Oct. 27, 2012
Laramie, Wyo. -
Sophomore quarterback Brett Smith passed for 216 yards against No. 21 Boise State to move into ninth on the University of Wyoming's all-time passing chart, but the Broncos (7-1, 4-1 MW) earned a 45-14 win over the Cowboys (1-7, 0-4 MW) on Saturday in War Memorial Stadium. UW battled to a 17-7 halftime deficit, but BSU scored 21 unanswered points in the third quarter to take charge and cruise for the win.
"I do have some good feelings about this week," UW interim head coach Pete Kaligis said. "Whether it was an easy week or not, how this team responded and the support from the entire staff, administration, equipment room, strength staff, training room and everyone that's involved was great. I can't thank them enough for the experience they gave me and this group of young men. They came out and gave it their all. What an experience."
Smith passed the 200-yard mark for the fourth time this season on a 24-of-35 performance, while also rushing for both of UW's touchdowns. He has scored two rushing touchdowns 13 times in his career. Junior wide receiver Brandon Miller caught a season-high six passes for 66 yards, while senior wide receiver Chris McNeill also posted six receptions for 48 yards. Wyoming went 11-of-18 on third downs.
Defensively, senior linebackers Korey Jones and Ghaali Muhammad each had 11 tackles, while Muhammad added 1.5 tackles for loss. Sophomore safety Chad Reese caught his first career interception in the second quarter.
The first half was pretty even on the stat sheet, until Boise State started to gain momentum late in the second quarter. Wyoming opened the game with the ball and Smith completed his first six passes to drive deep into Bronco territory, before UW's 29-yard field goal attempt was blocked. BSU responded with a balanced attacked to drive 78 yards in 11 plays and go up 7-0 with 5:22 left in the first quarter.
The Cowboys drove deep into Boise State territory again thanks to the passing attack, but finished the drive on the ground. Smith scored his second rushing touchdown of the season to tie the game at 7-7 with 12:38 go to in the half after a 15-play, 75-yard drive in 7:44. Boise State would score the next 10 points, though, to go into halftime up 17-7. The Broncos drove to the Cowboy 12-yard line, but were stifled and forced to make a 29-yard field goal.
Wyoming punted on its next possession, and a 36-yard return into Cowboy territory gave BSU some momentum that it converted into a touchdown three plays later. The UW offense punted for a second straight time and BSU looked to take control of the game with another drive, but Reese picked off the BSU quarterback at UW's one-yard line and returned the ball over midfield. The half ended with another UW punt, though.
Smith passed for 128 yards in the first half and UW's leading rusher with 12 yards, while Miller hauled in five catches for 61 yards and McNeill had four for 38. Defensively, Jones and Muhammad both had seven tackles, including five solo stops apiece. Boise State earned a 228-154 advantage in total yards in the opening half, but UW led in time of possession 16:44 to 13:16.
Boise State dominated the third quarter with 21 unanswered points to take a commanding lead in the game. The Broncos quickly converted the opening possession of the second half into points with a 65-yard drive in 1:59 to go up 24-7. Smith fumbled on the ensuing UW drive and BSU returned the ball 19 yards for another seven points and ended the quarter with a 67-yard drive to go up 38-7.
Smith scored his second rushing touchdown of the day two minutes into the fourth quarter to end UW's scoring drought. He scampered in from 23 yards out to cap a 77-yard drive in 13 plays and make the score 38-14. Boise State responded swiftly with another scoring drive to push the advantage back to 45-14 with 10 minutes left in the contest to cap the scoring.
Wyoming continues its season by hosting Colorado State for the annual Border War next Saturday at 2:30 p.m. in War Memorial Stadium.