FORT COLLINS, Colo. -
Freshman running back Brian Hill had his best day as a Cowboy with his first two career scores, but his efforts weren't enough to stop the University of Wyoming football team from suffering a 45-31 loss Saturday to rival Colorado State.
In the 106th edition of the "Border War" between the two squads, Wyoming (3-5 overall, 1-3 Mountain West) struggled to contain a potent offensive attack from Colorado State (7-1, 3-1 MW). The Rams scored on seven of their 11 total drives in the game in front of 32,529 fans in Hughes Stadium and tallied 558 yards of total offense.
But UW's offense played well in the second half, piling up 275 yards and scoring 28 points. Senior quarterback Colby Kirkegaard had a nice day, finishing with a career-best 335 yards passing and two scores. His last two tosses of the day were touchdowns, as he found senior wide receiver Jalen Claiborne from 32 yards out and sophomore wideout Tanner Gentry on a throw with just 15 seconds left for a 38-yard score for the final margin.
Hill also was a bright spot for the Pokes, posting a career-high 121 rush yards along with two TDs. He played well in the absence of starter Shaun Wick, who was injured in the first half and missed a majority of the game.
The rookie tailback capped off a 13-play, 75-yard TD drive for UW with a 1-yard plunge in the third quarter to narrow the margin to 31-10. CSU scored on its next play to lead 38-10, but UW followed that up with a 13-play, 75-yard scoring drive. Again, Hill lit up the scoreboard with a 1-yard scoring run, his second of the day, and UW trailed 38-17.
With six catches, senior wide receiver Dominic Rufran became the nation's active leader in consecutive games with at least one reception. He now has caught a pass in 45-straight games, every contest of his career.
The UW defense had a nice first-quarter goal-line stand, stalling CSU at the Cowboy 1-yard line to force a field goal. A UW three-and-out on its first series allowed the Rams to drive 66 yards for a TD, and the Pokes trailed 10-0 with 6:42 left in the first quarter.
But the Pokes stormed back with a nine-play, 68-yard march that ended with a 31-yard field goal from senior place-kicker Stuart Williams, and UW trailed 10-3 with 51 seconds to go in the first quarter. CSU added two more touchdowns on its next two drives to lead 24-3, which proved to be the halftime score.
The Cowboys are in action Saturday as they visit the Fresno State Bulldogs in Fresno, Calif. Kickoff for that game is 8:45 p.m. MT.