The Wyoming Cowboys went into San Diego this week as 16 point under dogs to the homestanding San Diego State Aztecs. The Aztecs are led by senior quarterback Ryan Lindley and sophomore standout running back Ronnie Hillman. Hillman is already an NFL prospect and has been tearing up Mountain West defenses for two seasons. It’s no surprise that the young Cowboys were underdogs here. The Aztecs got on the board first when QB Ryan Lindley hit Gavin Escobar on a 44 yard touchdown pass for an easy touchdown. The Cowboys responded on their next drive as the Pokes marched down the field and QB Brett Smith took it in from 2 yards. The game quickly became WAC ball when on the next drive SDSU scored on a 77 yard pass from Lindley to Hillman on a wheel route. The Cowboys responded again when Brett Smith hit Chris McNeill on a tunnel screen to put the Pokes ahead 14-13. The Cowboys continued the scoring going into halftime when Brett Smith and Chris McNeill each scored another touchdown a piece. Going into halftime the Pokes were up 30-13.
San Diego State made some adjustments at halftime and the Cowboys had no answer for the Aztecs for most of the half. Ronnie Hillman showed why he’s a legitimate NFL prospect in the second half after being mostly contained on his rushes in the first half. San Diego State responded after a Cowboy punt when Hillman took off on a 99 yard rush leaving behind several missed tackles and Cowboy defenders in his wake. The Aztecs punched in another touchdown on another Ronnie Hillman rush, this from 3 yards out. Up 30-27 the Cowboy defense played bend but don’t break the rest of the way. Also aiding the Cowboys was the Aztec kicker Abelardo Perez missing two critical FGs that would have tied the game. The Pokes held strong at mid-field and crushed the Aztecs dreams, giving the Cowboys the win.
Freshman quarterback Brett Smith was named Mountain West co-player of the week, along with Ronnie Hillman, for his terrific performance against the Aztecs. Smith finished with 397 all purpose yards and four touchdowns, two rushing and two throwing. Hillman finished with 309 all purpose yards and three touchdowns. The Cowboys will next face the TCU Horned Frogs in Laramie this Saturday. TCU is 6-2 on the season, 3-0 in conference play. The game will kick off at noon in Laramie.