Wyoming football lost the lesser known of their trophy games the “Bridger Battle” 58 to 27 against Utah State on Friday night. The Aggies took home the Bridger Rifle for the third straight year and Wyoming’s record fell to 1-8 overall and 1-4 in conference play for the season.
Making his first college start, redshirt freshman QB Nick Smith led the Pokes on a 80 yard touchdown drive with a nine yard pass to junior WR Jake Maulhardt on the Cowboys opening drive. Smith wasn’t nearly as effective the rest of the night and finished the game with just 83 passing yards along with two touchdowns and 53 rushing yards. Sophomore running back Brian Hill had another strong night with his fourth career 200 yard game (a school record) with 201 total rushing yards and a rushing touchdown in the second quarter. If healthy he should break the single season rushing record set by Ryan Christopherson in 1994.
The Wyoming defense struggled once again giving up 30 first half points to the well balanced Utah State offense that had 296 total yards both passing and rushing for the game. The Aggies scored points on their first four drives and then blocked a punt for a touchdown late in the first half to get their 30 points. In the second half the Utah State offense kept going scoring a touchdown on their opening drive and scoring three more times before punting for the first time in the game with less than four minutes left in the fourth quarter. This was a night the Wyoming defense will wish to forget.
The Cowboys will have to pick themselves off the mat as their arch rivals the Colorado State Rams come to Laramie next week for the 107th Border War. Kickoff is at 1pm MT in Laramie and the game can be seen on ESPN3.