UW’s Offensive coordinator named head coach at Montana State
LARAMIE -- Wyoming's 2021 season opener just became even more intriguing.
The Cowboys' long-time offensive coordinator, Brent Vigen, was named the next head coach at Montana State University, sources have told 7220sports.com. Footballscoop.com reported the news first and the school made it official at 5 p.m. with this tweet:
The Pokes and Bobcats are slated to play Sept. 4 at War Memorial Stadium in Laramie.
Vigen has been in charge of the Wyoming offense since he arrived with Craig Bohl from North Dakota State in 2014. Three years later, he added the title of associate head coach. Vigen has also served as the quarterbacks coach in Laramie.
He held the same positions under Bohl in Fargo from 2009-13.
During Vigen's seven-year tenue at UW, he coached and developed current Buffalo Bills quarterback, Josh Allen. He became the highest draft choice in Wyoming history when Buffalo selected him with the No. 7 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. Vigen also recruited and coached Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz.
Vigen's best season in Laramie came in 2016, when the Allen-led Cowboys scored nearly 36 points per game en route to the Mountain West Championship Game. The Cowboys' boasted the No. 2 offense in the league and were ranked 25th overall in the nation.
The post-Allen era hasn't been nearly as proficient, especially in the passing game.
Last fall, in just six games, Wyoming ranked ninth in the MW, averaging 153 yards per game through the air. Only San Diego State, Utah State and Air Force were worse. In 2019, the Cowboys threw for just 136.2 yards per outing. The Falcons and their option ground attack racked up just 123.2 per game.
Here's where the passing game finished in the MW during Vigen's tenure at UW:
2014 - 227.8 (5th)
2015 - 187.3 (7th)
2016 - 229.1 (3rd)
2017 - 177.2 (9th)
2018 - 131.1 (12th)
2019 - 136.2 (11th)
2020 - 153.3 (9th)
While the passing game faltered, the Cowboys did feature one of the best running games in the nation behind guys like Brian Hill, Nico Evans and Xazavian Valladay. Aside from down years in 2014, '15 and '17, Wyoming ranked near the top half of the league every season with its run-heavy attack.
Here's where the running game finished during Vigen's stint in Laramie:
2014 - 153.2 yards per game (9th)
2015 - 173.4 (9th)
2016 - 204.6 (6th)
2017 - 108.8 (12th)
2018 - 199.4 (4th)
2019 - 214.8 (2nd)
2020 - 219.5 (2nd)
Vigen helped lead the Cowboys to three bowl games in a four-year span. Wyoming won the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl in 2016 and the Arizona Bowl in 2019.
Vigen will replace former MSU head coach Jeff Choate, who left Bozeman to become a co-defensive coordinator and inside linebackers coach at the University of Texas.
It was reported that Matt Lubick, son of former Colorado State head coach Sonny Lubick and current Nebraska offensive coordinator, turned down the MSU job in early February. Ken Wilson, the current linebackers coach at the University of Oregon, also said no to the Bozeman brass.
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