Illinois Football: Breakdown of the Wyoming offense against the Illini

Oct 23, 2021; Laramie, Wyoming, USA; Wyoming Cowboys head coach Craig Bohl before game against the New Mexico Lobos at Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 23, 2021; Laramie, Wyoming, USA; Wyoming Cowboys head coach Craig Bohl before game against the New Mexico Lobos at Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports /

Illinois football takes on a Wyoming team on Saturday that went to and won a bowl game in 2022.

The Illini will have their hands full in this matchup. Just because the Cowboys are not a power-five team doesn’t mean they won’t bring power-five abilities to the table. The Wyoming offense in particular is a unit to keep an eye on.

Here is a breakdown of the Wyoming offense against the Illinois football team.


When I think of Wyoming football, I think about Josh Allen and his dynamic playmaking ability. That isn’t the Cowboys anymore, though. They are a ground and pound running team that featured one of the best running attacks in college football last season.

Wyoming would rush for 216.3 yards per game in 2021, which ranked No. 13 in the country. Head coach Craig Bohl has been with the program for nine seasons now, so I doubt this mentality will change much in 2022.

The running game should be the strongest part of Wyoming’s game plan. The one caveat to that is the fact the Cowboys are missing two of their top leading rushers from last season, which includes their leading rusher, Xazavian Valladay. He rushed for 1,070 yards and six touchdowns.

Despite losing some depth, I still think Wyoming’s strength is the running game. Titus Swen returns and he was second on the team in rushing with 785 yards. He also averaged 5.9 yards per carry. The backup will likely be Dawaiian McNeely. He carried the ball for 113 yards and averaged 6.6 yards per carry.


I think the obvious weakness for Wyoming is their quarterback situation. Illinois has dealt with some serious issues at quarterback over the past decade, but the Cowboys are in quite the pickle behind center for 2022.

Last season, Sean Chambers and Levi Williams were the two quarterbacks for Wyoming. They combined for 2,115 yards, 15 touchdowns, 12 interceptions, and carried a 54.5% completion rate. Those aren’t the best numbers. The most damage these two did at quarterback was on the ground, as they combined for 680 yards rushing.

Both Chambers and Williams have departed the Wyoming program, though. So, that means there are zero quarterbacks on the roster who have taken a snap for the Cowboys.

Wyoming did get a transfer quarterback this offseason from Utah State. Andrew Peasley is coming into the program with the most, and only, DI experience. He suited up for the Aggies the last four years and seems to fit what Bohl wants at quarterback.

Just this past season, Peasley threw for 415 yards, three touchdowns, and two interceptions. He also carried the ball for 161 yards and a touchdown. I would imagine since Peasley has experience and is a dual-threat quarterback, he is going to start for Wyoming.

With that being said, I think quarterback is still the biggest weakness for the Cowboys’ offense. It was a question mark last season and has become an even bigger question in 2022.


Overall, I am impressed with what Wyoming brings to the table with Bohl. He has been a solid coach and can get the Cowboys playing well.

Wyoming has made a bowl game in four out of the past six years, and three out of those four bowl games were victories. But there is one caveat to this good winning record. Bohl hasn’t had the best of luck against power-five programs.

During his first eight seasons at Wyoming, the program is 1-8 against power-five teams. The lone win came in 2019 when they took down a .500 Missouri program. Every other game against a power-five program has been a double-digit loss.

The record and ability to get to a bowl game are really good for Bohl, but every win but one in the last eight seasons has come against non-power-five programs.

Key Players

Wyoming has a handful of key players that Illinois fans need to keep an eye on. I mentioned one with Peasley at quarterback.

Honestly, if Wyoming is going to be competitive, they will need Peasley to play well. He is their only shot to have any type of threat at quarterback. His ability to move around the pocket and get outside could give Illinois headaches.

If running backs Swen and McNeely can average 5.9 and 6.6 yards per carry, respectively, then they will both be key players for the Cowboys. A solid one-two punch at running back could wear down a relatively thin Illinois defense.

The final players I want to mention are Frank Crum and Eric Abojei. I believe these two will be the starting offensive tackles for Wyoming. They are tasked with stopping an Illinois defensive that can get pressure on the quarterback. Peasley is going to need time. Crum and Abojei will be crucial.

Next. Notable Illini quotes from the Wyoming press conference. dark