#120CowboyTough, 35 Days to Kickoff: An Option Attack Overtakes a Mighty Foe

July 28, 2013


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An Option Attack Overtakes a Mighty Foe

This game, early in the 1972 season, should've been over before it started. The Cowboys, at 1-2, were faced with hosting 11th-ranked Arizona State, a 2-0 squad that had won 30 of its 31 previous games.

But the UW offense had a trick up its sleeve for the mighty Sun Devils on Sept. 30 at War Memorial Stadium: the option. ASU hadn't scouted Wyoming for this attack, and when the Cowboys unveiled it to begin the game, it was clear ASU was on its heels. Led by three 100-yard rushers in quarterback Steve Cockreham, fullback Steve Brown and running back Charlie Shaw, the Cowboys rolled up 472 yards on the ground. UW won a 45-43 nailbiter over the heavily favored ASU squad, one of just four wins for the Cowboys in the 1972 season.

UW struck early and often and even owned a 30-7 lead with 10:39 to go in the third quarter, but the Sun Devils battled back to within 10 with just 1:10 remaining, and after a successful on-side kick and subsequent score, made it 45-43 with just 51 seconds to go. UW recovered the next on-side kick to preserve the victory.

Cockreham was the star of the day, compiling 37 carries for 177 yards and three scores. He added another five completions for 103 yards and a TD. He was named the National Player of the Week for his efforts. Brown added 27 rushes for 144 yards and two TDs, while Shaw had a healthy 11.7 yards per carry average thanks to 117 yards on 10 carries. And thanks to that methodical attack, Wyoming ran 98 plays, an astounding 50 more than ASU, and ended up with a whopping 43 minutes and 14 seconds of possession.

About the #120CowboyTough Countdown

The 2013 season will mark the 120th anniversary of Wyoming Cowboy Football. To commemorate that anniversary, we will be counting down some of the great memories and moments from Wyoming football history over the next eight weeks leading up to the Cowboys' season opener at Nebraska on Aug. 31.

The 2013 "Countdown to Kickoff" will take Wyoming fans through Cowboy Football history chronologically. The first week will highlight some of the memorable moments from the period from the first season in 1893 through the 1940s. Then each successive week, the countdown will recall great moments from the 1950s, `60s, 70s, 80, 90s, 2000s and the current decade.

Our countdown will only touch on some of the greatest moments, but we encourage you, the Wyoming fans, to share your favorite memories through the official University of Wyoming Athletics Twitter (@wyoathletics) and Facebook pages (Wyoming Cowboys). Fans are encouraged to use #120CowboyTough when sharing their memories.

Enjoy the countdown, and we look forward to seeing you in War Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 7 for the home opener versus the Idaho Vandals.