Wyoming Adjusting Defensive Depth To Fix Problems

After the embarassing loss to Utah State last week Coach Christensen decided that it was time to make a few switches on the defensive side.  The Cowbows are making adjustments to the defensive line, linebackers and secondary to try and right the ship.  Certainly something new is needed by the Pokes.

DEFENSIVE LINE

  • Gabe Knapton is moving from defensive tackle to defensive end where he played last year.  At 263lbs Knapton was undersized to be put in the middle of the line and hadn't been as effective lately.  He should have much more success on the outside.
  • Ben Durbin (6-3, 272lb) will take over for Knapton at tackle.  Durbin has nine tackles on the year in a backup role.  He will be backed up by Miraldo Michel who is 6-3 286 and has seen limited action this year. 
  • Mike Purcell missed the second half of the Utah State game and it's not certain if he will play this week.  Kurt Taufa'assau would start in his place if Purcell is unable to play.
  • BJ Sumter was moved back to defensive tackle after spending spring and fall at guard.  Sumter has yet to play a snap this year but at over 305lbs he would add some much needed depth and size for the Pokes in the middle.

LINEBACKERS

  • Korey Jones was moved from defensive end to MIKE linebacker and is listed as a co-starter with Devyn Harris.  Jones is just 225lbs and it has been hard for him to be effective when playing FBS schools and their improved offensive lines. 
  • Mark Nzeocha is unlikely to play this weekend and we may see Brandon James starting there or Jones or James will slide over.   

SECONDARY

  • Tashaun Gipson will start at free safety from cornerback and will be backed up by Luke Anderson.  He played some safety last week but not it is a more permanent move.
  • Blair Burns is the #1 CB and Marquestion Huff stays at #2.CB.  Kenny Browder moves from a backup safety spot to being a backup for Burns at cornerback. 

Hopefully the added size on the defensive line makes a difference in the stopping the run and putting more pressure on the quarterback.  Certainly seems like smart moves and actually ones that should have happened weeks ago.

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