Dec. 17, 2011
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Freshman quarterback Brett Smith threw for 127 yards and two touchdowns, but his efforts weren't quite enough as the Wyoming football team lost to Temple 37-15 on Saturday in the New Mexico Bowl.
Smith was 20-for-30 with two touchdowns and three interceptions on the day. Smith's scoring tosses went to freshman running back Kody Sutton and freshman wide receiver Josh Doctson. Sutton's 14-yard catch-and-run touchdown late in the fourth quarter was his first career score as a Cowboy.
Smith had 127 yards passing and 65 yards rushing for 189 total yards, which gave him 3,329 yards for the season. That mark moves Smith to No. 3 on UW's single-season total offense chart.
Cowboy senior linebacker Brian Hendricks had 13 tackles, moving him to No. 11 on UW's all-time list. Hendricks finished his Wyoming career with 309 tackles, just two shy of tying for 10th place. Senior defensive end Gabe Knapton also had seven stops, giving him a total of 368 for his career. Knapton is fifth all-time in Cowboy history.
Wyoming ended its season 8-5 overall and 5-2 in the Mountain West. It was Wyoming's first eight-win season since 1998. The Cowboys' five conference wins and second-place finish in the Mountain West tied for their best finish since joining the conference in 1999. Temple concluded its season 9-4 overall and 5-3 in the Mid-American Conference.
Temple scored two rushing touchdowns and added another one through the air in the first and second quarters to go up 21-0 with 10 minutes remaining in the first half.
Wyoming answered with a 21-yard strike from Smith to Doctson to draw Wyoming closer, making it 21-7 with just 37 seconds to go in the first half.
But Temple scored on its next offensive play, as quarterback Chris Coyer threw a 61-yard pass to Rod Streater for the score and Temple took a 28-7 lead heading into halftime.
Smith's day was up and down, but his accomplishments over the year gave Cowboys coach Dave Christensen hope for the future.
"Not his best day," Christensen said. "But the great news is he's got three more years and he'll work extremely hard in the offseason. He'll bounce back. He always does.
"They just played physically better than us. My hat's off to them. They're a good running team. They're a good football team."