Game Preview: Wyoming at Virginia

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If there were worse teams in Division 1-A last season, there weren’t many. The Aggies finished 2005 ranked 92nd in the nation in rushing offense, 82nd in pass offense, and 98th in total offense. The defense wasn’t much better placing 53rd against the run, 106th against the pass, 103rd in scoring defense and 81st in total defense. And Utah State played in the WAC.

Am I saying Wyoming’s big win was a little suspect? Yes.

But the Cowboys deserve to come into Charlottesville with some confidence having easily disposed of Utah State. They bring a squad into Scott Stadium that includes 30 players that saw significant playing time on the 2004 unit that went 7-5 and defeated UCLA in the Las Vegas Bowl that season. Of those 30, three are current Wyoming offensive linemen that started every game that year.

With that background in mind, let’s take a look at this week’s game.

Wyoming Offense vs. Virginia Defense

Mike London’s defense must be aware of screen passes this weekend.

The Cowboys deploy a unique offense that can best be described as a run-and-shoot style with a vertical tilt. Only twice last season did Wyoming attempt fewer than 30 passes in a game and they exceed the 20-carry mark only three times in 2005. That trend ended last weekend as the Pokes ran the ball 51 times for 221 yards while attempting just 27 passes. That’s not surprising as Wyoming placed a new quarterback under center and had a big lead. I expect to see the more typical Cowboy passing attack this weekend.

Though Wyoming utilizes a controlled passing attack, the offense is not what I would consider conservative. The Pokes look for big plays and don’t