MWC Football Preview: Wyoming

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The good news: Wyoming will beat Furman opening day, matching their win total for the 2000 season.

The bad news: The Cowboys have to play the remainder of their schedule.

Following a 1-10, winless conference campaign, things can?t get much worse for Mountain West doormat Wyoming.

Despite posting seven straight seasons over .500, the Cowboys crashed and burned last year under first year coach Vic Koenning, never coming within 10 points of an MWC opponent, and they are picked to finish dead last in the MWC.

Whether encouraging or not, 14 of 21 starters are returning.

Four of five hogs on the 0 line come back, but the chief offensive returnee is sophomore wide receiver Ryan McGuffy. As a freshman, McGuffy snagged 63 balls for 696 yards, setting a new freshman record at Wyoming.

But McGuffy and the Cowboys have to find a replacement for graduated QB Jay Stoner. Stoner ended his career as the second leading passer in school history, with 7,668 yards. Attempting to succeed Stoner will be 6-foot-4-inch sophomore Casey Bramlet.

The ground attack should be solid with the two top yard getters back for 2001. Leading rusher senior Nate Scott earned 645 yards last year, including a 192-yard explosion in the Cowboys? only win versus Central Michigan. No. 2 back Derek Armah will share time in the backfield as he did in 2000.

The big ?D? needs to find replacements for leading tacklers Patrick Chukwurah and Kwabena Peprah. Safeties Lamar James and Al Rich will help to fill the void for the team that finished dead last in total defense last year.