Wyoming Sophomores Brett Smith and Blair Burns Named MW Players of the Week

Nov. 5, 2012

LARAMIE, Wyo. - Wyoming sophomores Brett Smith and Blair Burns were named the Mountain West Conference Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week on Monday.

Sophomore quarterback Smith threw for four touchdowns and rushed for one, as the Wyoming offense scored a season high 45 points in a 45-31 win over Colorado State last Saturday.

He completed 19 of 32 passes (59.4 percent) for 235 yards, and he rushed for an additional 27 yards for 262 yards of total offense.

Smith threw TD passes of 26 yards to Chris McNeill and 16 yards to Brandon Miller in the first quarter. In the second quarter, he threw his third touchdown pass -- a nine-yarder to Robert Herron. Smith helped secure the win for the Cowboys in the third quarter with a five-yard TD run of his own, followed by a three-yard pass to Dominic Rufran later in the third to build Wyoming's lead to 42-17 at the end of three quarters, after leading by 28-17 at halftime.

Smith also helped UW to 468 yards of total offense -- the Cowboys' second highest total of the season. The Salem, Ore., native guided Wyoming to an amazing 15 of 20 third-down conversions on the day. He was personally involved in converting 10 of UW's 15 third-down conversions -- eight by completing third-down passes and two more by rushing plays of his own. Smith and his Cowboy offense also cashed in on a perfect five of five red-zone opportunities.

This was Smith's second MW Offensive Player of the Week honor this season, and the fourth of his career.

Sophomore cornerback Burns returned an interception 99 yards for a touchdown and added four tackles to help key UW's 45-31 win over Colorado State last Saturday. Burns interception of 99 yards was the second longest in school history, and ties for the third longest in Mountain West history.

Burns interception came at a critical juncture in the game versus CSU. With Wyoming leading 14-7 late in the first quarter, CSU had the ball third and goal at the Wyoming nine-yard line with an opportunity to tie the game. CSU quarterback Conner Smith threw a pass to the left-front corner of the end zone, but Burns made the interception and proceeded to take it 99 yards down the sideline, breaking one tackle to turn the momentum back in the favor of the Cowboys and give UW a 21-7 lead. Burns also had four solo tackles. One of his solo tackles came on a third and eight for Colorado State early in the third quarter. Burns tackled the CSU receiver one-yard shy of the first down, and the Wyoming defense would force a fumble on the next play to stop CSU's first drive of the second half.

Burns' 99-yard return is one yard shy of the Wyoming record of 100 yards held by Jacque Finn. Finn returned an interception 100 yards for a touchdown against BYU in 2002. Burns' interception also ties him for third in conference history. The only MW players to exceed Burns return are Finn and Jamar Taylor of Boise State versus Arizona State in last year's MAACO Bowl Las Vegas.

This is the first MW Defensive Player of the Week honor in Burns career.