LARAMIE – Josh Allen isn’t walking back through that door.
Nearly four years after Wyoming’s wild ride with the current Buffalo Bills superstar ended, Craig Bohl is still searching for answers at quarterback.
Sean Chambers and Levi Williams combined to complete 30% of their passes for 143 yards (4.8 yards per attempt) with no touchdowns and four interceptions during the Cowboys’ soul-crushing 17-0 loss to Fresno State on Saturday at War Memorial Stadium.
It was the program’s first shut out in 11 years as the offense’s streak of quarters without scoring any points was extended to six.
Bohl planned to meet with Tim Polasek before the first-year offensive coordinator begins building a game plan around the unstable quarterback situation as the Cowboys (4-2, 0-2 Mountain West Conference) prepare for New Mexico (2-5, 0-3 MW) this Saturday at War Memorial Stadium (1:30 p.m., Stadium).
“I’ve got a gut feeling,” Bohl said of choosing a starter for this week’s last-place Mountain Division showdown. “I think we need to cull through that.”
Chambers finished 8-for-23 for 111 yards with three interceptions and a lost fumble. Over the last three games, UW’s starter has completed 44.2% of his attempts and averaged 134.3 passing yards per game with two touchdowns, five interceptions and eight total turnovers.
The Pokes are 110th in the FBS in passing yards (172.7 per game). Chambers ranks last in the MWC in passer rating (112.85) among the eight quarterbacks who have started 75% of their team’s games.
“I’ll probably have a long conversation with him,” Bohl said of Chambers, who is a team captain and a beloved figure in the locker room after coming back from three major injuries during his career. “He’s a competitive guy. He’s a team player.”
Chambers was benched late in the fourth quarter, but Williams didn’t exactly make a strong closing argument in his case to start against the Lobos.
Williams, who struggled in 2020 playing through an injury to his throwing shoulder after Chambers went down with a fractured leg, finished 1-for-7 passing for 32 yards with an interception.
The officials ruled a deep throw by Williams, which Isaiah Neyor appeared to corral, an incompletion. His turnover in the red one bounced off usually sure-handed Ayden Eberhardt for the Pokes’ fourth pick of the game.
“We did get Levi in there and we’ll take a look at how Levi did,” Bohl said.
It probably won’t matter whether it’s Chambers or Williams on the field if the offensive line doesn’t start living up to its preseason billing as the strength of the team.
Chambers has been sacked seven times and UW has averaged 121 yards rushing in two conference games this season.
Xazavian Valladay’s 74-yard run at Air Force accounted for 30.1% of the Cowboys’ combined rushing yards in the losses to Air Force and Fresno State.
“I’m always a competitor,” Chambers said when asked if he was ready to fight for his job in practice. “I’m looking to compete. I’m always going to go out there and do my best.”
UW’s defense, after holding Air Force’s triple-option to 3.3 yards per rushing attempt, put the clamps on Fresno State Jake Haener, limiting him to 96 yards passing after he threw for 2,230 yards over the first six games.
Super senior defensive end Garrett Crall said there is no chance the team will become divided with the offense struggling since Chambers’ heroics over the first three games.
“I know that Sean is going to be hearing a lot from a lot of people,” Crall said. “No one will ever question whether he’s a warrior or not. He works hard every single day he is here. Whether that’s in the weight room, the training room or the practice field, he is working his tail off. …
“We can still control what we can control and that’s to win out. I think we have every bit of a chance to do that and all of the talent and coaching and everything to do that.”