Two's Company: Cowboys Expect Chambers & Williams to Take Snaps Every Game
In the early days of fall camp, Wyoming football coach Craig Bohl was answering a series of questions involving the potential depth chart for the coming season, and the subject of the battle at quarterback involving Sean Chambers and Levi Williams came up.
"Sean (Chambers) is a little bit ahead simply because of the plays he has played, but Levi does some really good things," Bohl said.
Fast forward, and two weeks removed from the season-opener at Nevada, not much has changed.
"We have had good competition," said Bohl. "We chart everything from their decisions to the completion percentages. Both have progressed. We have good competition and it's fairly close."
What has become apparent is that there isn't going to be a backup quarterback. There's going to be 1-A and 1-B. And they are both going to play each game. How much each will play, only time will tell.
"I think that's where we are unless something changes," Bohl said. "They have both shown the ability to make plays, and I do know when you know you are going to enter the game, whether you are going to play a minimal number of reps or a significant number of reps, that has an impact on your mentality during practice and your preparation.
"You go to bed on Friday night, and you know you are going to get into the game as opposed to the backup guy walking around with a ball cap."
And the rest of the team goes into the game confident of a legitimate chance to win with both of the quarterbacks.
Chambers, a redshirt sophomore, has had more exposure, and figures to starter after back-to-back seasons of season-ending injuries.
Set to redshirt in 2018, Chambers came off the bench against Utah State that year. He would have burned his redshirt that year, but a broke fibula in the opening moments against Air Force in the next-to-last game that season kept him from exceeding the game limit to maintain the redshirt.
He was back a year ago, and led the Cowboys to a 6-2 start before suffering a season-ending knee injury that not only sidelined him for the rest of the season, but did not allow him to have clearance to resume workouts until the final days of April.
While Tyler Vander Waal was given the opportunity to step in, midway through the 11th game of the season, a 17-7 victory against Colorado State, Levi Williams got the nod to step behind center in that game. Williams' playing time off the bench increased in the regular-season finale against Air Force, setting up for him to be the man taking snaps in the Cowboys 38-17 victory over Georgia State in the Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl.
And that set up the tandem at quarterback approach for the Cowboys in 2020.
"I know they want to do anything they can to help the football team win," said Bohl. "I can tell you, I've been around some guys before that are more about themselves as opposed to the team, and that further complicates the situation. Both of these guys have been ultimate team players, and we don't anticipate anything other than that."
There will be challenges, however. Bohl and Brent Vigen, the associate head coach/offensive coordinator/quarterback coach, have always had a set depth chart with a true No. 1 and true No. 2.
"It is so awesome to have two quarterbacks that talented," said Bohl. "Both are great runners. We are going to have dual threats."
That's where the focus of the fall practices has been -- creating the dual threats.
"Sean is a little big head simply because of the number of players he played, but Levi does some really good things.
In 12 games, 11 starts, Chambers has passed for 1,181 yards and rushed for 896. Williams, meanwhile, rushed for 181 yards and passed for 343 yards in three games, 234 of which came in Arizona Bowl.
"They have both shown the ability to make plays," said Bohl.
And Bohl is confident they will be handle the dual-quarterback approach the Cowboys appeared headed to embracing.
"I do know when you know you are going to be in the game, whether it is playing a minimal number of reps or a significant number of reps, that has an impact on your mentality, how you practice and how you prepare. You do to be on Friday night knowing you are going to get in a game.
"As opposed to a backup guy walking around in a ball cap, they both know they are going to be playing."
And they both know they want to take the Cowboys to the next level.