Has Wyoming found its next Josh Allen? It certainly looks that way with freshman quarterback Levi Williams. Making his first start of the season in a 38-17 win in the Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl against Georgia State, Williams finished with 234 yards passing and three touchdowns along with another 53 yards on the ground and an additional touchdown. The Cowboys' 396 yards of total offense was the highest output for the entire season.
2019 has been a year of the revolving door at quarterback for the Cowboys. Freshman Sean Chambers suffered a season-ending knee injury in the eighth game of the year against Nevada. Then, Tyler Vander Waal, a one-time starter, elected to put his name in the transfer portal earlier this month. Not surprisingly, then, the Cowboys finished last in the Mountain West in total yards per game and relied on their defense for much of the season.
But things started to change towards the end of the year. Williams first his saw action in the final two games of the regular season against Colorado State and Air Force. In those games, he tallied 128 yards on the ground with a touchdown and 109 yards through the air as a complementary player to Vander Waal.
Against an overmatched Georgia State defense, though, Williams shined. He has a strong enough arm to stretch the field in a way that Vander Waal and Chambers couldn't -- at least not as well -- and his running ability forced the Panthers to respect his legs. That opened up other running lanes for players like running back Xazavian Valladay to eclipse 200 yards for just the second time in his career. (Valladay also had a team-best 91 yards receiving).
However, it was Williams' 51-yard touchdown to Ayden Eberhardt that solidified the freshman as a certified playmaker:
There's still a lot of room for Williams to grow, and one game certainly isn't going to define his career, but unveiling him at the end of the year gives Wyoming a lot of promise heading into 2020. And he gets to preserve a redshirt, too.