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Replacing Carta-Samuels is hard but not impossible

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I'll be the first to admit that watching Austyn Carta-Samuels the last two years as a Cowboy was fun. He certainly had his share of exciting plays and helped the Cowboys pull off some incredible comebacks. The Pokes are a better team with Carta-Samuels but that is no longer the situation.

He was made a team Captain for 2010 but seemed to struggle with that pressure. It seems more and more like the game he missed against TCU was for reasons other an injury. He never spoke with media following the Border War victory or anytime after the season. Time to move along and find a Quarterback who wants to be the starter for a Mountain West school and cherish that honor. Sometimes you don't always realize what a good situation you have until it has passed you by.

While Carta-Samuels did make some big plays during his two year stint as starter his stats didn't really improve greatly in his second year. Against top programs he struggled and the only big upset came in the New Mexico Bowl victory over Fresno State.

Passing Rushing Sacks
G Rating Comp Att Pct Yds Y/G Y/A TD INT Rush Yds Y/G Avg TD Sack YdsL
2010 - Austyn Carta-Samuels 11 123.3 154 252 61.1 1702 154.7 6.8 9 8 117 392 35.6 3.4 3 - -

2009 Austyn Carta-S

13 116.0 191 326 58.6 1953 150.2 6.0 10 5 142 366 26.2 2.6 3 - -

That big improvement that everyone was hoping for really didn't happen in 2010. Not all of this can be put on Carta-Samuels with the struggles of the offensive line. While his numbers were certainly the best at Wyoming since Corey Bramlet back in 2005 they certainly weren't earth shattering. With the spread offense that the Pokes now run it should be easy for next QB to equal or exceed these numbers next year. The offensive line will have much more depth and the running game should also be stronger.

The question is now who will be the next starting QB for the University of Wyoming? Well the quick answer is one without any college experience. In 2011 the Pokes will have two red shirt freshman qb's from their 2010 recruiting class. Emory Miller and Sam Stratton who are both duel threat quarterbacks. Miller was third string this year and Stratton got moved around to RB and WR in practices. With the loss of ACS perhaps we'll see Stratton back in the pilot seat.

The 2011 recruiting class includes duel threat QB's Brett Smith from West Salem HS in Oregon and Adam Pittser of Richmond-Burton HS in Illinois. Smith graduated early and has already enrolled in Laramie. He will participate in spring practice and compete head to head with Miller and Stratton. Right now he seems very excited about being a Cowboy and is anxious to start work. Pittser is ranked higher than Smith but he won't enroll till the Fall and is also taking a visit to Colorado this weekend. Hopefully he will stay commited to Wyoming since he has a shot at playing time right away now.

Wyoming native Austin Woodward walked on the the team last year and is currently listed as the backup punter. Woodward also played QB in highschool and may be given a shot. There will be plenty to watch this spring to see who emerges as the favorite. Right now I'd say Miller and Smith are the top two candidates with Pittser being the future starter if he signs.

Here are some highlight videos from Miller, Stratton and Smith during their high school careers. Also at the bottom is footage of Pittser from the Elite 11 camp.