Five Questions About Weber State

CHESTNUT HILL MA - SEPTEMBER 04: Cameron Higgins #12 of the Weber State Wildcats calls out the play in the second half against the Boston College Eagleson September 4 2010 at Alumni Stadium in Chestnut Hill Massachusetts. Boston College defeated Weber State 38-20. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

There is an actual real live football game coming next week.  It is hard to believe that after all these months Wyoming will finally be back on the field in a game that will count for something.  Scrimmages are over, time for Cowboy football to be back in our lives. 

The Pokes first opponent is FCS Weber State who is based out of neighborly Ogden, UT.  In order to get more info on the Wilcats we enlisted the help of Brett Hein one of the founders of The Upset Blog.  They cover all the western leagues: Mountain West, PAC 12, WAC, WCC and Big Sky.  Brett is a Weber State Alum who follows Weber State and the rest of the Big Sky very closely. 

Big thanks to Brett for answering these questions and for predicting a Wyoming victory.  He better be right on that one! 


1.  It has been two years since these two teams last played.  How did the rest of 2009 and the 2010 season go?

2009 was painful. 2008 was a breakout year for Weber State. Cameron Higgins had thrown for 4,460 yards and 36 touchdowns as just a freshman, and Weber State advanced to the second round of the playoffs. Wyoming was the season-opener in 2009 to follow that up, and Weber State competed well but Higgins threw five interceptions. His career was never the same after that, it seems. (Not to be too dramatic, but it is true). The next week, Weber State absolutely blew a game in Fort Collins. Down 24-23 to the Rams, Weber drove 70 yards and ate up almost eight minutes of clock. On a 3rd down at CSU's nine-yard line, Weber ran one more play to eat the clock and Higgins fumbled the snap. They finished that year 7-4 and got blown out by William & Mary in the first round of the playoffs. 2010 was ho-hum. Did beat Montana at home, but still only went 5-3 in conference.

2.  What are the expectations and projected record for the 2011 season?

Not a whole lot is expected from the Wildcats this year. They were picked to finish 5th by the media and 6th by the coaches in the Big Sky preseason polls. That would probably place them around 5-6 with a 4-4 conference record.

3.  Who should we look out for on offense and defense?  Any weaknesses?

Mike Hoke takes over at quarterback as a junior. He completed 23 of 36 passes in nine appearances for 345 yards last year in backup duty. They don't return a lot receiving-wise, so Hoke may have to depend upon tight end Tyrell Francisco, who has already been drafted into the CFL before starting his senior year. Freshmen that may make an impact are receiver Eric Shufford and running back Barrinton Collins, who could prove to be a big recruiting steal for Weber State.

The best returning defensive player is linebacker Nick Webb. The defense was terrible last year, and will definitely have to improve -- that is the current weakness. They didn't stop the run, didn't stop the pass, and didn't keep teams out of the endzone. (It should probably be noted that the numbers are slightly skewed as Weber State gave up almost 700 yards in the last game of the season against Texas Tech).

4.  The defense gave up 442 yards a game last year.  What type of scheme do the run and will they be any better?

It's hard to know if they will be any better. They do return a decent amount of players from a bad defense. If experience helps them work as a unit better, they should improve.

5.  Give us your score prediction for the game. 

Wyoming has a lot of holes to fill with the loss of its QB, two leading receivers, and two leading tacklers in Prosinski and Gary. If Weber State were set for an up year, I'd pick them to win it. Wyoming may not run away with this one, but I don't think the Wildcats have what it takes to have a true  chance at this one. Wyoming 27, Weber State 14

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