LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) — First-year Wyoming coach Dave Christensen hopes the go-go offensive scheme he is installing and Laramie’s altitude will leave opponents gasping.

At about 7,200 feet above sea level, Wyoming is the highest in terms of altitude among major college schools.

“No question altitude will play a factor because of the pace that we play,” Christensen said. “I think it’s an edge for us and will become more of an edge the better shape that we get in and the faster that we play.”

Christensen has firsthand experience with Laramie’s altitude after being hired away from Missouri last December to replace Joe Glenn.

“I know for the first three months walking up to the office I was gasping for air getting up the stairs,” said the 48-year-old coach.

Christensen has emphasized conditioning and keeping a fast tempo during fall camp.

“If you’re out there sometimes, it looks like organized chaos, it’s nonstop,” he said.

One of the major selling points for Christensen’s hiring at Wyoming was his knowledge of the no-huddle, spread offensive scheme that was so successful at Missouri. Christensen was offensive coordinator under Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel and helped create the high-scoring Tigers offense.

Wyoming hopes that Christensen’s offensive prowess will bring some punch to an offense that ranked last out of 119 major college teams in scoring in 2008 at 12.67 points a game and 114th in passing offense at 117.67 yards per game.

By comparison, Missouri was fourth in the nation in scoring at 42.2 points a game last year and fourth in passing offense with 330.36 yards per game.

Christensen has installed the no-huddle, spread offense at Wyoming but acknowledges it will take time to bring it up to the standards set at Missouri where Christensen employed unbalanced formations, reverses, motion and other “oddities.”

“As we improve in our recruiting and our personnel, as far as recruiting the type of players to run the spread system, we’ll implement more of those elements that we used at Missouri,” he said. “But in the meantime we have to tailor to our personnel strengths where we’re at right now.”

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