Williams wants opportunity to take over Wyoming offense
LARAMIE -- Levi Williams said he is comfortable in any role he's given.
Whether that's calling in plays, holding a clipboard or running the scout team, the redshirt freshman says he's a team player first.
But after a long meeting with Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl Monday, the Texas native knows he could have a new title come Saturday afternoon -- starting quarterback.
"I can't go too much into what he said, but I'm extremely confident after that conversation," Williams said. "I'm excited to prepare this week. I'm excited to play New Mexico."
Bohl has opened up the quarterback competition this week after starter Sean Chambers completed just 8-of-23 passes, tossed three interceptions and lost a fumble on the second play from scrimmage in last Saturday's 17-0 home loss to Fresno State.
Chambers also fumbled twice a week prior in a 24-14 setback at Air Force.
The Cowboys were a plus-7 in turnover margin after three weeks. Now, the team sits at a minus-1.
"Obviously, the big factor that we've got to control and get our arms wrapped around is our turnovers," Bohl said Monday. "It's very difficult to win a game when you turn the ball over five times and we didn't get any. So, those things need to be addressed."
Williams was inserted into the Fresno State game with 10:18 remaining in the fourth quarter. He completed just 1-of-7 throws and also threw a pick in the Cowboys' lone trip to the red zone.
Wyoming hasn't scored in its last six quarters of football. The Cowboys hadn't been shutout at home since 2009. In Bohl's head coaching career -- 18 seasons and 224 games -- his team's have only been blanked three times, two of which happened during his time at North Dakota State.
Yeah, it's that bad.
When New Mexico comes to Laramie Saturday, the reins of this offense will belong to either Chambers or Williams.
Bohl said both quarterbacks will get equal reps in practice this week.
The later started five of Wyoming's six games in last season's virus-shortened campaign. He won just two of those and completed 49.6% of his passes in the process. Williams threw only one touchdown pass and rushed for another six. It was later discovered that Williams was suffering from a severe injury to his throwing shoulder after a Week-2 hit against Hawaii.
One of those loses in 2020 came at the hands of the Lobos, who will be in town for a 1:30 p.m. kickoff Saturday afternoon. New Mexico snapped an FBS-worst 14-game losing streak in that 17-16 victory over the Cowboys in Las Vegas. Williams completed just 4-of-12 passes and tossed an interception in the upset loss.
"Yeah, for sure -- 100%," Williams said when asked if that was one of the toughest loses of his young career. "It was hard. We couldn't get clicking offensively and I didn't trust myself with my injury. That's a recipe for disaster. That's what happened -- a disaster.
"We've got a sour taste in our mouth from last year."
Williams said he and Wyoming offensive coordinator Tim Polasek have already gone over a plan of attack against the Lobos. The 6-foot-5, 224-pound signal caller said the thoughts he gave Polasek will hopefully create a "dominant performance" against New Mexico.
"That's what we need Saturday," Williams added.
This could be Williams' third opportunity to establish himself as the Cowboys quarterback of the future.
He didn't win the job in camp in 2020 after throwing for three touchdowns and rushing for another in an Arizona Bowl victory over Georgia State, Williams' first career start at UW.
This offseason, despite Bohl claiming how close the race was during the spring and fall, Williams once again was the runner up to Chambers.
He knows this could be his last shot at becoming the starting quarterback of this team.
"I'm taking it one game at a time, but obviously I've had my opportunities," Williams said. "My goal is to make this offense my own. Sean and I are pretty similar in some ways, but something I prefer he might not like and something I prefer he might not like. I want to mold this offense to be my own if I get the opportunity. I'm just excited to compete and get this team ready to win."
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