Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Sween gets starting job back

Richard Anderson photo
Wyoming junior Karsten Sween (16) will start at quarterback Saturday at New Mexico.

By Richard Anderson
Wyoming Sports.org

As expected, junior Karsten Sween will be the starting quarterback for the Cowboys Saturday at New Mexico.

In Saturday's humiliating loss to Bowling Green, the Cowboys went with four quarterbacks -- then starter, sophomore Dax Crum, Sween, senior Ian Hetrick and sophomore Chris Stutzriem.

Wyoming coach Joe Glenn indicated after the game that they would likely go with one QB against the Lobos, and based off of Saturday's performance, he said they had an idea of which quarterback had the better game.

Based on Saturday, it was evident that the Cowboys would go back to Sween, last year's starter who won the job by taking over for Jacob Doss two years ago. Against Bowling Green, Sween led all three scoring drives and was 10 of 16 for 84 yards. After Saturday’s game, Sween said he thought the coaching staff needed to pick a quarterback and stick with him. He admitted he wanted to be the guy.

“He lost the job and has come through the wrestles backs to win it back based on his play last Saturday and based on what he has done off the field,” Glenn said Tuesday of his weekly MWC coaches teleconference.

Glenn said that he has also been impressed with Sween off the field, even after he lost his starting job just before the season opener.

“I think he is more than a film rat than he has ever been,” Glenn said. “He’s having dinner three nights a week with the team in an effort to be closer to the team.”

Glenn added that Sween never was negative as a backup, despite the disappointment of long his job.

“He just worked harder to win the job back, hoping that some day his turn would come up again,” he said. “It has.”

Ironically, Sween got his first start as a Cowboy two years ago at New Mexico in the Cowboys’ 14-10 win. In that game, Sween was 19-of-32 for 204 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.

“When he was a freshman two years ago, we were 1-4 and lost at Syracuse, lost at Virginia,” Glenn said. “We limped into Albuquerque and Karsten started and that was his first win as a starting quarterback, and we went on to win five of our last seven to get bowl eligible. He’s got a history there and I think he has a comfort zone there. We weren’t a juggernaut on offense, but we protected the ball fairly good and did enough to win the game.”

This season Sween is 11 of 22 passing for 88 yards and two interceptions. Sween capped that strong finish two years ago by completing 128 of 212 passes for 1,304 yards, nine touchdowns and eight interceptions. As a starter last year, however, interceptions plagued him with 17 and he was 215-of-359 for 2,028 yards and 12 touchdowns.

In Wyoming’s two wins, it has turned the ball over just three times. In the Cowboys three losses, they have coughed it up 16 times.

Cutting down on the turnovers are the name of the game for the Cowboys, Glenn said.

“We’re looking forward to getting into a game where we can hang onto the ball, move the ball on offense and get some points,” Glenn said.

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