Look for some big changes to offensive scheme the Wyoming Cowboys roll out in 2011. With new offensive Coordinator Gregg Brandon an evolution of the spread will be taking place in Laramie. After a lackluster performance by the offense in 2010 Dave Christensen has decided that is now time to shakes things up.
For the second straight year Wyoming averaged less then 20 points per game. The offense never really seemed on track or cohesive until the 44-0 beat down of Colorado State in the Border War. That also the final game of the season so there wasn't a chance to build off that momentum.
While back in Columbia, MO for a charity golf tournament Christensen gave the scoop to Dave Matter of the Columbia Tribune on the changes that will be made to the offense.
"We’re going to put a true fullback in the backfield," Christensen said Monday while in Columbia for John Anderson’s charity golf tournament. "We’re going to line up and run the power right at you. We’ll flip the tackle over and put the tight end on the backside to get the bigger lineman on the front side. And we’ll line up under center and run true power football."
This is similar to what Wyoming did twice last year in the middle of the season. With the more pro style approach the Pokes had an opportunity to knock off Air Force till an interception on their final drive, then beat Toledo on the road the following week. This change also created some turmoil amongst some of the player on offense who had to adapt to new system quickly. They did go back to more of the Air Raid style for the rest of the year with mixed results.
With a true freshmen quarterback and a stable of running backs this looks it could be the right move to utilize the teams strengths. Alvester Alexander, Brandon Miller and Ghaali Muhammad should all make big contributions to the run game. Bryson Studnicka is the top H-Back and can now see the field way more often in 2011. In the article it states the spread is not dead in Laramie it will just look very different. With spread guru Brandon running the offense he will just be evolving the system.
Question: Is it still the spread if the quarterback is under center? One of the standards for the spread is the QB starting from the shotgun. The Air Raid, Spread Option and Pistol all still start with QB in shotgun. I'll let the hardcore X and O's guys decide if this offense can still be considered the spread. The main thing that Cowboy fans are wondering is: Will it work???
The players have been doing 7on7 workouts on their own and there seem to be positive reports coming from those drills. Christensen also appears to be very pleased with the freshmen QB's on the team as well as the rest of the younger players.
Christensen raved about the freshman QBs, saying they’re "probably as high caliber quarterbacks as we’re ever going to have there."
"It’s better to have youth and talent than older guys with experience who don’t have talent," he added. "So, we’ve got a lot of youth and talent. I can work with that."
We won't have chance to see offense in person until August 3rd when fall camp starts. Though even that may be hard to check out as access by fans and media was limited to just the first 30 minutes for spring practices. If a similar restriction is taken this season then scrimmages will be the only opportunity to see the offense in action.