Improving the passing game was a topic discussion for the University of Wyoming over the first two weeks of the season.
It will continue to be emphasized after Week 3.
Redshirt freshman quarterback Sean Chambers was erratic throughout the UW’s 21-16 victory over Idaho Saturday afternoon. He completed just 4 of 12 passes for 50 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions.
The Cowboys averaged less than 97.5 yards passing per game entering Saturday’s contest. They will head to Tulsa averaging just over 81 yards through the air per game.
“It was cumulative stuff,” Chambers said. “We didn’t run the ball particularly well. Obviously, we didn’t throw the ball very well. We’ve just got to watch the tape and go back to the drawing board and get better.”
Chambers was sacked once and either hit or knocked to the turf a handful of other times. Often when he was pressured, his accuracy dipped. Other times, receivers dropped what appeared to be catchable balls.
“I’m going to be diplomatic, OK? We won the game,” sixth-year UW coach Craig Bohl said. “We did what we needed to do to win the game. Are we happy with the passing offense? No. I think we’ve got to take a hard look at that, and I think any comment that I would make right now would probably be shortsighted and I would regret some of the observations because I was standing on the sidelines.
“There’s no doubt that we’ve got to throw the football better.”
Smith has a day
Graduate transfer running back Trey Smith got the start in place of Xazavian Valladay, who was held out with an ankle injury. Smith – who started his career at Louisville – turned in a noteworthy performance. He carried the ball 17 times for 152 yards and two touchdowns. His 80-yard touchdown run in the third quarter was the longest of his career, and it also was the longest touchdown run for UW since Brian Hill’s 89-yarder at Fresno State on Nov. 1, 2014.
Impressive veteran streak
Senior kicker Cooper Rothe and senior linebacker Logan Wilson of Casper have started 42 consecutive games in their respective UW careers. That number is tied for second in the nation, and they are the only teammates in the country to start as many games. Louisiana Tech redshirt senior right guard Ethan Reed made his 43rd straight start, which is tops in the country.
Black 14 honored
A tribute unveiling of a plaque telling the story of the Black 14 football players highlighted the 50th commemoration of the events that took place at UW during halftime of Saturday’s game. Bohl and his players had breakfast with some members of the Black 14 prior to the game.
“It was really important for our players,” Bohl said. “I don’t know what Wyoming was like 50 years ago. I do know that it was a challenging time. I think I’m sure there’s hard lines, but I think there needs to be some healing. It was great to have those guys back. Our players embraced them.”
UW won its seventh straight game. The last time it won seven straight games was during the 1998 season. UW won four consecutive games to close out the 2018 season.
Success against FCS
The Cowboys have played 17 games against Football Championship Subdivision programs, formerly known as Division I-AA, since the 2000 season. The Pokes are 15-2 in those contests. All 15 wins have been played at War Memorial Stadium.
Saturday marked the eighth meeting between the schools in a series that dates back to Nov. 11, 1921. UW has won six straight and carries a 5-0 record in Laramie. UW last defeated Idaho 42-10 on Sept. 7, 2013 in what turned out to be a record-breaking day for quarterback Brett Smith in front of 22,030 fans. Smith passed for 295 yards and four touchdowns and added 64 rushing yards in that contest. He finished his UW career with 72 touchdowns in 25 games to move ahead of Casey Bramlet, who had 70 touchdowns from 2000-03. Smith also moved to second on UW’s career touchdown passes list and fifth on the career passing yards chart.