LARAMIE, Wyo. -
Freshman running back Brian Hill had another solid effort with 122 rushing yards, but the University of Wyoming football team dropped a 20-3 Mountain West contest to Utah State on Friday night in War Memorial Stadium. The Aggies (7-3, 4-1 MW) jumped out to a 17-0 lead in the first quarter, but the Cowboys (4-6, 2-4 MW) hung tough and scored the only points of the second and third quarters before two costly turnovers in the fourth quarter.
"There were times and opportunities in this game tonight and we shot ourselves in the foot," UW head coach Craig Bohl said. "I thought we responded in certain parts of the game fairly well, but Utah State is a good football team and we knew that we had to play well. We had several self-inflicted wounds tonight and you can't beat a good football team (doing that)."
Playing just their third weeknight home game in program history, the Pokes allowed 17 points in the first 10 minutes of the game, including scores on an 80-yard punt return and a 66-yard rush. The Cowboys battled through the adversity, though, to hold USU off the scoreboard in the second and third quarters, while connecting on a 37-yard field goal from senior Stuart Williams just before halftime.
Wyoming looked to be gaining momentum in the fourth quarter with two drives into the Aggie red zone, but interceptions ended both drives. Utah State would tack on a field goal with six minutes left in the game to effectively seal the win.
"Their defense is aggressive and has been good," Bohl said. "Coming into tonight, we knew that they may get some turnovers. We really lost opportunities when we got in the red zone and the penalties took us out of our normal wheelhouse of play calls. Sometimes during the course of the season, we've been able to overcome that, but not against a team like this. So that's disappointing. There is a lot of season left, but those are things that playing against a good football team, we need to clean up."
Hill notched his third-straight contest over the century mark on 25 carries, as he averaged 4.9 yards per rush. Senior quarterback Colby Kirkegaard completed 20 of his 40 attempts for 212 yards, while hitting a season-high nine different Cowboys with a pass. Sophomore wide receiver Jake Maulhardt posted career highs with six catches for 89 yards, including a 53-yard snag, while senior wide receiver Dominic Rufran extended his NCAA-leading streak of games with at least one catch to 47.
Defensively, junior defensive end Eddie Yarbrough paced the Pokes with eight stops, including one sack and one tackle for loss to move into third in Wyoming history with 28.5 tackles for loss. Sophomore strong safety Will Tutein had a career-best seven tackles, including two stops for loss, while sophomore nose tackle Uso Olive posted seven stop also, a career high as well.
Wyoming is off next weekend, before hosting Boise State on Nov. 22. Game time and television information for that contest will be announced at a later date.