Their numbers have improved every year.
And Wynel Seldon and Devin Moore don't plan on changing the trend in 2008.
"Me and D-Mo are working hard," Seldon said after practice on Monday. "That's an everyday thing for us. We try to stay ahead of the competition—the competition being everybody in the nation.
"We're just trying to work on and build on whatever we did last year and trying to improve on everything that we've done thus far."
The two running backs are heading into their final season as Cowboys, and with all five of Wyoming's starting offensive linemen returning from last year, Seldon said he is anxious to get back out on the field.
"I look forward to the chance of showing all my attributes as far as running the ball, catching the ball and however I can get it, however I can help the team and benefit us," he said. "I'm looking forward to that and I'm working hard on that."
Seldon burst onto the Wyoming rushing scene as a freshman, surprising fans by working his way to the top of the depth chart after injuries depleted the running back position in the fall. He ended up starting in all 11 of the Cowboys' games and had the best freshman season by any running back in Wyoming history, piling up 871 yards on the ground and scoring 11 touchdowns.
The bruising back put up more than 500 yards rushing each of the next two seasons and averaged more than four touchdowns. He now ranks eighth all-time in career rushing yards at Wyoming and sixth in career rushing touchdowns.
Moore's path to stardom has been more gradual. He carried the ball just 26 times for 123 yards as a freshman but fared much better in '06, rushing 80 times for 574 yards and three scores. And last year was his best to date; the speedster nearly doubled his '06 numbers, piling up 965 yards on 198 carries and rushing for five touchdowns.
Combined, Seldon and Moore have put up 3,697 yards and 28 touchdowns on the ground over the past three seasons, and their stats have continued to get higher the longer they've been at Wyoming. In 2005 they combined for 994 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns. In ‘06 they put up 1,184 yards and four scores, and in ‘07 they had 1,519 yards rushing and 13 touchdowns.
What's more, since 2005, as the two running backs have gone, it seems, so have the Cowboys. Seldon and Moore averaged nearly 200 yards rushing per game and more than 1.5 touchdowns in Wyoming's five victories last year, but they averaged less than 75 yards and less than one score in the seven losses. Since 2005, the Cowboys are 7-2 when one or both of the backs rush for more than 100 yards in a game.
With the new offense the Cowboys are installing and the individual improvements they'll be working on in the offseason, both running backs said 2008 should be the team's best season yet on the ground. Wyoming head coach Joe Glenn added that fans will occasionally see both senior running backs on the field at the same time this year—something Seldon said will catch opponents off guard.
"It's just trying to expand on the positives from last season and build on the new things that we're bringing in this year," he said. "They're trying to get me and D-Mo on the field together, which will bring a powerful punch. I don't believe defenses will be ready for that."
Seldon also said the Cowboys will try to work the two backs into the receiving game more this season.
"I don't believe that (defenses) will be ready for the speed and athletic ability that we'll bring to the position," he said. "We're looking at a lot of new things, so we're just trying to work hard and keep everything focused."
Seldon said he is about the same size as last season but "a little stronger," and the big back said he is focusing hardest on improving his first step.
"I feel like I run powerful," he said. "I feel like I can carry the load. I feel like my weight is good. Right now, I'm just working on that footwork and just the mental aspect of the game, knowing and reading defenses, knowing what the defensive scheme is, knowing what blitz is coming, just being a student of the game."
Moore, on the other hand, said he isn't happy with the progress he has made—despite feeling completely healed from last year.
"I played hurt half the season, but nobody knew I guess," he said. "But I feel like I'm hard on myself…I don't think I've improved too much in the right areas. I think I need to get a little faster."
Moore also said he wants to put on five more pounds of muscle to bring his weight up to 200 pounds, and he wasn't happy with the way he held onto the ball in Monday's practice.
"I fumbled once today," he said, "and I hadn't fumbled in a while."
But the 5-foot-10-inch rusher also said he was happy about having Seldon and the five starting offensive linemen back for one more season, and he expressed confidence that he would meet his offseason goals—and improve on last year's numbers.
"I believe that in order to take two steps forward you need to take one step back," he said. "It makes you work a little harder. I think that injury during the season, it hindered me a lot. I didn't hit the yards that I wanted to hit. I couldn't get off in games like I wanted to. But I kept trying, and I came up short.
"When I come back this year, it won't happen."
Seldon, Moore Looking for Best Season Yet
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