Originally written on College Football Zealots  |  Last updated 5/15/12

2011 Record: (8-5, 5-2 in MWC)

Head Coach: Dave Christensen (18-20 at Wyoming, 10-13 in MWC)

Last Bowl Game: 2011 New Mexico Bowl: lost to Temple 37-15

2011 Preview


Schedule Glimpse:

2012 Schedule Link

Must Win: 9/15 vs Cal Poly, 9/22 at Idaho, 11/10 at New Mexico, 11/17 at UNLV

Paying the Bills: 9/1 at Texas

Swing Games: 9/8 vs Toledo, 10/6 at Nevada, 10/13 vs Air Force, 11/24 vs San Diego State

Statistical Snapshot:

2011 Statistics Link

Stat to Cheer: 31 takeaways in 2011 (16 more than 2010)

Stat to Fear: gave up 98 rushing plays of 10 or more yards (119th out of 120 teams)



Phil Steele's Returning Starters (Offense: 6; Defense: 7; Specialists: 1)

Key Defensive Returnees: S Luke Ruff (102 tackles), S Luke Anderson (75 tackles, 9 PBU, 2 INT) CB Blair Burns (48 tackles, 4 INT)

Key Offensive Returnees: QB Brett Smith (20 TD, 11 INT), WR Dominic Rufran (44 rec, 2 TD), WR Robert Herron (43 rec, 3 TD), WR Chris McNeill (42 rec, 4 TD)

Top Recruits: OLB Sam Awrabi (Scout.com's #81 OLB), WR Trent Sewell (#93 WR)


Inside Scoop with Robert Gagliardi of Cowboy Chronicles:

CFBZ: Wyoming improved last year by five wins. What were the primary reasons for their improvement?

Robert Gagliardi: Because of the emergence of true freshman quarterback Brett Smith, who started every game, accounted for 31 touchdowns (20 passing, 10 rushing, one receiving) and set a Mountain West freshman record with 3,332 yards of total offense. Smith led the team in rushing (710 yards) and completed 61 percent of his passes. The defense allowed 431.6 yards and nearly 28 points per game, but it forced 31 turnovers and had one of the best turnover margins in the nation.


CFBZ: What are the biggest reasons to be optimistic that Wyoming can maintain that success this season?

Robert Gagliardi: The return and maturation of Smith, along with the team’s top three receivers from last season. There is a new defensive coordinator in Chris Tormey, a long-time friend of coach Dave Christensen’s. The defense continues to be a 4-3 base with multiple looks at times, but there seems to be a new energy and aggressiveness with this unit. The defensive secondary is athletic and deep.


CFBZ: Who are some under-the-rader players to watch this season?    

Robert Gagliardi: Offensively, look for sophomore Trey Norman to emerge as a primary target at receiver. He played sparingly as a true freshman last season. Junior Brandon Miller and sophomore Kody Sutton get their shots to be the primary running back in the program. Defensively, watch for sophomore Mark Nzeocha, who is from Germany. Nzeocha played outside linebacker last season, but was moved to safety and seems to be adapting well. At 6-3, 220, he’s a beast at safety who runs and moves well. Junior defensive tackle Patrick Mertens garnered some Freshman All-America honors in 2010, but missed all of last season due to an illness. He is back to full strength.


CFBZ: What is your gut feeling on the final record for 2012 and what makes the season successful in your eyes?     

Robert Gagliardi: If both lines improve and become more consistent, Wyoming could be at or close to eight wins or more again this season. Some play-makers need to emerge offensively, as well as continued improvement across the board defensively. The conference schedule is favorable for the most part, other than road trips to Nevada and Fresno State. I see Wyoming going 8-4 again in the regular season, with a shot at 9-3.



Dave Christensen has gone 7-6, 3-9 and 8-5 in his three years at Wyoming. Now that Christensen has been in place for three full years we should start to see more consistency in the program. Christensen is a former offensive coordinator for Missouri, so Wyoming likes to throw the ball around. Last year, they had a quarterback in Brett Smith who was more suited to do that and it showed on the field. Smith returns this year as a sophomore and he returns a ton of talent at the wide receiver position. I would expect Wyoming's offense to be similar to what it was last year if not a bit more successful.

On defense, Wyoming had a middle of the pack defense that struggled to stop the run. In their five losses, the Cowboys gave up an average of 6.1 ypc and 296 yards per game (they gave up at least 200 in every game they lost with the least being 200 to Boise State). Boise State returns a ton of talent in the back end of the defense but they need to find some answers up front.

2012 Prediction: 8-4


Previous 2012 Previews:

MAC: Bowling Green, EMU, Toledo, WMU

Sun Belt: FAU Owls, North Texas, ULM

WAC: Idaho, New Mexico St, San Jose St


Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Andrew Desjardins eats cereal out of Stanley Cup

Stephen Curry posts priceless David Lee farewell on Twitter

Michigan AD: Nike deal is largest in the country

Randy Moss beats Antonio Brown in sprints during workout

LeBron James believes his ‘legacy will speak for itself’


WATCH: Crash at Tour de France sidelines riders

Buehrle drank beer during World Series game he pitched

Redick gives Clippers ‘F-minus’ grade for losing Jordan

Report: PGA pulls Grand Slam event from Trump course

Three things to watch for on Hard Knocks with the Texans

Pierre-Paul could face charges for possession of fireworks

Phillies GM: Chase Utley not a starter at 2B when he returns

T.O. has advice for Donovan McNabb after latest DUI

Sonnen: McGregor is 27 pounds over his weight limit

WATCH: Connor McDavid turns heads in Oilers scrimmage

Member of Pirates grounds crew swallowed by tarp

Video allegedly shows BYU RB recruit being shot

Vin Scully teaching the history of the American flag is a national treasure

Top MLS players at the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup

How the Pacers' new identity will look

Matt Bonner blames iPhone 6 for elbow injury, shooting woes

Evaluating Tarasenko’s eight-year, $60M contract

Tigers should accept reality and become trade deadline sellers

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Top MLS players at the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup

Five RBs who could break the Heisman Trophy streak

Watch to watch on Hard Knocks with the Texans

Tigers should become trade deadline sellers

JPP could face criminal charges?

'Corrected' 2015 MLB All-Star Game picks

MLB's 2015 All-Star snubs

Gronk, David Ortiz in latest Dunkin Donuts iced coffee video

The 2015 All-Star reserves & pitchers

Are LeBron, Cavs just playing teenage games?

Bucks threatens move to Vegas, Seattle

Bryce Harper to skip Home Run Derby

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.