On a soaking wet afternoon in Boone, North Carolina many of the Cowboys woes from the past few weeks made the trip across country with them. Miscues, penalties, and not being able to hang onto the football cost the Cowboys many times on Saturday. A game that Wyoming probably wishes they could have a do-over on, the Cowboys dropped another one on the road, 31-13 to Appalachian State.
Wyoming had plenty of opportunities to keep this game close, but in the end, the redzone offense just couldn’t get it done. The Cowboy defense gave up some big plays, but also forced enough three and outs to give the Cowboy offense the opportunity to get into this game.
The Cowboys, now 0-5 on the season, are off to their worst start since 1975. The Cowboys and Mountaineers are 1-1 all-time versus one another.
The game couldn’t have started worse for the Cowboys as the Mountaineers started the game off with a long kick return, then on the next play scored from 59 yards out. Marcus Cox went untouched as he busted through the line and scampered to the endzone.
On the following drive the Cowboys were making their move to tie the game and were down in the Mountaineer redzone. Cam Coffman fired a pass into the flat, a miscommunication with the receiver, and the Mountaineers’ Latrell Gibbs took the pass 91 yards to the endzone. Within 4:05 of the game the Cowboys were down 14-0.
These Cowboys, however, never go quietly into the night. The Cowboy defense stiffened up and forced some Appalachian State punts and eventually found their footing. The Pokes put together an offensive drive near the end of the first quarter and finished it off on the first play into the second quarter as running back Brian Hill darted into the endzone on a two yard run.
The teams would again trade punts for the majority of the second quarter but the Mountaineers managed to put together a drive right before halftime. Appalachian State quarterback Taylor Lamb hit Simms McElfresh for an 18 yard fade to the corner of the endzone and the Mountaineers took a 21-7 lead into the locker room.
The Cowboys would receive the second half kickoff and again couldn’t get any points onto the scoreboard. Appalachian State put its first points of the second half up on a Taylor Lamb 9 yard touchdown run to put them up 28-7. The Mountaineers would tack on a 51 yard field goal in some pretty questionable conditions to move to 31-7 with 3:06 left in the game.
The Cowboys refused to quit in this game as they took a drive down the field and scored with :44 seconds left in the game, Coffman hitting Josh Tapscott for an 8 yard touchdown pass. The PAT was not converted and the Cowboys trailed 31-13. The Pokes again refused to quit in this game, and Craig Bohl refused to let the team quit. They lined up for an onside kick and recovered. The drive stalled and the game was over.
The Cowboys once again outgained their opponent in total yardage, winning the battle 373 to 314. Coffman finished 14-19 for 155 yards with a touchdown and interception. Brian Hill once again proved that he is the Mountain West’s elite running back by rushing for 215 yards on 30 attempts. This is the third time in his career he has rushed for 200 yards and the seventh time he has gone over 100 yards. He has started seven games for the Cowboys. Tanner Gentry had 3 receptions for 77 yards and no scores. Coming into the game he was 15th in the country in receiving yards per game. The Cowboys also won the time of possession battle by holding onto the ball for 37:54, compared to Appalachian State’s 22:06.
On the defensive side of the ball big plays were again an issue with the game starting with the biggest play of the game. Freshman Andrew Wingard led Wyoming tacklers again this week with eight total tackles, and one tackle for loss. The Cowboys recorded zero sacks today but often found themselves in the backfield chasing Taylor Lamb. The Mountaineers recorded four sacks on Cam Coffman and had ten tackles for loss, compared to Wyoming’s four.
Some positive notes for the Cowboys defense is that they held Appalachian State to 65 yards passing. They also held the Mountaineers to 0-8 on third downs, forcing five punts. Will Tutein made his first start for the Cowboys and recorded three tackles. Marcus Epps also recorded his second interception this season, the second of the season for the Cowboys.
The Cowboys will be on the road again next week as they head to Colorado Springs to take on Air Force. The Falcons are 2-2 on the season. This week they dropped their game at Navy, 33-11. The Falcons are led by quarterback Karson Roberts and running back Jacobi Owens. The game will kickoff at 8:15pm MT and will be shown on ESPN2.