for this young and inexperienced team. Wyoming is coming off a 2016 season where they went undefeated at home winning all six matchups. Among those victories include upsetting No. 13 ranked Boise St. and No. 24 ranked San Diego St. Combine that with the fact that last season Oregon won only one of their away games narrowly beating Utah 30-28. Look for Oregon to try and distance themselves from last year by making a statement against the Cowboys.

Head Coach


Wyoming re-signed head coach Craig Bohl, 2016 Mountain West Conference Coach of the Year, to a seven-year contract. The decision to re-up his contract was done to help cement the pieces involved in making this program competitive on a national level. Bohl came to Wyoming after winning his third FCS Championship title in 2013 with North Dakota State. Bohl who both played and coached under Hall of Fame coach Tom Osborne at Nebraska brought that Nebraska style toughness to Wyoming and the program has not looked back since.

Mentality


Playing for Nebraska as well as coaching at Nebraska under the legendary coach Tom Osborne, the blue-collar work ethic has been ingrained in Bohl's coaching. Bohl has been quoted saying, " We’re going to have our hand in the dirt and knock the s*** out of you” about highly recruited players at other programs. Wyoming plays with a tenacity and chip on its shoulder that used to be commonplace. But has now taken a back seat to up-tempo offenses. Don't expect that from Wyoming even though they have one of the elite quarterbacks in the country.

Recruiting


Wyoming and Bohl approach recruiting the same way that Southern Utah does, they don't try to go for players that look for programs with flash and pizazz because they know they can't compete on that level. They instead look for players that work hard and go under the radar of bigger programs. A prime example of this style of recruiting is the Cowboy's junior QB Josh Allen who out of high school was an under looked prospect with a low ranking. Put him in the Wyoming program, and as a junior, he is considered a top QB in the country. Look for Allen to make a big impact come September 16th.

Offense


Led by a junior quarterback the Cowboy's offense is not to be taken lightly posing threats in the air and on the ground. Brian Hill put the Cowboys running game on his back (sometimes literally) and finished the season tied with Oklahoma at 28th in the country for rushing attack. However, Hill has since left for the NFL leaving sophomore, Milo Hall, to head the position. Hall was a top player coming out of Colorado and coaches have high expectations for the sophomore this season. Although Allen is a top QB, last season after throwing for 3,203 yards and 28 touchdowns he rushed for 523 yards and scored seven more on the ground, his wide receivers are young, and I mean really young the oldest is sophomore Joseph Austin. I have no doubt that Allen is incredibly talented, but it will be interesting to see what he will be able to do with this young group.

Defense


The Cowboy's defense is where you will find a lot of the difference makers for the Cowboy's starting with their star defensive back Andrew Wingard who finished last season as a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award. Wingard, with 131 tackles last season, is the heart of a defense that is known for its grittiness and toughness on the line so expect some of the biggest plays to happen at the line of scrimmage.  Another notable player on defense is returning All-American linebacker Logan Wilson who made the switch to weakside linebacker from strong safety and is currently number one on the depth charts for that position.

Tags: Football, Oregon
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