Wyoming is Searching for a New Starter at Q-B [VIDEO]
Two weeks into spring practice and the quarterback battle for the Wyoming Cowboys is continuing.
For a third straight season, the Pokes will have a new starter under center. This time a pair of sophomores are battling to take over for last year’s starter, Cameron Coffman.
Sophomore Nick Smith and red-shirt sophomore Josh Allen are the only two QB’s in spring camp.
With a pair of young signal callers in the mix, both head coach Craig Bohl and offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Brent Vigen have said there’s one key part to what they’re looking for. That is decision-making.
“That’s the thing that needs to come when they’re young. The physical abilities aside, we need a guy out there that can make good decisions. You can’t have one without the other. Through this spring, if we can really develop their decision-making process to build off what they’ve experienced; that’s the goal.”
Both Smith and Allen have game experience from 2015.
Smith started two games, at Utah State and Colorado State, and played in three more. He’s confident based on what he went through last fall.
“Getting that experience and understanding in what we’re trying to do; the concept behind it; the little bits and details of the offense, I think really honed that down, and the experience in the game really helped that. To be able to carry that over into spring is really helpful.”
Smith realizes there’s a perception of him as more of a running Q-B, which he says is a tool for him, but he understands improvement must be made in his aerial arsenal.
“I’ve been working on all my throws, especially throwing on the run and being more confident. When I can get back there and throw with confidence, and not have to think about it, just play and let the game come to me, I think I can be a really good passer.”
Allen played at the end of the North Dakota game. He started the Eastern Michigan game, but then suffered a season-ending injury in the first half. Allen was awarded a medical red-shirt and still has three years of eligibility left. He took it as a blessing in disguise and feels comfortable in the Cowboys’ offense.
“I’m looking to improve all aspects of my game. Whether it be leadership, on and off the field; or making throws on the run to the right or to the left; whatever it needs to be to put my team in the best situation to win.”
Allen says he’s also looking at raising his completion percentage each practice.
“That’s really the mark that quarterbacks look for. As long as our completion percentage is going up, and we’re getting the ball into our playmakers hands, they get to make plays. That’s what we want as quarterbacks.”
The two combined for 296 pass yards with two touchdowns and one interception. They also totaled 197 yards on the ground with two scores.
Even though a leader in the position battle hasn’t been named, Josh Allen might have a slight edge.
In the last couple of practices, coach Bohl has mentioned that Allen has made some throws that have gotten his attention.
Wyoming’s spring football practice will conclude with the spring game on April 23.