Balanced Effort Leads Cowboys Past Colorado State, 38-17

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A balanced effort by the Cowboy offense, defense and special teams lifted Wyoming (3-2, 1-0 MW) past Colorado State (2-3, 0-1 MW) 38-17 on Saturday evening in Hughes Stadium in Fort Collins, Colo. Junior running back Brian Hill became UW’s all-time rushing leader and became the first UW back to reach 3,000 career rushing yards.

The Cowboys also earned the “Bronze Boot” in the process for the first time since 2012. The “Bronze Boot” game record swings in the Pokes’ favor at 25-24 after Saturday’s win.

“We had an intense week of practice,” UW head coach Craig Bohl said. “There were elements of the game that were huge, including special teams. Ethan (Wood) had a great night punting and Austin (Conway) was solid in the return game. The offensive line did a great job to provide holes for the running backs and even Josh (Allen). 

Hill finished the game with 166 yards with one touchdown on 19 carries. He was the first 100 yard rusher against the Rams this season. He passed Devin Moore’s career rushing mark on a 39-yard run in the second quarter. He now has 3,056 rushing yards in his career.

The Pokes rushed for 284 yards on the night and went 4-of-4 in the red zone. The Cowboy defense played a big role helping UW score 14 points off of turnovers. The Cowboy defense added a defensive touchdown for back-to-back games with a defensive score. Wyoming has now forced 10 turnovers during the 2016 season (7 interceptions and 3 fumbles). Wyoming forced 10 total turnovers in 2015 (5 interceptions and 5 fumbles).

Sophomore Andrew Wingard recorded a career-high 17 tackles for the Cowboys. He also added a sack in the contest. Senior Chase Appleby, who celebrated his 23rd birthday added his first career interception that he returned for a 55-yard touchdown.  

“Anytime you pick six it sends a quarterback into a tail spin,” Bohl said. “When we took the lead, I could sense the momentum switch.”

Not to be out done senior punter Ethan Wood was effective as well. Wood punted six times, averaging 44.5 yards per punt. He pinned the Rams inside their own 20-yard line four times. 

The Pokes got on the board first with a 35-yard field goal by freshman Cooper Rothe. The score came on the heels of a nine play, 70-yard drive. A rush by redshirt quarterback Josh Allen of 22 yards and a 25-yard reception by senior wide receiver Tanner Gentry highlight UW’s opening drive.

The Rams took a 7-3 lead late in the first quarter on a nine yard touchdown reception by Nolan Peralta from Collin Hill. The seven play, 91-yard drive featured a 36-yard reception by Michael Gallup to put Colorado Stat inside UW territory. 

Colorado State added to their lead on a 35-yard scamper by Detrich Clark to extend their advantage to 14-3 early in the second quarter. Dalyn Dawkins set up the touchdown run by Clark with a 30-yard reception into Cowboy territory. 
The Pokes cut the deficit to 14-10 on a five-yard rush by senior running back @Shaun. His first touchdown of the season came on a seven play, 84-yard drive that all came via the running game. 

The Pokes took a 17-14 lead on a 30-yard touchdown pass from Allen to Gentry. The pass came off a reverse flea flicker. The touchdown was setup by a forced fumble by sophomore safety Marcus Epps.

The Pokes added to their lead on Appleby’s  55-yard interception. It was the first interception by a UW defensive lineman since Mike Neuhaus at Tennessee in 2008. The Rams closed the gap with a field goal to make it 24-17 at the half.

Wyoming added to their lead in the third quarter on a one yard run by Hill. It was his 20th career rushing touchdown and gave UW a 31-17 advantage. A 22-yard reception on third down by fullback Drew Van Maanen and a 49-yard run by Hill highlighted the drive.

The Pokes extended the lead to 38-17 on a 13-yard touchdown run by Allen in the closing seconds of the third quarter. Neither team managed to score in the fourth quarter with Wyoming taking the win.

Allen finished the game with 165 passing yards with one touchdown. He also rushed for 55 yards and a touchdown. Gentry grabbed three catches for 91 yards with a touchdown. He has caught a pass in 24-straight games. With 15 carries for 54 yards, Wick moved into sixth place on UW’s all-time rushing yards list. He now has 2,292 yards in his career.

The Rams’ quarterback Collin Hill threw for 370 yards on 23-of-41 passing with one touchdown and an interception. The Rams rushing attack was held in check by the Pokes as UW allowed only 111 rushing yards on the night.

The Cowboys return to action next weekend for homecoming hosting Air Force at 1:30 p.m. in War Memorial Stadium.