Note: For 11 straight days, I’ll post a brief team preview for each school in the Mountain West (except Boise State). I’m going in reverse order of predicted finish. I started with the West Division. Now it’s the Mountain Division’s turn.
Coach: Craig Bohl
Record: First season; 104-32 overall (11 seasons)
Last year: 5-7 overall, 3-5 MW
Last bowl: 2011 New Mexico (L, 37-15 to Temple)
Returning starters: 6/9/2 (offense/defense/specialists)
Story line: Bohl won the past three Football Championship Subdivision national championships at North Dakota State. He brings that winning formula to a similar place — a combination that other Mountain West coaches say sets him up for success. Bohl’s system involves an old-school, slow-down offense and relies on toughness over skill. “We’re looking to beat somebody 10-9,” he said. “It’s a different mindset.” But it’s also one that he believes suits Wyoming and the players that are available. “Any great college football program is going to reflect the value system and the fabric of the state that they play for,” Bohl said. “Wyoming, we’re resilient. We’re hard-nosed. We’re tough. We’re going to figure out a way to get something done. That’s what I’ve noticed about the people of our state, and our football team is going to reflect that.”
Star player: Junior defensive end Eddie Yarbrough is one of the top returning defenders in the conference. He finished fourth on the team with 89 tackles last season, including 12 for loss and 6.5 sacks. He also forced two fumbles, recovered two fumbles and blocked a kick.
Quotable: “It’s a different style of football. I don’t want to say it’s retro, but it is a little bit.” — Wyoming coach Craig Bohl, on his system
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