Nov. 8, 2004
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -
Alex Smith (Utah) and J.J. Raterink (Wyoming), Morgan Scalley (Utah) and Matt Payne (BYU) were named Mountain West Conference Players of the Week. Smith and Raterink share Offensive Players of the Week, Morgan claims Defensive honors, and Payne receives Special Teams recognition. Smith earns the award for the fifth time this season and eighth time in his career. Payne is recognized for the eighth time in his career and fifth time this season. Raterink and Scalley are first time honorees.
MWC Co-Offensive Players of the Week
J.J. Raterink, Sr., QB, 6-1, 210, Longmont, Colo. (Skyline)
J.J. Raterink who didn't start the UNLV game and had attempted only 27 total passes in his four-year career at Wyoming, came in on the second possession of the game for the Cowboys and led UW to a 53-45 triple overtime win in Las Vegas. It was one of the most remarkable performances by a Cowboy quarterback in school history.
Raterink entered the game in relief of starter Corey Bramlet, who tried to play with a bruised hip that he had suffered a week earlier versus Air Force. After Wyoming's first offensive series, it was determined that Bramlet was physically unable to continue. Raterink came in after a UW interception on its own 34-yard line, and proceeded to guide the Cowboys on a 10-play, 36-yard drive that resulted in a 47-yard Deric Yaussi field goal to put Wyoming up 3-0.
Raterink went on to complete 22 of 36 pass attempts (61.1 percent) for 227 yards, four touchdowns and only one interception. The four TD passes were the first touchdown passes of Raterink's career. Among the four TD passes were two in overtime. In the second overtime, and Wyoming trailing 38-45, Raterink hit tight end John Wadkowski in the back of the endzone for the tying touchdown to force the third overtime. Then in the third extra period, Raterink completed a 25-yard touchdown pass to Jovon Bouknight on the first play to put UW up 51-45. By rule, the Cowboys had to go for two points, and Raterink hit running back Ivan Harrison on a pass for the two-point conversion, giving Wyoming a 53-45 advantage. UW's defense denied UNLV on its final possession, and Raterink had led the Cowboys to their sixth win of the season, assuring the Pokes of their first winning season since 1999. It also marked the first MWC road win for Wyoming after 17 consecutive conference road losses.
Alex Smith, Utah, Quarterback, Junior
Smith completed 21-of-26 passes (81%) for 291 yards and four touchdowns in less than three quarters of playing time in Utahâ?TMs 63-31 victory over Colorado State. He also rushed for 55 yards on nine carries J.J. Raterink, Wyoming, Quarterback, Senior
MWC Defensive Player of the Week
Morgan Scalley, Utah, Defensive Back, Senior
Scalley returned a fumble 88 yards for a touchdown, while also recording two interceptions he returned for 40 yards in the 63-31 win over Colorado State. He also had five tackles (two solo) and a pass breakup against the Rams.
MWC Special Teams Player of the Week
Matt Payne, BYU, Punter/Kicker, Senior
Payne was credited with four punts for 187 yards, averaging 46.8 yards per punt, in the 49-16 win against San Diego State. Two of his punts were downed inside the 20-yard line, while the other two were returned for a combined total of only 12 yards. Payne also made three field goals from 34, 42 and 43 yards. Payne lined up for a career-long 59-yard field goal in the fourth quarter, but had the attempt blocked.However, he recovered the blocked field goal and ran for 24 yards, picking up the first down and preserving the Cougarsâ?TM eventual scoring drive.