Northern Ill @


Sat, Sep 3
CBS Sports Network
7:30 PM Pacific
Rotation: 208
Odds: Wyoming +10, Total: 54

Game Analysis

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Strong Opinion – WYOMING (+10)  26   Northern Illinois  31

Wyoming’s 3rd year head coach Craig Bohl had a lot of success at North Dakota State, where he won 3 consecutive FCS titles before leaving for Laramie. Bohl was forced to play a 3rd string quarterback in 2013 and last season 3rd stringer was forced into action in 4 games due to injuries to starting quarterback Cameron Coffman and strong armed backup Josh Allen, who was injured in his first series of his first collegiate start in week 2. Coffman is gone after putting up decent numbers last season (6.6 yards per pass play against teams that would allow 6.8 yppp to an average QB) and Allen steps into a good situation with his entire receiving corps returning along with two of the top 10 rushers in Wyoming history, Brian Hill (1631 yards at 5.8 ypr in ’15) and Shaun Wick (2179 career yards at 5.1 ypr). The offensive line is also bigger, stronger, and more experienced (4 of 5 starters return) than the previous two seasons under Bohl. This is the year that Wyoming’s offense should go from pretty good to better than average after rating at 0.3 yards per play and 0.2 yppl worse than average the last two seasons.

Northern Illinois was 0.2 yppl better than average defensively in 2015 (5.3 yppl allowed to teams that would combine to average 5.5 yppl against an average team) and the Huskies should be about the same this season despite losing their top two tacklers from last year’s team. CB Shawun Lurry led the nation with 9 interceptions last season and also broke up 15 additional passes, so expect Wyoming’s game plan to focus on testing the new starting CB on the other side of the field. The matchup between Wyoming’s offense and the NIU defense is pretty even and my ratings project 402 yards at 5.5 yards per play for the Cowboys in this game.

The problem with Wyoming has been, and is likely to still be, their defense – or lack thereof. Wyoming allowed 6.5 yppl in 2014 and 6.4 yppl last season with just 4 returning starters. This season should see a good size improvement after playing a lot of freshman last season. The Cowboys have 8 returning starters and better talent than they’ve had the last few years and my algorithm projects an improvement from 1.0 yppl worse than average to 0.7 yppl worse than average this season – with potential to be even better. The Northern Illinois offense should also be improved by about the same degree, as I rate the Huskies’ attack at 0.3 yppl worse than average after a disappointing -0.7 yppl offensive rating last season (5.3 yppl against teams that would allow 6.0 yppl to an average team). My ratings project 418 yards at 6.0 yppl for Northern Illinois in this game.

Northern Illinois is only projected to outgain Wyoming by 10 yards but the Huskies have a significant advantage in projected turnovers (+0.7, which is about 2.6 points) and an edge in special teams. Overall the numbers favor NIU by only 6 points and Wyoming applies to a decent 116-70-4 ATS early season home underdog angle that plays on home dogs with 16 or more returning starters (Wyoming has 9 on offense and 8 on defense). I’ll consider Wyoming a Strong Opinion at +10 points or more.

  • Team Stats
  • Game Log
  • Northern Ill
  • Wyoming


  • Run Plays 38.6 43.6
  • Run Yards 222.2 221.8
  • YPRP 5.9 5.3


  • Pass Comp 23.0 19.8
  • Pass Att 37.6 33.0
  • Comp % 61.2% 60.0%
  • Pass Yards 252.4 265.4
  • Sacks 1.2 1.4
  • Sack Yards 7.0 9.6
  • Sack % 3.1% 4.1%
  • Pass Plays 38.8 34.4
  • Net Pass Yards 245.4 255.8
  • YPPP 6.3 7.4


  • Total Plays 77.4 78.0
  • Total Yards 474.6 487.2
  • YPPL 6.1 6.2


  • Int 0.8 0.4
  • Int % 2.1% 1.2%
  • Fumbles 0.6 0.2
  • Turnovers 1.4 0.6
  • Points 26.6 36.4
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