Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Cowboys picked last in preseason poll

UW's John Fletcher

Individual preseason team

LAS VEGAS -- First year Wyoming head football coach Dave Christensen has plenty to shoot for this year and a little to prove as his team was picked last in the 2009 Mountain West Conference media poll.

TCU was predicted to capture the title in a poll of media members. The Horned Frogs finished second in the MWC in 2008, compiling a 7-1 mark against league opponents en route to an 11-2 overall record and a seventh-place ranking in both the final Associated Press and USA Today Coaches polls.

The Cowboys, meanwhile, received just 46 points from the voting. Individually, Wyoming senior defensive end John Fletcher was the lone Cowboy picked to the preseason team.
"In regard to the preseason poll, we know that it comes down to proving ourselves on the field," Christensen said. "What I know is I have been impressed by how hard our players have worked ever since our staff arrived in Laramie. They have done everything that has been asked of them during spring drills and during the summer conditioning program.

"I like our kids. I like their work ethic and their attitude. We have 20 seniors on this team who have provided great leadership throughout the spring and summer. We can't wait for practice to start on Aug. 6, and we look forward to taking the field in War Memorial Stadium on Sept. 5 against Weber State."

Fletcher has earned second team All-MWC honors each of the past two seasons and was named to both the Outland Trophy and Rotary Lombardi Award Watch Lists during his junior season. He was voted one of four UW team captains entering his senior season. Fletcher ranks No. 10 on Wyoming's career sack list with 17.0 total sacks.
TCU returns four starters from a defensive unit that led the nation in rushing defense while ranking second in scoring defense in 2008. The Horned Frogs are led by all-MWC performers Jerry Hughes (DE), Jeremy Kerley (PR/KR), Rafael Priest (DB) and Marshall Newhouse (OT). Seven starters return on offense for TCU, which ranked among the top 25 nationally in scoring and rushing offense a year ago. The Frogs garnered 15 first-place votes and had a total of 207 points.

BYU was chosen second with 190 points and six first-place votes. The Cougars posted a third-place finish (6-2) in Conference play in 2008 and ended the season with a 10-3 mark overall. BYU returns four starters from an offensive unit that ranked among the top 20 nationally in scoring, pass and total offense last season. Eight starters also return on defense for the Cougars.

Defending MWC champion Utah was picked third with 179 points and three first-place votes after posting the nation's only undefeated record (13-0) last season en route to capturing its fourth MWC title (8-0). The Utes, who finished with top-5 rankings in both the final Associated Press (No. 2) and USA Today Coaches (No. 4) polls, enter the 2009 campaign with the nation's longest active overall and bowl win streaks at 14 and eight games, respectively. Utah returns four starters on offense and eight on defense.

Air Force was chosen fourth with 130 points, followed by UNLV (5th - 108 points), Colorado State (6th - 107 points), New Mexico (7th - 60 points), San Diego State (8th - 53 points) and Wyoming (9th - 46 points).

The annual media days continues through Wednesday at Green Valley Ranch near Las Vegas.

No comments: