Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Glenn: Cowboys to open it up

Richard Anderson photo
Wyoming quarterback Dax Crum and the Cowboy offense will look to pick things up Saturday against North Dakota State.

By Richard Anderson
Wyoming Sports.org

Wyoming head football coach Joe Glenn told reporters on the weekly Mountain West Conference teleconference that the Cowboys would have a different game plan on offense Saturday against North Dakota State than they had against Air Force.

Uh… that would help.

The Cowboys failed to get into the end zone last Saturday in the 23-3 loss to Air Force in their MWC opener in a game the Wyoming defense played well in but received little help from the offense. The Cowboys passed for just 76 yards in the game and had just 216 yards of total offense. Most distressing for Glenn and the Cowboys were the five turnovers -- four fumbles and one interception.

Saturday turned out to be a long and tough day for the Cowboys, who were looking to take it up a notch against the Falcons after the 21-20 win over Ohio in the season opener. The Wyoming offense, under new quarterback Dax Crum and new offensive coordinator Bob Cole, took a couple of long strides backwards against Air Force.

“We’ve been game planning, every since Saturday night. We just about have our game plan put in,” Glenn said Tuesday morning. “We just have to get back on the board, I think everybody knows that. There’s nothing I can say about last Saturday that is good. We tried to put a pretty conservative plan together. The game was going to get over in a hurry and when you turn it over five times, I don’t care how you game plan, you can’t game plan for that. We didn’t protect our defense, which is so important.”

Crum, after a fairly consistent opener, never got untracked, passing for just six yards in the first half as the Cowboys were trying to establish a power run game against the smaller Air Force defense. While Wyoming’s backs -- seniors Devin Moore and Wynel Seldon -- ran well, the offense didn’t make the plays and turned the ball over too many times.

“We didn’t throw well, we didn’t catch well. It was just a horrible day,” Glenn said. “I know many fans are upset and I understand that. But as I said, it is two rounds of a 12-round fight. We’re 1-1. Anybody who saw Ohio and Ohio State play has to know that we beat a pretty good Ohio team, and we’re capable of playing good football.”

Glenn said they will likely simplify things against the Bison and try to open things up offensively with a more aggressive passing attack.

“We’ve got to throw the ball and make some plays in the passing game,” Glenn said. “You look back and see how devastating it was. We can do it. We going to have to have Dax play a little better and we’re going to have to help him a little bit; maybe simplify things and find a way to make some money in the passing game. Early would build some confidence.”

Glenn said the loss was devastating for the team, the coaches and the players. But he said one game does not make a season one way or the other.

“We need to rebound from that loss; we’ll have to rebound against a very tough North Dakota State football team,” he said.

About the Bison

The game will be the first between the two schools. In fact, Wyoming has never played a team from North Dakota in its 1,000-game history. The Cowboys will get that chance in game 1,001.

The 2-0 Bison come into the game rated first in the Division I Football Championship Subdivision coaches poll, blasting Central Connecticut State 50-14 last week in Fargo, N.D.

North Dakota State has played just four times against Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (1-A) teams, but is 3-1, including two big wins over Central Michigan and Minnesota last season.
Glenn said they won’t come into Laramie intimidated.

“Don’t give me any of that crud about being a -- I still call it I-AA -- team,” he said. “They come in here with a whole lot of wind in their sails. One of the films that we’re watching from last year was the 40-14 win over Central Michigan, which was back-to-back MAC champions and a 27-21 win in front of 60,000 people in Minnesota.”

In fact, he said the Bison will likely come in with a chip on their shoulder.

“I know when I coached at Montana, we had a chance to play Division I schools and they want to show everybody, especially the players who might have gotten passed up to play Division 1A,” he said. “We’re going to have to rebound and do it against a very tough opponent.”

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