From Wyoming Athletics and Staff Reports
SHERIDAN — After surrendering 50 points in two straight conference losses, the Wyoming Cowboys fired defensive coordinator Chris Tormey Tuesday morning.
Tormey will be replaced by defensive line coach Jamar Cain, the school’s athletic office announced this morning. Cain joined Wyoming this past spring from the Cal Poly coaching staff.
“I felt that we needed to make a change at this time to give our football team and the young men on it the best opportunity to win our remaining four regular-season games,” Cowboys head coach Dave Christensen said in a press release from UW Athletics. “The last two weeks, our defense has not performed up to the expectations of our coaching staff, our players, nor our fans.”
In Wyoming’s most important conference game to its fans, the Border War with Colorado State, they were blown out 55-22 two weeks ago in front of their home crowd in Laramie. Those same fans were optimistic entering the contest after a fast 3-1 start that included the Cowboys nearly pulling an upset in Lincoln over top-ranked Nebraska.
Saturday, the Cowboys went up on San Jose State 16-0 and then 30-14 early in the second half before falling 51-44. Wyoming is on a bye this week.
This was Tormey’s second season as the Pokes defensive coordinator. Last season, the Cowboys gave up an average of 33.4 points per game on their way to a 4-8 record, finishing 3-5 in the Mountain West. That point total had dropped to 29 this season through eight games, but in the ones that mattered, in Tormey’s 12 MWC games as D-coordinator including last week, Wyoming surrendered an average of 35.5 points per contest.
While Wyoming’s potent offense has been one capable of scoring with opponents, their sub-.500 record during the last two years suggests the counter-weight to their defensive struggles hasn’t been heavy enough.
Mountain West teams Hawaii, 106th, New Mexico, 114th, and Air Force, 116th, are ranked lower nationally in total defense, according to NCAA.com, but this season the Pokes have been among those statistically worst teams in the country. They’ve allowed 6.03 yards per play and 465.6 yards per game, ranking them 105th out of the 123 FBS teams.
Wyoming is still well-within reach of bowl eligibility at 4-4. They play Fresno State Nov. 9 in Laramie, then at Boise State, Hawaii at home and then at Utah State.