QB Sean Chambers trying to keep perspective amid fast start
LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) — Sean Chambers is the talk of the town.
That’s what happens when you go from being the backup quarterback to the starter. Wyoming’s true freshman signal caller did that three games ago and has had a rousing introduction to the Mountain West in helping Wyoming get on its first winning streak of the season heading into Saturday’s game against Air Force.
Chambers tried to minimize the newfound attention he’s gotten both on campus and back home in California, saying there’s been “a little bit” of an increase in the amount of calls and text messages he’s received from friends and family over the last month. It wasn’t until a conversation with his mom last week that the reality of his situation sank in.
“I was talking to my mom, and we’re like, ‘Yeah, I’m actually playing college football,’” Chambers said. “It’s what I’ve always dreamed about. It was a pretty cool feeling.”
He’s played it pretty well.
The plan, originally, was for the 6-foot-3, 215-pounder to redshirt, but since taking over for Tyler Vander Waal in the second half of the Cowboys’ 24-16 loss to Utah State on Oct. 20, Chambers has looked like he belongs.
Chambers led drives that resulted in all of Wyoming’s points against the Aggies and has led eight touchdown drives in his first 10 collegiate quarters. He accounted for three touchdowns in Wyoming’s 34-21 Border War win over Colorado State, tossed a career-long 43-yard touchdown pass in that game and ripped off a career-long 64-yard scoring run the following week in a 24-9 win over San Jose State.
Chambers’ dual-threat ability has left defenses with a choice: take away him or Nico Evans, the nation’s second-leading rusher. They haven’t done much to limit either one as Chambers and Evans have each reached the 100-yard mark on the ground the last three games.
As for how much of the offense Chambers can execute at this point, he said he doesn’t have a certain percentage. The bye week gave Wyoming more time to further expand the playbook with wrinkles that Chambers is comfortable with, but don’t expect the Cowboys’ game plan against Air Force to stray too far from what’s worked with him under center.
“We added a little more stuff, but I think the biggest thing is refining what we do,” Chambers told the Casper Star-Tribune. “We’re not going to go out there and change the playbook completely. We’re going to go out there, refine what we do and make sure we’re clicking on all cylinders.”
Chambers has accounted for 559 total yards and five touchdowns for an offense that averaged 25 points and 404 yards the last three games. Before he took over, Wyoming was averaging 16 points and 282 yards and went 10 straight quarters without an offensive touchdown.
“He put a lot of confidence in us, I guess you could say,” tight end Tyree Mayfield said. “Having him in the huddle is something different, something that even (former UW quarterback) Josh (Allen) didn’t have. I don’t know. It’s hard to explain. But it’s given us a lot of confidence, and we’ve been able to piggyback off of it.”
Ball security has been an issue at times with three fumbles (two lost), but while the positives far outweigh the negatives early in his career, Chambers said he does his best to not dwell on any of it. Wyoming has won two straight games and needs to extend the streak to four if it wants to become bowl eligible for a third straight year.
“I’m just working hard not really thinking about the success,” he said. “Just going out there and, if I have a touchdown run, celebrating a little bit with my teammates and moving on to the next play. I kind of do that with games, too. Coach (Craig Bohl) has a 24-hour rule whether you win or lose. You still have the 24 hours to either commiserate or celebrate, and we move on from there.”
It’s a mindset for Chambers that’s mature beyond his years. Coaches and teammates have seen it for three games now and don’t expect it to change.
“You couldn’t even tell it was the first game he’d played in,” Mayfield said. “He just stepped in the huddle like he’d been there for five or six years.”
Information from: Casper (Wyo.) Star-Tribune, http://www.trib.com