University of Wyoming sophomore free safety Andrew Wingard was named the Mountain West Conference Defensive Player of the Week on Monday after helping lead the Cowboys to a 38-17 road victory over Colorado State last Saturday. It is the first MW Player of the Week honor for him in his career.
Wingard led Wyoming’s defense with 17 total tackles, including 10 solo tackles. He also had one sack and one tackle for loss versus CSU.
He was a key contributor to a Cowboy defense that shutout the Rams in the second half of the game and limited CSU to only 134 yards of total offense in the second half.
Wingard’s 17 tackles were a personal best, exceeding a 16-tackle performance versus San Diego State in 2015. His 17 tackles rank in a tie for 21st place on the Wyoming single-game tackle list.
The sophomore had an amazing six tackles on a single series in the second quarter -- two of which were solo tackles. The Cowboys would end up having a “Pick Six” on that defensive series. Senior nose tackle Chase Appleby made the interception and returned it 55 yards for the touchdown, putting the Pokes up 24-14 in the second quarter.
In the third quarter, Wingard tackled a Ram runner for no gain as part of a CSU series that lasted only five plays. In the fourth quarter, he made a tackle after a five-yard gain by CSU on a 3rd and 11 play. That tackle was part of a three-and-out series forced by the Cowboy defense.
With a little over four minutes remaining in the game, Wingard recorded a solo sack of CSU quarterback Collin Hill on a 4th and five play from Wyoming’s own 24-yard line. That sack resulted in an intentional grounding penalty on CSU and ended the final scoring threat of the game by the Rams, preserving UW’s second-half shutout.
For the season, Wingard is averaging 11.8 tackles per game, ranking him No. 1 in the Mountain West and No. 4 in the nation. He is averaging 6.2 solo tackles per game to rank No. 2 in the conference and no. 12 in the NCAA.
A native of Arvada, Colo., Wingard played at Ralston Valley High School before becoming a starter at Wyoming in the second game of his true freshman season. Now a sophomore at UW, he has started the last 16 consecutive games for the Cowboys.