Their is plenty to look forward to for the 2010 season. The Cowboys have Austyn Carta-Samuels at quarterback, pictured above, who was the Mountain West Freshman of the year. Carta-Samuels almost single handedly helped the Cowboys beat Fresno State in the New Mexico Bowl.
Dave Christensen, previously the offensive coordinator for Missouri, came in last year and brought in excellent recruits. The Cowboys finished 2009 7-6 a their bowl win over Fresno State. Christensen has once again recruited young athletic players this year.
The offense needs to show more consistency. As Carta-Samuels matures the unit will only become better. The offense returns many young players such as Carta-Samuels and running back Alvester Alexander. The offense has 7 returning starters. One with experience who has sure hands and excellent size is Carta-Samuels go to receiver David Leonard. The Cowboys need another wide receiver to step up across from Leonard and a playmaking tight end. The offensive line lost two starters and could stand to pick up their play. A freshman player to look out for is Nehemie Kankolongo at running back.
The defense lost all three starters along the defensive line. The Pokes are switching to a 4-3 defense from a 3-4 defense. The Cowboys are looking to move players that started at outside lineback to defensive end to help fill this positional void. The hope for the switch to the 4-3 is to add speed on the defensive side of the ball. Coach Christensen hopes to move Gabe Knapton, Josh Biezuns, and Ben Durbin to defensive end. Devyn Harris will be looked at to step in as the starting outside linebacker as a redshirt freshman. A player who could compete for a starting role at defensive end is redshirt freshman Mark Willis. The secondary returns all of the starters and will feature the tackling machine Chris Prosinski, the Gibson brothers, and Shamiel Gary.
The defense should be solid as it's been for years; however, the offense needs to improve from one of the worst in the nation. With Christensen's guidance the offense should turn around. The Pokes are on the rise and should build on their 2009 season.